Why is my companion coupon not working?

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fhussain44

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I've spent almost an hour trying to book a simple trip with my companion coupon. For the life of me I can't figure out why it doesn't work. The price it shows at the checkout screen is the full price for two people. No discount is applied. I did some googling and seems maybe Saver fares are not allowed? But I tried a Value fare and still full price. The specific trip is: WAS -> NYP on 7/29 . You can pick any train and the same problem happens.

Do I need to book the trip for one adult and add in the companion later? I tried that but it didn't seem to work.
 
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fhussain44

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Did some more googling and think I figured out the problem. I am booking for two seniors and you can't apply companion coupon to senior discount. So I changed it to two Adults. Now the discount does show , but only for the Value fares, not the Saver fares.

This seems rather useless as Value fares are basically double the price of Saver. So I get no savings, just some benefits of refundability and no change fees which we never use.

So is companion coupon useless or is there something I am still doing wrong?
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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Did some more googling and think I figured out the problem. I am booking for two seniors and you can't apply companion coupon to senior discount. So I changed it to two Adults. Now the discount does show , but only for the Value fares, not the Saver fares.

This seems rather useless as Value fares are basically double the price of Saver. So I get no savings, just some benefits of refundability and no change fees which we never use.

So is companion coupon useless or is there something I am still doing wrong?
You need to call( if you're an AGR Member call them, not Amtraks Regular #).

I've never had any problems upgrading or using Companion Coupons when booking with AGR( and the Saver Fare,if available, CAN be used with Coupons and Vouchers)
 

AmtrakBlue

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Did some more googling and think I figured out the problem. I am booking for two seniors and you can't apply companion coupon to senior discount. So I changed it to two Adults. Now the discount does show , but only for the Value fares, not the Saver fares.

This seems rather useless as Value fares are basically double the price of Saver. So I get no savings, just some benefits of refundability and no change fees which we never use.

So is companion coupon useless or is there something I am still doing wrong?
You’re already saving with the Saver fare, so why would they allow more savings?
Also, there’s a limited number of save fares on each train, so the coupon would be useful if there are no more saver fares available for your train.
BTW, the Saver Fare is a bigger discount then your Senior discount.
 

neroden

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Companion coupons are essentially useless, yes. I've managed to use them occasionally but it's hard to find a situation where they're cheaper than other options.
 

fhussain44

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Companion coupons are essentially useless, yes. I've managed to use them occasionally but it's hard to find a situation where they're cheaper than other options.

Thanks for confirming. Figuring it was too good to be true!
 

Bob Dylan

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Companion coupons are essentially useless, yes. I've managed to use them occasionally but it's hard to find a situation where they're cheaper than other options.
This isn't true on the NEC or other Corridors where there are Multiple Trains.

Except during "Rush Hours" I've not had any problems using them.( same thing for Upgrade Coupons)

As has been said, sometimes the Saver Fares can be a better deal than some of the Discounts, but I've found that calling AGR is a big help with booking any Discount,Voucher or Coupon trips..
 

neroden

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Huh. I'm looking at the companion coupons text again, and they've actually relaxed the restrictions. They're more usable now than they used to be.

They're not very good in coach class because the Saver fare is typically so much cheaper; Value + Companion may be cheaper than 2 saver fares, but often by only a few dollars. If saver fares are not available, then it is quite good. If you need a flexible fare, it saves a lot (but if you need a flexible fare, business class is cheaper). But it used to be, companion coupons were very hard to use outside coach, which was the problem.

However, it looks like now you can use it for:
- Acela Business Class (I think this rarely has saver fares?)

- Business Class (provides a discount equal to the coach fare on the second business class ticket) -- I think you could always do this, and that's how I used them, but it was tricky to arrange and required a phone call. Checking a random Syracuse-Boston trip, the "Value" (base) fare is $52 and business class is $67, so that's worth about $52.

- Sleepers (puts a second person in your sleeper for no extra charge) -- I believe this is new, and now I'll be using that routinely. Again, it ends up being worth the value of one "Value" fare coach ticket, which may be more like $84 for, for example, SYR->CHI.

The increased flexibility for using them on business class and sleepers makes them a lot more useful. Increases the value of Select Plus status (which gives 2) and if used on a sleeper on a longer trip, is probably worth more than the annual fee on the credit card (which gives 1).
 
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Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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25,796
Location
Austin Texas
Huh. I'm looking at the companion coupons text again, and they've actually relaxed the restrictions. They're more usable now than they used to be.

They're not very good in coach class because the Saver fare is typically so much cheaper; Value + Companion may be cheaper than 2 saver fares, but often by only a few dollars. If saver fares are not available, then it is quite good. If you need a flexible fare, it saves a lot (but if you need a flexible fare, business class is cheaper). But it used to be, companion coupons were very hard to use outside coach, which was the problem.

However, it looks like now you can use it for:
- Acela Business Class (I think this rarely has saver fares?)

- Business Class (provides a discount equal to the coach fare on the second business class ticket) -- I think you could always do this, and that's how I used them, but it was tricky to arrange and required a phone call. Checking a random Syracuse-Boston trip, the "Value" (base) fare is $52 and business class is $67, so that's worth about $52.

- Sleepers (puts a second person in your sleeper for no extra charge) -- I believe this is new, and now I'll be using that routinely. Again, it ends up being worth the value of one "Value" fare coach ticket, which may be more like $84 for, for example, SYR->CHI.

The increased flexibility for using them on business class and sleepers makes them a lot more useful. Increases the value of Select Plus status (which gives 2) and if used on a sleeper on a longer trip, is probably worth more than the annual fee on the credit card (which gives 1).
Acela BC does have Saver Fares, but they are Limited and go fast!( I got a $69 Fare from NYP-BWI in May and used an AU friends Upgrade Coupon for FC, which was $380 that day!)
 

fhussain44

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Jan 28, 2013
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Still trying to understand why the companion certificate won't work if you are senior? Is it some IT glitch or intentional?
 

fhussain44

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Jan 28, 2013
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Great, I finally got it to work. For 2 people together it works out to the same price as the lowest bucket saver fare. But if there is no more lowest bucker saver fare then you can get a good deal..

Now wondering if I can apply my 12-hour upgrade coupon to this reservation the day of travel ? Wishful thinking, but who knows?!
 
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Just to add my experience here - calling Amtrak customer service up and providing them a companion code allowed them to book an Acela business saver fare for me for two people and I only paid for the price of one.
 
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