Quantcast

Switching Rooms -- A Challenge in Futility

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

G

Guest

Guest
I'd like to provide my experience about recently attempting to switch roomettes and am curious to hear about others' experiences as well.

I recently called Amtrak to switch roomettes because I was originally assigned a lower level roomette and I wanted an upper level one.

The first agent I spoke to in Customer Service said that changing roomettes would result in a fare increase. Taking the advice of others here (and from prior personal experience), I kindly thanked her and called again hoping to get another agent who could make the change successfully.

The second customer service agent again told me that changing roomettes would result in a fare increase. At this point, I kindly pointed out that I'd been able to get rooms switched at the my original fare in the past, but that it required some manual adjustments in Arrow. The agent said she knew how to do the manual override, but that it would require an exception from the Support Desk.

I was put on hold to see if the Support Desk would approve an exception. When the agent returned, she said that the Support Desk would not honor my original fare for purposes of switching roomettes. The agent recommended that I speak with Customer Relations to see if they'd be willing to make the change.

When I spoke to Customer Relations, they too said that merely changing roomettes would result in a fare increase. I again reiterated that I was able to change roomettes in the past with no resulting fare increase. The agent said there was nothing he could do.

So, what's up with this? Is changing roomettes really this difficult nowadays? Insight is appreciated.
 

Lonestar648

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
2,787
I have never had a fare increase when changing rooms, but I have heard of Amtrak charging less for lower level than upper level when upper level rooms are in demand and few remain.
 

CCC1007

Conductor
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
1,719
It seems that Amtrak has changed the way that sleeper accommodations are stored in arrow, giving individual rooms a bucket, not having the buckets hold a certain number of rooms. If so, then changing a rooms price will change the total revenue from the car.
 
G

Guest

Guest
There may be merit to this theory, since I was told that all of the low-bucket roomettes were 11, 12, 13, and 14: all lower level rooms. Can anyone else confirm this?
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
21,272
Location
Austin Texas
There may be merit to this theory, since I was told that all of the low-bucket roomettes were 11, 12, 13, and 14: all lower level rooms. Can anyone else confirm this?
This hadn't been the practice in the past but who really knows when it comes to the wizardry of Revenue Management and Supply and Demand as practiced by Amtrak?

I ask for a specific range of Upstairs rooomettes (#2-#5 are my faves) when booking ( if you don't ask or let the Computer assign the rooms you're liable to get any room) a Sleeper.

I'd call back and ask for a Supervisor, most Agents know how to do this process, some don't or are lazy, but if the policy has changed it will benefit us all to know this!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Palmetto

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
2,119
Location
Miami
It seems that if, in fact, there's a new way of pricing, past experience is probably not valid anymore. We are all award. I suppose, that certain seats on airplanes cost more than others. Perhaps Amtrak is adopting a similar policy with the sleeping accomodations.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Tennessee Traveler

Conductor
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Messages
1,230
Location
Franklin, TN
I've not been able to switch roomettes or bedrooms without a price adjustment for several years. The suggestion to ask for "modification" or ask for supervisor just did not work for me resulting in that I've made no switches. Not sure about any new pricing policy making downstairs roomettes less expensive that those upstairs.
 

Lonestar648

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
2,787
I booked early, a few months ahead this year, the lowest price available got me a roomette upstairs, but when my son in law decided to join me, a couple weeks before the trip and have his own room, he received a lower room for the lowest price and there were one or two rooms available upper. He tried a supervisor, but still had to pay more to be upper.
 
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
12
If I'm travelling with someone and we each want a roomette, I find my fares online, but then call to book, so I can specify that I want adjacent roomettes. It's worked so far.
 
G

Guest

Guest
OP here.

An update: I called and was told that each room now has an assigned price associated with it. Thus, as was alluded to above, each room is indeed assigned a fare. The lowest priced rooms are on the lower level, followed by roomettes 9 and 10. Seems as though Amtrak has decided to seek the highest pricing for the better rooms.

Now, here's a question to ponder: if I pay a premium for an upper room (which I am seriously considering because I abhor the lower level) and, hypothetically, I was forced to move rooms at the last minute by the crew (e.g., broken door or A/C vents), would Amtrak refund the premium I paid? I very much doubt it.
 

PRR 60

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 18, 2003
Messages
8,356
Of course, this would also apply to AGR redemptions. If you want a better room (upper level, toward the middle of the car), it will now cost more points than the rate shown on line, and you can only get the better room by calling.

This just begs for being able to choose your room when making an on-line reservation. A chart could show each available room and the price associated with each. You pick the one(s) you want. It would follow the same system used for airline seat assignments. There are regular seats, and various levels of preferred seating. The preferred seating has individual price tags.

If Amtrak is determined to emulate airlines, they might as well go all in.
 

hankster211

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 13, 2013
Messages
51
Location
Knoxville, TN
was able to change rooms by calling back in February, but it wasn't easy. My roomette was booked with AGR. At first they agent said there would be a charge, but then after checking with whoever, reversed herself.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

hermit

Train Attendant
Joined
May 18, 2016
Messages
79
Location
Nor Cal
Of course, this would also apply to AGR redemptions. If you want a better room (upper level, toward the middle of the car), it will now cost more points than the rate shown on line, and you can only get the better room by calling.

This just begs for being able to choose your room when making an on-line reservation. A chart could show each available room and the price associated with each. You pick the one(s) you want. It would follow the same system used for airline seat assignments. There are regular seats, and various levels of preferred seating. The preferred seating has individual price tags.

If Amtrak is determined to emulate airlines, they might as well go all in.
I agree,it would be very convenient to be able to choose a room online instead of calling in
 

fairviewroad

Conductor
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
3,357
Of course, this would also apply to AGR redemptions. If you want a better room (upper level, toward the middle of the car), it will now cost more points than the rate shown on line, and you can only get the better room by calling.

This just begs for being able to choose your room when making an on-line reservation. A chart could show each available room and the price associated with each. You pick the one(s) you want. It would follow the same system used for airline seat assignments. There are regular seats, and various levels of preferred seating. The preferred seating has individual price tags.

If Amtrak is determined to emulate airlines, they might as well go all in.
+1

Would probably require a significant IT investment but I suspect it might pay for itself in the end.
 
G

Guest

Guest
OP here -- one victorious update:

After SEVEN calls and speaking to no less than TEN agents, I finally succeeded in switching to an upstairs room. No fare change.

PHEW. What. An. Ordeal.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,490
On my R/T to NYC, I made the mistake of saving Amtrak time by going online to get 2 roomettes in each direction. Then I found out they were randomly picked. I called, got an agent who kept telling me it would cost more. I demanded to speak to a supervisor. she said she would look at the reservation. I insisted on a supervisor because I said we had a disagreement as to whether changing rooms made the price higher. She insisted on looking at it first. I told her I had no interest in working with her and I wanted a supervisor. She hung up on me. I called back and got another agent who handled it properly.

From now, on, I make my reservations with an agent and skip the useless online system since it forces the user to fight agents because of its poor design.
 

Tennessee Traveler

Conductor
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Messages
1,230
Location
Franklin, TN
Not sure about the on line bookings, but I made reservation calling AGR(yes, AGR since was continually put on hold by regular Amtrak number) specifically for roomette 3 in late April for both an October California Zephyr and a Coast Starlight trip. In both cases the fare I was charged was identical to price I got from AmSnag.
 

PeeweeTM

Train Attendant
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
96
Hi there!

I made a reservation for Emeryville to Denver in April 2017 this morning. We got roomettes 2 and 5. I don't dislike our children that much, so after reading this post I felt lucky...

... And called Amtrak. After shouting "Agent, YES, NO, Please do!" to Julie a lady picked up the phone. (Waiting time for an agent was said to be six minutes; within a minute I was speaking with an agent: Amtrak time management in my advantage!)

After giving my reservation information she looked in The System and saw the rooms are classed and in our class (CZ?) none were available anymore. She didn't accept The System's answer, added a roomette to our reservation (the 6) and deleted the number 2, checked if The System didn't charge us extra (which It didn't) and emailed the modified reservation. She sounded proud of getting this result... For which I congratulated her, off course.

Greetings from Rotterdam,

Peter
 
Top