Jump to content




Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

Photo

AAA Discontinued Effective 2/18/18


  • Please log in to reply
80 replies to this topic

#21 railiner

railiner

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,273 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, NY
  • Interests:All public transportation....land, sea, and air

Posted 08 February 2018 - 02:45 PM

What AAA fight's against, is the unfair practice of making motorists carry public transit rider's on their backs, not Amtrak....in other word's, subway, commuter rail, and local bus, and not Amtrak.

For example...bridge's and tunnel's have been paid for many times over by toll's--both original cost as well as operating cost, yet the tolls keep on increasing to stratospheric level's to subsidize transit rider's relatively low cost fares that don't even begin to pay their way.   And highways and bridges have been long neglected since road use and fuel tax revenue surpluses were long siphoned off by government's to balance their general budget.  AAA does however recognize the need for public transportation, and even acknowledges the benfit to motorist's due to reduced congestion....they just think that the benefit should come from the general fund, more, and not disproportionately from motorists....

 

And AAA does not pay any portion of the discount offered to its members...the discounts all come from the merchant's offering them, and they do so for the tremendous amount of additional business they receive as a result.

 

I agree that you can get lower rates for road service from your insurance company, and more and more people book their travel online directly.   I still belong to AAA, because they are the only agency fighting for the rights of motorists, whether it is for infrastructure funding, unfair taxes, fighting speed traps and red light camera's that have been proven to be used not for safety, but to raise revenue, even causing rear-ender accidents...

 

AAA has indeed featured and promoted Amtrak and other rail travel in their magazines....not many other travel organization's do....


metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#22 Ryan

Ryan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,374 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:OTN
  • Interests:a fact checker combined with a ferret

Posted 08 February 2018 - 05:03 PM

What AAA fight's against, is the unfair practice of making motorists carry public transit rider's on their backs


tenor.gif

Wonder how those motorists would fare if all those transit riders appeared on the roads during rush hour.

Around here, AAA is most notable for whinging about speed cameras (while ignoring the fact that it's a simple remedy to avoid a ticket from one).
Posted Image

Disclaimer: Any images or links you see in my post may in fact be invasive advertising or even fraudulent phishing attacks silently injected into my post by our spam based hosting service. If anything looks suspicious or inappropriate or you have any doubt whatsoever then do not click any links (particularly those appearing in green and/or with a double underline) or interact with the spam in any way. You may also want to consider using ad-blocking plugins such as Adblock Plus and/or Ghostery)to help reduce the number and severity of advertising scams directed at you.

#23 Green Maned Lion

Green Maned Lion

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,144 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NJ
  • Interests:Sleeping

Posted 08 February 2018 - 05:16 PM

Speed cameras should be illegal. And I hate AAA.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
Most important: Keep it Simple, Stupid!
Posted Image
Dream of love, dream of me, for you are my love. I love you.
Avatar and sig were done by my fiance, Corvidophile.

#24 Lonestar648

Lonestar648

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,631 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 February 2018 - 07:02 PM

AAA was big before GPS mapping was available, before your new car with road service, your car insurance offered road service, and before on line booking became available.  Growing up most everyone in the family was a AAA member and I remember going to AAA offices for the trip flip maps.  

 

With the membership dropping every year, I imagine our new Amtrak CEO saw little benefit in the expense, especially since Delta didn't offer such discounts.



#25 Bex

Bex

    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 100 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:NEC

Posted 08 February 2018 - 09:39 PM

Book more than two weeks out and get the Saver Fare. Its better than any other discounts. The cleaning up of this and all of the other excessive discounting is long over due. Sure, the lack of discounts may stop some from traveling, but its nothing compared to the millions of dollars left on the table over the years that was discounted when it didnt have to be. These moves are smart business as they will substantially increase revenue without increasing costs.

 

The saver fare has been available less and less for trains I take. So I've been using the AAA discount more and this is a real bummer.



#26 jebr

jebr

    Engineer

  • Forum Manager
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,057 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:"The Last Great City of the East," St. Paul, MN

Posted 08 February 2018 - 10:06 PM

What AAA fight's against, is the unfair practice of making motorists carry public transit rider's on their backs

 

Considering that fuel and vehicle taxes only account for 42% of the $202 billion spent on roads (at least as of 2010, from this article,) I don't feel particularly bad about public transit also being subsidized. It's a fallacy (from the sounds of it, at least partially perpetrated by the AAA) that roads, on the whole, pay for themselves. There may be certain toll roads that in a vacuum pay for themselves, but the vast majority of roads do not even come close to paying for themselves.

 

If AAA is fighting against funding public transit (of which Amtrak is part of the public transit landscape) under a misconceived notion that roads "pay for themselves" but public transit doesn't, then I can't blame Amtrak for wanting to stop giving a discount to members of said organization. While AAA may offer more ridership in the short-term, NARP (er, RPA) and other rail advocacy organizations actively work for Amtrak's growth, unlike AAA's advocacy for roads above all else. If I was Amtrak, I'd much rather offer a discount to members of an organization that work for better rail service rather than work to advance competing modes of transportation.



#27 gradstudentrailfan

gradstudentrailfan

    Train Attendant

  • Newbie
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 08 February 2018 - 11:43 PM

I always appreciated having the AAA discount and am sad for my own sake to see it go away. I always wondered how this discount, and all the others ones, was financially advantageous for Amtrak. With AAA, student, senior, etc discounts, it seemed to me that Amtrak was giving away too much revenue. I used to work for Five Guys, and it was a corporate principle that we never gave coupons or discounts because they implied that the food wasn't worth the price on the menu. It seems the discounts went away because Amtrak was losing money on them. Painful as this is, hopefully this brings Amtrak a step closer to financial viability. 



#28 caravanman

caravanman

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,238 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nottingham, England.
  • Interests:Open minded travel, in which the journey is often as interesting as the destination...

Posted 09 February 2018 - 05:31 AM

I guess AAA membership implies ownership of a vehicle? If I wanted to encourage folk to consider using my train company instead of driving their car, offering them an incentive to do so seems sensible to me...

 

Not a great time to drop any incentives, following the recent spate of accidents, methinks.

 

Ed.



#29 PRR 60

PRR 60

    Engineer

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,066 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 February 2018 - 08:26 AM

The demographic of AAA membership perhaps skews to older, higher than average disposable income with an interest in travel - just what Amtrak is targeting for long distance travel.  That could be a reason why Amtrak pursued that market with the discount.  Most hotels and car rental companies do the same.  However, I don't think 10% off rail fare only is a make or break in the choice of travel.  For some sleeper trips it may be only a couple of percent off the total fare.  I think Amtrak could reach that same market by advertising in the local AAA magazines.

 

As for lobbying and trying to influence transportation policy, I've never found AAA to be a major player. When I think of the "highway lobby" I think more of AGC, ACEC, the trade unions, and even ASCE (I'm a member) than I do AAA. They always say "follow the money."  The money is with those who benefit from large, publicly funded construction and employment, not with AAA.



#30 LookingGlassTie

LookingGlassTie

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 340 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portsmouth, VA

Posted 09 February 2018 - 09:58 AM

gradstudentrailfan and PRR 60, you both make good points.   :)


"And you know that notion just crossed my mind............"


#31 KmH

KmH

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,060 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
  • Interests:Astronomy, photography

Posted 09 February 2018 - 10:40 AM

While reducing/eliminating discounts may help a bit Amtrak has a ways to go before being financially independent from the largess of Congress.

 

NEC infrastructure upkeep/upgrades and the looming need to replace aging locomotive and Superliner equipment will be costly.


Edited by KmH, 09 February 2018 - 10:43 AM.

California Zephyr • Coast Starlight  • Southwest Chief • Sunset Limited • Texas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr • Capitol Corridor

. . . . Amtrak miles - 23,703, so far.


#32 willem

willem

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 931 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 February 2018 - 11:04 AM

[...] I don't think 10% off rail fare only is a make or break in the choice of travel.  For some sleeper trips it may be only a couple of percent off the total fare. [...]

 

This is why I see the demise of the AAA discount (and the reduction of the senior discount, which I now use) as minor issues. If I were on a budget that precluded sleeping car accommodations, I might feel differently.



#33 AcrossTheOcean

AcrossTheOcean

    Train Attendant

  • Training
  • Pip
  • 34 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Germany
  • Interests:Knitting, playing tuba

Posted 09 February 2018 - 11:13 AM

Speed cameras should be illegal. And I hate AAA.

 

Speed cameras, or "blitzers" as they are called, are a common thing here.  While I can't say I "like" them, I do see the safety advantages.  If it isn't a police officer pulling someone over, there is no chance of the officer being injured because someone didn't move over as they went past.  And you put a check in the mail when you get the ticket instead of having to spend a half hour as the cop issues your ticket followed by a court date.

 

Looking at the trip I want to book, even with sleeping car accomodations, the AAA discount will save us about $50.  It may be a small percentage of the entire ticket, but it is enough to feed my family a meal in a restaurant at our destination.


Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof.
 
Genieß dein Leben mit vollen Zugen.


#34 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,146 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 09 February 2018 - 11:54 AM

For whatever it is worth Anderson has decided that Amtrak must get to 100% operating ratio come hell or high water, and given that goal I expect all discounts that do not provably increase revenues in the net are likely to be gone. I don't believe AAAs lobbying activities are a consideration as far as Amtrak is concerned, in the past or at present. It is a pure revenue and P&L management move.



#35 Ryan

Ryan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,374 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:OTN
  • Interests:a fact checker combined with a ferret

Posted 09 February 2018 - 01:09 PM

I don't believe AAAs lobbying activities are a consideration as far as Amtrak is concerned, in the past or at present. It is a pure revenue and P&L management move.


Wholeheartedly concur.
Posted Image

Disclaimer: Any images or links you see in my post may in fact be invasive advertising or even fraudulent phishing attacks silently injected into my post by our spam based hosting service. If anything looks suspicious or inappropriate or you have any doubt whatsoever then do not click any links (particularly those appearing in green and/or with a double underline) or interact with the spam in any way. You may also want to consider using ad-blocking plugins such as Adblock Plus and/or Ghostery)to help reduce the number and severity of advertising scams directed at you.

#36 Chey

Chey

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 349 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:NW TX
  • Interests:North American passenger trains, especially Amtrak and VIA

Posted 09 February 2018 - 02:54 PM

AAA was big before GPS mapping was available, before your new car with road service, your car insurance offered road service, and before on line booking became available.  Growing up most everyone in the family was a AAA member and I remember going to AAA offices for the trip flip maps.


I remember those maps, triptiks - they were the best, the detail on them was awesome - but that was before smartphones and GPS. Nostalgic but obsolete now,

#37 Chey

Chey

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 349 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:NW TX
  • Interests:North American passenger trains, especially Amtrak and VIA

Posted 09 February 2018 - 02:58 PM

Speed cameras should be illegal. And I hate AAA.

 
Speed cameras, or "blitzers" as they are called, are a common thing here.  While I can't say I "like" them, I do see the safety advantages.  If it isn't a police officer pulling someone over, there is no chance of the officer being injured because someone didn't move over as they went past.  And you put a check in the mail when you get the ticket instead of having to spend a half hour as the cop issues your ticket followed by a court date.


I don't know about Europe, but here they're engineered to make money for the camera company and the city that uses them. They actually make everyone more unsafe with their shortened times for yellow lights. In my city rear end collisions at intersections with the cameras went way up before the city finally took them out.

#38 Ryan

Ryan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,374 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:OTN
  • Interests:a fact checker combined with a ferret

Posted 09 February 2018 - 03:36 PM

You're talking about traffic light cameras, not speed cameras.

Also, not all traffic light cameras shorten yellow lights.
Posted Image

Disclaimer: Any images or links you see in my post may in fact be invasive advertising or even fraudulent phishing attacks silently injected into my post by our spam based hosting service. If anything looks suspicious or inappropriate or you have any doubt whatsoever then do not click any links (particularly those appearing in green and/or with a double underline) or interact with the spam in any way. You may also want to consider using ad-blocking plugins such as Adblock Plus and/or Ghostery)to help reduce the number and severity of advertising scams directed at you.

#39 Chey

Chey

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 349 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:NW TX
  • Interests:North American passenger trains, especially Amtrak and VIA

Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:29 PM

Oops, you're right. I haven't had to deal with a speed camera since I moved to west Texas, but where I came from in Arizona speed cameras used to nab people on the route I took to work - and needed to - some people were exceeding 100 mph on that particular stretch of freeway.

I've seen red light cameras that get people for stopping on the DOT line too.

#40 KnightRail

KnightRail

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 378 posts

Posted 09 February 2018 - 05:54 PM

With AAA, student, senior, etc discounts, it seemed to me that Amtrak was giving away too much revenue. I used to work for Five Guys, and it was a corporate principle that we never gave coupons or discounts because they implied that the food wasn't worth the price on the menu. It seems the discounts went away because Amtrak was losing money on them. Painful as this is, hopefully this brings Amtrak a step closer to financial viability. 

Exactly. If you have a quality product, you shouldnt have to be discounting it all the time. Successful restaurants dont have to nor want to ever discount. Its a sign of being weak and desperate. We all end up paying for those discounts anyways. Have seen some signs in businesses over the years to the effect of Want a discount?, just give us a moment to raise our prices.

There is nothing wrong with offering flash sales and things like the Track Friday Sale to boost ridership during slower periods, but offering long term permanent disconts has to be stopped. Theres no reason to be discounting high demand trains.

Edited by KnightRail, 09 February 2018 - 06:00 PM.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users