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Guest Bob

'Breaking' a journey on Amtrak ticket?

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Guest Bob

I'm a tourist visiting from England travelling on Amtrak from LA to San Diego and back again.

 

In my country, if you buy a round-trip ticket, you can 'break' the journey on the way back by getting off the train at any station stop before your final station and continue to journey at no extra charge.

 

I intend to by a round trip ticket from LA to San Diego and back again, but do a 'break' on the way back.

 

If I were to return from San Diego on my ticket to LA but get out at San Juan Capistrano and get back on a train there to LA a few days later, would my ticket still be valid?

 

And if not, would the price of a ticket from San Diego to San Juan Capistrano plus San Juan Capistrano to LA be equal to the price of a ticket from San Diego to LA?

 

 

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No and probably not, in that order for your questions. Amtrak has different fares that seem to try to force people to buy one long ticket rather than two shorter ones by raising the total price, and a ticket is only valid for a single trip, no matter if the holder goes to the destination listed or not.

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No. I strongly suspect that Amtrak would consider what you describe to be 2 trips. The moment you attempt to re-embark the conductor / train crew member would ask for a new ticket, and reject the original one as having already been used.

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On Amtrak, there is no price difference between a round trip (or return) ticket and 2 one way tickets. Thus it is always advisable to buy 2 one way tickets. There is a price difference between going from A to C or going A to B to C - unless the stopover in B is under 23 hours ans 30 minutes!

 

Except for routes that have multiple runs per day, it is impossible to "stopover" for the same fare, since the next departure from Dallas/Reno/Memphis/Flagstaff/etc... will not be until 24+ hours after you arrive.

Edited by the_traveler

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If you have a smart phone to use in the USA, I suggest not purchasing Los Angeles to San Diego or any stop in between until you are in the USA. Why? you can book your ticket on line right up to the time of departure of the train. You do need to book each segment(on origin to destination) separately. When I visit Southern California, I often book same day Amtrak ticket LAX to Fullerton just to go to a favorite restaurant right near the station. Then I book a separate ticket to return to LAX from Fullerton. There are frequent Pacific Surfliners between LAX and San Diego daily so no problem booking "as you go."

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If you are taking any other trains within California, there is a "California only" Amtrak pass available. Never used it myself, so don't know the conditions/restrictions or price.

 

You can do "test bookings" on amtrak.com to check out prices without having to commit to a booking.

 

Most Amtrak trains require a confirmed (reserved) seat, so generaly you can't break your journey and just jump on the next train, without an advance reservation...

 

 

Ed :cool:

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The Pacific Surfliner is unreserved most of the year. A ticket is valid for all trains on the day printed on it and for up to a year after the specified date. Of coarse the information here is for coach, and business class is imho not worth the upgrade, as it is the same seating configuration, just a different color of interior. The coach section usually includes a leased superliner that has better seats, and many people think that because the interior is very different, they can't sit there. The only thing to remember is that the superliner's door does not open at stations, so to embark and disembark go to the adjacent cars.

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You could purchase a "multi-city" ticket, which is one of the options (one-way/round-trip/multi-city), and specify where to exit and re-board. However, you wouldn't save anything since the price seems to be that of individual tickets anyways unless you make the "23.5-hour" rule where the scheduled stopover occurs less than 23.5 hours apart.

 

Also - the Pacific Surfliner is normally considered unreserved, such that missing a train isn't much of an issue as you can wait for the next one. The exception is during certain holiday periods. You might be able to book for a connection on the same day and just use it two days later.

 

I'm not sure if it's that critical for you however. The price difference is $6 between a one way SAN-LAX and a combination of SAN-SNC/SNC-LAX.

Edited by BCL

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Although the Pacific Surfliner is unreserved, if you got your ticket lifted/scanned leaving say, San Diego, that ticket has been used. If you hopped off in Oceanside and hopped on another northbound train, the ticket would not be valid, you need separate tickets.

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Although the Pacific Surfliner is unreserved, if you got your ticket lifted/scanned leaving say, San Diego, that ticket has been used. If you hopped off in Oceanside and hopped on another northbound train, the ticket would not be valid, you need separate tickets.

 

However, it could be booked same-day as a multi-city ticket with a stopover in Oceanside. I believe the second segment would remain open and could possibly be refunded or used at a later time (up to a year).

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Guest jld263

You can use multi city fares at the same low bucket in the LA-SD area and get off for any duration less than 24 hours, and the layover will be free (e.g. San Clemente Pier for 22 hrs).

 

Although the Pacific Surfliner is unreserved, if you got your ticket lifted/scanned leaving say, San Diego, that ticket has been used. If you hopped off in Oceanside and hopped on another northbound train, the ticket would not be valid, you need separate tickets.

 

However, it could be booked same-day as a multi-city ticket with a stopover in Oceanside. I believe the second segment would remain open and could possibly be refunded or used at a later time (up to a year).

 

 

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