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Companion and Upgrade Coupon Questions

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dlagrua

Conductor
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I presently have both the Companion and Free Upgrade Coupons. My wife and myself are planning a weekend get-a-way in D.C. in a couple of weeks and would like to apply these to an Acela trip.

The companion coupon says that it can be used for a round trip fare for two booked at the same time on any train but ONLY for a coach seat. The Acela is business class and first class.

So the question is if I purchase a full R/T fare on the Acela can these coupons be used for the companion fare?

Say I pay full Acela fare R/T . Can the companion coupon along with the free class upgrade be used to get the extra R/T seat in Acela business class?
 

Bob Dylan

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Acela Business Class is NOT an Upgrade, it's the Acela Version of Coach so if you pay the RT Full BC Fare you can use the Companion coupon for your wife on Acela BC.

If you want to Upgrade to Acela First Class ( Full Fare) you can use the Companion Coupon for your wife if you pay the Upgrade Charge for FC. ( it can be Pricey!)
 
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the_traveler

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If you book Acela, book BC. Note that the upgrade coupon is for a 12 hour upgrade! (Meaning you can upgrade ONLY if a FC seat is available within 12 hours of departure - that is say for a 9 am train, you can not upgrade before 9 pm the prior evening.) To increase your chances, I would book an off peak time - say 11 am or 2 pm instead of 7 am or 5 pm.)

Both the upgrade coupon and the companion coupon have a VERY important cravat! Both fares MUST be full fare tickets. If you use a discount like AAA, NARP, Senior or a Saver fare, you can not use the coupons!

Also, you can only use 1 coupon at a time.
 
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dlagrua

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If you book Acela, book BC. Note that the upgrade coupon is for a 12 hour upgrade! (Meaning you can upgrade ONLY if a FC seat is available within 12 hours of departure - that is say for a 9 am train, you can not upgrade before 9 pm the prior evening.) To increase your chances, I would book an off peak time - say 11 am or 2 pm instead of 7 am or 5 pm.)

Both the upgrade coupon and the companion coupon have a VERY important cravat! Both fares MUST be full fare tickets. If you use a discount like AAA, NARP, Senior or a Saver fare, you can not use the coupons!

Also, you can only use 1 coupon at a time.
Thanks for the clarification. As for fare, I under stand that no discount can be applied but if you buy your tickets 10 days in advance the advance purchase price applies. I would not think that the advance purchase price is in the discount class but not sure of this.
 

the_traveler

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If you're talking about the Saver fare, that's a no! The Saver fare is a 25% discount (just like AAA is a 10% discount or a Senior fare is a 15% discount) - and any discounts can not be used with those coupons.
 

dlagrua

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If you're talking about the Saver fare, that's a no! The Saver fare is a 25% discount (just like AAA is a 10% discount or a Senior fare is a 15% discount) - and any discounts can not be used with those coupons.
Right on. The saver fare is not allowed but it was only an option on the trip out. Coming back from DC there was no option for saver fare. Bottom line R/T fare on the Acela for two with the companion coupon was $310. Boils down to $155 each per person for the R\T Acela fare. First class would have brought the fare up an additional $440; IMO, a $770 fare is just not worth it for a little food, & drink for a 2 1/2 hr trip so we went Acela Business class. I often wondered why in business class on the regional you get a free drink and a newspaper while on the Acela you don't. Also at CHI metro lounge business class passengers are permitted but in WAS. only sleeper and Acela first class passengers are allowed in.
 

the_traveler

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Although it's not the same, you could say that BC on Acela is like coach on other trains. While many trains have coach with an upgrade to BC, on Acela the lowest class is BC with an upgrade to First. (There is no coach on Acela.)
 

dlagrua

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Although it's not the same, you could say that BC on Acela is like coach on other trains. While many trains have coach with an upgrade to BC, on Acela the lowest class is BC with an upgrade to First. (There is no coach on Acela.)
We have taken the Acela several times but now with the coupons, discounts and how they all work is a new experience. We have also taken regional business class and with that you received a newspaper and a beverage. If Acela BC is the same that should apply but we were never offered or told that BC drinks (or a newspaper) were included on the Acela. If they are, I missed out quite a few times.
 

the_traveler

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They are not. Even though it's called BC, it is the "coach" on Acela.

Also notice the spellings. "Regular" trains offer coach and business class. Acela offers Business Class and First Class. (On Acela, they're capitalized.)
 

fairviewroad

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Jan 13, 2011
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Amtrak defines "Business Class" differently on virtually every single train that offers it. On some, you get a free soda. On others, you get a voucher for anything in the cafe car. On others, you get "light snacks and a glass of wine".

On Amtrak's premier service, the Acela, booking a seat in Business Class gets you diddly squat. But you know, as an Amtrak blogger stated so eloquently, sometimes "you just gotta treat yo self." So there's that.
 

Pooh2

Service Attendant
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How do you all get these coupons? From the credit card?

I would love to try the Acela to Boston to DC but the price is nuts. Would be much more appealing with a companion coupon.
 

penguinflies

Service Attendant
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Dec 30, 2015
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re: upgrade coupons.

My question I asked myself is: what is the minimum fare bucket you need to purchase to use the coupons?

The options for Lincoln Service are Saver, Value, Flexible and Premium.

Based on the above, Saver is discounted so not valid with the upgrade. I called Amtrak and this is what the agent reported. Does this sound correct?

Saver is Amtrak's discounted fare so not valid with the upgrade.

Value can be upgraded. One cannot upgrade if the fare was purchased using discount like senior or AAA, NARP, etc.

Flexible can be upgraded. One cannot upgrade if the fare was purchased using discount like senior or AAA, NARP, etc.

Premium is what one wants to sit in by using the upgrade.

Lastly, one cannot use the upgrade passes with a multi-ride ticket.
 
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BCL

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re: upgrade coupons.

My question I asked myself is: what is the minimum fare bucket you need to purchase to use the coupons?

The options for Lincoln Service are Saver, Value, Flexible and Premium.

Based on the above, Saver is discounted so not valid with the upgrade. I called Amtrak and this is what the agent reported. Does this sound correct?

Saver is Amtrak's discounted fare so not valid with the upgrade.

Value can be upgraded. One cannot upgrade if the fare was purchased using discount like senior or AAA, NARP, etc.

Flexible can be upgraded. One cannot upgrade if the fare was purchased using discount like senior or AAA, NARP, etc.

Premium is what one wants to sit in by using the upgrade.

Lastly, one cannot use the upgrade passes with a multi-ride ticket.
Sounds about right. Also - upgrade can't be used along with an AGR redemption.
 
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