Trying to figure out which cancellation policy would apply (CL -> Pennsylvanian -> Thruway Bus)

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NEPATrainTraveler

Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
141
So I am once again planning a trip to Milwaukee, this time in early November, and I am thinking about taking Amtrak for the return trip home instead of flying like I did in 2018. The Hiawatha ticket I need to get to Chicago would be separate since I am thinking about doing some sightseeing before getting on the train, so I don't want to bundle it with the rest of the return trip. Anyway, the itinerary ARROW gives me for CHI to WKB is CL to PGH, then Pennsylvanian to PHL and then Thruway bus (aka Martz) to WKB. What I can't make out is if the coach segments are saver or value fares? The only way I can get a travel voucher nowadays if I have to cancel is to pick the value fare for coach, but there is no option to select a fare type for coach when I put in CHI to WKB, both the CL and Pennsylvanian just say "reserved coach". If I were to book the segments individually, I would be able to choose between the different fare types, but I don't want to do that because I want the guaranteed connection. I'm also wondering whether I get the saver or value option on the CL if I pick Business Class since CL doesn't have BC only the Pennsylvanian would.

Anybody know which cancellation policy would apply?
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
6,023
Location
Washington State
The "simplified" one way and round trip booking engine on the site doesn't show you the fare options until you add the final segment. It just shows "Coach - Lowest Fare" until the last segment, then it gives the fare type which will apply to the whole trip. When I ran your itinerary, CHI-WKB it showed only Value and Flexible, and Saver wasn't available.

Note that the "simplified" one way with UI sometimes has trouble with mixed accommodation types on different segments and the final "add to cart" button sometimes is not responsive in such cases and the itinerary cannot be priced or reservation made on that UI in such cases. It works using Multi-CIty even if entered as just one segment (CHI-WKB).

I also don't think Business is generally available with Saver as the base rail fare. Generally, Business is handled as rail fare plus accommodation charge, like sleepers, and can only be used with Value fares. That is the case on the Cascades, at least, where I use it most.

It is always a bad idea to put a same day connection on two different reservations, although MKE-CHI is probably one of the least problematic in the system for connections, it is still a bad idea. A better method would be to use Multi-City with two segments, MKE-CHI and CHI-WKB and choose an earlier Hiawatha departure, then it will be on the same reservation number and you will be protected. One note is the Multi-City won't display the fare type at all, it automatically goes to the lowest available, while the simplified version does show it (on the last segment as noted above). More fun from your friends at Amtrak IT. To be assured, run the itinerary in the simplified as a through trip, then see which fare a Multi-City itinerary matches up to.
 
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