Bid Up?

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Joined
Jul 3, 2017
Messages
6
I believe so!
You do. Your base calculation becomes 2 * ([Price of original ticket] + [Cost to bid up]). Then calculate class of service bonus plus any other applicable bonuses for you. Also, point calculations are rounded down to the nearest whole number if something causes a non-integer value anywhere in the calculation.
 

DaveW

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
27
Nine days ago I bought a coach ticket from MSP to EVR for $142 on Sunday 3/27. The lowest roomette at the time was $886 or 28xxx points. I put in a BidUp to roomette for $300 more which was not quite the lowest. I checked yesterday and the lowest coach was near $200 but a roomette for $486. I will find out in a couple days if successful on BidUp.
 

TheCrescent

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
363
I’d be curious about success rates using BidUp to upgrade to roomettes and bedrooms, in light of the following:

When Amtrak prices rooms on some trains at over $1,000 one-way, does Amtrak usually sell them at that price? Or does Amtrak just sell a few rooms here and there at that price, and the high revenue from selling a room at that price is so high that Amtrak comes out ahead even if most rooms offered at that price remain empty.

If they mostly remain empty, then I’m wondering if it makes sense to still book a coach ticket on days when rooms are over $1,000 and offer a reasonable amount to BidUp (for example, offer to pay the normal room price) and have a good shot at getting upgraded.
 

DaveW

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
27
I had roomette 18 and was in employee/transition car upper level. I was on second floor near sleeper car, behind that was dining car. My nearest bathroom on the car was on upper floor near center and stairs. As far as I could tell, there were 9 empty roomettes on my side of the restroom. Only traffic in the hall outside my door was employees. I do not understand how their pricing model jumps around before the trip and the cash price is not directly in line with the points price.
 

Kbyrdleroydogg

Train Attendant
Joined
May 27, 2017
Messages
54
Location
Chicago, IL
I'm participating in this program to hopefully get a bedroom sleeper on my 50 Corridor train from Chicago to Washington. Just when do they notify you if you won or lost the bid? They say "email in the hours leading up to the scheduled departure time of each train." So within 24hrs? I'd hate to miss the e-mail and not get an updated itinerary and step on the train.
 

TheVig

Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
185
Location
Charlotte NC
I'm participating in this program to hopefully get a bedroom sleeper on my 50 Corridor train from Chicago to Washington. Just when do they notify you if you won or lost the bid? They say "email in the hours leading up to the scheduled departure time of each train." So within 24hrs? I'd hate to miss the e-mail and not get an updated itinerary and step on the train.

As far as notification if you won goes. I've seen it be as close to two hours before departure.
 

greatwestern

Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
130
Location
Bristol England
I have just tried to "Bid Up" (Roomette to Bedroom) for my trip on the Coast Starlight in September.

I fill in all fields required and change the address country from the default United States to United Kingdom using the drop down country selection box (you cannot type United Kingdom directly in as the U leaves you with USA and then on typing the N it calls up Nigeria !!).

So on picking up United Kingdom from the drop down box (and ticking the accept conditions box) it still leaves the Complete box greyed out and inactive!

I eventually succeeded by selecting France from the Country drop down box (Complete box turned green) then re-visited the Country box to scroll down from France to the United Kingdom. Selection of the UK then left the Complete box green and my clicking it successfully submitted my bid.

Perhaps another example of Amtrak IT "failings" or is it just a way of testing one's perseverance or possibly it is a bias against the UK ???? ;)
 

Sidney

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
841
I booked BC on the LSL from Chicago to Utica for Sunday. I am currently on the SWC from LA. Roomettes were almost $400 from Chi to Utica,so I passed on that exboritant fare. I did a bid up for the lowest possible price last week at $135,thinking there was no way that would be accepted.

Imagine my surprise when I checked my e mail a moment ago! If only that fare or similar could be the norm! i m a very happy camper.
 

jis

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Perhaps another example of Amtrak IT "failings" or is it just a way of testing one's perseverance or possibly it is a bias against the UK ???? ;)
Stupidity or incompetence generally trumps malice as an explanation for a failure or odd behavior in most such situations.
 

TheCrescent

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
363
Maybe Amtrak doesn’t have the data needed to make BidUp run smoothly?

I’ve booked coach tickets lately on Amtrak for long-distance trips and have put in BidUp bids for rooms.

Both times, I haven’t been upgraded. Even though this most recent time, my bid was close to the low-bucket price for a room (the total price in the lowest bucket would be about $375; I had paid $125 for a coach ticket and bid $240 for the upgrade). And this most recent time, even though I wasn’t upgraded, the Amtrak app showed 4 rooms still available at (and after) departure.

Conversely, for the same trip, I also booked a coach ticket on American Airlines. There was only one seat available in first class yesterday, but I was still upgraded (for free), and the flight ended up having 2 empty first class seats.

Guess which ticket I kept and guess which ticket I cancelled.

I don’t understand why Amtrak would decline a BidUp upgrade at close to the low-bucket fare and let a train leave with 4 empty rooms. I guess Amtrak miscalculated. American did a better job predicting what demand would be for upgraded travel.

Amtrak also processes BidUp upgrades for rooms once, about 36 hours before departure. If you’re not upgraded then, you’re out of luck. Amtrak ought to do like airlines do and process upgrades multiple times, including just before boarding. That would help maximize revenues.
 

danasgoodstuff

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
310
Location
PDX
I successfully bid up from a roomette to a bedroom on the Star just last month for $280. Totally worth it for travelling with my wife as we like to keep our stuff with us and the roomette would've been very crowed with the two of us and 4 bags. And I don't understand the post above about trying to bid up months out, that's not how it works is it?
 

trimetbusfan

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 27, 2021
Messages
73
Location
Portland
I successfully bid up from a roomette to a bedroom on the Star just last month for $280. Totally worth it for travelling with my wife as we like to keep our stuff with us and the roomette would've been very crowed with the two of us and 4 bags. And I don't understand the post above about trying to bid up months out, that's not how it works is it?
Bids aren’t processed until 36hrs before. You’d likely have the same chance getting upgraded if you bid months in advance / minutes before the cutoff.

Maybe Amtrak doesn’t have the data needed to make BidUp run smoothly?

I’ve booked coach tickets lately on Amtrak for long-distance trips and have put in BidUp bids for rooms.

Both times, I haven’t been upgraded. Even though this most recent time, my bid was close to the low-bucket price for a room (the total price in the lowest bucket would be about $375; I had paid $125 for a coach ticket and bid $240 for the upgrade). And this most recent time, even though I wasn’t upgraded, the Amtrak app showed 4 rooms still available at (and after) departure.

Conversely, for the same trip, I also booked a coach ticket on American Airlines. There was only one seat available in first class yesterday, but I was still upgraded (for free), and the flight ended up having 2 empty first class seats.

Guess which ticket I kept and guess which ticket I cancelled.

I don’t understand why Amtrak would decline a BidUp upgrade at close to the low-bucket fare and let a train leave with 4 empty rooms. I guess Amtrak miscalculated. American did a better job predicting what demand would be for upgraded travel.
Also had this situation happen to me on the SWC in February. This is not always the case though. I’ve had some great success with bidup as well.
 

trimetbusfan

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 27, 2021
Messages
73
Location
Portland
Keep in mind it’s much harder to win room a Bid-upgrade this time of the year, due to trains (almost daily) being sold out with high demand. BidUp will let you bid on rooms even if they all are already sold out!
 

TheCrescent

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
363
Keep in mind it’s much harder to win room a Bid-upgrade this time of the year, due to trains (almost daily) being sold out with high demand. BidUp will let you bid on rooms even if they all are already sold out!
Sure, it makes sense to not accept BidUp requests if the train will be sold out.

I don’t understand why my close-to-low-bucket-fare offer was rejected when the Crescent departed with 4 empty rooms. Looks like the Amtrak algorithm could use some tweaking.
 

trimetbusfan

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 27, 2021
Messages
73
Location
Portland
Sure, it makes sense to not accept BidUp requests if the train will be sold out.

I don’t understand why my close-to-low-bucket-fare offer was rejected when the Crescent departed with 4 empty rooms. Looks like the Amtrak algorithm could use some tweaking.
I have had this happen twice, where there was the abalibllity, I bid a fair amount, and still got rejected. (And the rooms were still there afterwards).

(of course, I have lost other times because the train was sold out, or I was out bid).

I don’t know what their algorithm is either, but I am kind of glad they don’t sell out the train from people using bidup. There are times when people miss connections and Amtk has to get pax on the next days train. If the rooms were always sold out due to bid up (sometimes up to 36 hours before to departure) those pax would have no choice but to get downgraded to coach at the last minute.

Of course, there needs to be a balance, maybe 4 open rooms is a little excessive for that train.
 

Michigan Mom

Conductor
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,026
Location
MI
My experience with BidUp has been 100% unsuccessful and I don't mind a bit, for the reasons mentioned here, and for money saving reasons. Just got back a couple days ago from a holiday RT on the Wolverine, and I submitted a lowball bid that was rejected a few minutes before departure, for both segments. If it were up to me I'd let BC go out a few seats short rather than take the chance of not being able to upgrade misconnects.
 

Tom Booth

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
272
Location
Jersey City
Sure, it makes sense to not accept BidUp requests if the train will be sold out.

I don’t understand why my close-to-low-bucket-fare offer was rejected when the Crescent departed with 4 empty rooms. Looks like the Amtrak algorithm could use some tweaking.
Could it be that those rooms were already sold for some portion of the trip?
 

TheCrescent

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
363
Could it be that those rooms were already sold for some portion of the trip?
Good point but no: I started to book a room for my trip (to check availability) and 4 rooms were available for the entire trip that I was going to take.
 
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