Amtrak BidUp (Bidding for Upgrades - Business Class, First Class, and Sleepers)

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Mailliw

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Well I lost my bid for Acela First, but them again I only bid the minimum. Didn't even care about actually riding in First; I just wanted to check out the lounge at Moynihan instead of waiting for 2.5 hours at PABT for the final leg of my trip home.
 

bratkinson

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I just took a look at a trip booked on the sale from MSP - MKE on the Empire Builder, and it's giving me the option to bid up to either a roomette or bedroom.
Perhaps the 'secret' to your success is bidding between two non-endpoint cities. On the EB, I know from experience there's a good number of sleeper accomodations that are vacant MSP-CHI in both directions. So, they're happy to fill a space with a 'short'.

As an aside, I know the rooms flip once and even twice on the Empire Builder. One year, aboard #28, the family bedroom had 4 different 'sets' of passengers (I was in my favorite room, #14). Among them was a single man going from Havre (IIRC) to Minot. He routinely rode every couple of weeks on business between those cities and found that on that trip, the FB was like $50 or so more than coach, so he took it. He got a free dinner out of it as well!
 

jebr

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Perhaps the 'secret' to your success is bidding between two non-endpoint cities. On the EB, I know from experience there's a good number of sleeper accomodations that are vacant MSP-CHI in both directions. So, they're happy to fill a space with a 'short'.
Perhaps, though I did successfully bid up to a roomette leaving Chicago (though again to MSP.) It is one segment where I think the bid up really makes sense - I wouldn't pay full price for a roomette, but I'll pay a bit for it, and Amtrak likely would know which roomettes will be open on that short segment a couple days in advance and will take a lower amount just to get that extra bit of revenue without losing out on the big bucks for the overnight portions.
 

Ryan

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Based on the way it seems to be implemented, the amount of rooms sold shouldn't impact whether someone can place a bid.
I would think that the system wouldn't let you place a bid for a room that doesn't exist (i.e. all of the rooms are already sold out).
 

jebr

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Why not? A last-minute cancel limits the amount of time Amtrak has available to resell the room. If someone bids on it, it’s like a waiting list for an automatic sale.
Exactly. I would think it'd act like the first class upgrade lists on the airlines - I've seen lists with 30+ people for a first class upgrade on an A220 with 12 total seats (and 1 seat not yet sold.) If a bid doesn't guarantee an upgrade anyways, why not let as many people as possible bid on it, and then if there's any that are cancelled close-in you have bids ready to go to get some additional revenue?
 
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I have bid $110 for an upgrade on the Acela from Washington to New York Penn Station on Thursday. The base fare was only $150, so I’m not sure this will be successful. We shall see. I do plan to check out the Metropolitan Lounge in the Moynihan Arrivals Hall, even if I have to pay to enter. I have over two hours to wait for my connection to Utica.
 

Bob Dylan

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I have bid $110 for an upgrade on the Acela from Washington to New York Penn Station on Thursday. The base fare was only $150, so I’m not sure this will be successful. We shall see. I do plan to check out the Metropolitan Lounge in the Moynihan Arrivals Hall, even if I have to pay to enter. I have over two hours to wait for my connection to Utica.
You won't be able to Pay to enter the Metro Lounge @ Moynihan Train Hall.

You will have to have a Same Day Sleeping Car Ticket, a FC Acela Ticket, an AGR Lounge Coupon with a Same day Amtrak Ticket or be Select Plus or Select Executive with a Same day Amtrak Ticket to enter the Lounge.
 

dlagrua

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I'm not fond of participating in an auction for an Amtrak trip, instead preferring to just purchase what is needed up front that falls within our budget. Its certainly looks like Amtrak public transportation is trying to mimic corporate transportation but I'll be willing to give it a try.
 

AMTRAK709

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I bid for an upgrade on the Crescent ATN-NYP for Thursday, 10 June roomette to bedroom. The bid was UNSUCCESSFUL. I was attempting the place a higher bid on same trip segment
but to booking engine would not let me do so (still 36 hours before departure).
Says bid "expired" with no other options to place another bid.
Any one with experience of a similar issue or am I just doing something wrong?
 

zephyr17

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I bid for an upgrade on the Crescent ATN-NYP for Thursday, 10 June roomette to bedroom. The bid was UNSUCCESSFUL. I was attempting the place a higher bid on same trip segment
but to booking engine would not let me do so (still 36 hours before departure).
Says bid "expired" with no other options to place another bid.
Any one with experience of a similar issue or am I just doing something wrong?
Don't know about rebidding, but the bidding window closes 37 hours before departure for sleeper accommodations.

It's in the FAQs.
 

AmtrakBlue

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I bid for an upgrade on the Crescent ATN-NYP for Thursday, 10 June roomette to bedroom. The bid was UNSUCCESSFUL. I was attempting the place a higher bid on same trip segment
but to booking engine would not let me do so (still 36 hours before departure).
Says bid "expired" with no other options to place another bid.
Any one with experience of a similar issue or am I just doing something wrong?
Most likely they accepted another bid and that bidder paid, so all other bids were deemed Unsuccessful.
 

AMTRAK709

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Don't know about rebidding, but the bidding window closes 37 hours before departure for sleeper accommodations.

It's in the FAQs.
Thank you for the info. I no experience with this bidding process and that 37 hours is exactly the timeline it occurred this morning. I guess I have to decided in the next 30 hours whether I want to buy the existing bedrooms now available at $1000.00
 

daybeers

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I bid for an upgrade on the Crescent ATN-NYP for Thursday, 10 June roomette to bedroom. The bid was UNSUCCESSFUL. I was attempting the place a higher bid on same trip segment
but to booking engine would not let me do so (still 36 hours before departure).
Says bid "expired" with no other options to place another bid.
Any one with experience of a similar issue or am I just doing something wrong?
If you don't mind me asking, what was your bid?
 

zephyr17

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Thank you for the info. I no experience with this bidding process and that 37 hours is exactly the timeline it occurred this morning. I guess I have to decided in the next 30 hours whether I want to buy the existing bedrooms now available at $1000.00
Nobody does. It's brand new.
 
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I am confused on how the bidding works. Say I buy a cheap coach fare on Lake Shore Limited from NYP to CHI. Can I bid on a portion of the trip for roomette, like from buffalo to elkhart? My guess is no, in which case I should buy a separate ticket for the segment I want to upgrade perhaps. But dividing up tickets usually costs more so may be a wash.
 
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I am confused on how the bidding works. Say I buy a cheap coach fare on Lake Shore Limited from NYP to CHI. Can I bid on a portion of the trip for roomette, like from buffalo to elkhart? My guess is no, in which case I should buy a separate ticket for the segment I want to upgrade perhaps. But dividing up tickets usually costs more so may be a wash.
You can only bid-up for the entire ticketed trip. Its just like purchasing an upgrade, except it only goes through if you are the highest bid for the available space.
 
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What kind of bid is likely to be accepted for a 9-hour overnight trip? Specifically on the Lakeshore limited from Buffalo to Elkhart? I believe the published fare is ~$280 for that segment.
 

OBS

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What kind of bid is likely to be accepted for a 9-hour overnight trip? Specifically on the Lakeshore limited from Buffalo to Elkhart? I believe the published fare is ~$280 for that segment.
$279.....But, seriously, it probably all depends on how many rooms are available...1? 6? As well as how many people actually bid? 1? 25?
 
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$279.....But, seriously, it probably all depends on how many rooms are available...1? 6? As well as how many people actually bid? 1? 25?
Say three rooms are available and I am the only one bidding ( IMO a likely scenario ). Would they accept $1 bid?? What's the lowest they will accept in these conditions ( which are common )?
 

Devil's Advocate

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I bid for an upgrade on the Crescent ATN-NYP for Thursday, 10 June roomette to bedroom. The bid was UNSUCCESSFUL. I was attempting the place a higher bid on same trip segment but to booking engine would not let me do so (still 36 hours before departure). Says bid "expired" with no other options to place another bid. Any one with experience of a similar issue or am I just doing something wrong?
It's similar to a silent auction and Amtrak has no incentive to allow participants to low-ball the first bid in the hope of rebidding until they win something.

Say three rooms are available and I am the only one bidding ( IMO a likely scenario ). Would they accept $1 bid?? What's the lowest they will accept in these conditions ( which are common )?
The idea is to bid what you think is a reasonable upgrade value. If you think a room that normally sells for hundreds is only worth $1 then try bidding that.
 
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Brian Battuello

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I haven't tried the bidding system yet. I wonder what effect it would have on the traditionally almost empty mid-January/February sleeping cars. Are there enough savvy coach customers to fill the cars?

Would also be interested to hear about successful low bids. I bet there is a sekrit minimum.
 

OBS

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I haven't tried the bidding system yet. I wonder what effect it would have on the traditionally almost empty mid-January/February sleeping cars. Are there enough savvy coach customers to fill the cars?

Would also be interested to hear about successful low bids. I bet there is a sekrit minimum.
You would assume there is a secret minimum to at least cover laundry/ food costs associated with the room....
 
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