Historical fixed price zone AGR awards

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Sidney

OBS Chief
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Jul 12, 2020
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That's a tiny amount of good news, especially as we come into the summer travel season. Of course prices will continue to be high until they can somehow magically add more equipment to each train. I tend to avoid summer long distance travel, saving my points for off season. I sort of miss the fixed price zones that were available for any open room. I did a lot of NYC-Florida trips to stay in the 15K single zone for sleepers. But those days are long gone.
Right before the zone era ended in 2016 I did El Paso to Fort Lauderdale on 20,000 points. Sometimes we would drive to Toledo from Central Pa to do 15k to The west coast.
 
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Right before the zone era ended in 2016 I did El Paso to Fort Lauderdale on 20,000 points. Sometimes we would drive to Toledo from Central Pa to do 15k to The west coast.

Wouldn't that have been two zones for 20K? There was a zone line in Denver. Still a huge bargain.

For anyone here young enough to not remember the zones, here's a map:

z1.png

And here's the *fixed* prices:

z2.png

Note that the rooms were the price for *two* people. They were for any room you could see for $$ on the standard reservation system, except for a few holiday blackout days.

Those were the days...
 

Bob Dylan

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Wouldn't that have been two zones for 20K? There was a zone line in Denver. Still a huge bargain.

For anyone here young enough to not remember the zones, here's a map:

View attachment 28508

And here's the *fixed* prices:

View attachment 28509

Note that the rooms were the price for *two* people. They were for any room you could see for $$ on the standard reservation system, except for a few holiday blackout days.

Those were the days...
You forgot about the "Loophole" Trips where you could catch the Train @ a Zone Boundry ( ie Wolf Point,El Paso,Denver,Toledo etc) and return to your starting Point on a 1 One Zone 15,000 Point Trip.

The Longest such trip was the "Slidell ( LA.) Loophole".

Those were the Days indeed!😊
 
Last edited:

Sidney

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
870
Wouldn't that have been two zones for 20K? There was a zone line in Denver. Still a huge bargain.

For anyone here young enough to not remember the zones, here's a map:

View attachment 28508

And here's the *fixed* prices:

View attachment 28509

Note that the rooms were the price for *two* people. They were for any room you could see for $$ on the standard reservation system, except for a few holiday blackout days.

Those were the days...
Yes two zones. Only 5000 points more than starting in Toledo
 

pennyk

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As part of my first cross country trip in 2010, I did a one zone bedroom reward from Denver to Seattle. What a bargain as I got to travel on the California Zephyr and Coast Starlight (with the PPC and wine tasting)!
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
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I got to ride so many amazing trains because of those reward zones! I took a 3-zone reward from LA to Portland, to Chicago, to NYC back when there was free wine tastings on the Starlight, Builder, and Lake Shore!

I took a few “loophole trips” as well to/ from Birmingham AL. I could also board in Atlanta and do a 1 zone from Atlanta to Florida.
 

SubwayNut

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My best AGR reception was PHX-FLG (started the trip at the airport surprised the transfer was included)-LAX (where a friend joined me) -PDX-MSP (where I got off) and the reward was to Columbus, Wisconsin where my friend transferred to coach to continue to Chicago and New York City (which I did after stopping in MKE and CHI as well).
 
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My best AGR redemption deal on the old system was a trip to Miami with my wife in November 2015 just before they changed the program. Round trip in a roomette for two for 30K points.

My best earning deal was a trip I took to Philadelphia in January 2016 right before they eliminated the 100 point minimum earning where you essentially got bonus points (including TQP) for tickets less than $50. I did a round trip coach Baltimore to Philadelphia (both tickets were under $50), and took a short excursion on the Keystones to Paoli ($6). I spent about $100 and earned 400 points. Also, when I rode home from work on Amtrak, my $17 - $25 tickets each earned 100 points, so if I rode Amtrak home 2 days a week, I was earning 800 points a month. And sometimes, I'd ride down in the morning on 67, another 100 points. My commuting alone would get me halfway to Select Plus.
 
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You forgot about the "Loophole" Trips where you could catch the Train @ a Zone Boundry ( ie Wolf Point,El Paso,Denver,Toledo etc) and return to your starting Point on a 1 One Zone 15,000 Point Trip.

The Longest such trip was the "Slidell ( LA.) Loophole".

Those were the Days indeed!😊
I took advantage of the Slidell loophole trip in 2009. Good times!!!
 

daybeers

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I've always been disappointed I didn't get into a regular Amtrak user until around 2016. In CT, the New Haven-Springfield Shuttle (now the Hartford Line & Valley Flyer) had cheap fares and close together stations and I could've easily gotten many points. Oh well, credit card works for me :)

These sleeper prices are great.
 

Green Maned Lion

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I probably wrote a trip report, but way back in like 2009 or something, I booked the Omaha to somewhere in Wisconsin loophole that took you from Omaha to Sacramento, to Portland, and to wisconsin, combined with sleeper tickets to and from Chicago and coach tickets to the loophole points.

Whelp, the zephyr got cancelled so customer service in Chicago put me on the Chief in sleeper the whole way and refunded the coach tickets. So I rode in sleeper to LAX, boarded the Starlight, and they cancelled the builder; I was friendly with a forum member who worked for Amtrak at the time, and he helped me get placed in a Seattle hotel on Amtraks dime. I rode that, explained to the conductor that I was really going to Chicago, and he told me to just ride my roomette the rest of the way and didn’t punch my coach ticket, which I got a refund on.

Fun.
 

Railspike

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Nov 29, 2020
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Houston
Wife and I flew to Williston to catch the EB to Wolf Point. Williston to Wolf Point in coach (paid for coach). Coach was oversold and the Conductor told us to go to our bedroom when we boarded in Williston. Points (bedroom) from Wolf Point to Portland on EB, Portland to LAX on CS, LAX to El Paso on SL . I think that was 4 nights and 4-5 days. 12 meals? 1 zone. What would this have been, 25,000 points?

No wonder they changed reward travel. But it was sure fun while it lasted.
 
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