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Booking roomettes with Railpass

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Steve

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I'm planning a marathon rail adventure beginning April of next year using the 45 day, 18 segment pass, though I'd complete my travel in 30 days. ​I'll want to get roomettes occasionally to avoid constantly sleeping in coach seats and figured I'd book each individual leg as soon as it's available starting this May, rather than waiting until June when every train is available to be booked. The CSR at Amtrak suggested it would be more convenient to wait until June, rather than booking the trains piecemeal. I'd still be able to book without having to pay for a higher cost ticket until the train is 75% sold, and that's not very likely to happen ten months out.

But my concern is that the lowest bucket for the roomettes might sell out very quickly. It would be handier to know what the overall potential cost for various roomettes would be, but I figured I could get a good idea by doing a dummy booking for a train that is available now, such as early March 2017 if I were booking it today.​ If I wait until June, how likely is it that I might miss out on the lowest bucket for a roomette? Does anyone have experience with booking trains one at a time with a railpass?
 

AmtrakBlue

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Amtrak no longer starts with lowest bucket, so 11 months out may well be priced at a middle bucket. Then supply & demand will determine when to raise or lower the prices.

You can set up a price alert on amsnag.net. You could book now and if the price goes down, MODIFY your reservation to get the lower cost.
 
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Steve

Guest
Thanks for the advice! This is not what I was told by Amtrak, of course. Their suggestion was to book as early as possible to get the lowest price possible. I'll wait, then, to see what the cost would be in June, book what I feel I can afford, and keep my eye out for lower fares as time goes on.
 

Devil's Advocate

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From my understanding coach tickets that are bookable with the rail pass are limited in number and should probably be booked as quickly as possible. On the other hand sleepers generally open at high bucket prices and will probably benefit from booking weeks or months later as the prices fluctuate. Just be aware that there is no secret formula to guarantee a good result and you may end up squeezed out of inventory or having to pay higher than expected prices for some segments. Today's Amtrak "Rail Pass" is really more of a limited use discount card or coupon book rather than a conventional travel pass like it used to be.
 
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tomfuller

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Oct 24, 2012
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If you do a significant amount of online shopping, you should join Amtrak Guest Rewards and do the overnight segments on points in a roomette instead of using

segments on the USA Rail Pass. This way you could use a 30 day Rail Pass if the trip fits within 30 days.

Is there something new that I am unaware of on Rail Passes that allows sleeper passage? All of my Rail Passes have been sleeping in coach.
 
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