A week to pay? Something new?

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AU Lifetime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
Just made a reservation last night for June for a trip to Grand Junction (we're going to Moab, Glenwood Springs and more without the Rocky Mountaineer). Anyway, I called Amtrak because we wanted two roomettes across from each other for the Cardinal and you can't get them online and changing after the fact gets you big hassles until you find the right person.

The first agent was professional but not at all friendly. She quoted me $1000 more then I had just found online and which I was reading a copy of the Amtrak page with costs). I knew something was wrong but she gave me that line about how prices can change quickly. So I said I'd call back.

I then realized I had given her the date we arrived back from the return, not the day we were to leave Grand Junction so I called back. This time I got the agent from heaven. I got everything I wanted - at the right price. We even joked a bit. She was wonderful! But the last thing she said is what surprised me: "You have until March 18th to pay for the trip". Now, I never was given more than 24 hours to cancel, much less pay except once when I was doing something that required going to a station. At that time, I told the agent that the nearest station was hours away so she gave me a couple of weeks to actually pay.

Is this something new? Not have to pay for a week? Obviously, it was true as the Amtrak confirmation specifically said it had to be paid for by March 18th.


50 year Amtrak Rider
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Jul 5, 2009
Orlando, FL
I have, in the past, put a hold on a reservation and have been given a week to pay (assuming that the trip was far enough in the future). In those situations, I had to ask for the hold - it was never offered to me. What I received from Amtrak was a reservation summary (not an e-ticket).
I have done this many times when I was not positive I would be traveling or under other circumstances.


Aug 17, 2014
in the depths
My experience matches Penny's. I don't know the cutoffs, but trips that are sooner have shorter complimentary hold times.


OBS Chief
Feb 2, 2005
That reminds me of back in the day prior to booking everything online. They always gave you a date to pay by. I remember going to station to pay or my parents at the time. Did they not take credit cards over the phone at some point? Nice to hear it still exits.