Roomette Inventory and Pricing

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The Metropolitan

OBS Chief
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
849
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Baltimore, MD
I think I've read here and elsewhere that when a room is cancelled, it goes back into inventory at its original price. After doing a little reservation change today, I'm not so sure about that.

A friend of mine and I are catching the Empire Builder next Sunday from Chicago to Minneapolis/St. Paul. We were going to go coach, but when we priced tickets, it was $99 per person in coach for a total of $198 OR $54 per person rail fare plus $152 for a roomette on Train 7 to total $260. Since we were going to eat dinner on the train anyway, it seemed like a good move to buy the roomette for the included meals and other perks.

I'd noticed that the coach fare had jumped up to $128 per person soon after and out of curiosity, I peeked today to see if it was actually cheaper to ride in Roomette on this itinerary by this point. ABSOLUTELY!

To my surprise, roomettes were still $152 on train 7, but the Family Bedroom on train 27 was now just $94! Having never ridden in one and curious of the differences, I OK'd it with my friend and went on Amtrak to modify the reservation. Though now on a lower level room and farther from the Diner, I'm getting a $58 refund to occupy a larger room. Not a bad tradeoff!

But then I looked onto Amtrak.com to see if it put the room back into inventory at the original $152 price, I noticed that the roomette price on Train 7 was now $116. Pretty unexpected. I'm guessing now that I could have rebooked that same roomette back for $36 less than I originally paid.

Though this might be a rare case, I could see where people might use this to cut some costs from their fare by playing "musical rooms," for example booking from a $152 roomette in Train 7 to a $152 roomette in Train 27 at no change in fare, and then if their originally booked room kicks the bucket down in train 7 to a $116 charge, changing the room back to their original room and getting a refund.

Anyone else ever observe an instance like this?
 

The Metropolitan

OBS Chief
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
849
Location
Baltimore, MD
Well, maybe...

Someone booking prior to me switching to the FB on 27 would have seen 2 coach sets available for $256 without dinner or two adults in a Family Bedroom for $210 that includes dinner. A 2 Adult/2 Kid itinerary would have cost $384 sans dinner in coach or $268 in the FB including dinner.

Even after my switch, 2 adults in coach without dinner is $256 while 2 adults in Roomette with dinner is now $228.
 

Donctor

Conductor
Joined
Jul 11, 2009
Messages
1,120
Location
CHI
I think I've read here and elsewhere that when a room is cancelled, it goes back into inventory at its original price.
It's likely that you've read that, but it's incorrect. The room will go back into inventory at whatever the current bucket is.
 

njulian

Service Attendant
Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
154
Location
New Mexico
I think I've read here and elsewhere that when a room is cancelled, it goes back into inventory at its original price.
It's likely that you've read that, but it's incorrect. The room will go back into inventory at whatever the current bucket is.
So...when I book my trip for next August and since it's summer and the roomette price will be HIGH, if I keep an eye on it and notice it goes down or a bigger room pops up as cheaper, I can just call AMTRAK and modify my ticket? really? That would be too easy.
 

rrdude

Engineer
AU Supporter
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Aug 10, 2009
Messages
3,704
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Baltimore/DC Area
I think I've read here and elsewhere that when a room is cancelled, it goes back into inventory at its original price.
It's likely that you've read that, but it's incorrect. The room will go back into inventory at whatever the current bucket is.
So...when I book my trip for next August and since it's summer and the roomette price will be HIGH, if I keep an eye on it and notice it goes down or a bigger room pops up as cheaper, I can just call AMTRAK and modify my ticket? really? That would be too easy.
Pretty much, but the onus is on YOU to keep checking prices, and then MAKE the phone call.

OBVIOUSLY, Amtrak won't be checking for lowers fares for you........
 
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