Why Such High Prices for The Silvers in February 2022?

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niemi24s

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. . .the price rose +$300 after I booked for next available bedroom!
The increases I mentioned were for each bucket. Your +$300 increase is due to a jump of two buckets and the increase in each of the Bedroom buckets is but a small portion of that.

The Bedroom buckets for one adult from ALX to, say, WTH are $905, 1017, 1214, 1411 and 1594 so a four bucket jump would have been $689 with the recently detected general increase accounting for perhaps $12 of that!
 

HammerJack

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High sleeper prices can be frustrating, and flat-out unaffordable for some. That being said, if Amtrak can sell out existing sleeper capacity at their current high rates, so be it. There seems to be enough of a demand for sleepers from a demographic that is able/willing to pay for them.

I do wish there was a class of service between coach and roomettes that wasn’t as expensive. The old slumbercoaches come to mind. The slumber roomettes were tiny, single-bunk compartments that were staggered to fit above/below other rooms. They were tiny, but offered a sleeper service for a price not much more than a coach ticket. It filled a gap between coach and larger sleeping accommodations. Now, I feel like you either go cheap and rough it out in coach, or splurge and get a big room. There isn’t a middle-ground.
 
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I still think that future long distance chair cars should change the seats for ones that have airliner bulkhead seat style tray tables, that stow away inside the armrests. There is ample pitch already in Amtraks long distance coaches, but because of the tray tables, seat recline angle is limited. The old Heritage seatbacks reclined much further, allowing sleep to come much easier, IMHO....
 

lordsigma

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Don’t forget there are some riders who are more of a captive audience - people afraid to, don’t like, can’t or won’t fly no matter what and may be more willing to pay the higher fare. And don’t say busses because busses are unbearable for longer than a few hour trip.
 

Sidney

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Trying to find a reasonable roomette price is tough. Seems many of the prices are out of reach of most people. In September I got a low bucket on the EB from Chicago to Seattle. Overnight and the CS to Sacramento. The next days prices were through the roof. However the day after it was low bucket,so I rebooked the EB for the following day which was still low bucket.

In Sacramento I wanted to book the CZ to Chicago and the Cap Ltd and Pennsylvanian to Harrisburg. Again,outrageous price so I booked Coach to Reno,overnight and a Southwest flight to Baltimore and a NE Regional and Keystone back to Harrisburg saving several hundred dollars. I would have preferred to make it a complete circle trip but if Amtrak is going to charge nearly $800 to get from Sac to Har and Southwest is charging $149 guess which mode of transport will win?. Of course I could have ridden Coach the entire way,but that ship has sailed years ago.

Amtrak...please make your sleeper acommodations affordable!
 

Tlcooper93

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Trying to find a reasonable roomette price is tough. Seems many of the prices are out of reach of most people. In September I got a low bucket on the EB from Chicago to Seattle. Overnight and the CS to Sacramento. The next days prices were through the roof. However the day after it was low bucket,so I rebooked the EB for the following day which was still low bucket.

In Sacramento I wanted to book the CZ to Chicago and the Cap Ltd and Pennsylvanian to Harrisburg. Again,outrageous price so I booked Coach to Reno,overnight and a Southwest flight to Baltimore and a NE Regional and Keystone back to Harrisburg saving several hundred dollars. I would have preferred to make it a complete circle trip but if Amtrak is going to charge nearly $800 to get from Sac to Har and Southwest is charging $149 guess which mode of transport will win?. Of course I could have ridden Coach the entire way,but that ship has sailed years ago.

Amtrak...please make your sleeper acommodations affordable!
perhaps if the airlines didn’t receive the direct and indirect subsidies they do, tickets would be more expensive. Airlines like SW only exist cause their operating costs are not all that high (despite the fact they only operate 1 fleet type). Imagine if airlines had to pay for airport runways and taxiways, terminals, ATC, along with their usual costs of personnel, fuel, and maintenance.
On the flip side, image if Amtrak leased their fleet (is that possible), and didn’t have to pay for tracks on the NEC, dispatchers, or stations.
Service would get better and prices would be more affordable.

I noticed prices for a roomette on LSL in June are almost two hundred dollars higher than both EB and CZ. Is this normal?
 

dlagrua

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The bottom line here is that the sleeper fare structure is simply out of control but if they can sell sleepers for exorbitant prices more power to them. I don't believe that they will. Still following the PHL-FLG fares for early August for and the bedroom R/T fare today is now over $6000 as opposed to $1000 for First Class Air. Amtrak has priced itself out of our range but maybe thats the plan. This will probably be the first year that we will fly in the last 15 years.
 
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Exvalley

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Imagine if airlines had to pay for airport runways and taxiways, terminals, ATC, along with their usual costs of personnel, fuel, and maintenance.
To a very large extent the airlines and passengers are the ones who pay for these things. Passengers get dinged for PFC charges, fees and taxes. Airlines pay fees to the airports, among other things.

As just one example, ATC is primarily funded through excise taxes that are imposed on passengers.

In 2018, Southwest paid $1,334,000,000 in landing and airport fees - which equates to $8.15 per passenger. Source: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/92380/000009238019000022/luv-12312018x10k.htm

By comparison, Amtrak paid $59,400,000 in freight access fees in 2015 - or $1.92 per passenger. (Yes, I know this is complicated by the fact that they own the NEC track.) Source:

People who complain about the funding of air travel need to be careful for what they ask for. If you truly want to start leveling the playing field from a passenger perspective, the taxes on an Amtrak ticket need to go up.

That said, I don't see it as a zero-sum game. I believe that air and rail transportation should be supported by the government. They both serve an important role.
 
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amtrakpass

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I have also found the increasing sleeper prices discouraging. To me a roomette is a pretty basic accommodation and shouldn't ever cost more a day than maybe double what a hotel room in a major city would cost. I was thinking of traveling from Boston to Chicago in July and it shows $613 for one night already. If I go coach to Albany it is still $442. This is when the train is showing 5% and 10% full in the app. That is a huge cost and out of reach for the majority of folks. And I would say if you don't think that sounds expensive you may be a little more blessed that you realize.
 
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Sidney

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$613 for a roomette? Outrageous. I hope people would not pay that kind of money,but sadly some will, so Amtrak can continue to charge these prices. I have never paid more than low bucket for any accommodation and never will. Being retired,I am flexible.If I can't find low bucket at all,I won't go or fly.
 
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amtrakpass

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I don't know the official price buckets so this might be missing a high or a low, but a random check for my bos-chi trip shows a low of $463 for one night and a high of $748. No discount anymore for booking far in advance.
 

lordsigma

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I got very reasonable buckets for my upcoming trip in June - LSL - CZ out. SWC - LSL back (traveling out of SPG and booked the Boston sleeper). But I did rebook literally as soon as my dates were first available back in the late summer long before companies were expected a big boom in travel this summer. (Originally I was scheduled for last June canceled due to stay at home orders/lockdowns and Covid in general.) i actually got vouchers back because it was cheaper than when I booked for last June. Just hoping traditional dining is back for my trip west (I’m guessing my trip home it definitely will be as they are saying June for traditional dining.)
 

jis

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My Gathering trip to/from Chicago from/to Orlando came out to be around $700 each way. The outbound was a little over $700 and the return a little under $700. If I was willing to change dates I could possibly have brought it down a little, but I was pretty set on those specific days.
 

lordsigma

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You can’t totally go by train capacity either. From what I’ve heard sleepers are a hot commodity right now understandably with Covid concerns. I’ve seen multiple times when looking on arrow for auto train sleepers sold out with room still available in coach.
 

niemi24s

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FWIW, high and low buckets for one adult from BOS to CHI are:
• Roomette, $402 - $748 (unchanged for many months)
• Bedroom, $693 - $1,405 (recently increased by less than 2%)

$613 for a roomette? Outrageous.
I guess that makes $748 outrageouser, huh?
 
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Tlcooper93

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Full length sleeper NY to Chi and Chi to Sac and Chi to Pdx/Sea?
Yes. Pretty outrageous, don't you think?

To a very large extent the airlines and passengers are the ones who pay for these things. Passengers get dinged for PFC charges, fees and taxes. Airlines pay fees to the airports, among other things.

As just one example, ATC is primarily funded through excise taxes that are imposed on passengers.

In 2018, Southwest paid $1,334,000,000 in landing and airport fees - which equates to $8.15 per passenger. Source: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/92380/000009238019000022/luv-12312018x10k.htm

By comparison, Amtrak paid $59,400,000 in freight access fees in 2015 - or $1.92 per passenger. (Yes, I know this is complicated by the fact that they own the NEC track.) Source:

People who complain about the funding of air travel need to be careful for what they ask for. If you truly want to start leveling the playing field from a passenger perspective, the taxes on an Amtrak ticket need to go up.

That said, I don't see it as a zero-sum game. I believe that air and rail transportation should be supported by the government. They both serve an important role.
You have a good point, but I think you missed my overall point.
I'm saying that just as Amtrak can't survive without government help, neither can airlines.
While landing fees exist, airlines have deals with airports to mitigate and not necessarily pay full price on fees. This exists at KBOS for their $285 landing fee which applies to all aircraft including general aviation (this figure doesn't include ramp/FBO fees). For airlines, I understand its more complex than thatm but the math does work in their favor. That's why silly little Cessna 172 pilots like me would never dream of landing there (despite the neighbouring heavies, and wake turbulence).

The fact of the matter is that airlines don't pay a comparable share of the "cost to exist" that Amtrak DOES pay.

While Amtrak tickets do reflect the cost of passenger rail in this country, airline tickets often do not. This feeds the falacy that rail only exists because its subsidized, and air travel is actual a viable market, and should continue to be the way of the future.

FWIW, high and low buckets for one adult from BOS to CHI are:
• Roomette, $402 - $748 (unchanged for many months)
• Bedroom, $693 - $1,405 (recently increased by less than 2%)

I guess that makes $748 outrageouser, huh?
Compared to a roughly $700 aboard a 2 night CZ, yes I think its pretty ridiculous.
 
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joelkfla

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Does Amtrak give refunds (either cash or voucher) if you find that sleeper fares have dropped between the time of your booking and your trip?

At this point, since change fees are waived thru 9/6, I suppose one could always change their reservation to a different day, and then change it back, no?
 

lordsigma

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Does Amtrak give refunds (either cash or voucher) if you find that sleeper fares have dropped between the time of your booking and your trip?

At this point, since change fees are waived thru 9/6, I suppose one could always change their reservation to a different day, and then change it back, no?
Absolutely yes you can get a voucher at least if the fare goes down - FYI change fees do not apply to premium accommodations (like sleepers.) I have more than once gone to my local ticket office when fares have dropped since I booked (big example during the pandemic) and have gotten a voucher.
 

Tlcooper93

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Absolutely yes you can get a voucher at least if the fare goes down - FYI change fees do not apply to premium accommodations (like sleepers.) I have more than once gone to my local ticket office when fees have dropped since I booked (big example during the pandemic) and have gotten a voucher.
Would not have guessed something like this is possible. Very good to know for the future!
 

niemi24s

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Compared to a roughly $700 aboard a 2 night CZ, yes I think its pretty ridiculous.
As long as you're making comparisons on a per night basis between different bucket levels on different trains, why not compare that $748 one night high bucket Roomette on the LSL to a low bucket two night Roomette on the CZ at $563 - or $232 per night. Even better would be the low bucket three night Roomette on the TE at $623 or a measly $208 per night.

Those're even ridiculouser!! :)
 
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