Getting on at a later station than the ticket says

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TrainTraveler792

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We have tickets on the LSL from Poughkeepsie to Chicago. As it stands, we are going to be an hour closer to Albany than to Poughkeepsie the day of departure. We have yet to get a clear answer from an Amtrak customer service rep on whether or not we can get on at Albany instead without reissuing the ticket (at a big jump in $$). We are traveling by sleeper, not coach.

I feel like it wouldn't be a problem since we are getting on at the next stop and not an earlier stop (and the fares would be the same anyway). We travel a lot on Amtrak but haven't had this one come up for us before! Does anyone have any experience with this?
 

Trogdor

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This will not be a problem if you have a paper-value ticket issued. Once the Lake Shore converts to e-ticketing later this year, then absolutely yes you will need to change your ticket before boarding.

That said, you should be able to change your reservation without paying more. You'll need to call an agent and have them do it, but you should be able to protect your same fare bucket on the shorter segment.
 

EB_OBS

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This will not be a problem if you have a paper-value ticket issued. Once the Lake Shore converts to e-ticketing later this year, then absolutely yes you will need to change your ticket before boarding.
This is very good information.

It's my understanding that when e-ticketing is live, whenever a ticket isn't lifted, per Amtrak policy, two stations or two hours later the space will be returned to inventory.

With e-ticketing and the e-ticketing device this system will be much more fluid and in-real-time. Much more so than before e-ticketing.
 

RampWidget

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We have tickets on the LSL from Poughkeepsie to Chicago. As it stands, we are going to be an hour closer to Albany than to Poughkeepsie the day of departure. We have yet to get a clear answer from an Amtrak customer service rep on whether or not we can get on at Albany instead without reissuing the ticket (at a big jump in $). We are traveling by sleeper, not coach.

I feel like it wouldn't be a problem since we are getting on at the next stop and not an earlier stop (and the fares would be the same anyway). We travel a lot on Amtrak but haven't had this one come up for us before! Does anyone have any experience with this?
One thing you should avoid is to not change the reservation at all, then attempt to board at ALB with your original tickets from POU. It's likely when the train departs POU that you would be considered a "no-show" at POU and risk having your entire reservation cancelled from that point on, plus if that happens, your accomodation charges are non-refundable.
 

Trogdor

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We have tickets on the LSL from Poughkeepsie to Chicago. As it stands, we are going to be an hour closer to Albany than to Poughkeepsie the day of departure. We have yet to get a clear answer from an Amtrak customer service rep on whether or not we can get on at Albany instead without reissuing the ticket (at a big jump in $). We are traveling by sleeper, not coach.

I feel like it wouldn't be a problem since we are getting on at the next stop and not an earlier stop (and the fares would be the same anyway). We travel a lot on Amtrak but haven't had this one come up for us before! Does anyone have any experience with this?
One thing you should avoid is to not change the reservation at all, then attempt to board at ALB with your original tickets from POU. It's likely when the train departs POU that you would be considered a "no-show" at POU and risk having your entire reservation cancelled from that point on, plus if that happens, your accomodation charges are non-refundable.
To be clear, if eticketing is not live on the Lake Shore by the time of your trip, then as long as you print out your tickets ahead of time, you'll be fine. The biggest risk then is that a conductor might see you as a no-show and resell your space to an on-board upgrade.

Still, if you know you're going to be boarding in Albany instead of Poughkeepsie, it's best to have your reservation say so.
 

amamba

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This will not be a problem if you have a paper-value ticket issued. Once the Lake Shore converts to e-ticketing later this year, then absolutely yes you will need to change your ticket before boarding.
This is very good information.

It's my understanding that when e-ticketing is live, whenever a ticket isn't lifted, per Amtrak policy, two stations or two hours later the space will be returned to inventory.

With e-ticketing and the e-ticketing device this system will be much more fluid and in-real-time. Much more so than before e-ticketing.
Do you think this will be the case on the acela as well? I might need to rethink my strategy of always booking my tickets to/from BOS and maybe do RTE instead if I am not going to be boarding until Providence.
 

Blackwolf

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I don't know about you, but I would not be able to be comfortable at all without having the reservation (especially in Sleeper) reflect the plans for my travels. If my plans suddenly shifted so that the stations on my reservation was not the station I wanted to board/detrain at, I'd shift the reservation to reflect this. And if, no matter the attempts made the agent would not allow this shift in reservation without a substantial change in price for the negative, then I would not change!

Imagine showing up at Albany to board, and suddenly being denied because your room was resold due to No-Show and having your entire reservation cancelled without refund! Now, not only are you out your trip without any course of action for refund, but you are denied any passage and need to buy a coach ticket for the walk-up fare!! :excl:

Nope, not for me. If my plans change, the reservation changes. Otherwise, I will go out of my way to make the stations listed for the original reservation. Its just good business!
 

Swadian Hardcore

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Has anyone considered why the OP need to depart from ALB instead of POU? He says he has ridden Amtrak before, so wh does he run into this problem now?
 

Trogdor

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Do you think this will be the case on the acela as well? I might need to rethink my strategy of always booking my tickets to/from BOS and maybe do RTE instead if I am not going to be boarding until Providence.
It will apply to ALL Amtrak reservations, including those with Thruway bus segments that can be eticketed (such as in California; not sure if all Thruways will eventually be eticketed, or only certain ones).
 

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Imagine showing up at Albany to board, and suddenly being denied because your room was resold due to No-Show and having your entire reservation cancelled without refund!Now, not only are you out your trip without any course of action for refund, but you are denied any passage and need to buy a coach ticket for the walk-up fare!!
I have a hard time imagining a conductor reselling a room because I've never seen it happen among dozens of trips on the SL and TE, let alone immediately after departure. Nor have I ever had anyone prevent me from boarding at the next stop. Amtrak's current rule for no-shows is two stops or two hours (whichever is longer) so I don't see the problem. Maybe when they roll out e-ticketing they will do away with those rules, but until then I'm not that worried. Has anyone ever had this problem on an LD train?
 

the_traveler

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If you notice the rules for a no-show is that

... 2 hours or 2 stops later ...
The VERY NEXT stop on the LSL after POU is ALB, and it is less than 2 hours away! So unless there is a derailment on the line, or it is really delayed, it would not meet either case and would not be considered a "no-show" and could mot be resold!

I'd say leave it as it is!
 

jis

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Frankly the amount of song and dance that one has to typically go through to get an Amtrak Conductor off his/her duff to do an en-route upgrade to Sleeper, it would be bordering on astonishing if one is found to be swift enough to actually sell an upgrade against a no-show at POU by ALB. But if I know I am boarding at ALB I'd just as soon notify Amtrak of that fact.
 

Ispolkom

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I wouldn't worry about it. Last fall I had tickets Stanley-St. Paul on #8. I boarded at the next station east, Minot, even though the station was supposedly not open. It saved my sister a couple of hours of driving, and no, the conductor hadn't sold my roomette.

Of course, the prudent thing to do would be to change the reservation.
 
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jis

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Has anyone considered why the OP need to depart from ALB instead of POU?
As it stands, we are going to be an hour closer to Albany than to Poughkeepsie the day of departure.
I know, but why did he book his ticket before finding out the closer station?
Seems like a pointless fishing expedition to me, sort f thing that a TSA agent would indulge in for example :p . Why should you or anyone care? That information is unnecessary to answer the immediate question at hand. ;)
 

me_little_me

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We have tickets on the LSL from Poughkeepsie to Chicago. As it stands, we are going to be an hour closer to Albany than to Poughkeepsie the day of departure. We have yet to get a clear answer from an Amtrak customer service rep on whether or not we can get on at Albany instead without reissuing the ticket (at a big jump in $). We are traveling by sleeper, not coach.

I feel like it wouldn't be a problem since we are getting on at the next stop and not an earlier stop (and the fares would be the same anyway). We travel a lot on Amtrak but haven't had this one come up for us before! Does anyone have any experience with this?
One thing you should avoid is to not change the reservation at all, then attempt to board at ALB with your original tickets from POU. It's likely when the train departs POU that you would be considered a "no-show" at POU and risk having your entire reservation cancelled from that point on, plus if that happens, your accomodation charges are non-refundable.
Not true. Read the Amtrak Standards Manual

If you notice the rules for a no-show is that

... 2 hours or 2 stops later ...
The VERY NEXT stop on the LSL after POU is ALB, and it is less than 2 hours away! So unless there is a derailment on the line, or it is really delayed, it would not meet either case and would not be considered a "no-show" and could mot be resold!

I'd say leave it as it is!
Also untrue. Here is the actual words from Amtrak's Standards Manual (P8-126/7)

c) For the purpose of this rule, no-show Sleeping

Car space is defined as space not occupied within

two hours or within one stop from the boarding

point indicated on the manifest, whichever is longer.

Of course this doesn't guarantee that the conductor has read or follows Amtrak's rules. It is always best to update the reservation information.

And, of course, the rules may change when eTicketing goes into effect.

An interesting situation would be on the Crescent where prices have been cheaper from Anniston, AL heading north than from the next station, Atlanta on the same train. Theoretically, one could save money by buying the room from Anniston but not boarding until Atlanta.
 
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RampWidget

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We have tickets on the LSL from Poughkeepsie to Chicago. As it stands, we are going to be an hour closer to Albany than to Poughkeepsie the day of departure. We have yet to get a clear answer from an Amtrak customer service rep on whether or not we can get on at Albany instead without reissuing the ticket (at a big jump in $). We are traveling by sleeper, not coach.

I feel like it wouldn't be a problem since we are getting on at the next stop and not an earlier stop (and the fares would be the same anyway). We travel a lot on Amtrak but haven't had this one come up for us before! Does anyone have any experience with this?
One thing you should avoid is to not change the reservation at all, then attempt to board at ALB with your original tickets from POU. It's likely when the train departs POU that you would be considered a "no-show" at POU and risk having your entire reservation cancelled from that point on, plus if that happens, your accomodation charges are non-refundable.
Not true. Read the Amtrak Standards Manual

If you notice the rules for a no-show is that

... 2 hours or 2 stops later ...
The VERY NEXT stop on the LSL after POU is ALB, and it is less than 2 hours away! So unless there is a derailment on the line, or it is really delayed, it would not meet either case and would not be considered a "no-show" and could mot be resold!

I'd say leave it as it is!
Also untrue. Here is the actual words from Amtrak's Standards Manual (P8-126/7)

c) For the purpose of this rule, no-show Sleeping

Car space is defined as space not occupied within

two hours or within one stop from the boarding

point indicated on the manifest, whichever is longer.

Of course this doesn't guarantee that the conductor has read or follows Amtrak's rules. It is always best to update the reservation information.

And, of course, the rules may change when eTicketing goes into effect.

An interesting situation would be on the Crescent where prices have been cheaper from Anniston, AL heading north than from the next station, Atlanta on the same train. Theoretically, one could save money by buying the room from Anniston but not boarding until Atlanta.
Thanks for clearing that up. I must have left my Amtrak Standards Manual in my locker.
 

SubwayNut

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All in Coach: I have boarded multiple times at a station later from my ticket's origination point since I already had my paper ticket issued. This has included Rome instead of Syracuse, a different Buffalo Station (on my last trip got off at Exchange Street got back on at Depew in less than 24 hours on the same treservation), mixing up the Boston Stops.

I learned my lesson that if I might get on at a later stop to make sure I have paper tickets printed in advance, or change my reservation. Once I tried to board a train with just a reservation at a later stop and not a ticket (Albany instead of Springfield for the LSL, that's a LONG story) and remember it costing me more since my reservation had gone into 'cancellation' and I lost my NARP discount, and was required to pay the difference.

I hope with eTicketing Amtrak publishes a clear list about this such as station's considered the same for ticketing purposes (like the three Boston stops, Buffalo-Depew/Exchange) and what the rules are to catching the train at the next station. It doesn't seem fare to pushes people who decided to board at a suburban station farther down the route, already having a ticket from the downtown terminal. I can think of tons of instances where this will start to come up. Newark and New York Penn also come to mind (less so) but for example if I was in lower Manhattan trying to catch a train south towards D.C. I would hop on PATH to Newark instead of the subway up to Penn Station (faster when all the travel times are considered) just to catch the the train there.
 
T

TrainTraveler792

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Has anyone considered why the OP need to depart from ALB instead of POU?
As it stands, we are going to be an hour closer to Albany than to Poughkeepsie the day of departure.
I know, but why did he book his ticket before finding out the closer station?
Well, it was my wife who booked it and didn't realize until a few days ago that we would be closer to Albany than Poughkeepsie (the original plan was leaving from home - closer to Poughkeepsie, college visits took us closer to Albany. Calls to customer reps to see about changing boarding station to Albany always ended up with "yes, we can change it but you'll pay more money", an answer that didn't change from one rep to another. End result was just driving south to Poughkeepsie anyway and seeing Albany from the car and the train.

Now you know :blush:
 
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