Still no change or cancellation fees for new bookings?

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BLNT

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
84
I'm looking at a couple travel dates for the Auto Train for August and October. If I book a bedroom now, and plans change, are they still giving a 100% refund to your credit card?

THANKS
 

Maglev

OBS Chief
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
869
I think it's possible that Amtrak doesn't even know at this point what will happen after May 31. Here's a thread on the topic from which you can form your own opinion:

 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
25,829
It is very confusing if it means “book by 5/31” or ”cancel by 5/31”. Either way, I think bedrooms roomettes and business class bookings paid by cash are all fully refundable anyway.
 

BLNT

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
84
I reached out to them via Facebook, here's how that went:

Hello there! Could you clarify the following from your website? I'm interested in making a reservation in a bedroom on the Auto Train for both August and October, but am unsure of what will be going on by then. Can a reservation made this month (for August let's say) be cancelled up to a week or so prior to departure and receive a full refund to my credit card?


Ticket Changes and/or Cancellations
Amtrak is waiving change fees: For reservations made before May 31, 2020. This includes reservations booked with points. To modify a reservation, log in to your account, go to ‘Modify Trip’ on Amtrak.com, or find your reservation from your account on the home screen in the Amtrak app. A fare difference may apply to your new itinerary. If you want to cancel your reservation with no fee, you must call 1-800-USA-RAIL and speak with an agent (not available via Amtrak.com or the app).
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Thank you for reaching out to us. We are waiving cancelation fees for reservations made prior to May 31st. If you purchase a saver fare and the trip is cancelled we would waive the cancellation fee and offer you a voucher in the amount of the ticket valid for one year. If you purchased your tickets at value or flex fare rates and your trip is cancelled due to the coronavirus, we would be able to offer a full refund. If you decide to rebook for a future day the price is more expensive you would have to pay the difference. If it is cheaper you would be offered a refund for the difference.
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Thanks for your quick reply. My question is, more specifically (I'll use an example)... If I book the Auto Train from Lorton to Sanford on Friday, August 7th - a Premium fare (bedroom) and pay with a credit card... if I end up having to cancel that - even a couple weeks prior - would I receive a full refund to my credit card?
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Any reservation that is booked, regardless of travel date, on or before May 31, 2020, we would waive any applicable change/cancellation fees. (subject to change)



You would then receive a full cash refund back to your credit card.

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Thanks again
 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
25,829
Although that reply still does not clarify if you (say) reserve on May 20 (which is before May 31) but cancel on (say) August 17 (which is after May 31). Would you still get a full refund.

That addition of (subject to change) throws it off. It could mean one agent says yes and another agent says no!
 

Sauve850

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
490
I booked two trips 4 months ago and received all my points back. Its clear to me if you book before May 31,2020 you can get a refund.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

Conductor
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
2,141
If you purchase a saver fare and the trip is cancelled we would waive the cancellation fee and offer you a voucher in the amount of the ticket valid for one year.
The trip is cancelled by whom? Amtrak cancels the train (the train doesn't run)? You cancel your ticket (you don't go, but train still runs)?
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
11,604
Travel Flexibility. We are waiving change fees on all existing or new reservations made through August 31, 2020, so you can go ahead and book a trip with confidence. This includes reservations booked with points.
From the email that I just received
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
2
I'm looking at a couple travel dates for the Auto Train for August and October. If I book a bedroom now, and plans change, are they still giving a 100% refund to your credit card?

THANKS
Amtrak site now shows the full cancellations for reservations made by August 31 (from May 31).
 

flitcraft

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
364
Amtrak has been much better about cancellations than the airlines. United, I'm looking at you...
 

tricia

Conductor
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
1,002
Amtrak has been much better about cancellations than the airlines. United, I'm looking at you...
Yep, no refunds from the airlines, just vouchers for future travel. Even though the odds are good that due to reduced demand they'll cancel your flight anyway.
 

flitcraft

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
364
If you have an outstanding flight, do not cancel it. Wait to do so till just before the flight is set to occur. Under DOT rules, if the airline cancels your flight or substitutes flights with a significant change of timing, you are entitled by law to a cash refund rather than a voucher. But if you yourself cancel, you are stuck with a voucher at best, and potentially cancellation fees as well. Once the airline cancels or changes your itinerary, call customer service and demand your full refund. Apparently DOT has warned airlines about their legal requirement to do so--and since they've taken billions in bailouts, don't cry for them!

Alaska has been the best airline, in my experience, on this. One of my flights had a change in schedule of only 55 minutes, but when I called to request a full refund, I expected a fight. Instead, the agent cheerfully said, "Oh, you'd rather have a refund? We'll recredit it to the credit card you used. It might take 3 to 5 business days before you see the credit." Three days later, the credit appeared on my card statement. According to posts on flyertalk, Alaska has even retroactively converted vouchers to refunds for people who proactively canceled their flights and then realized that they could have had a refund if they had waited for Alaska to cancel or change it. That is not required under the DOT rules, but Alaska appears to be doing it anyway, as a customer-friendly policy.

United, on the other hand, has been ridiculous in pushing vouchers despite their legal obligation to provide a cash refund. I had to hang up and call again three times and escalate to a supervisor to get an acknowledgement that I was entitled to a refund when my United flight was cancelled.

Incidentally, one good reason to take a refund--besides the fact that a lot of us are cash-strapped now--is that if the airlines declare bankruptcy, the vouchers may well be considered liabilities that vanish when the bankruptcy is approved. That's what happened to pilot and flight attendant pensions when airlines declared bankruptcy in the past. They call it "taking a bankruptcy bath" when the airlines emerge, minus their previous obligations.
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
2,960
Just cancelled three long distance reservations (one for June, two for July)...reservations that I made months ago. No hassle...121k points instantly back in my and my wife's AGR accounts.

On the same phone call I booked several new travel segments using the refunded points for travel during September. The new reservations still fall under the new "no penalty" refund rules which expire August 31.
 
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