Early Deboarding

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
1
Location
Mesa AZ
Have Chief sleeper into Chi but want to off load last stop in Napelville. Do I need to change reservation or just tell conductor?
 

uncleboots

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
18
You can also call Amtrak and tell the Reservationists your change in stops, Your SLA will have that updated information before you board the train.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
4,767
Location
Washington State
You can also call Amtrak and tell the Reservationists your change in stops, Your SLA will have that updated information before you board the train.
You have to be careful doing that. Many agents can't change the destination without resetting the price to the current bucket. It could cost hundreds of dollars. I'd talk to the agent first before they do anything at all.

If it were me and I wanted to get off one stop early, I'd tell the SCA when I boarded, remind him that morning, and tell the conductor for that final district into Chicago. I think the conductors run KC-Chicago on the Southwest Chief, so you have the whole day. I would stay the heck away from Reservations, especially for one stop. There's a high likelihood they'd screw you up.
 

pennyk

50 year Amtrak Rider
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
11,198
Location
Orlando, FL
I routinely detrain early depending on rides picking me up, SunRail availability, the lateness of the train, etc. When traveling on the Meteor, I book to Orlando, but sometimes it works better to detrain in Winter Park (one stop early). I tell my SCA well in advance that I may detrain in WPK, and that I will know about an hour in advance. The SCA always confirms with me that I have no checked luggage (which I never do). In the years that I have been doing this, there has never been an issue.
 

Way2Kewl

Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
Messages
123
Location
Dallas
I have done this many times without issue.

My most frequent trip is Zephyr from Emeryville to Chicago and then a short train from Chicago down to Joliet for a few nights at the Harrah’s Craps table, then catch Eagle from Joliet back to Dallas.

About half the time I’ll get off 1 stop short in Naperville and Uber to Joliet (40min/$40) to save some time (not having to wait for the connecting train).

If I do this I always let the conductor know directly as sometimes they do a touch and go if there are no scheduled passengers on or off. I also let the SCA know as they need to open the door and may not have planned if they didn’t see a scheduled offload. I don’t rely on the SCA to tell the conductor. I’ve never had a problem.
 

jis

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
28,840
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
The train crew can be surprisingly accommodating. One time I was on a spectacularly late Cardinal heading to NWK. My original plan was to catch an NJT back to Metropark where my car was parked. It was so late that by the time it got to NWK I would most likely miss a connection to 67 even, forget about NJT. I mentioned this to the Conductor asking permission to stay on to NYP. Surprisingly he said, we were going to be on track 1 through Metropark due to track 2 out of service. He'll see if he can just let me off there. And lo and behold, the train stopped briefly at Metropark to let me off! That saved me many hours of hassle and got me home early enough so that I could get several hours of sleep before heading off to my work desk at home for a late morning meeting.
 

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,965
Location
Gator Country Florida
I went to NY to do some volunteer work pre-covid. I had booked from JAX to NWK when I bought my ticket several months in advance I did so with a "Saver Fare". By the time I was heading to NY my pick-up location had changed to NYP.

When I called to see if I could change my destination to NYP I was told that, if they made that change I would have to re-book and would be charged full price. The person on the phone recommended that, as long as I was not checking any baggage, just ask the conductor if I could stay on till NYP - she said both destination were the same price.

When I boarded I did what she said and asked the conductor. The conductor said she that it would be fine since both fares were the same price and I didn't have any checked baggage. They even put a "NYP" card over my seat instead of a "NWK".
 

Brian Battuello

Lead Service Attendant
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
429
Location
Arlington, MA (near Boston)
Very early deboarding...

A lot of folks don't realize how short some intermediate Amtrak stops can be. I saw a man help his aged mother onto the train and into a seat, while of course the train started pulling out. He quickly found a conductor and after a brief exchange persuaded the conductor to let him off at a crossing on the way out of town, where he could get an Uber back to the station. Funny how often no one actually checks tickets or car numbers when you first board.
 

jis

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
28,840
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
And then there was an example of a late boarding. One time in Denver a lady left her kids on the train and went off shopping during the Denver stop of 6. The train left without her creating quite a situation. Ultimately they arranged to have her meet the train via Taxi at a grade crossing at the edge of town where the train picked her up. All in all this was simpler than dealing with two upset kids all the way to wherever.
 
Last edited:

pennyk

50 year Amtrak Rider
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
11,198
Location
Orlando, FL
And then there was an example of a late boarding. One time in Denver a lady left her kids on the train and went off shopping during the Denver stop of 6. The train left without her creating quite a situation. Ultimately they arranged to have her meet the train via Uber at a grade crossing at the edge of town where the train picked her up. All in all this was simpler than dealing with two upset kids all the way to wherever.
...and I was on that train also. OTOL fest?
 

Cal

Engineer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
2,240
Location
Socal
A lot of folks don't realize how short some intermediate Amtrak stops can be. I saw a man help his aged mother onto the train and into a seat, while of course the train started pulling out. He quickly found a conductor and after a brief exchange persuaded the conductor to let him off at a crossing on the way out of town, where he could get an Uber back to the station. Funny how often no one actually checks tickets or car numbers when you first board.
Was this on an LD train? I've never seen a person be able to just jump on an LD train without having someone make sure they're a passenger
 

Brian Battuello

Lead Service Attendant
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
429
Location
Arlington, MA (near Boston)
It certainly was, I have no memory where. They may have tightened up recently but it was perfectly normal for many years to just stop at the station and let people on. Car attendants never checked tickets, the conductor would come through a few minutes after departure and issue the seat check.

Here in Boston, they seem to have stopped checking tickets at the head of the track. They just have people standing by the side of the train asking if you are coach or business. I can't remember the last time someone asked to see my ticket before the conductor came by.

Even a few weeks ago in Moynihan Train Hall in NYC I just walked onto the train, they weren't checking tickets at the top of the escalator like they usually do.
 
Last edited:

Cal

Engineer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
2,240
Location
Socal
Usually the SCA doesn't check my ticket, they simply check their roster for our names or ask if we are on this train. I would hope that they would know if any non-passenger is on board.
 

DennisInGeorgia

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
91
Location
Atlanta
With 3 out of 4of my last conductors I’d dutifully show them my QR code and the did not scN it no look at the ticket-just waved me on.I’ll always do it so I won’t be”THAT guy”
 

Way2Kewl

Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
Messages
123
Location
Dallas
Not to take away from the security concerns but at times when I get on in JOL instead of CHI there are only myself and maybe another sleeper passenger and several times the conductor says I don't need to scan I have already registered you. They can do it directly.

If you have any MultiTicket reservation you might want to question, "So you're aware I have a connection, right?" If you don't get "registered" as boarding then it's possible your connections will get cancelled. (anytime the systems do not flag you as boarding). If the conductor says YES your connections are good then you need to make the decision if you say "I'd really feel better if you scan it" If he's a good Conductor he won't see a problem with appeasing your request. What you don't want is not to ask if no one is scanning. Personally, if the Conductor says he's got me registered, I simply board set my ticket next to the sink where it stays until I get to my destination and it's never been a problem.
 
Last edited:

Brian Battuello

Lead Service Attendant
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
429
Location
Arlington, MA (near Boston)
You're right to be concerned about connections. When I'm in the sleeping car, usually the SCA notifies the conductor that everyone expected is present, and they just hit the right buttons. I can't recall how many times I never had to show a ticket on board for a sleeping car. But if they don't hit the magic button, the reservation system starts a plan to make your life miserable.
 

Way2Kewl

Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
Messages
123
Location
Dallas
Yes indeed. “If they don’t hit the magic button”

I witnessed a heated discussion between the fellow CHI to DAL PAX and the SCA and Conductor when the system eventually flagged him as a no show and they resold his room in STL. He wasn’t budging and the new folks that just carried their luggage up had to be relocated to the next car. At least there was a spot for them but they certainly has a lot of luggage.

Never hurts to be sure...
 

uncleboots

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
18
This is the Worst thing to do. As long as you are getting off before your scheduled stop, just notify your attendant and conductor.
First thing, you don’t know what your talking about, It’s never a bad idea, to inform Amtrak of any changes to your itinerary prior to your train departing. What happens if your attendant or Conductor forgets because they are occupied with other things. This ways it’s on paper. Here’s a little advice, in the future think before you make stupid statements.
 

Cal

Engineer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
2,240
Location
Socal
First thing, you don’t know what your talking about, It’s never a bad idea, to inform Amtrak of any changes to your itinerary prior to your train departing. What happens if your attendant or Conductor forgets because they are occupied with other things. This ways it’s on paper. Here’s a little advice, in the future think before you make stupid statements.
I think @jis and @Qapla's scenarios have some pretty fair reasons to not call Amtrak.
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
3,784
Yes indeed. “If they don’t hit the magic button”

I witnessed a heated discussion between the fellow CHI to DAL PAX and the SCA and Conductor when the system eventually flagged him as a no show and they resold his room in STL. He wasn’t budging and the new folks that just carried their luggage up had to be relocated to the next car. At least there was a spot for them but they certainly has a lot of luggage.

Never hurts to be sure...
I always make separate reservations so a missed scan can’t trigger anything down the line but I never really thought about them reselling the room of a train I was already on.
 
Top