Last minute sleeper pricing

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by F900ElCapitan, Sep 14, 2019.

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  1. Sep 14, 2019 #1

    F900ElCapitan

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    F900ElCapitan

    Service Attendant AU Supporter

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    So with my trip I’m on, I’ve been quite religious about checking prices for the LD trains on the current day and for the days of our trip. Over the last couple of months I’ve noticed a trend where unsold sleeper accommodations are being dropped to low bucket or the +1 level a few days before departure. For instance, my in-laws will be riding train 8 from Seattle to Chicago on 9/19, the sleepers have been steadily filling up with the bedrooms showing 1-2 available at the high bucket price for a few months now. For which I assume there were only 1 or 2 available. As of this morning the last roomette was sold, the family rooms were both sold months ago, and now the bedrooms are showing 1 available at low bucket. I know I had read a couple of threads wondering why Amtrak wasn’t doing this sort of thing, but from what I’m seeing they may have started. My only other thought is these might be a result of last minute cancellations as somebody would not have received a refund so Amtrak is essentially getting paid at least twice for these rooms.
     
  2. Sep 14, 2019 #2

    FreeskierInVT

    FreeskierInVT

    FreeskierInVT

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    I noticed this as well when I took the California Zephyr and Cardinal last month. I had a bedroom on the Zephyr from Emeryville to Denver, which was going at bucket 4 or 5 for the three weeks prior to my trip. A few days before my departure bedrooms were back at bucket 2, and went to bucket 1 the morning of departure. On the afternoon of my Cardinal departure, roomette prices went from bucket 5 to bucket 2.
     
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  3. Sep 14, 2019 #3

    Tom Booth

    Tom Booth

    Tom Booth

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    I'm new here. What does it mean by rooms going for bucket?
     
  4. Sep 14, 2019 #4

    niemi24s

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    niemi24s

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    Bucket is nothing more than our trendy term for the word price. Each of the three different types of sleeping accommodations has five different possible prices assigned to it by Amtrak. Coach tickets also have five different assigned prices plus an additional (6th) one called the Saver Fare which is 20% less than the lowest of the other five Coach fares.

    However, which of these 5 or 6 prices/fares/buckets is made available for sale to you or I is determined by Amtrak and probably on a daily basis. Sometimes a fare remains the same for many months. Then as the travel date of that fare approaches, the fare can change on a daily basis.

    Everyone here has their own pet theory about which of the five fares is chosen by Amtrak for sale to the public, but most theorists say it's based on supply and demand. Here's an example of the individual fare buckets for the Texas Eagle and Southwest Chief:

    22-18 Jan 2019 Fare Bucketsa.jpg

    Those highlighted orange are estimates as I had never seen them offered. The current sleeping accommodations are about 2% higher than those seen here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  5. Sep 14, 2019 #5

    Dakota 400

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    Dakota 400

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    Thanks for a very good explanation of Buckets.
     
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  6. Sep 14, 2019 #6

    Amtrakfflyer

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    Amtrakfflyer

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    Sounds like a good way to sell inventory. I wish they would start selling them onboard again for a price within reason. Low bucket or low -20 percent. It wouldn’t deter sales but would poach some coach customers who in some cases don’t know sleepers exist or have never been on Amtrak.
     
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  7. Sep 15, 2019 #7

    Qapla

    Qapla

    Qapla

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    I was told (by a conductor on the train) that one reason they discontinued selling sleepers onboard had to do with some personnelle selling the rooms and pocketing the money ... don't know how true this is
     
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  8. Sep 16, 2019 #8

    chakk

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    chakk

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    You can always telephone Amtrak from aboard the train to purchase available rooms on the train you are riding at the ongoing available price. There is always a chance that it will be the low bucket -- certainly no lower, though.
     
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  9. Sep 18, 2019 #9

    Thirdrail7

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    Thirdrail7

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    They are also calling you....
     

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