Bedroom Pricing...

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JC_620

Train Attendant
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Oct 15, 2019
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34
Yesterday, the Zephyr #6 from Reno to Chicago on 4/22 was $1,161. Today? $1,937.

Yesterday, the Zephyr #6 from Emeryville to Chicago on 4/22 was cheaper than that funnily enough at $926. Today? $1,915.

Also, as a side note, I noticed that Enterprise rental car rates went up about $125 for the dates that I was looking at.

Question is: What is going on here?? No way you will get me to believe that, all of a sudden, these bedrooms are gone. For about 2 weeks, it was at $903 for those dates. Now, the price is jacked.

I just have to shake my head. Any thoughts on this garbage??
 

F900ElCapitan

Lead Service Attendant
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It’s very possible that they dropped the price on a bedroom (even though a number were already sold) and it sold, thus the price jump. I did a quick look and it looks like only 2 bedrooms are available out of the 10.
 

the_traveler

Conductor
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Nov 14, 2007
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The more passengers who want the bedrooms, the price raises.

One day has more bedrooms sold than the other day. Thus, the different fares.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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Feb 2, 2005
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I really wonder if the new yield management will help or hurt. Ive had more than a few friends look at taking Amtrak for the first time and be immediately turned off looking at the fare for their date of travel. They come away thinking Amtrak is super expensive and don’t consider it again.

As much negative stuff that can be said about Spirit airlines I like their website. You put in your date and it says your fare is $200, it also has the lowest fares for the 7 days around travel dates listed as Monday $100 higher, Tuesday $140 lower, wed the same fare, etc etc.

People for whatever reason accept shopping for airfares by adjusting dates and times. With Amtrak I’ve observed people think fares are fares and don’t fluctuate.

Amsnag is great for us but not John Q Public:).

I posted a Spirit example ORD to LAX is $186 on my date of 2/27, but they are upfront saying it’s only $57.39 two days later. Same yield management but very transparent.
 

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City of Miami

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Cookies? The algorithm knows what you have looked at previously and adjusts accordingly? Greyhound does this beyond any question. Aamof GL aggressively comes back with counteroffers in my email after a trip search.
 

Qapla

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MegaBus also lists the fares on each side of a given date ...
 

F900ElCapitan

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Cookies? The algorithm knows what you have looked at previously and adjusts accordingly? Greyhound does this beyond any question. Aamof GL aggressively comes back with counteroffers in my email after a trip search.
Over the past year and a half I’ve booked a trip that I took last September and checked prices on it daily (yeah I’m a little weird that way). I also have a trip booked for June that I do the same for. I personally don’t see any indication that prices have changed due to me looking. If cookies were actually used to look at an individual level, then AmSnag would not be accurate in the least as the price buckets could be different for me than for you or what AmSnag shows.

Now I will say Amtrak is mostly looking at overall searches for a particular trip along with overall sales. The Empire Builder I rode earlier in February didn’t have a single bedroom sold on 8 or 28 before I bought a low-bucket point room on 8 (about 6 weeks out). Eventually 3 more rooms were dropped to low-bucket on 8 but 28 remained at 1 mid bucket, 1 B4, and 3 high bucket bedrooms. One more bedroom ended up selling on 8 and the remaining 3 went to B2. I transferred last minute to 28 due to a service disruption on 8 of which I ended up being the only patron in a bedroom for the trip and the price only followed to B4 before they froze the inventory (no Amtrak employee could answer why they froze the inventory). In the end why 8 was adjusted and 28 wasn’t is a question that I’d like to know the answer for.
 

niemi24s

Conductor
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Feb 11, 2015
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Not too hard to figure out how the Amtrak fare wizards think on fares between CHI and RNO:

• They figure anyone headed for Reno would have cash to burn, so the fares are set accordingly - only 2 low bucket Bedrooms in the next 11 months headed to Reno but 169 offered at high bucket. May as well get some of that $$ for Amtrak before it's lost at the tables.

• But Amtrak fare wizards are a compassionate lot and take pity on the losers going ho me with their pockets turned inside out. So we find 150% more low bucket Bedrooms for the return trip from Reno and the high bucket ones slashed in number by 2/3!

There. That was easy, wasn't it? :rolleyes:
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
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Jan 28, 2012
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There are specials and unexpected savings from time to time. I was just looking at AmSnag over the weekend and the Lake Shore Limited still has low bucket rooms available for CHI-NYP the first week in March. That is the Spring break week for Michigan and likely other schools, so I was a bit surprised. Then again... New York and Chicago may not be in as high demand if people are looking to go somewhere warm. If I had a few days off that week I'd be booking that trip, alas not possible.
Also Amtrak had announced a BOGO sale on Friday, for coach travel only, might still be active but it was only for a few days so maybe not.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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They really need a fare calendar on the website. Low fares every so often don’t help the average customer if they don’t know when they are offered. This whole thread has me thinking in additional to new bedding they need to throw some money at the website and get it more airline like. Yes this is one thing Amtrak should take from the airline world. If they are going to use aggressive yield management at least let us know what day the lowest fares are offered.
 

the_traveler

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I agree that it would be nice if Amtrak could show fares for other days surrounding the search.

Sure, they show fares for other trains between the cities - such as NYP-WAS will show the 1, 2, 3, 4, etc... trains. And NYP-CHI will show the LSL, Cardinal, Regional to WAS and CL, Pennsylvanian to PGH and CL, etc... trains. But only on that day. If you search for Wednesday the 23, it will not show Tuesday the 22. And if you search NYP-CIN on a day the Cardinal does not run, it will either say “no trains” or it may route you thru CHI!

As an example, if I search Delta Airlines for frequent flyer awards and I search for Wednesday, the first screen I see is a list of days and the miles needed. It may say something like Sunday 47000, Monday 39000, Tuesday 25000, Wednesday 30000, Thursday 45000, etc... Then I know if I leave 1 day earlier, it will save me 5000 miles.

Why can’t Amtrak do something like that?
 
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niemi24s

Conductor
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Feb 11, 2015
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I wholeheartedly agree with ". . .it would be nice if Amtrak could show fares for other days surrounding the search."

So who's going to step up to the plate and make the suggestion to them?

None of us should dare think Amtrak management monitors this website for ideas. I suspect Amtrak's only use for this website is punishment for wayward employees by making them hand-scribe some of our more mundane threads. No. Wait. That would be cruel and unusual punishment!
 
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Qapla

OBS Chief
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A system like that would make way too much logical sense for Amtrak ... after all, it would probably work and ridership and profits would go up without removing amenities - not sure that is what some at the top really want.
 

VentureForth

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Jan 23, 2007
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5,847
No way you will get me to believe that, all of a sudden, these bedrooms are gone.
Why not? Yonge taking a pretty small inventory to begin with (10 rooms) and inventory can be skewed by the sale of rooms for partial distances this making only a portion of your route "rare". If there is a choke point for availability that could affect the cost across the entire route.
 

the_traveler

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If there were only 10 rooms available altogether, and
  • 1 room is booked from CHI to OMA
  • 1 room is booked from FMG to SLC
  • 1 room is booked from DEN to RNO
  • 1 room is booked from GJC to SAC
  • Etc..., etc...
Just those 4 room are 40% of the total inventory of rooms that COULD be sold from CHI to EMY. And you can’t even resell again those 4 room above, since none of those reservations have the same start or end point.

Or are you saying that unless you board in CHI and are going to EMY, you can not get a room? Any other start or end point, you must go coach only.:rolleyes:
 

niemi24s

Conductor
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Messages
2,167
No way you will get me to believe that, all of a sudden, these bedrooms are gone. For about 2 weeks, it was at $903 for those dates. Now, the price is jacked.
If you're flabbergasted over this, how about a situation where some sleeping accommodations are never offered at anything but their highest price. Always at their highest price on every day of the maximum 11 month period?

My thoughts on that sort of garbage is that Amtrak fare wizards know they can get top dollar for certain sleepers - even on the first day they're offered for sale 11 months into the future!. Who says you can't get blood out of a turnip? :D

Amtrak is not a philanthropic organization. Moral: snag that low bucket fare when you see it.
 

JC_620

Train Attendant
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Oct 15, 2019
Messages
34
I appreciate all of you taking the time to reply to this thread. On my return trip, I was considering taking the Starlight up the California coast and getting off in Portland and then taking #28 to Chicago. However, looking at bedroom fares for most days is the high bucket at $2,038. Even today's departure, according to the Amtrak app anyways, says that there are 3 bedrooms left at that top bucket rate.
So, they are not selling a few of those bedrooms at those prices even last minute my guess. Wouldn't it make sense to try to drop the fare, you know, in order to maximize profits and maybe a coach passenger or a Roomette passenger might think about upgrading?? o_Oo_O
 

JC_620

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 15, 2019
Messages
34
If you're flabbergasted over this, how about a situation where some sleeping accommodations are never offered at anything but their highest price. Always at their highest price on every day of the maximum 11 month period?

My thoughts on that sort of garbage is that Amtrak fare wizards know they can get top dollar for certain sleepers - even on the first day they're offered for sale 11 months into the future!. Who says you can't get blood out of a turnip? :D

Amtrak is not a philanthropic organization. Moral: snag that low bucket fare when you see it.
Good input, but see my above post on the Empire Builder #28 that I have also been closely monitoring and observing what you just said. Very rarely is the low bucket ever offered for #28 on a bedroom even last minute. Insanity. I bet that they just go unsold. Look at today's departure and the rest of this week for kicks just to confirm if you want. ;)
 

F900ElCapitan

Lead Service Attendant
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Messages
367
If you're flabbergasted over this, how about a situation where some sleeping accommodations are never offered at anything but their highest price. Always at their highest price on every day of the maximum 11 month period?

My thoughts on that sort of garbage is that Amtrak fare wizards know they can get top dollar for certain sleepers - even on the first day they're offered for sale 11 months into the future!. Who says you can't get blood out of a turnip? :D

Amtrak is not a philanthropic organization. Moral: snag that low bucket fare when you see it.
I totally agree Niemi!! 28 seems to be a great example of this. Today there are 3 bedrooms available PDX-CHI, but all at high bucket. I might be able to see and justify this during a busier time of year, but they’re rarely selling more than 2 bedrooms this time of year, so why not lower the price and get people in them? Revenue management is great, as long as you're maximizing revenue and not too far on the overprice side for the market and selling 2/5 regularly tells me your charging too much.
 

F900ElCapitan

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I appreciate all of you taking the time to reply to this thread. On my return trip, I was considering taking the Starlight up the California coast and getting off in Portland and then taking #28 to Chicago. However, looking at bedroom fares for most days is the high bucket at $2,038. Even today's departure, according to the Amtrak app anyways, says that there are 3 bedrooms left at that top bucket rate.
So, they are not selling a few of those bedrooms at those prices even last minute my guess. Wouldn't it make sense to try to drop the fare, you know, in order to maximize profits and maybe a coach passenger or a Roomette passenger might think about upgrading?? o_Oo_O
Ha!! We think alike JC!! ;)
 

chakk

Conductor
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
2,553
I appreciate all of you taking the time to reply to this thread. On my return trip, I was considering taking the Starlight up the California coast and getting off in Portland and then taking #28 to Chicago. However, looking at bedroom fares for most days is the high bucket at $2,038. Even today's departure, according to the Amtrak app anyways, says that there are 3 bedrooms left at that top bucket rate.
So, they are not selling a few of those bedrooms at those prices even last minute my guess. Wouldn't it make sense to try to drop the fare, you know, in order to maximize profits and maybe a coach passenger or a Roomette passenger might think about upgrading?? o_Oo_O
In the Old Days, Amtrak used to telephone this customer last minute when booked in coach on the CZ between DEN and EMY to offer me a roomette upgrade for $100. I took advantage of this at least twice.

They never call me anymore with such offers. <snif>
 

Amtrakfflyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
438
Trying to get coach passengers to upgrade seems like a no brainer. Airlines do the same thing. I’ve got offers from United emailed to me and been offered steep discounts from a few airlines at online check in the day before. Also heard announcements to upgrade at the gate in the past.

For a former airline executive Anderson’s Amtrak is perplexing and more incompetent than ever.
 
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the_traveler

Conductor
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Nov 14, 2007
Messages
25,780
Back in the “Good Old Days” (a few years ago), as soon as you stepped aboard the train, any unsold rooms dropped by 50%!:) Not anymore.:(

Now, the cost is the “current bucket” - just as if you were just booking it online or by phone. In fact, you need to call an agent by phone from the train in order to upgrade, if that were your wish.
 
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