Empire Builder 2022 Outrageous Bedroom Fares

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Cal

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Maybe, just maybe Amtrak is selling out its rooms (due to COVID). Isn't that a good thing? Amtrak is making revenue?
Those mirror my thoughts too. But something was brought up on an article posted here a few days back, that Amtrak might not be making money even while selling out due to the short consists. Not saying it's true, just an idea that was posted.
 

Devil's Advocate

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If only people had done painstaking searching and mapped out all of the possible fares and published them so that you would have known with zero effort.
The spreadsheet does not come close to mapping all possible fares and the fact that a fare bucket may exist on a day when no search engine can find it without dozens or even hundreds of manual test bookings is hardly zero effort.

Maybe, just maybe Amtrak is selling out its rooms (due to COVID). Isn't that a good thing? Amtrak is making revenue?
Maybe, just maybe Amtrak is selling out because they're leaving sleepers and transition dorms sitting unused in the yard. I'm a passenger rail supporter because I enjoy traveling by rail and want to share this option with as many people as possible. I do not ride passenger rail because I want Amtrak to make as much money as possible. If we turned the interstate system into a self-funded tollway I doubt even the biggest road fan would cheer $1,000 toll fees.
 

AmtrakBlue

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The spreadsheet does not come close to mapping all possible fares and the fact that a fare bucket may exist on a day when no search engine can find it without dozens or even hundreds of manual test bookings is hardly zero effort.


Maybe, just maybe Amtrak is selling out because they're leaving sleepers and transition dorms sitting unused in the yard. I'm a passenger rail supporter because I enjoy traveling by rail and want to share this option with as many people as possible. I do not ride passenger rail because I want Amtrak to make as much money as possible. If we turned the interstate system into a self-funded tollway I doubt even the biggest road fan would cheer $1,000 toll fees.
Maybe when they’re no longer short staffed they’ll add more cars to the consists.
 

Ryan

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The spreadsheet does not come close to mapping all possible fares and the fact that a fare bucket may exist on a day when no search engine can find it without dozens or even hundreds of manual test bookings is hardly zero effort.
It does for the end points, and while I agree that it is a significant amount of effort for those doing the research, my point was that with that research kindly done for us, looking at the spreadsheet is in fact zero effort.
 

niemi24s

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The spreadsheet does not come close to mapping all possible fares. . .
If you're referring to this spreadsheet..
35- 19 May 2021 Amtrak Fare Buckets.jpg
...it's tedious enough gathering all those 200+fares using AmSnag, but without AmSnag it has become excruciating.

And even though it doesn't show all possible fares, anybody'd have to be nuts to think somebody'd try to make a chart like that showing the fares between all 7,288 possible end points for those individual trains - even IF AmSnag was up and operating!

BTW, this latest chart shows the current fares with the exception of FB and B - except for the AT where all three sleepers are out of date.
 
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Exvalley

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I really thought low bucket went to $876. In all the searching I did I never saw anything lower.
Don't worry about it! Amtrak certainly does not make that information easy to find, and finding it on the web isn't that easy. You aren't the first person that this has happened to!
 

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Maybe when they’re no longer short staffed they’ll add more cars to the consists.
How many people are required to staff a baggage car or a transition dorm? Even a lounge car works just fine with a closed snack shop.

If you're referring to this spreadsheet.....it's tedious enough gathering all those 200+fares using AmSnag, but without AmSnag it has become excruciating. And even though it doesn't show all possible fares, anybody'd have to be nuts to think somebody'd try to make a chart like that showing the fares between all 7,288 possible end points for those individual trains - even IF AmSnag was up and operating!
There is nothing wrong with the spreadsheet itself. I just have a problem with members who use it to silence people who bring up pricing and website issues. Which buckets exist in general and which prices are bookable in particular are two different discussions. The loss of Amsnag has become a major setback IMO.
 

Ryan

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I just have a problem with members who use it to silence people who bring up pricing and website issues.
Where do you see this happening?

Again, my point was very narrowly tailored to the specific complaint in this thread for which the information was readily available in this very thread.

You seem to be railing against something that isn't happening.
 

Exvalley

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Your claim that it isn't easy to find on the web seems inaccurate when it's available literally in the post above yours.
I do not doubt the sincerity of the OP when they say that they looked. And I am quite certain that they are not alone. The bottom line is that people should not have find a third-party forum and then search through hundreds of threads in order to find this information. Amtrak can do better - but for whatever reason chooses not to.
 
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F900ElCapitan

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Just a heads up, I was doing some fare checking this morning and it appears Family Bedrooms and Bedrooms have had an increase. Roomettes seem to be left out of this one so far. On the EB (SEA) this equates to these high bucket fares, FB $1920, +5.7% and B $2376, +12.7%.
 

niemi24s

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Just a heads up, I was doing some fare checking this morning and it appears Family Bedrooms and Bedrooms have had an increase. Roomettes seem to be left out of this one so far. On the EB (SEA) this equates to these high bucket fares, FB $1920, +5.7% and B $2376, +12.7%.
There have been two such fare increases since sometime last year. For those who dote on numbers, here is the chronological progression of high bucket/low bucket Bedroom fares for one adult on the Empire Builder since I started frittering away my spare time on this:

Oct 2015 - $1878 / 719
Apr 2016 - $1882 / 740
Jan 2017 - $1901 / 755
Oct 2018 - $1922 / 757
Jan 2019 - $1941 / 764
Nov 2019 - $2036 / 836
Jul 2020 - $2215 / 890
???????? - $???? / ????
Apr 2021 - $2376 / 907

The dates are not dates of the increases - merely when I got done compiling data for the charts after noticing an increase.

[Edited to add low bucket fares]
 
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bratkinson

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This entire discussion seems to be revolving around one of the first rules of running a business...

If you can sell all the items you have for $X, then raise the price! If you still sell out, raise the price again! The goal is to find 'what the market will bear' in terms of price. When the price gets too high and they're not always selling out, then back off a bit and see what happens. Then regularly try higher fares and if they sell out, keep 'em higher.

Of course, supply and demand is in control. Whether the shortage of sleeping cars is 'manufactured' or there's either mechanical or staffing issues causing the shortage, unless someone has an 'in' at Amtrak, we'll never know why and are relegated to whining about high prices. Why isn't anyone pissing and moaning against high gasoline and grocery prices?
 

Ryan

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I do not doubt the sincerity of the OP when they say that they looked. And I am quite certain that they are not alone. The bottom line is that people should not have find a third-party forum and then search through hundreds of threads in order to find this information. Amtrak can do better - but for whatever reason chooses not to.
Whilst I don't disagree for the average Joe, as I have repeated over and over, my criticism was directed at one specific poster (who was not the OP) that had the information presented to them and refused to believe it on many occasions. That specific poster can to better - but for whatever reason chooses not to.
 

Sidney

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Well...I did see $600 from LA to Chicago on the TE on 1/7. I stand corrected. They do exist!
Always looking for a mid winter train ride into warmer weather I checked mid January and February roomette prices on the Eagle from LA to Bloomington,Il. Didn't take long with checking three days a week and I found Amtrak's best deal.$448. With the$13 Coach fare to Chicago,$461. Three nights. Three days. The icing on the cake would be the return of traditional dining and a sightseer between SAS and Chi. Next I'll work around that trip. I ll probably fly from BWI to LA and spend a few days before the train. Never thought I'd find that fare again.
 

zephyr17

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Looking at booking a post cruise trip home across the country from Seattle to Boston in June of 2022. What is going on with Amtrak!? By that, I mean, Amtrak used to preach about booking early! We used to hear 'You better book early for the best fares!' That is entirely false when, looking now, a bedroom on the Builder starts out at $2,396 for June 2022?? 😯😯

My questions:
Is that the "low bucket"?
Subsequently, if that is the "low bucket" fare, then what is the "high bucket" fare? Does anyone happen to have the 4 or 5 "buckets" that used to be out there as a general reference to what was being charged for a roomette or a bedroom?

$2,400 about 10 months out?

Really Amtrak...🤨🤨
They appear to have halted the old practice routinely allocating initial inventory 11 months out to low bucket some time ago. They now initially allocate inventory on a somewhat aggressive projection of anticipated demand. They'll then adjust it as actual demand develops if they think they were off.

The number of months out from departure is now kind of immaterial under what appears to be current methodology.
 

Exvalley

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Because gasoline really isn't any higher than normal, just higher than 2020 (no demand due to pandemic).
Gasoline prices are somewhat higher right now - at least in my neck of the woods where prices are in the $3.09 - $3.19 range.

This chart is a couple of years out of date, but it shows that the average price, adjusted for inflation, is a little bit lower.

 

Tlcooper93

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Just found a $767 fare on October 23 from Seattle to Chicago. May snag it while the gettin is good.
Just realizing that Amtrak has been offering a fall special on travel this season. Perhaps this is purely a special offer and not ordinary...
 

Sidney

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Just realizing that Amtrak has been offering a fall special on travel this season. Perhaps this is purely a special offer and not ordinary...
That is hardly a special fare. Low bucket on the EB Chi-Sea is $530.
 
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