Cross country trip in 2020

Discussion in 'Guest Forum for Amtrak Questions' started by Nickolas Jackson, Jul 7, 2019.

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  1. Jul 11, 2019 at 2:48 AM #26
    Man! That is great news! Thank you. I was starting to think I wouldn’t be able to use any of the points and I was going to have to plan a second trip to use them in the future. But it’s taken me 5-6 years to get this one off the ground and 5-6 years from now my daughters probably won’t want to take a trip like this with their old man!
     
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  2. Jul 12, 2019 at 2:32 AM #27

    dogbert617

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    dogbert617

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    This is definitely a flaw about Amtrak's reservation system, if you want to use points for one segment of your trip and dollars/card for another part of your trip. Where essentially, you can't pay half and half of your Amtrak trip split between points, and dollars. And for sure yes, make the choice to either ONLY use dollars or points when connecting between trains somewhere(i.e. Chicago, DC, LA, Portland, etc) and NEVER as separate reservations when going one way(i.e. train 4 as one reservation, and 305 in another one), to ensure that Amtrak guarantees your connection if you aren't able by some weird chance to make your same day connection in Chicago.

    The only workaround I can see, is to use your AGR points in one direction(i.e. going east to south on 4 to 305), and dollars/credit card to pay the fare going the other way(i.e. train 300 to train 3, north to west). Keep in mind this is just a theoretical example, here.
     
  3. Jul 12, 2019 at 3:24 PM #28

    F900ElCapitan

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    F900ElCapitan

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    Yes, I've read this many times here, which is what got me concerned. But according to the AGR agent, if you “cross-reference” your two reservations they will be treated as a guaranteed connection. She said there was even an additional note in my reservation that says “Guaranteed connection”, of which she didn’t know why somebody would put that in there. Maybe this there way of correcting the deficiency of not being able to do points and dollars on one reservation?

    Has anyone else had this where two reservations were “cross-referenced” and what was your experience?
     
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  4. Jul 12, 2019 at 11:17 PM #29

    Chessie

    Chessie

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    Another thought is you and your wife applies for a card each and when booking the outbound trip you call and ask the agent to split the payment so each card has $1000. If the price is low and you are still short I am sure there are other travel expenses you can use to reach $1000 on each card. ;)

    That way you will each have 20000 points and you can try the 2 roomette approach on the way back. Each of you can book a roomette with one child and book the coach leg with companion.
     
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  5. Jul 13, 2019 at 2:19 AM #30

    dogbert617

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    dogbert617

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    Interesting to know. So by doing this, you call the 800 number and talk to a live agent, and note this to whatever agent you talked to on the phone that you want both trip reservations to be treated as a guaranteed connection? That's good to know, for reference purposes.
     
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  6. Jul 13, 2019 at 3:42 AM #31
    That’s an interesting idea, about my wife and I both applying for a card. I’m not sure whether we would both get approved as my wife technically has no income. We both work together, but I am the only one of us that gets a paycheck. But that’s perhaps an option we could explore.

    I think what I will do is book the return trip first (EMY to HFY) because it is the more expensive trip and most likely to get delayed (heading east). I will see if the companion coupon will help at all, but if not I’m thinking the booking will be around $2300-$2500 for the four of us. Then see what I can do with points for the outbound trip (HFY to PDX) at least being able to pay for the first leg (HFY to CHI). That trip seems less likely to get delayed until the point I miss the next leg (CHI to PDX). Hopefully I can get those trips connected together by calling Amtrak when I make the booking.

    I will probably use the AGR card to book my rental car, and I should see some discounts there as well as a nice points multiplier.

    I have decided that I will focus on trying to get the Family Bedroom booked over the 2 Roomettes now, but I know that will make availability/price less flexible. Being on the lower level, as far as I have heard, is better for motion sickness and my oldest daughter suffers a bit from time to time. Plus I think I will appreciate the extra space.
     
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