Different points for different roomettes?

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DennisInGeorgia

Train Attendant
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Oct 28, 2008
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Ok, fellow travelers, help me verify what an AGR agent told me when I called to book a trip. Her software assigned us a roomette upstairs, but when I asked for one downstairs, she told me that would cost me about 17,000 more points, saying that some roomettes are charged more points than others. Am I being yanked around, or is this really the case? Wow!
 

pennyk

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I would phone back. It is possible that once the agent took the first room out of inventory, it caused the next roomette to be in the next bucket. This happens often when paying for rooms with cash. I am assuming the same thing can happen when using points. I am just guessing that is what happened.

You could accept the room upstairs and phone back and hope to get a more experienced agent and try to modify your reservation and switch rooms.
 

DennisInGeorgia

Train Attendant
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Oct 28, 2008
Messages
79
I would phone back. It is possible that once the agent took the first room out of inventory, it caused the next roomette to be in the next bucket. This happens often when paying for rooms with cash. I am assuming the same thing can happen when using points. I am just guessing that is what happened.

You could accept the room upstairs and phone back and hope to get a more experienced agent and try to modify your reservation and switch rooms.
Penny, I did think about that and I’ll follow your suggestion. Can you tell me of a good time/day to catch a more experienced agent on duty? This is a 50th anniversary trip and I don’t want anything to go wrong. Thank you.
 

pennyk

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Penny, I did think about that and I’ll follow your suggestion. Can you tell me of a good time/day to catch a more experienced agent on duty? This is a 50th anniversary trip and I don’t want anything to go wrong. Thank you.
I would normally say M-F in the morning, however, I have reached great agents on weekends. I think the AGR agents are generally better than other agents, but some AGR agents are better than others.
Good Luck
 

F900ElCapitan

Lead Service Attendant
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Oct 7, 2018
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I’ve had my best luck calling in the evenings after a lot of the rush. But press a bit, give them a line like you’ve had agents move other rooms for you before and you don’t understand how an identical roomette would cost different. If they don’t know how to do it, you might mention about asking a supervisor, it can be done. If that doesn’t work then just say no thanks and try back in a minute or two and try a different agent.
 

Way2Kewl

Train Attendant
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Sep 29, 2019
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I've done this many times as well. The reason for the agents confusion is because Amtrak room prices go up as they are sold. It appears their software does not consider that when they are trying to assign the NEW room the OLD room is not yet returned therefore it looks like another room is being sold (at the higher price). The OLD room does not get returned until the process is complete then showing the same number of rooms sold. When this happens with an Agent I politely ask for a supervisor to assist. In all of these cases the agent placed me on hold and then comes back on saying I’ll good and I’ve been moved (guessing after being coached how to do this). No changes to the pricing.
 

bratkinson

OBS Chief
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Aug 7, 2004
Messages
813
About a year ago, when I booked my AGR point redemption 'joy ride', the inept agent on the phone apparently let the computer automatically assign a room (I'm thinking there's no choice in that, in fact, that's the way assigned FC seats on the Acela works) and then she has to go back and 'choose' a different roomette. I much prefer #14, or any other lower roomettes. On a 'through' trip PDX-LAX-CHI (#14/421) she apparently cancelled the original booking and when she tried to lock in the right one, the price jumped 20K points! Perhaps after her banging away on the keyboard for another 5 minutes or so, she managed to get yet another 20K points on top of that! I told her to cancel the entire thing. About 10 minutes later, I went to the Amtrak booking site and checked the same PDX-CHI routing and the number of points went back to the original number I saw. I then called, got someone who KNEW what they were doing, and she got #14 on both trains and the CONO that I was connecting to as well!

Knowing that there is now an out-sourced reservation center plus the original one at Amtrak Philadelphia, the chances of getting one of the 'newbies' is 50% or more. Throw in that they're likely still facing a no-so-up-to-date Arrow reservation system, there's a lot to learn, and even more tricks of the trade that come from experience and being taught by others. If only we could push a button that indicates 'well experienced rep requested'. Maybe, just maybe, when they roll out the seat assignment process for all business class, it'll spill over to sleeper space and we can logon and modify our room assignments without charge.

If you've already booked the trip and want the roomette numbers changed, call them up and request to modify the reservation...the key word is 'modify'. Otherwise, they'll do a cancel & rebook and as your old roomette stays unavailable for a period of time, the lack of available rooms will cause the price to increase. Also, if already booked, call immediately, as waiting hours or days may cause other roomettes to be sold thus driving up the prices.
 

DennisInGeorgia

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
79
Good responses all, new friends, and I managed to book half my trip. For the return trip, from the same agent, I was assured that I could book, using the departure date of the first train of my journey, without regard to departure date of the subsequent trains re whether they were 11 months later than current date. When I was ready to book, I learned that I have to give AMTRAK 11 months, plus about another week for them to load room inventory into the database. So thanks once again Arrow, and your clunky, hit-or-miss ways. AMTRAK travel: not just a trip, but an ADVENTURE. Beginning with your call to Guest Rewards. Whew!!
Thanks to one and all for your very helpful help.
Dennis
 

SarahZ

Conductor
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May 8, 2011
Messages
8,070
If only we could push a button that indicates 'well experienced rep requested'.
I realize you're probably joking, but this would be a nightmare. Everyone would push that button, resulting in 1) even longer hold times and 2) the less experienced reps not getting a chance to gain experience and job knowledge. :-/
 
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