Sleepers are not universally higher bucket

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zephyr17

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I just made a reservation from Everett, WA to New York leaving Everett on November 3rd in roomettes on the Builder and the Lakeshore

The Superliner roomette EVR-CHI was $287 and the Viewliner roomette CHI-NYP was $250.

If memory serves, those are lowest or 2nd lowest buckets for each. I know $250 is really too much considering the reheated dog food they will likely still be serving on the Lakeshore, but the Lakeshore roomettes have always been way too high even in the lower buckets. I know $250 is a low-ish bucket for a Lakeshore roomette and I am reasonably sure $287 is low bucket on the Builder.

We can argue about the levels of the buckets all we want, and to those who object that $250 on the LSL is too high given the service level, I agree with you. But I'll swallow hard and pay it, though I wouldn't pay much more. I am making a same day connection off the Builder (I know, I know) and don't want to risk the 6:40 departure of the Cap.

My point really is that Amtrak is working their yield management and not just leaving it at higher buckets. It also demonstrates the 4-6 month out sweet spot on fares that has been experience over the last few years is holding.

Looking forward to seeing Moynihan Train Hall.
 

AmtrakBlue

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:eek: tell me it's not so. How can it not be the highest bucket? What will I complain about now? Oh, yeah, there's ALWAYS the diner to complain about. Flowers, table clothes, real china and silverware (not sure if the flowers are coming back, the other stuff is slated to come back). ;)
 
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zephyr17

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Well, paging niemi24 who tracks such things.

I have seen CHI-NYP roomettes in the neighborhood of $600 often on the LSL, which I won't pay and would adjust my plans in such cases. Just for fun, I picked a day when I thought travel demand would be high, Friday, July 2nd and did a shadow reservation. The Viewliner Roomette accommodation charge on that day is $596. Total fare, single occupancy, $740.😳
 

AmtrakBlue

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I booked CHI-NYP for October, after the Gathering and it was $394. I just checked it and it's now $4xx.
 

niemi24s

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Don't have buckets for the EVR to CHI leg but they should be only a tad less than from SEA. One adult Roomette fare buckets from:

• SEA to CHI range from $527 to $1,074
• CHI to NYP range from $394 to $740

The latest bucket charts can be found here: Long Distance Train Coach & Sleeper Fares (Buckets) And if your 4 - 6 month out is such a sweet spot for low bucket fares, how come I just found them offered on the last day of the 11th month out? I consider that 4-6 month out sweet spot nothing but a myth.
 
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niemi24s

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I just saw 'em for $678 on 13 April 2022 - as far out as possible.

Break - break, I say again: That 4-6 month out sweet spot is a myth!
 

zephyr17

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EVR is always the same as SEA, at least in terms of accommodation charges.

Looks like I did indeed get low bucket on both segments, according to your chart.

4-6 months out has been working better for me than 11 months for the last few years.
 

AmtrakBlue

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EVR is always the same as SEA, at least in terms of accommodation charges.

Looks like I did indeed get low bucket on both segments, according to your chart.

4-6 months out has been working better for me than 11 months for the last few years.
In your original post, are those prices just the accommodation rates? If so, that might be confusing niemi24s.
 

jis

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I just saw 'em for $678 on 13 April 2022 - as far out as possible.

Break - break, I say again: That 4-6 month out sweet spot is a myth!
That is for airline fares, not Amtrak. There is extensive documentation about many airlines (not all mind you). There is no carefully documented evidence for it applying to Amtrak as far as I know.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Here's the breakdown for my CHI-NYP for mid-October which I booked 5-1/2 months out.

1 ADULT RAIL FARE - $144.00
1 VIEWLINER ROOMETTE - $250.00
 

niemi24s

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If you look hard enough, you can usually find low bucket fares in any of the 11 future months.

What annoys me is those who adhere to that "4-6 month sweet spot" theory so vociferously, they may convince others it's a waste of time to look for cheap fares as far out as possible. IMHO, anybody thinking they've got Amtraks fare bucket offering scheme all figured out is delusional.
 

Bob Dylan

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I just made a reservation from Everett, WA to New York leaving Everett on November 3rd in roomettes on the Builder and the Lakeshore

The Superliner roomette EVR-CHI was $287 and the Viewliner roomette CHI-NYP was $250.

If memory serves, those are lowest or 2nd lowest buckets for each. I know $250 is really too much considering the reheated dog food they will likely still be serving on the Lakeshore, but the Lakeshore roomettes have always been way too high even in the lower buckets. I know $250 is a low-ish bucket for a Lakeshore roomette and I am reasonably sure $287 is low bucket on the Builder.

We can argue about the levels of the buckets all we want, and to those who object that $250 on the LSL is too high given the service level, I agree with you. But I'll swallow hard and pay it, though I wouldn't pay much more. I am making a same day connection off the Builder (I know, I know) and don't want to risk the 6:40 departure of the Cap.

My point really is that Amtrak is working their yield management and not just leaving it at higher buckets. It also demonstrates the 4-6 month out sweet spot on fares that has been experience over the last few years is holding.

Looking forward to seeing Moynihan Train Hall.
This is a Bargain for this Trip!😎

On my recent trip from Austin to New York City, Amtrak wanted $1100+ each way for Roomettes on the Texas Eagle and Lake Shore and with the 3 Trains a week I would have had to spend a night in Chicago!

I flew Roundtrip on Southwest Airlines for $250( I returned from BWI) and was able to ride Acela FC NYP-BWI for $69 thanks to an Au friend providing an Upgade Coupon.

I went to see the Moynihan Train Hall, as did 2 of my AU friends I met up with @ the New Metro Lounge, a Fabulous Place that's a Work in Progress!😍
 

zephyr17

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In your original post, are those prices just the accommodation rates? If so, that might be confusing niemi24s.
Yes, they are just the accommodation charges, because that is how I think about sleeper fares plus only the accommodation charge moves through the yield management buckets. I felt I was pretty clear that they were just the accommodation charges.

I looked at Niemi24's chart posted link and they line up well with the low buckets once you subtract out the low "value" bucket coach fare.

Niemi24, love those charts, thanks.

Whole thing, EVR-NYP, bottom lined at $809.20 which included the Senior discount on the rail fare. $840 without it.

PS, my travel dates would have been off days for the tri-weekly schedule. Which may help explain the availability of low buckets.
 
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dlagrua

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I guess finding affordable sleepers on an LD run is the luck of the draw. Amtrak shut us out on this years trip for sure. They didn't ruin our trip because we got a very affordable FC air fare. We would have preferred Amtrak but are still going.
Maybe the Covid and 3x/wk service had something to do with the fare structure. We will try Amtrak again in 2022 and hopefully there will be a price that makes sense. This years quoted price just didn't. If they don't need our business OK that's cool, but they need to realize that we don't need them either. This is just a basic rule of competitive business.
 

niemi24s

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Here's the breakdown for my CHI-NYP for mid-October which I booked 5-1/2 months out.

1 ADULT RAIL FARE - $144.00
1 VIEWLINER ROOMETTE - $250.00
Same low bucket fare was available just now for travel 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6 months out on the 13th of those months.

There's no reason not to check for low bucket fares as far out as possible. Any spot can be a sweet one! :)
 

AmtrakBlue

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Same low bucket fare was available just now for travel 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6 months out on the 13th of those months.

There's no reason not to check for low bucket fares as far out as possible. Any spot can be a sweet one! :)
Did anyone say not to check any time?
 

jis

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If you look hard enough, you can usually find low bucket fares in any of the 11 future months.

What annoys me is those who adhere to that "4-6 month sweet spot" theory so vociferously, they may convince others it's a waste of time to look for cheap fares as far out as possible. IMHO, anybody thinking they've got Amtraks fare bucket offering scheme all figured out is delusional.
Who are you talking about? Or are you just putting up strawmen to make a point?
 

Ryan

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What annoys me is those who adhere to that "4-6 month sweet spot" theory so vociferously
These people only exist in your head.

Same low bucket fare was available just now for travel 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6 months out on the 13th of those months.
That's impossible. Everybody Knows (!) that Amtrak is running nothing but sky high prices to kill the LD trains.
 

Sidney

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As a long time Amtrak rider for over thirty years,I would never pay the fares they are asking on some of their trains,like the Southwest Chief and others. People will pay what they are asking. Many sold out or nearly sold out sleepers,but when it,'s $899 or more for a two night ride from Chi to Lax I'll pass.
 
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jis

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Just for the heck of it I thought I will check how Amtrak Roomette fares have fared over time. I presume bedroom fares were higher than the roomette fares by possibly a significant amount, but I could not find anything specific about it. I was able to find some sample Roomette fares in the May 1971 Official Guide of the Railways. I used an inflation factor of 6.63 based on samples taken from several dollar value calculator over time. Here are some sample Roomette fares from 1971 and its current (2021) value after inflation.

I leave it to you to make whatever you want to make of it. Just presenting raw data.

Ask yourself if you would have sprung for the 1971 fare in 1971. I suppose someone like @niemi24s who has more precise information about today's Roomette fares can fill in a comparison column for today's actual fare range.

Note that these fares did not include food of any sort. That you purchased separately.

Itinerary
1971
2021 value accounting for inflation
New York - Miami
$112.85​
$748.20​
Washington - Tampa
$76.00​
$503.88​
Chicago - Jacksonville
$86.29​
$572.10​
Chicago - Miami
$111.80​
$741.23​
New York - Chicago
$98.11​
$650.47​
New York - Atlanta
$69.47​
$460.59​
New York - New Orleans
$100.82​
$668.44​
New York - Denver
$166.11​
$1,101.31​
New York - Los Angeles
$213.66​
$1,416.57​
Chicago Memphis
$47.10​
$312.27​
Chicago - New Orleans
$74.50​
$493.94​
Chicago Kansas City
$25.75​
$170.72​
Chicago - San Francisco
$137.80​
$913.61​
Chicago - Seattle
$137.05​
$908.64​
Chicago - St. Paul
$24.40​
$161.77​
Los Angeles - New Orleans
$128.35​
$850.96​
Los Angeles - San Francisco
$25.00​
$165.75​
Chicago - St. Louis
$18.75​
$124.31​
 

niemi24s

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The following is a modified form of the JIS's spreadsheet with high and low bucket Roomette fares for one adult added:
1971 - 2021 fare compare.jpg
• Fares in square brackets are estimates
• The second and third lines in the original spreadsheet were deleted as no direct route from CHI to FLA now exists
• As these current fares include meals, forum gourmands are cordially invited to deduct their cost from the hand-written fares, re-do the chart and post it for a better comparison.
 
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jis

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What I find interesting from @niemi24s 's table is that the inflation adjusted fare from 1971 seems in most cases to fall pretty much in the middle of the fare range today, with slight variations in the form of a skew either above or below the exact mid point.

Interstingly also, in the cases where it does not fall in the middle, they are all short-mid distance corridors. I need to go back and mak sure that I actually got the Roomette fares for those or mistakenly took what is a Parlor Car fare and listed it as Roomette.
 
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