Little discovery I made today

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darien-l

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You learn new things every day. Today I discovered that it's possible to have different passengers on different legs of the trip, all on a single AGR award. I had an AGR reservation WGL-PDX-SAC-DEN, and was trying to add a third person. Here's how it went:

Me: I'd like to add a third person to my AGR reservation.

AGR agent: Unfortunately, I am unable to add a third person to your bedroom reservation because you are traveling the SAC-DEN segment in a family bedroom.

Me: Actually, the third person would only be traveling WLG-PDX.

AGR agent: Oh, that's fine, I can add a third person just for the WGL-PDX segment. When you pick up the tickets, only the WGL-PDX segment will print for the third passenger.

Me: So it's possible to have different passengers on different segments?!

AGE agent: Yes, it certainly is.

Now, this seems like quite a loophole to me. For example, next time I book an AGR award DEN-EMY, what's stopping me from booking additional segments, like EMY-LAX, EMY-VAC, EMY-PDX-GPK, etc., etc., and either giving them away on this board or selling them on eBay, if I can assign different passengers to these additional segments?
 

AlanB

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Now, this seems like quite a loophole to me. For example, next time I book an AGR award DEN-EMY, what's stopping me from booking additional segments, like EMY-LAX, EMY-VAC, EMY-PDX-GPK, etc., etc., and either giving them away on this board or selling them on eBay, if I can assign different passengers to these additional segments?
Well the big thing in most people's minds would be the idea of sharing a bedroom with a total stranger. That's why most people don't sell the other ticket on Ebay. And of course, you'd have to make it quite clear that you can't even get the ticket to the buyer, until after you know who it is and have their name in hand to call AGR with their name.

And if you're thinking that you'd book say CHI-SLC for yourself and then try to sell SLC to EMY, that won't work. The first person listed on the reservation must go all the way through; otherwise it ceases to be one award and you have to start another award.
 

darien-l

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And if you're thinking that you'd book say CHI-SLC for yourself and then try to sell SLC to EMY, that won't work. The first person listed on the reservation must go all the way through; otherwise it ceases to be one award and you have to start another award.
I don't see that as a problem, especially now that you can put 3 adults into a bedroom. Just because I have a ticket I'm not required to be on the train, right? I was once booked with a friend in a sleeper, but I couldn't make the trip, so the friend went by himself. No questions were asked, but even if they were, I'm sure "the other person couldn't make it" would suffice.

Now, say I'm (person A) and a friend (person B) are traveling from DEN to EMY in a bedroom on an AGR award. I can still book myself (person A), and random persons C & D from EMY to SEA or whatever, right? Then, I simply don't get on the train in EMY, and persons C & D go on their merry way.
 
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AlanB

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And if you're thinking that you'd book say CHI-SLC for yourself and then try to sell SLC to EMY, that won't work. The first person listed on the reservation must go all the way through; otherwise it ceases to be one award and you have to start another award.
I don't see that as a problem, especially now that you can put 3 adults into a bedroom. Just because I have a ticket I'm not required to be on the train, right? I was once booked with a friend in a sleeper, but I couldn't make the trip, so the friend went by himself. No questions were asked, but even if they were, I'm sure "the other person couldn't make it" would suffice.

Now, say I'm (person A) and a friend (person B) are traveling from DEN to EMY in a bedroom on an AGR award. I can still book myself (person A), and random persons C & D from EMY to SEA or whatever, right? Then, I simply don't get on the train in EMY, and persons C & D go on their merry way.
That assumes that the attendant and/or the conductor don't check the names on the manifest with the names on the tickets collected. If they do, and the conductor is supposed to, it will cause an issue that you're not there.

And regarding selling the tickets on Ebay, there is a reason that the current AGR coupons now have your name & number on them. Amtrak is monitoring those sales. If they see you selling tickets, you may get a phone call from them. You may even have your sale taken down by Ebay.
 

Trogdor

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That assumes that the attendant and/or the conductor don't check the names on the manifest with the names on the tickets collected. If they do, and the conductor is supposed to, it will cause an issue that you're not there.
Of course the tickets and the names match. Why wouldn't they? They come from the same data source.

The real issue is, if the conductor wants to check your ID, and your name doesn't match the name on the ticket.

Of course, if someone tried to sell an already-booked reservation on eBay, Amtrak may take exception to that. If it's an award ticket, I'm sure you could easily find your AGR account shut down and the entire reservation canceled.
 

AlanB

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That assumes that the attendant and/or the conductor don't check the names on the manifest with the names on the tickets collected. If they do, and the conductor is supposed to, it will cause an issue that you're not there.
Of course the tickets and the names match. Why wouldn't they? They come from the same data source.
Sorry, I guess that I should have been clearer on that.

The OP was passenger A and he rode with passenger B for part of the trip. He also booked passengers C & D into his room for the second part of the trip, knowing that passenger B would be getting off. The OP however, passenger A, was also going to get off at the same time as B, leaving only C & D to ride the second part.

So with A off the train, either C or D would have to use A's ticket or the tickets turned in by C & D would not match the name on the manifest. And if C or D was going to use A's ticket, then there would be no need to book both C & D into the room, just book one into the room and gamble on no ID check.
 

Trogdor

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So with A off the train, either C or D would have to use A's ticket or the tickets turned in by C & D would not match the name on the manifest. And if C or D was going to use A's ticket, then there would be no need to book both C & D into the room, just book one into the room and gamble on no ID check.
I guess I'm still not clear on how C and/or D would have valid tickets for the room and not have their names appear on the manifest.
 

AlanB

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So with A off the train, either C or D would have to use A's ticket or the tickets turned in by C & D would not match the name on the manifest. And if C or D was going to use A's ticket, then there would be no need to book both C & D into the room, just book one into the room and gamble on no ID check.
I guess I'm still not clear on how C and/or D would have valid tickets for the room and not have their names appear on the manifest.
I'm sure that C & D would indeed be listed on the manifest, but the person responsible for the room (A) would also be on the manifest and they would not have a ticket from A. That could, and should if the conductor is being responsible, cause him to seek out the people in the room to find out why he only has 2 tickets when 3 people are listed on the manifest.
 

darien-l

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I'm sure that C & D would indeed be listed on the manifest, but the person responsible for the room (A) would also be on the manifest and they would not have a ticket from A. That could, and should if the conductor is being responsible, cause him to seek out the people in the room to find out why he only has 2 tickets when 3 people are listed on the manifest.
Exactly. To illustrate this with a table:

Train 1 manifest:

  • Passenger A
  • Passenger B

Train 1 actual pax:

  • Passenger A
  • Passenger B

Train 2 manifest:

  • Passenger A
  • Passenger C
  • Passenger D

Train 2 actual pax:

  • Passenger C
  • Passenger D

In my (admittedly limited) experience, conductors couldn't care less if a person listed on the manifest is not in the room. Two examples: 1) As I mentioned before, I once booked a roomette for me and a friend, then couldn't go at the last minute. The friend went by himself, no issues. 2) I once booked a fictitious person into a bedroom on an AGR award in order to increase luggage allowance. Again, no issues.

Also, what can the conductor really do if he inquires about the missing person and the response is "he missed the train." The conductor still has two passengers with valid tickets, with names that match both the manifest and their IDs.

In any case, it is really not my intent to play "hack the AGR" and take advantage of this by doing something like selling tickets on eBay. I would have kept this info to myself otherwise. :) I also realize that this information is not terribly relevant to most people, who do not routinely travel on AGR awards. I'm just pointing out that it's possible, and the most I might do is give away some tickets if an opportunity arises.
 
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Trogdor

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I see it now. I thought you were implying that the ticketed names would be different from the names on the manifest.

Really, the conductor should make sure that he has the ticket for the first person whose name appears on the manifest, as that is officially the ticket that pays for the room (that's the ticket with the accommodation charge applied to it, even though, in this case, your fare is 0). The other riders are in the room for free (their ticket has a rail fare value, but doesn't pay an accommodation charge).

Therefore, it doesn't really matter who you bring with, but you have to be one of the people traveling in the room.
 

darien-l

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I see it now. I thought you were implying that the ticketed names would be different from the names on the manifest.

Really, the conductor should make sure that he has the ticket for the first person whose name appears on the manifest, as that is officially the ticket that pays for the room (that's the ticket with the accommodation charge applied to it, even though, in this case, your fare is 0). The other riders are in the room for free (their ticket has a rail fare value, but doesn't pay an accommodation charge).

Therefore, it doesn't really matter who you bring with, but you have to be one of the people traveling in the room.
That may be how it should work in theory, but I don't think it works this way in reality. As I said before, I once booked myself and a friend into a roomette on an AGR award. I was the the "primary passenger", "the first person whose name appears on the manifest", the one "paying" for the room, etc., etc. When the friend went without me, the conductor simply collected his ticket, and hasn't said a word.

And again, if the "first person whose name appears on the manifest" misses the train, does that mean that the conductor would kick everyone else out of the room or off the train? I don't think so.
 
B

batman

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you know, its always one bad apple that spoils it for the rest of us who are grateful to have the oppurtunity to receive AGR award travel,and are willing to play by the rules.
 

The Metropolitan

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Wow, it amazes me how many people claim to "love" Amtrak and claim to support its struggle to survive in often uncertain poltical and financial climates, yet will let their mental gears dream up stunts like this to deprive Amtrak (particularly the LD division) of revenue for their own personal gain.

To me it's perfectly acceptable to save reward points for the most lucrative reward options. I just cashed in 6000 points for a pair of $150 o/w tickets on the NE Regional and don't feel guilty about it. I'd do a DEN>SAC>SEA itinerary in a heartbeat to cash in a 20K Bedroom 1 zoner, but SELLING a surplus segment of a sleeper reward is taking it over the line in my book.
 
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