Bid Up questions and experiences

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
I'm planning a round trip PGH-WAS on the Capitol in a couple of weeks, by coach obviously. I've never participated in Bid Up before, but seriously thinking as I get closer to bidding up for kicks on a roomette either way, presuming it can be gotten at a reasonable price. I figure there may be rooms used only on the overnight PGH-CHI segment which might leave open rooms in daylight. Question is: if a bid fails, are you ever given a second opportunity or are you one and done? My view is, no biggie if I fail but I'd like to give it a shot. What Amtrak is suggesting right now is a definite no-go.
 
I'm planning a round trip PGH-WAS on the Capitol in a couple of weeks, by coach obviously. I've never participated in Bid Up before, but seriously thinking as I get closer to bidding up for kicks on a roomette either way, presuming it can be gotten at a reasonable price. I figure there may be rooms used only on the overnight PGH-CHI segment which might leave open rooms in daylight. Question is: if a bid fails, are you ever given a second opportunity or are you one and done? My view is, no biggie if I fail but I'd like to give it a shot. What Amtrak is suggesting right now is a definite no-go.
BidUp is a one shot. You don't get another crack at it.

I am unclear on what you are saying Amtrak is suggesting that is a no-go.
 
I am unclear on what you are saying Amtrak is suggesting that is a no-go.
Their initial suggestion on what would be a successful bid is higher than I would bid. So I'm waiting until closer to the date to see if that changes to gauge my chance of success. As I said, if I fall short, no worries but I'd like to give myself a good shot.
 
Their initial suggestion on what would be a successful bid is higher than I would bid. So I'm waiting until closer to the date to see if that changes to gauge my chance of success. As I said, if I fall short, no worries but I'd like to give myself a good shot.
Well, just for a baseline, I checked railsforless.us for two weeks from today, 6/21, and got 3 roomettes available at $274/single adult as the straight up price. If I were you, I'd do the same for your actual date. So it looks like there is some inventory. Do it just before you actually bid to see where things are.
 
Their initial suggestion on what would be a successful bid is higher than I would bid. So I'm waiting until closer to the date to see if that changes to gauge my chance of success. As I said, if I fall short, no worries but I'd like to give myself a good shot.
Once you bid you can modify up or down. I think I did that 3 times over Memorial Day.
 
If you do an instance purchase, Can they still boot you for being a single rider? I know i got booted from my bedroom on my silver meteor train 2 years go but that was not using bidup though.
I've only ever had bedrooms and roomettes as a single rider and I've never been booted out of a paid-for cabin, bid-up or not.
 
If you do an instance purchase, Can they still boot you for being a single rider? I know i got booted from my bedroom on my silver meteor train 2 years go but that was not using bidup though.
Nothing to do with being a single rider. Two years ago there was an epidemic of sleepers being withdrawn. Apparently the folks doing equipment allocation and those managing the reservations system weren't talking to each other. In all probability, the car you were booked in was withdrawn and everyone in it got booted, single or couple.
 
It's my first rodeo so please be gentle :D

I just got an offer for the upgrade from Coach to Roomette but not sure what I actually got:

1718503527462.png

If I e.g. accept $530. is this final price (means I have to pay the difference from $260 what I paid - $270) or I have to pay extra $530, on top of $260 what I already paid, total $790?

Thanks

P.S. Funny that the price of the ticket from OSC to GSC, the same time, $212, and there is the Upper Level option - what I didn't have when I was making the reservation :mad:
 
If I e.g. accept $530. is this final price (means I have to pay the difference from $260 what I paid - $270) or I have to pay extra $530, on top of $260 what I already paid, total $790?
The $530 is on top of what you already paid, so your total will be $790. If your travel date is Sunday, June 23rd, you can straight up upgrade for another $30 (total $820)and get one reserved without taking any chances.

There are also 3 roomettes open on 6/23. If you really want a roomette, spend the extra $30 and get one for sure. If you think a roomette would be nice but can live without one, go ahead and BidUp but lower the bid by quite a bit.
 
P.S. Funny that the price of the ticket from OSC to GSC, the same time, $212, and there is the Upper Level option - what I didn't have when I was making the reservation :mad:
Prices are yield managed, so are dynamic, and they vary. They have more unsold seats on your departure at this point than they expected when you purchased. So they allocated some inventory at to a lower yield management price point, otherwise known as a "bucket".

You will see much discussion of pricing and buckets on this board, though mostly around sleepers.

Upper level coach is the default. Unless your ticket says "Lower level coach seat" specifically, you'll be seated on the upper level. There are 12 seats on the lower level of each coach and 72 on the upper level. I wouldn't worry about that.
 
Last edited:
It's my first rodeo so please be gentle :D

I just got an offer for the upgrade from Coach to Roomette but not sure what I actually got:

View attachment 36891

If I e.g. accept $530. is this final price (means I have to pay the difference from $260 what I paid - $270) or I have to pay extra $530, on top of $260 what I already paid, total $790?

Thanks

P.S. Funny that the price of the ticket from OSC to GSC, the same time, $212, and there is the Upper Level option - what I didn't have when I was making the reservation :mad:
You would pay the bid in addition to what you have already paid. Note that at the bottom you can ‘upgrade now’ for $505, so not really worth bidding $530 (and rolling the dice) when you can garuntee an upgrade for a lower price by upgrading now.

Also, you can probably ask the attendant when you board for upper level. Or if you really want it, you can modify your ticket to that.
 
Basically, you can move the "slider" to alter the amount you want to bid, what it is worth to you. As others have said, it's an additional amount on top of what you have already paid. It's an auction, so you may not "win" the upgrade anyway. If you are keen to upgrade, grab the "upgrade now" option if the price suits you. If not too bothered, just make a low offer, the minimum offer is $220, as shown...
 
There are 12 seats on the lower level of each coach and 72 on the upper level. I wouldn't worry about that.
I recall there being 62 on the upper level, and 15 on the lower…did they change that?
I believe they changed the Coach-baggage cars from 78 on the upper level to 62, decades ago to match the seat pitch of the regular coaches…🤔
 
Their initial suggestion on what would be a successful bid is higher than I would bid. So I'm waiting until closer to the date to see if that changes to gauge my chance of success. As I said, if I fall short, no worries but I'd like to give myself a good shot.
I ended up "winning" my low end bid on my trip to Washington. Figured I had a shot given that there is likely decent turnover in sleepers at Pittsburgh. Boarding at 5 a.m. makes this worthwhile to me. I will soon see if I have the return trip. I mean, I'll get a flex meal...what could be better than that?! 😂
 
I think one set of 3 was pulled to make a wheelchair space...
A set of 3? Never saw that, except on a commuter car. IIRC, the lower level originally had one single seat, with space for a wheelchair next to it... 🤔
 
A set of 3? Never saw that, except on a commuter car. IIRC, the lower level originally had one single seat, with space for a wheelchair next to it... 🤔
sorry, I meant a pair.... current cars I've seen have 3 2x2 which is 12, with a large space in front of the row on one side...I'll be on the Zephyr next month in sleepers, but I'll walk up to the coaches to double check....
 
For years I haven't seen a single in lower level coach. Just extra space in front of the right-hand pairs of seats.

The front seats on either side have some inconveniences. On the left side there is no table, nor is there anything to grab hold of when getting up. On the right side there is a pull-out table for the window seat.

Usually this is solved by reading the hat checks and moving when someone gets off.

I have also seen smaller coach passengers "bed-down" behind the last row of seats in lower level. I guess that's the opposite of bidding up.
 
I have a bid-up related question for those of you with relevant experience! A Bedroom has become available on the Cal Zephyr for the dates of my upcoming trip (I have a Roomette.) I don't think it's likely I would get the room via bidding, since I don't want to even go near the current selling price and I'm sure someone will be willing to pay that. However, what's stopping me from even placing a low bid just in case is...I don't want to screw myself out of a view by "upgrading" to a bedroom that turns out to be on the lower level. I am wondering if the reason a bedroom is now suddenly available is that it's the accessible room that hasn't been booked by anyone with a documented need for it yet. I await your wise counsel, fellow travelers!

I am currently assigned to Roomette 8, if that informs anyone's opinion of the view/risk situation!

(I think I would be fine with downstairs on the Empire Builder but for my first time on the Zephyr, I want the best possible view from my room.)
 

Latest posts

Back
Top