2020 Refund/Cancellation Fee Changes for Sleeping Cars

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Thirdrail7

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As mentioned in the 2018 Discount Fares and Refund/Cancellation Fee Changes thread, this is the previous refund policy for sleeping car reservations:

Sleeping Car Reservations

  • Cancel within 1 hour of purchase - Full refund or eVoucher
  • Cancel at least 15 days prior to scheduled departure - 75% refund or 100% eVoucher
  • Cancel 14 or fewer days prior to scheduled departure - 100% non-refundable eVoucher
  • Cancel after scheduled departure or no show - No Refund, No eVoucher

This new refund policy regarding sleeping cars took effect on 5/20. I like it better than the old one.


Class of Service: Sleeper Accommodations

Refunds: Full refund to original form of payment or eVoucher with no fees if canceled 121 days or more before departure.

Refund to original form of payment with 25% fee charged if canceled 120 to 15 days before departure.

Within 14 days of departure, only refundable to non-refundable eVoucher with a 25% cancellation fee.

No change fee


Hopefully, the new CEO will take a hard look at some of the previous policies that were unforgiving and make them more attractive to the passengers.
 

Seaboard92

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Now if I chose to take a voucher instead of a complete refund for a cancelation 120-15 days out, would I still lose 25 percent?
 

Thirdrail7

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Now if I chose to take a voucher instead of a complete refund for a cancelation 120-15 days out, would I still lose 25 percent?
Good question - it used to be 75% cash refund or 100% e-voucher.

It is a good question but I am curious. Why would you want an evoucher when you can receive a full refund? I thought the main attraction of a voucher was to reduce the potential loss due to cancellation fees. Why not just take the full refund?
 

neroden

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These policies are still unreasonable and offputting. They create no incentive to take a voucher, for starters.

No change fee is good but how flexible are the "change" options?
 

Devil's Advocate

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I can receive a full refund up to 24 hours after purchase for almost any flight, but with Amtrak sleeper fares you only get one hour to notice a problem or change your mind? Guess I won't be 'sleeping on it' when dealing with Amtrak. I can purchase fully refundable fares on airlines that can be changed or refunded anytime, but there's still no such option with Amtrak's sleeper fares? Under the current (and former) rules there's a point where the more you spend the worse the refund becomes. Does that really make sense to anyone?
 
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the_traveler

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It is a good question but I am curious. Why would you want an evoucher when you can receive a full refund? I thought the main attraction of a voucher was to reduce the potential loss due to cancellation fees. Why not just take the full refund?
Why would I want an e-voucher instead of a cash refund? Because of the wording!:rolleyes: What you quoted only said 75%, no mention of a 100% e-voucher option. It seems like you would only get 75% back between 120 days and 15 days before departure.

Say I paid $1,000 for my sleeper. I cancel - so would I want $750 to be refunded to me, or would I want $1,000 of value on an e-voucher that I can use later.

At least I can think of something I could do with $250! :rolleyes: Maybe even pay for a hotel night or two at my destination!
 
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Cho Cho Charlie

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I thought these more restrictive cancellation policies were an attempt to stop agencies from fully booking a train, and then later returning any un-sold tickets. They did that because they faced no penalties, at the time.
 

the_traveler

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True, but do you think whatever agency would take an e-voucher for “a later date” or would they want a refund now? (And only get 75% refund.)

If given a choice, I (and I think many Amtrak travelers) would chose a 100% e-voucher instead of a 75% refund.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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This is very user friendly. Airlines did away with this over 10 years ago. Nice to know if I fork out the $3000 they sometimes want for a family room it’s refundable if one of the kids or us gets sick last min.

Its vague with the “waive fare change“ part of that sentence though. If I cancel my low bucket room I bought 6 months in advance due to illness and ask to reschedule 5 days later when only a high bucket fare is available will they waive the “fare change” which could be a 1000 plus in some cases? The answer is probably who knows and results may differ. It’s nice to see some flexibility though. With telemedicine appts most insurance companies are offering at very low cost Drs notes are easy to get.

“Illness Waiver Policy”
When a passenger requests to change or cancel his or her travel plans due to an illness and upon presentation of a doctor’s note Amtrak will modify or waive fare change and refund policies that would have normally applied to that change or cancellation had it been made voluntarily. This waiver will apply to all persons in the ill passenger’s party.



Another couple nuggets I found were.

Additional Information
  1. Cancellation fees have a minimum of $5.00 and a maximum of $250.00 per transaction (maximum of $250.00 does not apply to monthly or multi-ride tickets).
At least they have some decency limiting it to $250, Deluxe bedrooms and family rooms can easily run $3500 or more one way.

The one late train cancellation clause isn’t listed but if you ask Julie you can still cancel at no penalty if a LD train is 2 hours late.
 
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Seaboard92

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It is a good question but I am curious. Why would you want an evoucher when you can receive a full refund? I thought the main attraction of a voucher was to reduce the potential loss due to cancellation fees. Why not just take the full refund?

The reason I would like to have the full 100 percent on a voucher instead of cash is because I use Amtrak a lot. And my plans change a lot at the last minute. Take my last trip to Canada. I originally had a ticket from Vancouver to Toronto on the Canadian, but then between buying my ticket and traveling I was invited to ride the Canadian Pacific office car special out of Calgary. So I detrained in Winnipeg so I could make the office car special. There are plenty of times where at the last minute I have had things like that occur and being able to keep 100 percent of the value is nice. Especially considering how frequent I travel.
 
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