I work for a travel tour operator who was considering incorporating Amtrak into a couple of its 2017 tours... but not after their policy change for group tours. Basically, if we make a reservations 10 months out -- we have to pay Amtrak the full, non-refundable amount 8 months out. So, if a traveler were to cancel, we'd have to eat the costs. I know a lot of fellow tour operators are not happy. But maybe business is booming they are trying to discourage group travel? For reservations booked more than 6 months prior to departure, the full, non-refundable payment is due 60 days after booking is made. For reservations booked 3 to 6 months prior to departure, the full, non-refundable payment is due 30 days after the booking is made. For reservations booked 45 days to 3 months prior to departure, the full, non-refundable payment is due 7 days after booking. For reservations booked 14-44 days prior to departure, full payment is due 3 days after booking. The former policy was much more tour operator friendly: They asked for a 10% refundable deposit due two weeks after booking. Final payment and cancellation for a refund of the deposit was 45 days prior to travel.