Issues with Amtrak reservation system

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amydeg

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 27, 2022
Messages
15
Location
San Diego
Be aware that there is no longer a baggage car on 448 so the only way for bags to be checked to Boston is for them to go on 48 to NYP then the overnight NER fka the Night Owl or Twilight Shoreliner which is not running at present and has no official date for its resumption.
Is it possible that they could go via another route, for instance Chicago to DC and then onto Boston?
 

thully

OBS Chief
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
647
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
Is it possible that they could go via another route, for instance Chicago to DC and then onto Boston?
Amtrak sent my bag via 448 when I took 30 from Toledo to Springfield, MA via DC (which I did to board at TOL at a more sane time) 10ish years ago. Though if you want to do the reverse, you’d definitely have to check the bag before 30 leaves, and you may not get your bag immediately when you arrive depending on when the next connecting Regional with baggage arrives.
 

niemi24s

Engineer
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,841
Amtrak sent my bag via 448 when I took 30 from Toledo to Springfield, MA via DC (which I did to board at TOL at a more sane time) 10ish years ago. Though if you want to do the reverse, you’d definitely have to check the bag before 30 leaves, and you may not get your bag immediately when you arrive depending on when the next connecting Regional with baggage arrives.
I'm afraid doing this would require the assistance of Professor Peabody and his Wayback Machine.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
5,979
Location
Washington State

I forgot about the baggage car being dropped from 448/449.

If the overnight Regional with the baggage car is running, the bag would be available the next day. If it isn't running yet, hopefully no baggage for BOS would be accepted, but I am not sure San Diego would be very aware of that. If they had BOS tags, they just might tag it.
 

amydeg

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 27, 2022
Messages
15
Location
San Diego

I forgot about the baggage car being dropped from 448/449.

If the overnight Regional with the baggage car is running, the bag would be available the next day. If it isn't running yet, hopefully no baggage for BOS would be accepted, but I am not sure San Diego would be very aware of that. If they had BOS tags, they just might tag it.
According to the booking site, it is running with checked baggage during the last week of July, so I think I'll be ok. And if I take the Texas Eagle instead of the Southwest Chief, my baggage would actually arrive before I do, which would be perfect.
 

niemi24s

Engineer
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
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IIRC, the only way to get checked baggage into BOS was by using NER 66. And NER 66 does not now appear to be running anytime during this or next year.

The fact that NER 66 shows up on the booking site with checked baggage as a service during the last week of July (and so on for the next nine months) is negated by the sold out which is Amtraks subtle way of telling you the train's not really running - yet.
 
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amydeg

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 27, 2022
Messages
15
Location
San Diego
IIRC, the only way to get checked baggage into BOS was by using NER 66. And NER 66 does not now appear to be running anytime during this or next year.

The fact that NER 66 shows up on the booking site with checked baggage as a service during the last week of July (and so on for the next nine months) is negated by the sold out which is Amtraks subtle way of telling you the train's not really running - yet.
Got it. That certainly complicates things.
 

amydeg

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 27, 2022
Messages
15
Location
San Diego
It is also entirely within the realm of possibilities that they will reinstate a Baggage facility of some sort on 449 in a possible mid-July equipment shuffle. We'll have to wait and see what happens.
I was just on the phone with a service rep and she confirmed that there's no checked baggage to Boston. I would love it if they decided to change that, but I think I better plan for it not to be in service. Worst case scenario I suppose is that I pay the excess carry on baggage fee and put the suitcase in the luggage rack.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
1,385
I'm chuckling to myself at the reservation system - more as a reminder of a friend who worked at the ResDesk at Eastern Airlines and looked at interesting bookings as a challenge/puzzle since this was in the days of regulated fares, even international if I understand her correctly.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
5,979
Location
Washington State
Okay, here is a new one. I am booking the Amtrak legs of my Everett to New York via Canada trip in the Fall. I did a few "shadow" reservations for the NFL-NYP leg to get fares. Turned out I couldn't get a Senior fare on it for some reason in Business Class (it'd give it to me in Coach for a whopping $6). Then I recalled I had a 10% off Select discount coupon, so I tried to figure out how to use that, which is really counterintuitive. You don't put it in on the discounts page, I discovered, you have to start using the very small "advanced search" option, which is certainly not the first place I'd look to put in a discount coupon. Great user experience design, fellas.

So I got NFL-NYP booked.

Then I started on the SEA/EVR-VAC option. I was torn between going up Friday or Saturday for a Monday VIA Canadian departure, so I checked both days. I also looked at both the regular one-way and multi-city options because the "simple" one way option wasn't clear that I was getting the senior discount, so I checked it on multi-city, which is much less opaque about fare detail. Anyway, after fiddling around and checking hotel rates, I decided to go Saturday so as to save a not inexpensive hotel night.

So I went to actually book and after entering all my information, including ID for international travel, when I pressed "Continue" to go to the payment page, I got the following page:

Access Denied​

You don't have permission to access "http://tickets.amtrak.com/itd/amtrak" on this server.

So I couldn't complete that reservation.

I thought it was possibly some kind of half-assed protection against a DoS attack, since I had been running a lot of requests even though they were all several minutes apart and so looked nothing like a computer based attack. So I tried to get around it by turning on my VPN to get a different IP address. Same thing happened.

I was able to book it on the Amtrak app on my phone. Which worked fine and it is booked now, but I also find a little weird, because since the phone was on my wifi network, the request came from the same IP as the the initial request from my computer. That leads me to believe that there is an issue with the website itself. Kinda hard to sell tickets on the website when it won't.

In any case, it is booked, and Amtrak IT looks like it has struck yet again.

Off the website topic: I decided to take a small chance and book from Everett, which puts me on the last few miles of the Builder into Seattle. There's a 3:20 layover in Seattle and the Builder is often early into Seattle . I did it because the commuter bus I can walk to doesn't run on Saturday and this gives me option of parking my truck in Amtrak's long term parking at Everett station. I feel pretty safe, because if the Builder is severely late, I can have the Everett agent help me modify my ticket to just SEA-VAC and make my own way down there. The Community Transit 512 bus leaves from the Everett Station Transit Center, connects to the Link light rail at Northgate, and runs every 10 minutes.

It also turns the Everett to Vancouver trip into a 8 hour trek. It used to be 3:09 on the Cascades. I will be leaving at about the same time, the Cascades left Everett just couple of minutes before the Builder was due and got to Vancouver at 11:45 am. This time I'll get in at 5:15 pm. I hope Amtrak manages to discover some dim resemblance of competency somewhere and responds to the pressure WSDOT is putting on them to resume service.
 
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