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Saver fare to Super-liner roomette upgrade


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#21 Lonestar648

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 09:00 AM

Taking away the capability, pushed the responsibility to the Amtrak Agents.  I know in several instances, trying to upgrade with the Conductor , often was limited to their availability to check and to do the transaction.  When they used the satellite communication there was delay for the message to the computer and the computer's response, then similar delays completing the sale of the room.  But few people has cell phones back then and cell coverage was urban only. 



#22 Ryan

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 09:16 AM

What capability did they take away?
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#23 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 09:37 AM

What capability did they take away?

 

Good point.  Amtrak conductors have been finding excuses to refuse processing onboard upgrades for a long time now.  In that regard I guess nothing really has changed.


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#24 Ryan

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 09:39 AM

Not that I disagree, but my question centered more on technical capability than it did conductor’s willingness.
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#25 Lonestar648

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 10:46 AM

Here is a photo of the satellite antenna on the engine  and also the keyboard used, and the keyboard mounted in the cab.  I can not find my photo of the antenna that the Conductor used.   (For some reason my three photos will not load, sorry)



#26 Ryan

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 11:34 AM

Why are you fixated on this satellite equipment? The conductor still has the ability to check on inventory and pricing. Yes, the method has changed, but the procedure is still for the conductor to handle the transaction in communication with the mother ship.
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#27 cpotisch

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 11:00 AM

In recent years, when I've talked to people who upgrade onboard, they've said that you have to call to do so. It's still a little bit of work for the conductor to check your modified ticket, but I don't think it would be enough of a bother that he/she would be particularly resistant to it. Just my hunch, though.


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


#28 the_traveler

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 04:38 PM

The only “extra” work the Conductor now has to do is the normal ticket lifting - since the reservation and payment was done by you over the phone. Years ago, the Conductor had to call reservations to determine the fare AND notify them to remove that room from inventory AND do the required paperwork AND collect payment.
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Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#29 Ryan

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 05:56 PM

That procedure is still available to them, if they opt to do it.
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#30 Guest_M Lincoln_*

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 01:06 PM

I"m very confused about this thread.  In late February I bought a saver fare ticket on the Southwest Chief.  About 2 weeks later the roomette fare came down 4 days before boarding date.  I called Amtrak and asked if I could upgrade to the roomette and how much it would cost; the difference was exactly the difference between what I had paid and the cost of the roomette at low bucket price.  I thanked the agent for the information, hung up and reconsidered my options.  When I called back in a few minutes I got a different agent and it was all the same as I was told, I then went ahead with the upgrade.  No cancellation fee was added to my upgraded reservation, and it was the same reservation number, so it wasn't like it was cancelled.  

 

Now I may be going back to Chicago to help family after a surgery.... and I may be making another reservation soon.  And now I'm  learning that if I make a Saver fare reservation it will cost me a cancellation fee if I choose to upgrade it to a roomette.  Maybe I was just lucky, twice?  I will be more aware now.  



#31 cpotisch

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 01:32 PM

I"m very confused about this thread.  In late February I bought a saver fare ticket on the Southwest Chief.  About 2 weeks later the roomette fare came down 4 days before boarding date.  I called Amtrak and asked if I could upgrade to the roomette and how much it would cost; the difference was exactly the difference between what I had paid and the cost of the roomette at low bucket price.  I thanked the agent for the information, hung up and reconsidered my options.  When I called back in a few minutes I got a different agent and it was all the same as I was told, I then went ahead with the upgrade.  No cancellation fee was added to my upgraded reservation, and it was the same reservation number, so it wasn't like it was cancelled.  

 

Now I may be going back to Chicago to help family after a surgery.... and I may be making another reservation soon.  And now I'm  learning that if I make a Saver fare reservation it will cost me a cancellation fee if I choose to upgrade it to a roomette.  Maybe I was just lucky, twice?  I will be more aware now.  

There is tremendous variation between the actual policies and what the agents do. Many are very helpful and knowledgeable, and many have no idea whatsoever what the rules are, what the trains offer, etc. So you probably got lucky. That said, if you're sure that you want to end up with a roomette, just start with a roomette. If you'll be fine with coach, get a saver fare.


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


#32 Guest_M Lincoln_*

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 02:21 PM

 

I"m very confused about this thread.  In late February I bought a saver fare ticket on the Southwest Chief.  About 2 weeks later the roomette fare came down 4 days before boarding date.  I called Amtrak and asked if I could upgrade to the roomette and how much it would cost; the difference was exactly the difference between what I had paid and the cost of the roomette at low bucket price.  I thanked the agent for the information, hung up and reconsidered my options.  When I called back in a few minutes I got a different agent and it was all the same as I was told, I then went ahead with the upgrade.  No cancellation fee was added to my upgraded reservation, and it was the same reservation number, so it wasn't like it was cancelled.  

 

Now I may be going back to Chicago to help family after a surgery.... and I may be making another reservation soon.  And now I'm  learning that if I make a Saver fare reservation it will cost me a cancellation fee if I choose to upgrade it to a roomette.  Maybe I was just lucky, twice?  I will be more aware now.  

There is tremendous variation between the actual policies and what the agents do. Many are very helpful and knowledgeable, and many have no idea whatsoever what the rules are, what the trains offer, etc. So you probably got lucky. That said, if you're sure that you want to end up with a roomette, just start with a roomette. If you'll be fine with coach, get a saver fare.

 

Thanks, I will probably go coach this time because I think I will be making the reservation on short notice, so I doubt I will be able to get a Saver fare or a low bucket roomette price.  It will likely be a Value fare and I won't pay the much high tier fares for the sleeper <sigh>,  oh well.   

Last time I noticed the coach fares had sold out for ABQ - CHI, and I got very nervous about the prospect of sleeping in a packed coach.... but once on the train I saw that the sold out portion was really from Kansas City (7:30 am) eastward and there was plenty of room to spread out for the coach passengers overnight.  In fact there was a whole empty coach car overnight.   But the above discussions on this thread and quotes of policy made me much smarter and more aware.  I very much appreciate the shared information of experiences here.  I  loved having the sleeper but I have to look at the big picture and the round trip costs.  I do hope I get to do a sleeper again sometime, it was a blast!  Fabulous service!  A true luxury experience.  m--



#33 chakk

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 06:50 PM

You might check online to see if roomette to K.C., then coach to Chitown, would save you some money compared to roomette all the way.
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#34 Guest_M Lincoln_*

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:40 PM

You might check online to see if roomette to K.C., then coach to Chitown, would save you some money compared to roomette all the way.

 

Thanks, I tied looking that up, but for the day I picked I couldn't get the Saver fare for the KCY - CHI segment.  It all depends on the day they ask me come out - the reason for the trip is to help after surgery, so I don't get to pick the date.  I do think breaking it into segments could  be a money saver and I will certainly look for that.  The KCY - CHI portion was sold out on my last trip, so I don't know how that effects the pricing buckets.  Doing something last minute could work out, I got the roomette last time at low bucket just a few days out.  



#35 cpotisch

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:55 AM

It's very possible that you'll find significant savings if you take a sleeper most of the way, and switch to coach for the last couple stops.


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


#36 Guest_M Lincoln_*

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:39 PM

It's very possible that you'll find significant savings if you take a sleeper most of the way, and switch to coach for the last couple stops.

That is an interesting tactic I hadn't thought of but will check out!  Great idea and thank you for sharing that!  m--



#37 cpotisch

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:46 PM

Good luck! Sometimes even a 40 minute shorter ride can be $100+ cheaper. One example is on the Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited, with which it's about $200 cheaper to board at the second stop, rather than LAX.


Edited by cpotisch, 17 May 2018 - 01:48 PM.

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




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