What would such a theory be based upon? That customers would rather see a vague detour sign than actionable information? That customers would prefer to hear bad news only after having to jump through Julie's maze of fake assistance? Roughly 99% of businesses are doing everything they can to reduce live assistance call volume but for Amtrak it's a good thing to shove even more people into the phone queues for holiday travel? To me this looks more like a interface problem or resource exhaustion issue and the "call for pricing" is a merely catchall recovery statement.Ironhorseman, it probably means that your trip is at a popular time and Amtrak doesn't want to advertise that they are going to charge a premium points price for points users. For example charge double points over a holiday weekend.
I'm just struggling to understand the original claim. That refusing to 'advertise' points costs and requiring people to call for pricing somehow helps Amtrak? How did it help Amtrak in your personal experience and what did Amtrak gain from this course of action? As Dave states above, most of the evidence provided so far seems to point to an issue with pricing train connections rather than being limited to trains running on or near holidays.It is not a theory, but a fact from my own personal experience trying to use points for a Monday holiday booking .
Perhaps management realizes that's where trips on points results in the biggest loss of real dollars. This coming April, I've got 9 nights in a roomette booked on points which translates to about $2500 in revenue that Amtrak will not get. On the Coast Starlight, there's only 60-70 rooms available (2.5-3.5 Superliners), so having 2 or 3 of them paid with points is a big percentage of sleeper income 'hit'. Compare that to using points for regional trains where even 5 seats out of 400 or so are paid for with points. The percentage of revenue loss is quite minimal. So, making it more difficult to book LD trains - especially connecting trains - makes sense. Obviously, Anderson et al is following the 'airline' methodology of booking trips with 'miles' more difficult to maximize per-plane revenue.This has been happening to me for the last few months. I think it's deliberate to discourage us from using Rewards points. After all Amtrak management have made it clear they don't like long haul trains.
Yea, I've had the same experience for months now! Yesterday it was working!?!?I went online some time in December, and was able to see a trip with connecting trains in points. The next time I tried the very same trip, it was back to "Call for price."
I think it's simply technical incompetence.
Yup. just booked that one in fact. Had to call, the agent said it was not an allowable booking that pops up (even on their screen) but she could manually force it. Points came out exactly to the dollars divided by .0289 as we all know. Actually a pretty good deal for summer travel. NYP to connect to the Capital Limited to the Eagle in roomettes for $852. Four nights on the train. 29,481 points before the 5% rebate. less than the zone system.It is definitely a “connection” issue. If there is a connection, you get “call for price”.
An example is CHI-LAX will give you a point total, but CHI-LAX-SAN says “call for price”. Even something like CHI-LAX on 421 will give a point amount, but CHI-SAT-LAX on 21 connecting to 1 says “call for price’.