Why should they lose more money by lowering the prices on the few seats they're selling?I find it puzzling that there are (apparently) so few lower bucket fares available these days.
My guess is they haven’t modified their pricing algorithm and this is how it is reacting to this highly unusual situation that was unanticipated and not accounted for...
Short-term bookings will stay low until non-essential travel is allowed again. For bookings in the next few weeks, Amtrak could offer absurdly low rates and they still likely wouldn't get many takers, not to mention it'd be irresponsible to encourage non-essential travel for close-in bookings at this time.I wasn’t implying they should lose money...If future bookings are at an all time low - I would think they’d want to start adjusting some fares to reverse that.
This seems to me like a sort of price gouging: Amtrak waives cancellations fees ... then raises prices so that many or most folks will have to pay more (perhaps a LOT more) to buy tickets for the same itinerary later.So I just followed through and booked our August trip to Cali on United for 49 bucks each way. I really wanted to take the train but it’s even more expensive than the fares I was complaining about at Christmas. Aug 6th $3941 one way Galesburg to Sacramento for 2 adults, a 2 year old and a ”free“ infant. Close to $7900RT for a bedroom or just under $5000 for the family room. There’s nothing first class about Amtrak that warrants those prices.
How does Amtrak plan on salvaging any of the summer at these rates when the airlines are selling the same dates for 75% less. People are stuck indoors with time on their hands planning late summer trips. Amtrak will not be a part of those trips. This mismanagement irks me as much as anything else Anderson or the bean counters have done to destroy ridership. Are they truly in a bubble or just don’t care?
I get the reasons posted above by others for not having a true fire sale. Possible refunds, etc but these fares are not appropriate now or at anytime by this version of Amtrak.