50% off and Via Preference

Discussion in 'VIA Rail Canada Discussion' started by zephyr17, Oct 16, 2014.

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  1. Oct 16, 2014 #1

    zephyr17

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    For some reason, the 50% off sales that Via was running regularly have disappeared. The Express Deals are still there, but the 50% off sales offered much greater flexibility in scheduling. I have no idea why they stopped, they had been running them so often that you only had to wait a few weeks between those promotions.

    However, I just discovered that there is a perk in the Via Preference frequent traveler program that is simply great. ONE full length trip on the Canadian in Sleeper Plus, even at 50% off, yields enough points to qualify you for elite status (Privilige). One of the perks of that is a 50% off coupon for a Sleeper or Sleeper Plus ticket. Now, that is 50% off of peak summer undiscounted fare no matter when you travel, but it still represents a significant savings. And then you qualify for Privilige for the next year and get another coupon.

    I had joined Via Preference with no real expectations, I just wanted the email notifications of the sales.

    I've been waiting in vain for another 50% off sale. I recently had to clean out my email inbox and in going through it I found a bunch of unopened emails from Via, I looked at them and one of them was welcoming me to Via Privilige for 2014-15 from a trip last September that I booked on a 50% off sale. So I just used my newly discovered coupon and booked another trip for March.

    Via Preference is open to US as well as Canadian residents, so if you are planning a trip on the Canadian, enrolling in Via Preference before you go is a really good idea, just in case.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2014
  2. Oct 16, 2014 #2

    Bob Dylan

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    Excellent info, thanks for posting! And if you ride on the Corridor Trains between Windsor and Quebec City ( Canada's Version of the NEC) or the other ( few) LD Routes in Canada your Status also earns you other perks such as Upgrades to Business Class and use of the Panorama Lounges in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver!
     
  3. Oct 17, 2014 #3

    NS VIA Fan

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    Really no need for 50% Sales as the trains were running long and full all summer. Unless you booked the Ocean well in advance……it was hard to find the accommodations you wanted and numerous trains were showing as sold-out. Perhaps with the fall/winter season now, you might find some sales posted soon.

    Yes, the VIA Preference Program is a great value and I’ve never had a problem maintaining status in it.
     
  4. Oct 27, 2018 #4

    willem

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    This thread is over four years old, but my questions seem to fit well.

    For all the (about five) days that I checked for next summer, every eastbound Canadian is sold out. I imagine that means that VIA has not released the seats yet, but the effect is that I cannot get a ticket price. Am I correct that the summer tickets cost more than the winter and spring tickets?

    My understanding of the 50% off coupon is that it is (as zephyr17 says in the first post) 50% off the high season, undiscounted, adult fare, although the issued ticket will have the discounted fare restrictions. For next April, the undiscounted, adult fare for two Cabins for 1 is C$4,634.70, so 50% off would be C$2,317.35. The senior fare for two discounted Cabins for 1 is C$2,615.55. That's C$298.20 more, but I wouldn't use two Privilège coupons, each of which is worth 1,125 VIA Préférence bonus points if I don't use them to get 50% off. How much is a VIA Préférence point worth? In particular, are 2,250 points worth more than C$298.20? If so, then it appears that I should book my ticket for cash rather than use the coupons, and that's before considering the extra points I would earn for paying cash or any price increase that would be due to high-season ticket prices being more than the April ticket prices I was seeing.

    Have I misunderstood anything?
     
  5. Oct 28, 2018 #5

    cpotisch

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    I have noticed that it does seem like VIA hasn't been offering (m)any particularly good deals for Sleeper Plus on the Canadian of late. I could be just checking at unlucky times, but it seems like it's usually for the Ocean, and in the rare event that there are any for the Canadian, it's always minor discounts exclusively for berths (no cabins). [​IMG]
     
  6. Oct 29, 2018 #6

    zephyr17

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    Yes, summer season fares on the Canadian are higher, although they are a lot closer to shoulder season fares than off season fares.

    The 50% off Privilege coupon is ALWAYS computed from the high season adult fare regardless of what season you are traveling or whether you qualify for the senior discount.

    It is up to you to decide whether that coupon is worth more to you as points or the 50%. As a reference point, a Vancouver-Toronto private sleeper award is 13,000 points. Year round.

    BTW, they are probably holding off on releasing next summer's inventory until they finalize the proposed schedule changes with CN.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2018
  7. Oct 29, 2018 #7

    cpotisch

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    I meant that it seems like the Sleeper Plus deals offered here seem to be more minor and usually are only for travel on the Ocean, and there are any for the Canadian, it's only for the berths. Have you noticed that or am I hallucinating?
     
  8. Oct 29, 2018 #8

    NS VIA Fan

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  9. Oct 29, 2018 #9

    zephyr17

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    No, you're not. I follow the Sleeper Plus sale page on and off, and for at least the few months I've only seen berths, too. BTW, I was primarily responding to Willem and his question about using the coupon for points or discount.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2018
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  10. Oct 29, 2018 #10

    cpotisch

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  11. Oct 29, 2018 #11

    zephyr17

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    Not the ones that jump out on top, they appear to all be in Via's "Corridor" (Windsor-Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec City).

    If you scroll down there's a link to Sleeper Plus. And if you follow that link you'll see there actually are some Cabins for 1 and Cabins for 2 on offer Toronto-Vancouver right now.
     
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  12. Oct 29, 2018 #12

    cpotisch

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    Thank you!
     
  13. Oct 29, 2018 #13

    willem

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    And I thank you.
     

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