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Guest Jim

Saver fare to Super-liner roomette upgrade

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Guest Jim

Hi-

I purchased a saver fare ticket in 21 Texas Eagle. Now I decided to upgrade it roomette & called up Amtrak- the agent said- Saver fares cannot be upgraded to superliner roomette. If I do upgrade then he will have to charge a 25% cancellation fee + the roomette's current fare. Is this correct? It doesn't sound right- Does anyone in the forum knows about this recent changes?

The agent said he has been w/ Amtrak for 7 years so he knows saver fares cannot be upgraded. I'm having hard time believing that. I did upgrade last time in 2014 and din't have this issue, but back then Amtrak didn't charge a 25% cancellation fee on saver fares after 24 hrs of booking.

 

My question is- is there a way to get that upgrade by paying the current price or cheaper but not pay an extra 25% (as cancellation fee)?

 

Thank you,

Tapash

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The terms are shown on the Amtrak website, if you make a pretend booking, and then click on the arrow on the "saver" column header, it shows the dropdown info.

 

The agent is correct, you only loose 25% of the saver fare after 24 hrs. You can't buy a "saver" and then upgrade, as the "saver" might be cheaper than the low bucket price applied to all sleepers. Given that these are special discounted cheaper fares, that seems fair to me?

 

From Amtrak website:

 

"Saver Fares are deeply discounted, lowest-cost available fares. Saver Fares availability is limited and require advance purchase, so book early."

 

100% refundable within 24 hours of purchase
After 24 hours:
Non-refundable
25% cancellation fee
75% credit on a non-refundable eVoucher

 

Ed.

Edited by caravanman

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The rail fare portion of a sleeper is the low bucket based on a regular rate. The Saver fare is discounted from this low bucket, and thus is lower.

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Unfortunately for you, the agent is correct. Like many transportation deep discount tickets, most are non-refundable, non-changeable, non-upgradeable. With Amtrak, you pay the 25% fee, but you get the 75% to apply to the roomette.

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It is correct that you can’t just pay the room charge on top of a Saver fare, since rooms are the lowest Value fare plus the accommodation charge. However, wouldn’t the OP have the option to just pay the price difference between his Saver ticket and the roomette ticket? Saver doesn’t have any change fees, so why would cancellation be the only option?

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You are correct that there is no change fee - because it is NON-CHANGEABLE! Thus the only option is cancellation.

Edited by the_traveler

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If you don't like the idea of a carrier penalizing you for attempting to upgrade a cheaper fare to a more expensive fare I'd suggest you take your business elsewhere.

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I found that you can change your "Saver" date of travel with no Change Fee as long as the Saver fare is available for the new date of travel. The Saver fare ticket does need to be canceled for other changes. It is highly discounted, therefore limited or no options after initial 24 hours.

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I found that you can change your "Saver" date of travel with no Change Fee as long as the Saver fare is available for the new date of travel. The Saver fare ticket does need to be canceled for other changes. It is highly discounted, therefore limited or no options after initial 24 hours.

Thanks. So in that case, I will agree that the agent was definitely right. You have to pay the 25% cancellation fee and get the roomette on a new reservation.

Edited by cpotisch

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Guest Jim

Thank you all for your comments. Basically I shouldn't book a saver class fare in future for long distance travel.

 

Anyways, I think Amtrak should have a section about Upgrades from different fare classes and clarify things.

 

How about on board upgrades? Does the conductor have to cancel w/ 25% penalty & re-book? Also, if they cancel while on board that might be more troubling as I might loose all the money & have no seat while on the train. Also, that would probably be very troublesome work for conductor and not wanting to do it.

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Thank you all for your comments. Basically I shouldn't book a saver class fare in future for long distance travel.

 

Anyways, I think Amtrak should have a section about Upgrades from different fare classes and clarify things.

 

How about on board upgrades? Does the conductor have to cancel w/ 25% penalty & re-book? Also, if they cancel while on board that might be more troubling as I might loose all the money & have no seat while on the train. Also, that would probably be very troublesome work for conductor and not wanting to do it.

You shouldn't book a Saver fare for long distance travel if you later plan to change the ticket. If you're certain about how and when you want to travel, by all means, book a Saver fare.

 

As to onboard upgrades, the change/cancellation policies are identical on the train to how they are on the phone. It used to be that onboard upgrades automatically went to the lowest bucket, but now it's just the standard ticket price. Actually if memory serves, to change your ticket onboard you just call USA-RAIL anyway, so the process is identical.

 

However, if it's a Saver fare and the train has already left the station, it seems like you would actually forfeit the entire amount, since you can't change your ticket, and the train would have already left the station...

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I haven’t observed conductors booking upgrades to sleeper space on LDTs in recent years. They always refer the customer to call Amtrak on their cell phone to book the upgrade on the trains I’ve been riding.

Edited by chakk

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That's what I remember trying to do in Lamy, NM to get a sleeper. Unfortunately, NO cell service there. Luckily the station manager stepped in and helped but that potential assistance seems to be going away also.

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How do you figure that Amtrak doesn’t want conductors doing that?

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They have always had the ability to call and check.

 

I was asking what basis you had for the “Amtrak doesn’t want” part. Are you privy to internal discussions about the topic?

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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.

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

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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)

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