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Large increase in Empire Builder fares?

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SANSR

Train Attendant
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
79
Location
Suffolk, VA
My brother and sister-in-law just arrived back to their physical home on the east coast after a west coast job driven by need from a couple of years ago. They came back SEA to CHI and CHI to WAS, sleeper class both legs. While I will not inquire with him about cost, I can post that these were their observations on both legs: (1) Amtrak Employees were courteous and tried to make the experience memorable, (2) the food sucked (my brother's candid reply) and (3) SEA to CHI was practically devoid of Coach Class ridership, Sleepers, on the other hand were full. Not sure about CHI to WAS, but they were on-time at all points in the journey. They will reverse course in about 30 days, heading back to the west coast Reservations were already in place before the Draconian 3-Day LD plans. The train option was more favorable to them than flying at this particular time, even though neither of them had what one would say was 'extensive' train travel experience.
 

Rasputin

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
745
Last time I checked the "coffee" in the dining car was Douwe Egberts syrup like you'd find in a retirement home. Very consistent but nothing fresh about it. Has that changed?
I recall that Amtrak served Douwe Egberts a few years ago but now I think they serve Folgers. On Acela, Amtrak serves Dunkin Donuts coffee. Corrections would be welcome.
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
My experience over the years is prices stay high if you are wanting to book a long ways out. Give it a several months and keep checking.
My thought is just wait... if prices go even higher then they are out of reach. If they don't go lower, they are still out of reach. When prices are out of reach... one should be mindful of financial responsibility. There are other places for that money! Also realize you are getting a much lowered level of quality of a product you are paying extravagantly much more for. Bottom line is this... how desperate are you and how better can you spend that money if you want to travel? Car trip has it's benefits and for much less than an overcharged rail fair in which the service may be poor, and in which you will be choking on the flex meals.

As I write this, I am mulling over cancelling my upcoming points trip which will yield a much lower standard of service than I've experience in the past. Guess I am just not that motivated!
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,291
IMHO there's no reason the OP should NOT expect high bucket sleeper fares from Seattle and Vancouver BC this coming Summer. It's the height of the Alaskan cruise season. This is especially true for train arrivals or departures from those ports on or close to the weekends as that's when a lot of cruises start and end.
FWIW, during the month of June 2021, there are 108 cruises scheduled to leave those two ports for cruises to Alaska and 5 additional ones for other regions.
But the Alaskan cruise season is over by the middle of October with only 8 cruises from those two ports in the first part of that month.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Messages
6
I did some checking and it looks like Sleeper prices increase on April 1.

3/30/21. $723 roomette
4/1/2012. $1270 roomette
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
I did some checking and it looks like Sleeper prices increase on April 1.

3/30/21. $723 roomette
4/1/2012. $1270 roomette
Ridiculous pricing! And that with the downgraded flex flop food [LOL 😰 :mad: :confused:]

Nope! Not for me! $1270 will pay for one incredible 10 day scenic joyful car trip with top notch hotels and delicious food along the way!
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
Because of reduced service, demand is high... which drives up prices. And if requested train is full they will be happy to give you a creative and scenic route... all well and fine... when considering that money grows on trees! 😰
Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 7.10.40 AM.png
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2015
Messages
13
My understanding is that Amtrak prices to demand. April 1 is the start of spring travel season, so it would make sense that the fares would go up. If you wait to book until 3-4 months out, you may get a lower fare, depending on demand. Meanwhile, we must remember that Amtrak wants to choke the LD routes. The dining changes are really bad, but the cut to 3x a week service is much worse. We can’t let them win. Please keep your sights on lower fares and ride the train as much as possible. We need to show there is demand for the LD trains or else they really will cut them.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,265
Because of reduced service, demand is high... which drives up prices. And if requested train is full they will be happy to give you a creative and scenic route... all well and fine... when considering that money grows on trees! 😰
View attachment 19002
I love the "Your trip is NOT protected. Add for $93.87."

They have a lot of nerve asking you to pay even more to "protect" a $2K trip. Even in normal times, you wouldn't lose all your money and would be able to reschedule or cancel at reasonable cost.

They are LYING! Your trip is protected if you buy this month. Hey, Flynn! Do you know what honesty and ethics are? If you can spend the money to update your web site, you can spend the few bucks to get rid of that LIE!
 

Amtrakfflyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
467
The 3 day BS already bit me for a trip next week. I wanted to book a trip home from Charleston, Sc to Galesburg, IL as a reward to myself for re renting and fixing up our rental house after a tenant trashed it.

As has been noted before it’s not just 3x a week service....it’s service only on Friday, Saturday, Sunday for that route. Absolutely insane I’d have to wait 3 days from my desired travel date and then HOPE it was in a bucket I would want to pay.

That’s the other issue. Are the fares going to be so insane no one wants to pay them? Nowadays if our travel allows we can move a trip a day or two to find a fare we’re willing to pay. With 3 days a week service we don’t have that luxury. The trains leave these 3 days and these are the prices take it or leave it. Makes you think about how it will work post Covid with 3 day service. The 2 low buckets sell about meaning the train is 25-30 percent full and then the rest of the fares are so insane no one buys them. Amtrak management goes to Congress and says we’re only running 3 days a week and the trains are empty...


This whole thing reeks as sabotage to the national system. I’m writing customer relations and the staffers of my Congress people.

While I’m on a rant another thing I noticed yesterday. Looking for that ticket using my ipad. I pulled up the Amtrak.com website and the home page is blah blah blah with no template to even put in city codes or dates until you scroll 4 full pages down. I’ll attach photos. It’s like they don’t even want to sell tickets..



SunQUOTE="niemi24s, post: 856998, member: 9586"]



It's supposed to happen on 19 Oct 2020 as reported in another thread.
[/QUOTE]
 

Attachments

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
So now it's time for us passenger train enthusiasts to 'pay the piper' for Amtrak's antics... reduced service and expanded fares! Hmmmm !!! I wonder how many millennials will be taking advantage of this money spending opportunity!:eek::oops:o_O
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
Because of reduced service, demand is high... which drives up prices. And if requested train is full they will be happy to give you a creative and scenic route... all well and fine... when considering that money grows on trees! 😰
View attachment 19002
Hmmm... just thinking out loud... but I've never paid as much as $1976 for a car trip... so that means you ride the rails for 4 nights and 5 days and eat those monotonous tasteless mushy meals along with the standardized 3 inch salad and the standard brownie ration.

Holy smokes! What an extraordinary car trip could be had for 2k if you wanted to spend that much. That would include 2 weeks in deluxe hotels and food at some really fine restaurants. And going to some incredibly scenic places. And if you're lucky enough to have a cassette tape player, you can listen to some great music as you drive along. No brainer!

BTW, can anyone update the status of the cherry tomato... are they still including 1t with the salad???

Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 8.21.55 AM.png
 

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,215
Location
Gator Country Florida
Because of reduced service, demand is high... which drives up prices.
Ever hear of an oxymoron?

If "demand is high" there is no reason to reduce service!

Maybe if someone from Walmart were to run Amtrak things would be better. The more business they get, the more they "roll back prices" and even more customers shop - and their profits keep going up
 

Amtrakfflyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
467
We can only hope that management and DOT get a house cleaning post November at this point. Is a given or a panacea? No, but it may be our only hope. Hard to believe it’s only 60 days away now...
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,301
Location
Austin Texas
Hmmm... just thinking out loud... but I've never paid as much as $1976 for a car trip... so that means you ride the rails for 4 nights and 5 days and eat those monotonous tasteless mushy meals along with the standardized 3 inch salad and the standard brownie ration.

Holy smokes! What an extraordinary car trip could be had for 2k if you wanted to spend that much. That would include 2 weeks in deluxe hotels and food at some really fine restaurants. And going to some incredibly scenic places. And if you're lucky enough to have a cassette tape player, you can listen to some great music as you drive along. No brainer!

BTW, can anyone update the status of the cherry tomato... are they still including 1t with the salad???

View attachment 19009
Do they still sell Casettes and Players??😄
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
Do they still sell Casettes and Players??😄
You'd be surprised! Actually got this at the dealership when I purchased the car back in 2006, There are a lot of 'auto lab' places that also have them... as well as 2nd hand shops. Gotta have my tapes! They go back to the 1960's when I was in high school... everything from the Beatles, 101 Strings, MoTown music... and lots more!

 
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
2,864
19009[/ATTACH]
Glad you asked.

Because the cherry tomato is so popular, it will now only be included if you pay extra.

However, it will be a curated, customer-facing, contemporary, flexible tomato, added to impactfully enhance your personalized dining experience.

That will be $500 for the tomato, please. It will help us pay the person who comes up with all those meaningless marketing words.
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
Glad you asked.

Because the cherry tomato is so popular, it will now only be included if you pay extra.

However, it will be a curated, customer-facing, contemporary, flexible tomato, added to impactfully enhance your personalized dining experience.

That will be $500 for the tomato, please. It will help us pay the person who comes up with all those meaningless marketing words.
Do you think the Millennials will go for this?
 

Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
66
I checked prices for the Texas Eagle and SW Chief from Chi to LA after April and they are still the same. Again,I have a feeling Flex dining and tri weekly service will be permenant. As I stated earlier I will never pay more than low bucket as long as low bucket prices remain where they are now.
 

Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
66
I love the "Your trip is NOT protected. Add for $93.87."

They have a lot of nerve asking you to pay even more to "protect" a $2K trip. Even in normal times, you wouldn't lose all your money and would be able to reschedule or cancel at reasonable cost.

They are LYING! Your trip is protected if you buy this month. Hey, Flynn! Do you know what honesty and ethics are? If you can spend the money to update your web site, you can spend the few bucks to get rid of that LIE!
I have never bought
I love the "Your trip is NOT protected. Add for $93.87."

They have a lot of nerve asking you to pay even more to "protect" a $2K trip. Even in normal times, you wouldn't lose all your money and would be able to reschedule or cancel at reasonable cost.

They are LYING! Your trip is protected if you buy this month. Hey, Flynn! Do you know what honesty and ethics are? If you can spend the money to update your web site, you can spend the few bucks to get rid of that LIE!
I have never bought that ******** trip protection. Prices are high enough. If your train cannot make a connection Amtrak will accomodate you. That extra charge is outrageous and should be abolished.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,301
Location
Austin Texas
I have never bought

I have never bought that ******** trip protection. Prices are high enough. If your train cannot make a connection Amtrak will accomodate you. That extra charge is outrageous and should be abolished.
This is known as a Pack, or "AP",aka Additional Profit. Plenty of Credit Cards cover this, check with your Card Issuer and if yours doesnt, get a better Card!
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
706
Location
Oregon Coast
I love the "Your trip is NOT protected. Add for $93.87."

They have a lot of nerve asking you to pay even more to "protect" a $2K trip. Even in normal times, you wouldn't lose all your money and would be able to reschedule or cancel at reasonable cost.

They are LYING! Your trip is protected if you buy this month. Hey, Flynn! Do you know what honesty and ethics are? If you can spend the money to update your web site, you can spend the few bucks to get rid of that LIE!
Does that mean if trains misconnect and/or other problems occur Amtrak won't protect you? And then, if you do have a problem, how much administrivia and red tape would one have to go through to actually get benefits from this insurance protection???
 

caravanman

Conductor
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
3,758
Location
Nottingham, England.
I imagine that the way Amtrak would put you up in a hotel, or accommodate you in some way if you missed a connection through their late running must change due to the lack of daily service starting soon...?
Those big fare increases seem to apply to next summer, not that I will be grabbing a bargain any time soon, sadly.
 
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