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2018 Discount Fares and Refund/Cancellation Fee Changes


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#101 Ryan

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 07:42 PM

Or, yet again the rumor mill wasn’t exactly right, and this was a bunch of sound and fury about nothing.

Again.
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#102 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 08:00 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but at first glance it would seem that sleeper fares now have no full refund window whatsoever.  Once you hand Amtrak $1,000+ for a sleeper ticket you've agreed to an instant $250 penalty even if your trip is nearly a year away and you immediately request a refund five minutes after purchase.  If you happen to book anytime within two weeks of departure you've just agreed to an instant 100% refund penalty regardless of the circumstances or fare basis.  Yes, you still have the voucher option and of course that's much better than losing your money outright, but sleeper fares are now substantially more restrictive than airline tickets when it comes to refunds.  There is also the disconcerting realization that today's Amtrak is happy to change the rules for existing reservations without any prior notice or grandfathering.


.


#103 jis

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:17 PM

Amtrak really needs to be brought under at least the few meager restrictions and passengers rights that the airlines operate under.


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#104 roadman3313

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:51 PM

California State Supported routes (Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner, and San Joaquin) will still maintain some of the discounts under the "California Everyday Discounts" policy.

 

To summarize:

 

1. Senior Discount: Senior discount will remain at age 62 and at 15%. Select "Adult" when booking and use promo code V282.

 

2. Disabled Discount: Disabled discount will remain at 15%. Select "Adult" when booking and use promo code V577.

 

3. Student Discount: Student discount will be set at 15%. Select "Adult" when booking and use promo code V353.

 

For the Capitol Corridor they strongly advise booking tickets on capitolcorridor.org to be sure the discounts are applied correctly, however the promo codes are available to use on any of the California State Supported routes by booking on Amtrak.com, via 1-800-USA-RAIL, at a Quik-Trak kiosk, or at a Staffed Station. They currently are NOT available for booking on the Amtrak App at this time.

 

Full details on the Capitol Corridor web page:

California Everyday Discounts


Edited by roadman3313, 08 January 2018 - 10:54 PM.


#105 Anderson

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 12:17 AM

(1) I can say that I had independent verification of the initially-posted changes (or something very close to them) from someone who I would not write down to just being "the rumor mill".  They saw this a few weeks before we did but were not in a position to say anything until someone else let it out.  The policy pretty clearly got revised and AmtrakLKL wasn't incorrect in what was rolled out.

(2) CA's release on that is about as close to taking a shot at Amtrak as I can see a state partner agency doing without a legislative prod.  This is conjecture, but I do suspect that CA might be a candidate for having rebelled against the worst aspects of the refund policy change...and while ticket price discounts are easy to tag in the system with a code, I highly doubt that Amtrak has the ability to easily tag a fare (say, within CA) as having a variant refundability period.


Amtrak mileage to date: Somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 miles...I /really/ need to run all of my trips through a calculator sometime.

...and no, I am not /that/ Anderson...;-)


#106 AmtrakLKL

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 07:09 PM

What I originally posted is what was distributed as the new policy - I didn't mean to stir up such a commotion for nothing over the eVouchers. There were a few rounds of revision prior to roll-out and after I posted. Having been a bit busy with winter weather the past week, I'm just now getting back here on the forums. I've updated the original post to reflect the actual policy including 100% eVouchers. So glad that policy was tweaked at the last minute. 



#107 Ryan

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 08:54 PM

Appreciate the early heads up, and agree - glad that got that one right.

(1) I can say that I had independent verification of the initially-posted changes (or something very close to them) from someone who I would not write down to just being "the rumor mill".


Until they're actually published publicly, that's all they are.

Edited by Ryan, 10 January 2018 - 08:55 PM.

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#108 Chey

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 06:39 PM

Glad to hear that ThirdRail seems to be correct so far... full value to an eVoucher is all I need...


Agreed! I've used that eVoucher many times to alter the date of travel or the destination. It always comes in handy since I always want to go somewhere.

#109 Anderson

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 07:14 PM

Appreciate the early heads up, and agree - glad that got that one right.
 

(1) I can say that I had independent verification of the initially-posted changes (or something very close to them) from someone who I would not write down to just being "the rumor mill".


Until they're actually published publicly, that's all they are.

 

Uh, no.  An internally-circulated draft (e.g. what AmtrakLKL posted) or an off-the-record statement by someone at Amtrak management is definitely a step or two above something such as generic OBS chatter.  It can still be changed or prove to be incorrect (typos happen, polcies change, etc.), but there are clear gradations between "wild speculation we can easily disregard" and something that is certain to happen in the stated form barring an Act of God.


Amtrak mileage to date: Somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 miles...I /really/ need to run all of my trips through a calculator sometime.

...and no, I am not /that/ Anderson...;-)


#110 Thirdrail7

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 07:53 PM

 

Appreciate the early heads up, and agree - glad that got that one right.
 

(1) I can say that I had independent verification of the initially-posted changes (or something very close to them) from someone who I would not write down to just being "the rumor mill".


Until they're actually published publicly, that's all they are.

 

Uh, no.  An internally-circulated draft (e.g. what AmtrakLKL posted) or an off-the-record statement by someone at Amtrak management is definitely a step or two above something such as generic OBS chatter.  It can still be changed or prove to be incorrect (typos happen, polcies change, etc.), but there are clear gradations between "wild speculation we can easily disregard" and something that is certain to happen in the stated form barring an Act of God.

 

 

 

There are a couple of key words in your response such as "internally circulated," "draft," and  "off-the-record,"  that underscore the issue here. While that may a step above what YOU consider wild speculations, even fact based private information can lead to wild rumors and outright misinterpretations, like the one in the LSL Michigan Reroute Rumors & Speculation.

 

 

 

Perhaps the lesson to learn here is wait until it is official or maybe drop a hint (cough cough) saying something like "keep an eye on the website for changes in..." because as you stated, they can make an official announcement on Monday about a policy being implemented on Friday....and something different may show up on Saturday...assuming the website works and they bother to update it! :help:


Edited by Thirdrail7, 12 January 2018 - 07:58 PM.

They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#111 Ryan

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:53 PM

^^^ perfectly stated

It isn’t a policy until it’s actually a policy. Sure, it’s better than a random OBS saying that all of the dining cars are going away forever, but it’s still just fodder for the rumor mill until something is actually implemented.
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#112 calwatch

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:04 AM

I had posted about this based off the LOSSAN board agenda, and it appears all California corridors followed suit. http://discuss.amtra...counts-in-2018/



#113 neroden

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:54 AM

I am glad they backed off on the totally idiotic idea of charging a fee for an e-voucher.  The fully exchangable ticket lives, which is important for the upper-tier traveller and the frequent traveller -- people who Amtrak really does want to keep on board.


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#114 Anderson

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 07:09 PM

Yes, but the fact-based information itself (presuming it's clear; sometimes, I'll grant that things can come out muddled...but so can official policies) is different and distinct from interpretations of said information.

Let's also not forget the official announcements regarding AGR 2.0 which didn't pan out (the "straigh" points-to-dollars conversion ratios didn't exactly happen, the points+cash option still doesn't exist, while the change/modification policy wasn't implemented as stated).  That stuff was publicly-announced, it was clear(-ish...I'll grant some ambiguities that were to-be-elaborated-on), and it was official policy...until it wasn't.


Amtrak mileage to date: Somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 miles...I /really/ need to run all of my trips through a calculator sometime.

...and no, I am not /that/ Anderson...;-)


#115 me_little_me

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 08:26 PM

I know I'm old and slow but I still am not sure what it says:

 

You get 100% of what you paid in cash/credit as a voucher if you cancel a sleeper before travel?

 

You are penalized 20% of your points if you do the same?

 

What if you paid with a voucher?



#116 jis

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 12:21 AM

I had posted about this based off the LOSSAN board agenda, and it appears all California corridors followed suit. http://discuss.amtra...counts-in-2018/

Information based on something that appears in a Board agenda is usually quite reliable information as of the point at which the agenda was published. It would be highly unusual, for a statutory body to publish something that is known to be false in their Board agenda.

 

Then again it was probably a good thing that people expressed their displeasure with the no full voucher policy that was proposed. Maybe that outburst changed some minds. We have no way of knowing for sure this way or that.



#117 AmtrakLKL

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 10:00 PM

Here we go again! I've update the first post as well.
 

The following changes are effective March 20, 2018:

 

As was originally in the January changes and rescinded at the last minute, the ability to receive a full eVoucher no more.

 

One positive change - Sleeping car purchases did receive an increase in the no penalty window from 1 hour post-purchase to 24 hours post-purchase.

Cancellation/Refund Fee Changes

 

NOTE: If you made a reservation prior to March 20 and want to cancel after March 20, the computer will automatically apply the new policy. Agents are supposed to override the computer and apply the correct fee in effect when the reservation was originally purchased. Changes made to existing reservations on or after March 20 will bring the reservation under the new cancellation policy. 

 

 

Sleeping Car Reservations

  • Cancel within 24 hours of purchase - Full refund or eVoucher
  • Cancel at least 15 days prior to scheduled departure - 75% refund or 75% eVoucher
  • Cancel 14 or fewer days prior to scheduled departure - 75% non-refundable eVoucher
  • Cancel after scheduled departure or no show - No Refund, No eVoucher

 

Acela First Class, Non-Acela Business Class

  • Cancel prior to scheduled departure - Full refund or eVoucher
  • Cancel after scheduled departure or no show - No Refund, No eVoucher

 

Reserved Coach, Acela Business Class Excluding Flexible Full Fares

  • Cancel at least 8 days prior to scheduled departure - Full refund or eVoucher
  • Cancel 7 or fewer days prior to scheduled departure - 75% refund or 75% eVoucher
  • Purchase within 7 days of departure and cancel within 1 hour of purchase - Full Refund or eVoucher
  • Purchase within 7 days of departure and cancel more than 1 hour after purchase - 75% refund or 75% eVoucher
  • Cancel after scheduled departure or no show - No Refund, No eVoucher
  • Flexible Full Fares continue to offer full refund at any time.

 

Advance Purchase Saver Fares

  • Cancel within 24 hours of purchase - Full refund or eVoucher
  • Cancel more than 24 hours after purchase but prior to scheduled departure - 75% non-refundable eVoucher
  • Cancel after scheduled departure or no show - No Refund, No eVoucher

 

Unreserved Coach Fares

  • Cancel within 1 hour of purchase - Full refund or eVoucher
  • Cancel more than 1 hour after purchase - 75% refund or 75% eVoucher

 

USA Rail Pass, California Rail Pass

  • Cancel within 1 hour of purchase - Full refund
  • Rail Pass has been issued but no travel reservations have been made and no tickets have been issued - 75% refund or 75% eVoucher
  • Rail Pass has been issued and reservations have been made:
    • Cancel at least two days prior to first scheduled departure - 75% refund or 75% eVoucher
    • If tickets have been issued (these are still paper ticket reservations), all tickets and rail pass must be mailed to Amtrak Refunds for refund.
    • Cancel less than two days prior to first scheduled departure - No Refund, No eVoucher. Pass will be considered used.

Edited by AmtrakLKL, 18 March 2018 - 10:00 PM.


#118 Bob Dylan

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 10:17 PM

Wow, pretty Draconian!😥
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#119 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 04:35 AM

Wow, pretty Draconian!

Still better than the airlines.


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#120 PRR 60

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 07:21 AM

 

Wow, pretty Draconian!

Still better than the airlines.


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It depends on the value of the ticket. I had first class travel on AA last fall that I had to cancel at the last minute due to a dental issue that cropped up two days before I was ready to leave. It was not serious, but it had to be fixed.  I was able to cancel and store the ticket value for a future travel subject to a $200 change fee.  That same situation with a same cost Amtrak sleeper would have cost me a $300 fee (25% of the ticket value of $1200). 






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