Family bedroom cheaper than a roomette on CL?

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Danib62

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May 11, 2021
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I've been messing around a bunch with mock-reservations and one weird oddity I've been seeing is that if you're purchasing far in advance (I was looking at July 2022) a family bedroom for 1 on the CL from WAS to CHI is less expensive than a roomette. Seems like a mistake to me... Anyone ever take a family bedroom solo?
 

zephyr17

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Haven't done a family room solo, but have seen that price differential recently myself. It appeared on the Empire Builder for March 2022 when I planning a possible return on a Canada trip. Family Rooms were around 800 and Roomettes were over 1000. In the end Amtrak was so expensive that it was considerably cheaper just to do VIA round trip.

While it is explainable by roomettes being in a higher bucket, being in a lower bucket doesn't make fundamental economic sense since there is only one, maybe two, family rooms on the train. Likely one in March given current short consist practices.
 

FrensicPic

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Me personally, I would not book the family room (especially for just myself) and possibly deny the room to an actual family that may be seeking such an accommodation in the future. Same with the handicap room. Even though with my wife we could qualify for it, we really don't have the need.
Just me!
 

niemi24s

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No mistake there. With the exception of the Coast Starlight and both Silvers, a high bucket Roomette has a higher fare than low bucket Family Bedrooms and Bedrooms. It's just not an every day occurrence.

It all depends on how the buckets are aligned.
 
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zephyr17

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No mistake there. With the exception of the Coast Starlight and both Silvers, a high bucket Roomette has a higher fare than low bucket Family Bedrooms and Bedrooms. it's just not an every day occurrence.

It all depends on how the buckets are aligned.
Agreed, but with the supply of family bedrooms so limited, one or two per train, it really does not make economic sense for family rooms to remain at lower bucket when "demand" (ahem!) projections have put other accommodations in high bucket, particularly on trains where there is only one. If you sell that one at low bucket you have nothing more to sell.

It seems to make more sense to me that, even if not lockstepping them with roomettes, they should be taking their other accommodations into account. There simply is not enough family bedroom inventory to effectively yield manage them independently. Roomettes in high bucket with the one Family Bedroom in low bucket makes little sense.

Then again, I once got a roomette for cheaper than a coach seat. Absurd results happen.
 

zephyr17

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I think that's possible on the CONO.
It was on the Builder, more than 10 years ago. I had a road trip for planned for my daughter and I to go back east in August but gas prices were kind of high. About a week before we were going to leave I checked Amtrak just for the heck of it. When I saw the coach prices, which it what the website would initially display then, they were in high bucket and I figured it was a lost cause, but I clicked on rooms anyway. The roomette was in low bucket and was around $100 less than coach. I checked return fares, and, while the roomette wasn't upside down it was in mid bucket and wasn't bad, so I grabbed it.

I couldn't have driven with motels for that price.
 
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