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Amtrak fares

London
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Amtrak fares

Hi everyone.

I know that Amtrak fares are revenue managed, with the idea being the further in advance you book the cheaper the fare will be.

However I am looking at dates over 8 months time and the variation is startling. Yesterday, the fare was $122 with a roomette at $219. Today, the same route is $160 with a roomette at $302.

I used to work in the travel business so know about fare buckets etc. but was wondering if my own repeated searches is affecting the price as I haven't seen such changes so far in advance.

Bucks County...
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1. Re: Amtrak fares

My guess is that you are looking at fares for the California Zephyr or the Coast Starlight. They sell quickly and far in advance. I don't think AMTRAK's site is sophisticated enough to base fares on searches, only on real bookings. The train is probably just filling up.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Amtrak fares

8 months? Are you looking for late November? That's our Thanksgiving holiday and the trains sell out in advance. Especially those routes that serve college towns. September is a low price month to travel- family summer vacation are over and the holidays haven't begun. In fact, the rates you're quoting are low. Amtrak may also be anticipating higher prices with government subsidy cuts looming. If you have the luxury, move your travel dates back and forth a few days. The price may be different a week sooner or later.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Amtrak fares

Based on my research and experience (limited as that is), is that they don't raise prices based on searches (like some airlines do). I was check my routing from Milw to LA for days and they stayed the same until I finally booked about a week later.

I was even able to change with no added expense about two weeks after my initial booking.

My RT was with a roomette too, from Chicago to LA.

Minnesota City...
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4. Re: Amtrak fares

Sometimes you can get a much better base rate when you book a room instead of general seating. I recently booked from Minneapolis to Chicago and saved over $150 by booking a room.

Brooklyn, New York
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5. Re: Amtrak fares

I or my wife travel Amtrak virtually every weekend between Washington, DC and New York. I have been startled by what looks like a major change in reducing inventory of discount and low-cost seats, even months ahead. They have also changed their refund policy. They seem to have adopted an airline approach of wringing out every dollar and becoming far less customer-friendly than they were a year or two ago.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Amtrak fares

Washington DC to NYC is the Northeast Corridor commuter service. Bedrooms are on long distance trains only so the OP is asking about a long distance trains. We really can't answer without knowing which train and what dates. Our which dates she/he is quoting prices from. Was the low cost in November and the slightly higher cost in January? The prices that the OP is quoting ridiculously low prices and the longer they worry about a $50 increase in price the more likely the price will jump another $100. The Cal Zephyr sells out quickly because of the scenery. The Southwest Chief sells out quickly because it is the fastest route between Chicago and LA, The Coast Starlight sells out way in advance because it is Amtraks best Train along the vacationland of La to SEA.

Bucks County...
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7. Re: Amtrak fares

Actually, Washington to Boston is the Northeast Corridor commuter service. And we use the term "commuter" loosely. It barely resembles real commuter service in that the seats are similar to the long-distance trains, there are restrooms, and most trains have a cafe car. Real commuter trains have fixed uprights seats (like a subway, but better) and no cafe cars. Most don't have restrooms. The AMTRAK Washington-Boston route is primarily used by daily or weekly commuters, and college students traveling between home and school during breaks. There are no sleeping accommodations, and only a very, very few trains offer checked baggage service.

8. Re: Amtrak fares

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