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rogers55

Route Selection Limited

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When making a reservation on-line the system will select a route based on my departure and destination and not display any other routes. For example LAX to NYC, it displays Texas Eagle but not Southwest Chief, even though the Chief is shorter route. Is this the way it works now or am I missing something? I know that I can always call but this makes planning the trip more difficult.

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That is surprising since the SWC is the shorter/faster trip and that should come up first.

 

I remember when I was trying to book from TRE/PHL to DAL the option through the LSL wouldn't come up (this was for last year). When the trip involves one or more connections, it sometimes misses obvious choices.

 

You could try booking separate trips between LAX and CHI and CHI and NYP. The problem then is if you miss your connection then Amtrak owes you nothing. You can use the "multi-city" option. Or if your dates are flexible you can choose a date the TE doesn't go to LAX and the system would be forced to give you the SWC.

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When making a reservation on-line the system will select a route based on my departure and destination and not display any other routes. For example LAX to NYC, it displays Texas Eagle but not Southwest Chief, even though the Chief is shorter route. Is this the way it works now or am I missing something? I know that I can always call but this makes planning the trip more difficult.

 

That's strange. When I put in LAX to NYP, it gives me three options involving the Southwest Chief.

 

1) Southwest Chief to Lake Shore Limited

2) Southwest Chief to Capitol Limited to Northeast Regional

3) Southwest Chief to Capitol Limited to another Northeast Regional

 

It doesn't even suggest the Texas Eagle.

 

Could the Southwest Chief be sold out for your travel dates? Which dates are you using?

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I guess it will remain a mystery. The SWC is not sold out, I can select it individually and get open roomettes. My workaround is to download the system time table and plan my trip on paper and then make reservations by phone.

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Tthe Texas Eagle arrives in Chicago two hours earlier than the Chief, and since the LSL isn't running to NYP this summer, it could have something to do with the connection time being too short to get from the SWC to the Cardinal or Capitol. Did you check to see if the Chief shows up when you search for LAX-CHI that day? If it does, then the problem might have to do with the connection.

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Every once and a while they show a preferred routing and don't show alternates. I am coming home from the USA Hockey meeting in Colorado, and it will be CZ to Chicago, and CL/NER to NY from WAS. System displayed CL to PGH to the Penn to PHL to NYP on an NER. Even if one were so inclined to save a few bucks and change in PGH why would you get off the Penn? A phone call resolved the issue.

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My question was answered when I called Guest Rewards to make reservations by phone. She tried routing me through San Francisco and the Zephyr to get from Van Nuys (VNC) to Schenectady, NY (SDY). Van Nuys station is in Los Angeles and only :20 from LAX. Her route would take an extra day and 10,000 points more. She said that was the suggested route and I would have to do it one piece at a time to make a different reservation. She also said that was the reason I didn't get any other choices when making a reservation by computer and she said there have been a lot of changes lately. I wonder if this part of the whole decline Amtrak is going through, making it more like an airline.

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My question was answered when I called Guest Rewards to make reservations by phone. She tried routing me through San Francisco and the Zephyr to get from Van Nuys (VNC) to Schenectady, NY (SDY). Van Nuys station is in Los Angeles and only :20 from LAX. Her route would take an extra day and 10,000 points more. She said that was the suggested route and I would have to do it one piece at a time to make a different reservation. She also said that was the reason I didn't get any other choices when making a reservation by computer and she said there have been a lot of changes lately. I wonder if this part of the whole decline Amtrak is going through, making it more like an airline.

That sounds more like a glitch than anything else.

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It is not really a glitch, since the routes that come up are programmed to allow for asame day connection. The CS arrives at EMY, MTZ, DAV or SAC in the late evening. The CZ does not depart from those stops until morning, thus requiring an overnight at the passenger’s expense.

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My question was answered when I called Guest Rewards to make reservations by phone. She tried routing me through San Francisco and the Zephyr to get from Van Nuys (VNC) to Schenectady, NY (SDY). Van Nuys station is in Los Angeles and only :20 from LAX. Her route would take an extra day and 10,000 points more. She said that was the suggested route and I would have to do it one piece at a time to make a different reservation. She also said that was the reason I didn't get any other choices when making a reservation by computer and she said there have been a lot of changes lately. I wonder if this part of the whole decline Amtrak is going through, making it more like an airline.

The Coast Starlight #11 inbound to LAX is "discharge only" at Van Nuys (early evening). You would have to take the Pacific Surfliner to LAX from VNC then continue east from LA. Also, there is no (same day) connection from #11 to the SWC #4. You could connect to the SL/TE from the Surfliner.

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