Guest Rewards Benefits

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daveyb99

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Messages
910
Location
Grapevine, TX
Got my Guest Rewards Select package yesterday. And again, it contained coupons for "one-class upgrades" and "10% discount", in addition to "Club Acela single-day pass"

Now, please explain to me how any of these three items have any benefit to me in Texas.

(1) the upgrade is not applicable to sleepers, even when the value is LESS than the Acela upgrade advertised.

(2) the 10% discount is not applicable to sleepers, even when it might be $5.oo

(3) I already get the 10% rail fare discount via NARP, but the coupons are heavily date/availability restricted.

AMTRAK needs to rethink AGR coupons, and develop a program which targets regional usage and geographic location of the member, and has value for those of us who rarely if ever get to the NEC.

How about any of these:

(1) discounts on sleepers, even if only 10%

(2) complimentary upgrade to sleepers at, say, 50% off, when purchased onboard (the space is not sold anyway)

(3) discount on Superliner meals and snackbar

(4) complimentary upgrade roomette to bedroom

I could think of more, but anyone have comments?
 
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AG1

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 8, 2018
Messages
800
Well written daveyb99 :)

Please forward your suggestions to Amtrak headquarters in Washington,DC.
 

rrdude

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
3,704
Location
Baltimore/DC Area
Doesn't it get you a 25% bonus on all miles you travel, while in the Select category?

I agree, the top tier "Amenities" are kinda weak, unless you are in the NEC, even then they could be upped a bit.

I'd love to see free upgrades to Acela, "space available", or something like that.
 

the_traveler

Engineer
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
26,005
Location
Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
I very much agree with your points! Someone in California can easily reach Select or Select+ status. Unless they travel to the NEC, what good really are the upgrade certificates? :huh: And it's true that they could use the Club Acela passes at a Metropolitan Lounge, the nearest one is in Portland, OR! The only big benefit is the 25% or 50% bonus! :rolleyes:

Even if you live on the NEC, you may not get full use of the benefits easily. I am Select, but I can not easily use the upgrade certificates on AE easily - since AE does not stop at KIN! :rolleyes:
 

saxman

Engineer
AU Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
2,519
Location
Dallas, Texas
Several years ago, AGR called me to conduct a phone survey. I pretty much said what you said. The amenities are only good for people that live in the NEC. I live in Texas. I would like to see whenever an agent pull up my reservation on Arrow, it should also say I'm Select or S. Plus. That way, they know we're their elite most faithful customers. It'd also be cool if they could print that on the ticket as well, like the airlines do. Maybe pre-boarding privilages at the busy stations or something like that.
 

the_traveler

Engineer
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
26,005
Location
Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
One extra benefit I had experience with this morning is that I wanted to make a connection between 2 trains (with more than 2 hours between them) on the NEC. They only showed MET-STL via WAS, but I wanted to go MET-STL via NYP. Even when I put in departing after 1 PM, it said "error" and gave me the next morning via WAS.

By calling the Select line at AGR, they worked around that - and got me to go via NYP! :cool:
 

Roadfool

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
96
Location
Racking up AGR points somewhere between Fresno and
I very much agree with your points! Someone in California can easily reach Select or Select+ status. Unless they travel to the NEC, what good really are the upgrade certificates?
They're not completely useless if you live in Southern California. The dollar value is nowhere near as great as using them for an Acela upgrade, but business class on the Surfliners is pretty nice compared to riding in coach, especially when the trains are busy.

But I do agree with the general idea that the benefits are weak for most of the country. I love the OP's suggestion of discounted upgrades. Even a 10% sleeper discount would make me take an extra paid trip just to take advantage of it.
 

John Bredin

OBS Chief
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
892
Location
suburban Chicago (Deerfield)
While the amenities are probably of greatest use on the NEC, it's a bit of an exaggeration to say they're only useful there.

There's a number of long-distance and corridor routes in the Midwest centered on Chicago, and:

(1) many of the corridor trains have business class, so a one-class upgrade would be of some use to a Midwestern traveler. Admittedly, BC isn't much more than coach on Midwest trains, so you're not getting the most value out of the upgrade compared with a BC-First Class upgrade on Acela, but less useful isn't useless.

(2) Chicago Union Station has a Metropolitan Lounge, so a lounge pass would be of use. Considering how many people (a) kvetch about Amtrak's general waiting areas at CUS, and/or (b) ask where they can check bags at CUS between trains, :lol: a pass for the Met Lounge should be of particular use to either a Midwesterner or a LD coach traveler changing trains at Chicago.
 
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RRrich

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2008
Messages
1,543
Location
STL
One nice benefit of Select status is the Select Reservation line. Less waiting.

I just lost my select status as most of tickets have been gotten with AGR points from my AGR Master-card. Without thinking (my usual modus operands) I called the select line and got my ticket.
 
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Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,641
Location
Austin Texas
Id suggest that Select members be able to utilize the CAs and Metro Lounges without the coupons just like Select Plus and when traveling coach and biz class!(Membership card-BTW-the key ring name tags are cheesy, bring back luggage tags!) Another thought is upgrades to sleepers (when available) for the low bucket price! Also AGR might consider giving the double or triple bonus points as RAIL POINTS instead of bonus points to Select and Select +. I am select, will probably never be Select+ since I live in texas and am retired, only ride trains for fun! :D

Last year I mailed my coupons to members in the NE, probably will again (no begging traveler! :lol: ) after my trip[ to PHL for NTD! I realize the NEC is the priority but still there is a growing ridership in the MidWest and West and Amtrak/AGR needs to upgrade, giving points for shoes and flowers is OK if you like that sort of thing but we that dont travel on business have to foot our own way and should get more for this loyality! ;)
 
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RRrich

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2008
Messages
1,543
Location
STL
Also AGR might consider giving the double or triple bonus points as RAIL POINTS instead of bonus points to Select and Select +. I am select, will probably never be Select+ since I live in texas and am retired, only ride trains for fun! :D
Give the points as RAIL POINTS to everyone, let them get to select. OK not to folks that live in the NE j/k
 

daveyb99

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Messages
910
Location
Grapevine, TX
I have sent my (modified) note to AMTRAK. I will report back if they reply.

I will amend my initial statements concerning upgrades for those route outside NEC that do have business class - I am accustomed to only Superliner travel without such service.

And one thing I forgot to mention: the coupons have my name and AGR number preprinted. I guess in an attempt to limited transferring to others. (which is fine by me, it is their reward)

Any other ideas out there, please send them to AMTRAK ....
 
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jmbgeg

Engineer
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Messages
2,148
Location
spokane
Got my Guest Rewards Select package yesterday. And again, it contained coupons for "one-class upgrades" and "10% discount", in addition to "Club Acela single-day pass"
Now, please explain to me how any of these three items have any benefit to me in Texas.

(1) the upgrade is not applicable to sleepers, even when the value is LESS than the Acela upgrade advertised.

(2) the 10% discount is not applicable to sleepers, even when it might be $5.oo

(3) I already get the 10% rail fare discount via NARP, but the coupons are heavily date/availability restricted.

AMTRAK needs to rethink AGR coupons, and develop a program which targets regional usage and geographic location of the member, and has value for those of us who rarely if ever get to the NEC.

How about any of these:

(1) discounts on sleepers, even if only 10%

(2) complimentary upgrade to sleepers at, say, 50% off, when purchased onboard (the space is not sold anyway)

(3) discount on Superliner meals and snackbar

(4) complimentary upgrade roomette to bedroom

I could think of more, but anyone have comments?
I wonder if anyone on the board knows what percentage of paid coach passenger trips and sleeper passenger trips is comprised of Select and Select + travel?
 

DowneasterPassenger

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 9, 2009
Messages
344
Location
Portland Maine
Here in northern California, I've used the companion coupons, the Select+ special reservation number, and of course love the bonus points.

I'm going to take a trip back east so I can enjoy the lounges and the one class upgrades.

I have pulled out my upgrade coupon and joked around with the conductor about upgrading to "business class" on the San Joaquin. He said sure, I can ride with the engineer! Too bad he was only kidding.
 

amamba

Engineer
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Messages
4,082
Location
Providence
And one thing I forgot to mention: the coupons have my name and AGR number preprinted. I guess in an attempt to limited transferring to others. (which is fine by me, it is their reward)
Actually if you look at the back, you will see that they ARE transferable! Supposedly they are now printed with your name and number so that you can't sell them on ebay or the like as they are not supposed to be sold. I asked about buying some earlier this year and that is what the folks on this forum told me.

Any extra upgrade coupons or club acela passes, I will be happy to take them off your hands :D
 
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