Was the % full feature removed from Amtrak Reservation System?

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OmahaRoad

Service Attendant
AU Supporting Member
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North Carolina now | Minnesota previously
Pretty simple question, as per the title of this post: I've not seen this discussed elsewhere, but did Amtrak suddenly stop listing the percent full/sold information during online booking?! I've thought this was a helpful and interesting feature, but when I was gaming out some potential trips recently (as well as checking if the prices of something I booked a little while ago had gone down or not), I noticed the "70% full" etc. icon was totally gone.

Anyone know if this is a permanent, across the board thing, or not?
 
Eh, I feel it was pretty darn accurate for the trips I've taken since they started showing it, so that was nice. Honestly, though, I just liked it! It was interesting to see roughly how fast tickets were selling (beyond the price proxy) and how crowded I could expect my trip to be, etc. I never really used it for the original COVID purpose.

My only quibble with it going away is, if it didn't take much in the way of additional resources to include, why not keep it going? I can understand if it draws away resources from elsewhere or is cumbersome to maintain on the back end.

Mostly I was just wondering if anyone knew exactly why they removed it, but yeah, I'd guess some Amtrak manager just decided "Oh, we don't need this anymore!"
 
I kind of liked seeing it as well, and not for COVID-related purposes either. It was just great to see when booking or potentially booking a trip. With the trips that I've been taking recently though, it was kind of irrelevant as the trips that I have taken were almost filled to capacity, but it was kind of neat to see how much "to capacity" it was.

Like @OmahaRoad above, I agree, it was a nifty little feature on the website, but fully understandable if the removed it just for simplicity.
 
I thought that the % full number was useful. If you follow that number it sometime had a relationship to the bucket price. It also helped when you booked a vacation destination well in advance and wanted to know how fast the seats or rooms on a particular train were filling up. There are points in the fill number where the prices are lowest or highest. For instance I assume that at 90% full you are paying high bucket and at 10-30% full you might be paying low bucket. The newly revamped www.railsforless.com may have this information, Two excellent IT guys are still developing it and I hope that it comes back soon.
 
I kind of liked seeing it as well, and not for COVID-related purposes either. It was just great to see when booking or potentially booking a trip. With the trips that I've been taking recently though, it was kind of irrelevant as the trips that I have taken were almost filled to capacity, but it was kind of neat to see how much "to capacity" it was.

Like @OmahaRoad above, I agree, it was a nifty little feature on the website, but fully understandable if the removed it just for simplicity.
I liked the capacity, just because I could mentally prepare for sitting next to a seat mate if my train was full haha.
 
It's decidedly helpful on the Hiawatha when it comes to judging if you're in danger of a sell out. If you're not sure if how soon you'll be done with the client you can buy your return CHI-MKE ticket as a walk up whenever you finish. But if you know something is close to selling out you probably have to bite the bullet and book. When it was unreserved it didn't matter but now trains sometimes sell out. I'm guessing some other higher-frequency routes might have similar situations where the % was decidedly helpful.
 
I agree with the sentiments about using the capacity indicators to estimate how fast tickets are selling and how difficult it would be to get a seat. I imagine that's why it was disabled: to further obfuscate fare buckets and their relationship with seat availability. Amtrak is trying to use any and all levers they can to raise revenue on paper. Often fares don't start at low buckets anymore, and peak times like weekends and holidays are even worse. You would think if they put the mothballed cars in service they would make more revenue, but 🤷🏻‍♂️

I also don't see any reason to think the capacity indicators were incorrect, just that they showed the level at the time of booking, not at the time the train departed. One would have to do a dummy booking just before departure to find the real capacity of the segment one is traveling.
 
What did it really mean anyway? I rode in coach on the Empire Builder from Seattle to Shelby, and the train was shown as 80% full. Every seat was occupied between Everett and Leavenworth, but after Spokane in the Seattle coach there were two seats for everyone with seats to spare. Sleepers on this train were sold out.
I’m pretty sure sleepers were never part of the % full.
 
Those who have said this was useful I suspect are referring to regional trains rather than long-distance trains. As one commented, I don't think it applies to sleepers. My decision whether or not to buy a sleeper room is mainly based on price, although I try to book early to get best room selection. If the train shows 90% full and $3,000 for a room, I'll take my time booking (edit to add: the fare might go down right before departure date). If the train is 10% full and rooms are $300, I'm already on the phone with AGR.
 
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I inquired only one time about this, and the agent said that it was a total number of passengers for sleeper and couch, divided by the total number of seats available sleeper, and coach.

But for Covid days - it makes more sense just to look at the coach percentages. But post-covid it would be nice having it for both coach and sleeper separate percentages - a handy tool when booking.
 
Yeah. When it comes to Regionals, I'd like to be able to judge how full the train is likely to be...but as others have said, if I'm booking NPN-WAS, there's no way to tell if the train is "full" RVM-WAS or ALX-WAS.

Also, when it comes to Regionals, I wish they'd let you check the seatmap before booking Business Class (and ditto the whole train on the Acela) as well as when those other seats are booked (since a seat that is "occupied" for 15 minutes of my trip might as well be empty, but if it's full for the whole thing I'd probably try to pick another seat).
 
I'm a little skeptical of the theory that Amtrak removed this feature deliberately. Until I hear definitively, I'm inclined to think it's a glitch...and one that probably is not a high priority of Amtrak to fix.

Count me among those who found it handy in terms of knowing what to expect on the train. I use the Cascades 8-10 times a month and knowing how full the train is likely to be helps me anticipate what sort of "workspace" I'll have.
 
Is this another example of creeping Amtrak efforts to keep the public not know the inner workings? I cannot remember anything that Amtrak has become more transparent within the last few years, Time for congress to step in.
 
I'm a little skeptical of the theory that Amtrak removed this feature deliberately. Until I hear definitively, I'm inclined to think it's a glitch...and one that probably is not a high priority of Amtrak to fix.

Count me among those who found it handy in terms of knowing what to expect on the train. I use the Cascades 8-10 times a month and knowing how full the train is likely to be helps me anticipate what sort of "workspace" I'll have.
That's the theory of someone else I know as well.
 
I sent an email to the app support team, and their response:
Thank you for reaching out to us with your question and comments.

The Capacity Indicator was temporarily added during the COVID-19 emergency in response to social distancing recommendations and was relatively accurate because most people were booking trains close to the time of departure at that time. It was recently retired now that the pandemic has passed and because customers are now booking tickets farther out from departure on average, a pattern that reduces the overall reliability of the Capacity Indicator.

We hope this answer is helpful.

Thank you for being an Amtrak customer.
 
Am I late to the party and everyone else here already knows this? I recall some months back reading opinions like my own that despaired when Amtrak stopped displaying the little % full diagrams on the trains you could choose when booking online. I just saw that on one page, anyway, that I found while considering a booking from NYP to CLE, it’s back. Hooray.

Or maybe not. When looking at booking choices Clemson-New York the diagram isn’t there. Oh well…
 
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This happened to me recently also--the website must be glitching as usual! I randomly saw the percent full for one train in one direction, but not the other, and then, none since. I wonder if it's only random glitches, or if Amtrak is thinking about bringing it back. Clearly, they haven't totally removed the back-end website infrastructure that allowed them to display this if we both saw it.
 
Am I late to the party and everyone else here already knows this? I recall some months back reading opinions like my own that despaired when Amtrak stopped displaying the little % full diagrams on the trains you could choose when booking online. I just saw that on one page, anyway, that I found while considering a booking from NYP to CLE, it’s back. Hooray.

Or maybe not. When looking at booking choices Clemson-New York the diagram isn’t there. Oh well…
I tried PDX>SEA, PDX>EUG, and PDX>SPK and didn't find the load indicator. However, the 9:35 p.m. PDX>EUG bus for March 17th showed "NA" instead of "Connecting Bus" and offered a link to a blank page. So perhaps someone is working on the system.
 
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