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Upgrade/Companion/Lounge Coupons: seeking, available, questions

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the_traveler

Conductor
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If you did not consider getting an Acela First seat costing $200 for the price of an Acela BC seat costing $115 plus an upgrade coupon, or moving from coach (costing $70) to BC (costing $100) using an upgrade coupon, what would you call the coupon if not a discount of $85 or a discount of $30?
 

DoB

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
109
I just tried using a companion coupon last month. I was told since it was a discount, it could only be used with the value fare and not with the Saver fare!
Companion coupons don't work on Saver fares, but upgrade coupons do. No, I don't understand the logic.
 

RSG

OBS Chief
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Feb 13, 2012
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Rocky Mountains USA
How many people here have actually succeeded at using/applying a coupon online?

Both times, the agent spent a lot more time than is usual (my opinion) to accomplish the task. After asking why so much keyboard activity, the first agent said it was due to the the particular train I wanted to use the coupon(s) on had been changed.

[...]

Oh...almost forgot...following the directions of how to do it on Amtraks' web site completely failed, as there was never an 'apply coupon' or anything remotely resembling that on any of my screens, cell or laptop!
Before I read this thread and the alleged specific instructions, I didn't see where there was an obvious option to enter an upgrade coupon, either online or via the app. I think it should be more obvious if they are going to make that functionality available.

There are also instances in which coupons may not work if entered by the pax: not only the above example but when attempting to upgrade on part of a multi-segment trip, as I attempted to do when traveling to the Gathering and had both an LD trip (not upgradeable) and an NEC trip on the same ticket. Because the ticket had already been lifted for the first segment, the AGR agent had to do manual overrides to apply the coupon to the last segment.

I suppose it's not unlike online retail coupons where the system is only programmed to apply the discounts under most circumstances, but not necessarily all.
 
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Acela150

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In a Sea of Foam
I'll add that all you have to do is either send the code or, select the proper coupons under print and save the PDF to forward them. AGR won't transfer the coupons to other accounts. 

A fellow AU member sent me 2 upgrades recently and just did the latter to send them to me. That way I can either take it to PHL to upgrade or call AGR or Amtrak to upgrade. :)  
 

neroden

Conductor
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Feb 23, 2014
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Ithaca, NY
Huh, I suppose I should give my dozen or two coupons away too.  I've never been able to use them.  Trouble is I don't actually check here often enough to remember to give them if I offer them... :unsure:
 

F900ElCapitan

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
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Oct 7, 2018
Messages
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So I just bought tickets for the wife and I on the Coast Starlight in a roomette with a companion coupon applied. I know the companion coupons specifically state they are not to be used for sleeper accommodations, but currently if you enter a code online, the system is applying the discount to sleeper’s also. I don’t know if this is a temporary programming oversight or new policy, but I thought I’d let y’all know.  :blink:
 

cpotisch

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Brooklyn, NY
So I just bought tickets for the wife and I on the Coast Starlight in a roomette with a companion coupon applied. I know the companion coupons specifically state they are not to be used for sleeper accommodations, but currently if you enter a code online, the system is applying the discount to sleeper’s also. I don’t know if this is a temporary programming oversight or new policy, but I thought I’d let y’all know.  :blink:
Holy crap. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this!
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
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LAX
I have no experience with the coupons but, perhaps they applied the "companion coupon" to your wife's basic rail fare. The accommodation charge (which is covers you and a second passenger was paid by you along with your basic rail fare.
 

F900ElCapitan

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
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Messages
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I have no experience with the coupons but, perhaps they applied the "companion coupon" to your wife's basic rail fare. The accommodation charge (which is covers you and a second passenger was paid by you along with your basic rail fare.
Well, all I know is I checked the fare with and without the coupon added and there was the appropriate fare (half the coach portion) difference. Also when it’s attached, the fare selections have the yellow/green line and say “coupon applied”. 
 

cpotisch

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I have no experience with the coupons but, perhaps they applied the "companion coupon" to your wife's basic rail fare. The accommodation charge (which is covers you and a second passenger was paid by you along with your basic rail fare.
The terms and conditions of the companion coupons say that it can’t be used for sleeper travel at all. That’s why this is a surprise.
 

FrensicPic

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The terms and conditions of the companion coupons say that it can’t be used for sleeper travel at all. That’s why this is a surprise.
I understand that, F900 said that in his OP. Just tossing out a speculation as to how that might have happened.
 

cpotisch

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Sep 2, 2017
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Brooklyn, NY
It appears that so long as you don't try to use any other discounts on the Rail Fare (NARP, Senior, etc), it will allow companion coupons for sleeper bookings. Despite it specifically saying "Not valid for sleeping car accommodations." in the Terms and Conditions. :huh:
 

cpotisch

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Sep 2, 2017
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Brooklyn, NY
This most definitely is a "Bug" in the system! 
Interesting. Once the ticket is credited, validated, or whatever, is there any way they can say "Whoopsie! We made a mistake! Our bad!" and charge you for the seat?
They can not. A ticket is like a contract. Once you pay for your ticket, your end of the agreement has been fulfilled, and they are legally obligated to transport you at no extra charge, even if you technically got a discount you weren't supposed to.
 

George K

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The Chicago Burbs
Pardon my ignorance: How does one apply a companion coupon to an online reservation? I'm looking at some trips I have planned and paid for this year, and I'm wondering if I can snag a discount.
 

cpotisch

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Brooklyn, NY
Pardon my ignorance: How does one apply a companion coupon to an online reservation? I'm looking at some trips I have planned and paid for this year, and I'm wondering if I can snag a discount.
Just go to the booking page and put your coupon code into either of the little "Coupon/Promo Code" fields.

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 6.40.09 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-01-14 at 6.40.51 PM.png
 

VTTrain

Lead Service Attendant
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Dec 3, 2018
Messages
325
They can not. A ticket is like a contract. Once you pay for your ticket, your end of the agreement has been fulfilled, and they are legally obligated to transport you at no extra charge, even if you technically got a discount you weren't supposed to.
That’s really not true.  If, to obtain a ticket, you used a companion voucher in violation of its terms and conditions they would be well within their right to cancel your ticket.  Whether or not it would be good customer relations to do so is a separate question.  
 
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Shanghai

Conductor
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Feb 4, 2008
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Florida
My perspective is that the companion coupon is being used for the rail fare, just as if two people were traveling in coach. This is a proper use of the coupon. However, the example here only varies as the companion is actually traveling in a sleeper, which is properly paid by the non-coupon traveler. The cost of the sleeper accommodation also includes meals (on some trains) which should not incur any additional unpaid costs to Amtrak. I think it is a matter of interpretation saying one cannot use a companion coupon to book another (second) sleeper accommodation like one would be entitled to another (second) seat.
 
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