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How to know if there are seats available before buy Rail Pass?


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#1 Guest_Maurizio_*

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 10:47 AM

I would like to know there is any way to know if there are seats available for rail pass passengers before to buy the Rail Pass. I read on the amtrak site that " seats available for USA Rail Pass passengers are limited"...  I would like to avoid to buy the rail pass and then discover that there are no seats available in my itinerary... 

thanks



#2 KmH

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 10:56 AM

There is no way to know for sure.

 

You have to get the rail pass and book your itinerary far enough in advance that ensures rail pass seat availability.

Since your itinerary has to be booked by phone with Amtrak, the agent you speak to will be able to tell you if rail pass seats are available.

How far in advance that needs to be is a moving target so figure your need to get the pass and book the segments for your itinerary.

I would guess at least 3 or more months in advance would work. 


Edited by KmH, 23 April 2018 - 11:00 AM.

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

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


#3 caravanman

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 11:29 AM

If you have a route and dates already in mind, you can email inat5@sales.amtrak.com  They should have that info available.

 

Broadly speaking, if  coach seats are available at the lowest "bucket" price, you should be able to obtain rail pass tickets for that journey.

 

(Seat prices rise on Amtrak as more seats are sold on that particular train).

 

Ed.


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#4 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 08:16 PM

I was able to book all of mine within a month of my travel and it was in the summer and it was LSL, CZ, SWC, CL.


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#5 cpotisch

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 09:13 AM

You should probably get your pass as far in advance as possible, preferably already knowing your general itinerary. Call to find out how many seats are left for the day(s) your traveling, get the pass, and book immediately.

Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service

 

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#6 KmH

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 10:14 AM

I was able to book all of mine within a month of my travel and it was in the summer and it was LSL, CZ, SWC, CL.

 

It's good to know rail pass seats are still available that close to one's travel dates. It may also indicate that not many people use Amtrak's Rail pass.

 

Call to find out how many seats are left for the day(s) your traveling, get the pass, and book immediately.

Would Amtrak say how many seats are still available or would Amtrak only verify if rail pass seats are or aren't still available?


Edited by KmH, 24 April 2018 - 06:03 PM.

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

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


#7 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 10:21 AM

Even if there are no "rail pass" seats available I believe you can simply pay an upgrade fee for that segment.

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#8 cpotisch

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 10:50 AM

Wait, so there are seats dedicated to rail passes? I thought that you can just book any available seat...

Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service

 

Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

 


#9 Bob Dylan

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 01:08 PM

[quote name="Devil's Advocate" post="750908" timestamp="1524583316"]

Even if there are no "rail pass" seats available I believe you can simply pay an upgrade fee for that segment.[/quote]
This is correct IF No "Dedicated Rail Pass Seats" are available in Coach,but if the Train is,Sold Out you're SOL!
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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#10 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 03:20 PM

Wait, so there are seats dedicated to rail passes? I thought that you can just book any available seat...

 

Not specific physical seats, but only the lowest coach bucket receives a "free" booking under the pass.  Anything else requires an upcharge, unless all coach seats are taken, in which case as Jim says above you're SOL.  That being said, it's pretty rare that every last seat is sold, at least in my experience.


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