Best Use of eVouchers for trip to BAL

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by NEPATrainTraveler, Feb 4, 2019.

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  1. Feb 4, 2019 #1

    NEPATrainTraveler

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    NEPATrainTraveler

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    So I’m planning a trip to BAL for the end of July/beginning of August and I have $110.25 worth of eVouchers that I want to use up before they expire in October. This trip to BAL is the only Amtrak trip I have planned for this year. I plan on getting there by taking the Martz trailways bus from Wilkes-Barre to either PHL or NYC (most likely NYC) and then NER to BAL. I plan on returning home by going BAL to PHL and then bus from there to WKB. If I did NER coach both ways, I would have either $21.25 or $30.25 left over depending on my choice of departing station. I’m thinking of doing one way as Business Class and the other way as Coach. BAL to PHL coach ticket is $40 at the saver rate. Assuming I do the return trip as coach, Here’s the options I’ve come up with:

    A) 2 PM bus to PHL (can’t do the 7:30 AM bus that day) and then 129 NER at 5:50. $69 Business Class

    B) 9:35 AM bus to NYC and then 93 NER at 2 PM. $97 Business Class.

    If I did PHL-BAL round trip, but have one segment be Business Class and the other be coach, I could use up most of the eVouchers (only $1.25 would be left over). Problem is I probably wouldn’t get to my hotel until almost 8 PM. If the NER is late, then it might be dark out by the time I get to the hotel.

    If I did NYP-BAL business class and then BAL-PHL coach I would owe Amtrak $26.75. I would get better arrival time into BAL, but would owe money.

    I am also considering going coach both ways and using the leftover funds towards a round trip from BAL-WAS for a little bit of DC sightseeing, but I’m not sure if I’ll have time for that.

    Which of these options should I go with? Any other suggestions or advice?

    Thanks in advance
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2019
  2. Feb 4, 2019 #2

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

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    You should know that once you use an e-voucher at all, it is completely used up. What are the different vouchers worth? From there we can probably give better advice on how to spend them...
     
  3. Feb 4, 2019 #3

    NEPATrainTraveler

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    One is worth $81, the other is worth $29.25.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2019 #4

    bratkinson

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    I've successfully partially used a voucher on a trip, and the 'left over' was put back on to the original voucher, which I used a couple days later for another trip.

    And it's perfectly acceptable to use multiple vouchers to pay for a trip.  When you get to the payment screen, there's a 'show my vouchers' or something like that button.  Click on it and it will show all your vouchers.  Click the check box next to one voucher and 'apply it' (some button, as I recall), then repeat the process with the 2nd voucher if  there's still some money to be paid.  Once you're out of voucher monies, fill in the credit card info and it will charge the card for the balance.

    Plan B: call the Amtrak number (1-800-USA-RAIL)  and let the agent do all the work...  And if there's any left over voucher money, tell them you'd like a new voucher...they may be able to  do that rather than applying the left over money to an 'old' voucher.
     
  5. Feb 5, 2019 #5

    Bex

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    Vouchers that I get from adjusted or canceled trips can be used partially, while ones I receive as compensation for a late train or bad experience must be used completely or lost. I don't know if that's a rule, just something I've seen in my experience. From the amounts it sounds like these are the former and can be used partially.

    Personally, I don't think BC on the NER is worth $27 and would rather lose some of my voucher than pay for it.
     
  6. Feb 5, 2019 #6

    NEPATrainTraveler

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    NEPATrainTraveler

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    The vouchers I have came from canceled trips.
     
  7. Feb 5, 2019 #7

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

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    Right...?
     
  8. Feb 5, 2019 #8

    NEPATrainTraveler

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    Didn’t realize there was different rules depending on how you received the voucher, so that’s why I said that.
     
  9. Feb 5, 2019 #9

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

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    Oh sorry. Misread Bex’s post so I screwed up the context.

    Still, I’m not seeing anything on this page about different vouchers having different usage policies.
     
  10. Feb 5, 2019 #10

    NEPATrainTraveler

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    It’s fine.
     
  11. Feb 5, 2019 #11

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

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    I’ve used vouchers from canceling trains and never had to use the whole value on one ticket.
     
  12. Feb 5, 2019 #12

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

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    Huh. Well I guess the few agents that have given us vouchers over the years were talking nonsense then. Figures.
     
  13. Feb 5, 2019 #13

    Bex

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    Yeah, I don't know that there are listed rules about it, I just know from the experiences I've had. I was once given a $200 eVoucher for a disaster of a trip that ended up arriving 7 hours late (remember, this is between NYP and BAL, a 2.5 hour ride) and because my fare is usually $49 I really had trouble using it. I ended up applying it toward a 10-ride ticket. Whereas eVouchers I get for changing or cancelling trips I can use $5 off of if I choose to and the rest goes back.

    As far as vouchers expiring, you can always just park the money on a trip somewhere in the future and just remember to change it each time as it gets close, which is what I do now that fares aren't completely refundable to eVouchers. I keep a spreadsheet, but I'm nuts like that.
     
  14. Feb 9, 2019 #14

    OnlyMe

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    There are two types of Vouchers

    One is the usual voucher (Evoucher) that you get for canceling your trips or whenever you make a modification and there is a leftover balance to be credited. This can be used as many times as you want until the balance is extinguished or the voucher expires

    The second type is called a Transportation Voucher (which I don't think Amtrak explicitly states on there website how these are handled) but when I received one  (issued for a train that was 8 hrs late) they told me it was non-transferable (could only use it for myself) and that it was for a one time use (any remaining balance of the voucher would be lost at the time of use).
     
  15. Feb 9, 2019 #15

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

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    Interesting. Who told you this?
     
  16. Feb 9, 2019 #16

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

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    Probably personal experience.  

    It makes sense, though.  The voucher for a cancelled ticket that you paid for out of your pocket is being refunded back to your pocket so you should get every dollar back (well, except for the cancellation fee).  The voucher for delays, etc, is out of Amtrak's pocket and they have the right to say you can only use it once and lose any value you don't use at that time.
     

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