Upgrading to Sleeper onboard?

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I am taking the chief tonight from LA and lots of the sleepers are empty according to reservation staff. Am I able to work out a discount upgrade with the conductor so the room does not stay empty or does Amtrak even offer onboard upgrades and if so whats the cost?

Thanks
Ben
 

pennyk

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I am taking the chief tonight from LA and lots of the sleepers are empty according to reservation staff. Am I able to work out a discount upgrade with the conductor so the room does not stay empty or does Amtrak even offer onboard upgrades and if so whats the cost?

Thanks
Ben
the current procedure is that conductors no longer facilitate upgrades. Generally, you will be told to call Amtrak reservations in order to upgrade (at current bucket). However, maybe the rules are different now considering the situation with so many unsold rooms.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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Hopefully that policy changes in the near future. That’s one thing airlines do, sell upgrades at the gate or online. Amtrak should follow suit. It’s probably one of the only things that airlines do that Amtrak should as well.
 
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Qapla

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I was told by an Amtrak Conductor that one of the reasons Amtrak discontinued "on board" upgrades was because, sometimes, the upgrade was being dome "off the books" and the extra money was going in the pocket of some train personnel instead of Amtrak.

Mind you, they said that was not the only reasons - just that it DID happen.

As to online seat selection on LD - that gets a little more complicated on Amtrak due to many of the riders not going from end-to-end like they do in a plane. On a plane a seat doesn't go unsold for a large portion of the trip because someone bought the middle of the route when the tickets first went on sale - and no one wants to be charged end-to-end price if they are only going a third of the way
 

me_little_me

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As to online seat selection on LD - that gets a little more complicated on Amtrak due to many of the riders not going from end-to-end like they do in a plane. On a plane a seat doesn't go unsold for a large portion of the trip because someone bought the middle of the route when the tickets first went on sale - and no one wants to be charged end-to-end price if they are only going a third of the way
Did they look at alternatives like restricting online sales of short distance riders like the car attendants do now? People going shorter distances are often all put in the same car(s) so the seat selection can have all sorts of restrictions such as a particular car, different selections for groups (three or more), couples (two traveling together) and singles. Depending on your number of people (single, etc) and distance, starting point and destination, a single might get a picture showing availability of seats free in the front 20 rows of car xxx whereas a group would see the whole car or more cars and couples might see something in between.
Groups and couples could have initial visibility showing only seats that could accommodate them together unless none are available in which case they see all in that car or cars and they have to choose seats that are not together or they can select "more options" if they wold prefer to be seated separately rather than, say, together but right by door or bathroom.
 

prech786

Train Attendant
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May 8, 2014
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There is basically "assigned seating" in regards to sleeping cars. Someone could book a Family Bedroom from MSP to FAR and thus block a family who wants to book from CHI to GPK. In the "olden days", 60's & 70's, before Hub-and-Spoke. airlines would fly one-plane "routes". I flew one plane; MSP -MKE-IND-ATL-MCO, with passengers getting on and off at each airport. Perhaps someone was blocked from a Minneapolis-Orlando flight by too many Milwaukee-Indy bookings. Similar situation, but the airlines handled it. Yes fewer stops and seats, but before today's massive IT/Computer Booking infrastructures.
 
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