Exact time for 11 months out purchase?

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I want to buy sleeper accommodations on the Empire Builder for the 4th of July weekend for my family of 6. I've been pricing tickets for the past couple days and by mid-morning the superliner bedroom and family bedroom options have sold out for the newest added day. We'll take 3 roommettes if we need to but I'd like to know what time the next day becomes available without waking up hourly for trial and error. I've spent an hour searching the forums without finding a definitive answer. Can anyone help?

I also found amsnag to have broken links - can anyone give me the most recent link for that?
 

pennyk

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When I made reservations for my first cross country trip, I made those reservations 11 months in advance. I generally started phoning right after midnight eastern time. There were days that the reservations had not loaded until 3 or 4am eastern time. Things may have changed.
 
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I had been searching by saying 4 travelers - 2 kids and 2 adults - because otherwise it doesn't show me family bedrooms since there's only one family bedroom per train. We will only be traveling MSP to Glacier so I don't care whether I'm on the Portland or Seattle train. After AmtrakBlue said that spaces were available, I tried searching by saying I only had 2 travelers, 1 adult and 1 child. Now the family bedroom and bedroom show up! My additional 5th and 6th travelers will be my 16 and 14 year old sons, so technically we could get 3 roommettes, right?

Am I missing something with how I'm searching so that it will show me all available rooms without getting confused about mixing types of rooms? Should I give up on booking online and talk to an agent? I'm glad to realize that I can at least get the right information if I search using 2 travelers.
 

Sauve850

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I research online then talk to an AGR agent when booking.Even as a single I was seeing fam bedroom, roomettes and bedrooms. Maybe something has changed. I did my bedroom from SEA-CHI for my Aug 31, 2019 trip about 7 months out. No issues and lowest bedroom price ive ever booked for a ld train.
 
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When it says that youth need to be with adults over 18, does that mean in the room or with the same reservation? If they need to be in the same room, it becomes essential that we get a family bedroom, which is likely the hardest part of the reservation. My smaller two kids will be 10 and 6, both small for their age, so the shorter bunks in the family bedroom should be fine.

Will there be room for 6 people to sit in a family bedroom in some configuration?

Do the bathrooms in the bedrooms make them smellier than the roomettes? I like the idea of having one bathroom we could all access plus the extra space but it doesn't seem essential.
 
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I research online then talk to an AGR agent when booking.Even as a single I was seeing fam bedroom, roomettes and bedrooms. Maybe something has changed. I did my bedroom from SEA-CHI for my Aug 31, 2019 trip about 7 months out. No issues and lowest bedroom price ive ever booked for a ld train.
I meant that if I search for 6 travelers, it will not ever give me information about family bedrooms because it thinks the 6 of us can't find in the only family bedroom on each train. It will not let me lower the quantity to 1 bedroom. Apparently if I search for 4 travelers, it gives me a more mysterious partial information. Since my ideal option is one bedroom and one family bedroom, if I search for 2 travelers, (1 adult, 1 child), it will tell me about the rooms even if there is only one left in the bucket. But I'm nervous about making the real reservation in multiple parts - I'd like to be able to have all 6 of us on one reservation, especially if we end up in 3 roomettes since my oldest will be 16, not over 18.
 
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When I made reservations for my first cross country trip, I made those reservations 11 months in advance. I generally started phoning right after midnight eastern time. There were days that the reservations had not loaded until 3 or 4am eastern time. Things may have changed.
Did the reservations sometimes show up at midnight Eastern?
 

pennyk

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Did the reservations sometimes show up at midnight Eastern?
Yes they did sometimes, but not every time. I had about 4 separate reservations, and made each reservation as soon as I could. I spoke to an agent each time, and found all agents were helpful. This was 10 years ago and things have changed.
 

Sauve850

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I understood what you were saying about trying to make a res. for the six folks. Probably easier to make a phone call.
 

Rasputin

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Do the bathrooms in the bedrooms make them smellier than the roomettes? I like the idea of having one bathroom we could all access plus the extra space but it doesn't seem essential.
Maybe you know this already and I just misunderstood your post, but the family bedroom does not have a toilet or shower. The regular bedrooms do have their own toilet and shower.
 

Acela150

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I understood what you were saying about trying to make a res. for the six folks. Probably easier to make a phone call.
I agree with this. By calling you'll get an agent who can hopefully put you all together. The new agents in Florida are absolutely clueless on how to do this. This was one of the first things I learned that was more advanced during my time at the call center.
 
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Maybe you know this already and I just misunderstood your post, but the family bedroom does not have a toilet or shower. The regular bedrooms do have their own toilet and shower.
Yes, I understand that the bedroom is the only one with the bathroom included. At most, we'd get one of each of those.
 
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I just looked (1830 PDT Wednesday) at MSP to PDX on #27 and June 28 is the furthest out I can see on AmSnag
Edit: I'll add that the Coast Starlight #11 PDX>LAX shows on AmSnag out to June 30.
I can see through the 30th on both Amtrak's website and AmSnag with exit at Glacier.
 
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Do agents answer the phones 24 hours a day?
Found out my own answer - they open at 4am Central. If I didn't have a cold and plans for tomorrow, I might stay awake another hour and 38 minutes. As it is, I'll take my chances with what's available whenever I wake up. Worst case scenario, I give up on July 2nd and wake up at 4am Saturday and get July 3rd tickets.
 

F900ElCapitan

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You are pretty close on your original question. The real trigger for the system to update and show the next day is midnight pacific time, the whole system has to be on the next day. Then it takes about an hour for all the inventory to load. Also for July 4th, the Seattle section #7 will definitely have two full sleepers and therefore two family rooms, the Portland section #27 will have at least one and if they do the same thing as this year, they’ll also have two.

From what I’ve observed (and I might be off here), if a train splits, you can't book the split train (27 in this case) until 11 months from the split date, ie 11 months from the Spokane departure date. 422 can have the same results if booking from prior to San Antonio to somewhere after San Antonio.

Also, at least on the regular reservation line, they were open 24/7 when I made my reservations last October. I think the AGR line does shut down at night. If you have an AGR account, the AGR line agents seem much more knowledgeable and I’ve found them to be more helpful too. So waiting to call when they open might be beneficial, but then again your talking July 4th so demand might be higher and worth the call in the middle of the night.
 
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You are pretty close on your original question. The real trigger for the system to update and show the next day is midnight pacific time, the whole system has to be on the next day. Then it takes about an hour for all the inventory to load. Also for July 4th, the Seattle section #7 will definitely have two full sleepers and therefore two family rooms, the Portland section #27 will have at least one and if they do the same thing as this year, they’ll also have two.

From what I’ve observed (and I might be off here), if a train splits, you can't book the split train (27 in this case) until 11 months from the split date, ie 11 months from the Spokane departure date. 422 can have the same results if booking from prior to San Antonio to somewhere after San Antonio.

Also, at least on the regular reservation line, they were open 24/7 when I made my reservations last October. I think the AGR line does shut down at night. If you have an AGR account, the AGR line agents seem much more knowledgeable and I’ve found them to be more helpful too. So waiting to call when they open might be beneficial, but then again your talking July 4th so demand might be higher and worth the call in the middle of the night.
I called the AGR line, which must be why it didn't open until 4am Central. My agent was very helpful so I'm glad I went that route. The price I got at 8am was the same as what was listed when 7/2 tickets appeared at 2:15 Central. I ended up getting the Portland car and now that shows up as sold out so I'm guessing they are only opening up one sleeper for now? Either way, I got my holiday weekend family car for non-exorbitant prices so I'll sleep better knowing I'm set.
 

F900ElCapitan

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I called the AGR line, which must be why it didn't open until 4am Central. My agent was very helpful so I'm glad I went that route. The price I got at 8am was the same as what was listed when 7/2 tickets appeared at 2:15 Central. I ended up getting the Portland car and now that shows up as sold out so I'm guessing they are only opening up one sleeper for now? Either way, I got my holiday weekend family car for non-exorbitant prices so I'll sleep better knowing I'm set.
Perfect!! And the sleeping well for the next 11 months is the best part! I know my booking early has helped me sleep well too. Congratulations, I hope you enjoy your trip it sounds wonderful!
 

jis

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Perfect!! And the sleeping well for the next 11 months is the best part! I know my booking early has helped me sleep well too. Congratulations, I hope you enjoy your trip it sounds wonderful!
Gives an additional meaning to the phrase "Sleeper Reservation" :)
 
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