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Date: 09/15/13 09:51
Changes to Amtrak Web Site
Author: shoretower

Amtrak must have done an upgrade Saturday night, because when I logged on to book my return from WAS to PHL next Thursday, the fare matrix looked completely different. It used to just show a single fare for each train. Now there is a matrix with four columns, headed:

Saver
Value
Flexible
Premium

which I guess correspond to four NEC fare "buckets". Unless Amtrak has also implemented a new fare-refund policy, I'm not sure what "flexible" means except that you're paying more. AFAIK, all Amtrak fares on the NEC remain refundable as "electronic vouchers". However, despite the name these e-vouchers can only be redeemed at a ticket counter (although maybe that has now changed as well).

In any case, all that was left for my train (196) was "flexible" at $90. So I'm on Megabus for $11 one way. Megabus is not so bad, especially for about 15% of the cost.



Date: 09/15/13 10:35
Re: Changes to Amtrak Web Site
Author: RetiredGal9

I checked it out and learned that senior fare is now more than 'saver' fare. Maybe more information IS a good thing!



Date: 09/15/13 10:41
Re: Changes to Amtrak Web Site
Author: DonNadeau

Strange that Amtrak does not explain the differences between the types of fares. For example, flexible implies that saver fares are nonrefundable if not used on specific trains or at least have penalties of some type.

Why not explain? Check out http://www.southwest.com - Southwest does this right.



Date: 09/15/13 11:03
Re: Changes to Amtrak Web Site
Author: inCHI

Just did a test. Indeed, flexible makes no sense. I was looking at a Capitol ticket. The difference seems to be that now a new buyer can be tricked into thinking "flexible" signifies anything; as before, you would only see the "value" fare until there were none left. Plus what is the difference between "saver" and "value", and why use such similar terms?



Date: 09/15/13 11:26
Re: Changes to Amtrak Web Site
Author: floridajoe2001

Maybe I'll grow to like this; but, at this point, it seems Amtrak took an easy to understand web design, and complicated the hell out of it!

Joe



Date: 09/15/13 11:29
Re: Changes to Amtrak Web Site
Author: andersonb109

AND you can ask Julie a question right on the web site!!!



Date: 09/15/13 11:58
Re: Changes to Amtrak Web Site
Author: mundo

Details of the fares, refunds etc. are available. Just spend some time to find it however.

Yes the new system went into effect 1201am Sunday.


These changes should see many posts on TO. Enjoy!



Date: 09/15/13 12:36
Re: Changes to Amtrak Web Site
Author: mbutte

These enhancements all seem good to me, particularly as the new selection screen will include any SmartFares or other discounted fares (to be listed as Saver fares) which may be offered on a given train and date.

This is easier than having to switch around the screens the old way!

The difference between the 'Value' fare and the 'Flexible' fare is that if you cancel a 'Value' fare ticket and want cash back, there is 10% fee deducted. The 'Flexible' fare if cancelled gets you a 100% cash refund.

You can get an 100% e-voucher credit for future travel on either fare.

All of this is still so much better than the airlines unless you happen to be rich and on a full fare ticket!



Date: 09/15/13 12:53
Re: Changes to Amtrak Web Site
Author: shoretower

As for "senior" being more than the "saver" fare, for some time now Amtrak's lowest fares have been non-discountable. That is, AAA discount, senior discount, etc. do not apply. The "value" fare from PHL to WAS is usually $51. AAA gets you 10% off that, or $46.10. But there is often a "saver" fare of $35 (with two week advance purchase).



Date: 09/16/13 21:40
Re: Changes to Amtrak Web Site
Author: mundo

To explain the fare types a bit.

Saver...low promotional fare. Restricted in use.
Value...can be the former bucket fares of AO-BO-DO
Flexible....former YO



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