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Date: 11/04/19 09:57
Did You Know?
Author: regalstream1516

Did anyone know of the large Amtrak fare increase that has appeared in two phases over the last 3 weeks?  I noticed a slight increase 3 weeks ago, but a larger increase over the past weekend.  Here are some samples all one person roomette prices...(note also these samples are rail fare and accommodation charge together).  Coach increases are there as well, but are smaller due to lower base fares to begin with.
D rate CHI-Dallas: was $275, now $316.  (five fare buckets for sleepers, D,C,B,A,S.  D is the lowest bucket, S is the highest)
D rate CHI-Los Angeles:  was $550, now $604.  $867 for the B rate, afraid to look at A and S rates.  
D rate CHI-WAS DC:  was $274, now $310.
Two NYP to Miami offerings, the first is either the D or C rate, the second is either the C or B rate.  I think these are D on the first and B on the second...
NYP-MIA was $429, now $466, was $586, now $$640  Both priced for the Meteor.  The A and S rates will blow your mind!

These are just samples of the across the board fall increase.  Also note the slighter variance in the Star vs. Meteor fares in and out of Florida.  The difference used to be greater than it is now, based on no diner on the Star.

I may have just missed any announcement of these increases, but I never saw notice from Amtrak or RPA (former NARP).  RPA  has a priority of asking their members to vote in their favorite routes this fall.  I ceased my contributions to that organization some time ago, finding them out of touch and unable/unwilling to question and hold Amtrak accountable with any credibility.  Also note that these increases have come just after food service changes on the eastern trains where the viewliner fares are already the highest.
 



Date: 11/04/19 10:01
Re: Did You Know?
Author: mbrotzman

Amtrak is also running a lot more sales and I'm drowning in points.



Date: 11/04/19 10:24
Re: Did You Know?
Author: joemvcnj

regalstream1516 Wrote:
-> I may have just missed any announcement of these
> increases, but I never saw notice from Amtrak or
> RPA (former NARP).  RPA  has a priority of
> asking their members to vote in their favorite
> routes this fall.  I ceased my contributions to
> that organization some time ago, finding them out
> of touch and unable/unwilling to question and hold
> Amtrak accountable with any credibility.  Also
> note that these increases have come just after
> food service changes on the eastern trains where
> the viewliner fares are already the highest.

What I heard from someone who attended their Sacramento Board & Council meeting is that Anderson asked NARP to have this survey, for whatever reason, as though Anderson thinks he can redraw the map and run trains wherever he wants. NARP being NARP thinking they work for Amtrak of course complied. OTOH, when they were asked by some of their own Board and Council  members to produce revenue and ridership data, via FOIA requests if need be, for analysis of revenue effects from food service downgrades, there was no reaction from Staff.

Negative comments on the Hotline are piling up weekly. It wasn't me. I cut off my membership a while ago. A relative, who is cutting off their membership, got a renewal notice and a small piece of flat cardstock of a Euro-looking locomotive to cut and fold. My conclusion: NARP is tone-deaf, condescending, impotent, and incompetent. Interested individuals and State ARPS need to step forward to fill voids and bring up various issues with their Congressional delegations, especially those issues NARP won't touch, or pretends to and does not, like Amtrak's bogus accounting. In an ideal world, they shouldn't have to, but we don't live in an ideal world and duty calls for what we care about. 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/19 16:00 by joemvcnj.



Date: 11/04/19 11:17
Re: Did You Know?
Author: 79mph

Probably typical holiday stuff.
Supply and demand, as we all know how Americans stop paying attention to anything else except spend spend spend at this time of the year.
But one advantage of raising prices is that if stuff does not sell as you hoped, you can have a "sale" at the old original price.



Date: 11/04/19 12:17
Re: Did You Know?
Author: GenePoon

Seasonal "typical holiday stuff" would have been done by adjusting the amount of space available in each bucket. For times when traffic would be higher, more S and A space, less C and D.

But an increase in the dollar amount for each bucket is a fare increase.

NARP/RPA is an Amtrak lapdog so-called "advocacy."



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/19 12:48 by GenePoon.



Date: 11/04/19 14:06
Re: Did You Know?
Author: PRSL-recall

What a disappointment NARP has been. It is now becoming more clear why they changed their name and ignoring those who have pointed out the foolishness of it. The reason simply being that they WANT to be a different organization and especially since January 2018 it has become extremely clear. The reasons stated above are right on. I too just got another renewal notice with the cut-and-fold Euro-looking locomotive. It has also become very evident that complaints about these changes are being deliberately ignored evidencing that they have become an explicit image of Amtrak. 

I, for one, am very interested in where to go from here as I am done with NARP. In a way it doesn't seem fair when state ARP's are called upon to do national work though any of it actually being done is highly appreciated and we'd like to know more about it. However I wonder if one concern could be from some of their members who are strictly dedicated to their own state and may take issue perhaps with their ARP dealing with national network issues. Is that possible? I'm very much aware of the existence of Rail User's Network  (RUN) and have visited their site numerous times. I'd join them in a minute but am nervous as I don't see their website updated very often with news and efforts related to the National Network. They claim to work with State ARP's but to what extent practically I don't know. Also if AAPRCO were able to take some of this on as their interests definitely coincide, but here again it may be going beyond their specific mandate and not carrying the full support of their members. 

As we as individuals continue to do some of NARP's work that they no longer are, some of us feel disenfranchised to some extent when our own Congressional delegation is not part of the national network. Some do seem interested to be sure but it becomes questionable what priority it is actually given with all that they have pressing in their own jurisdiction. 

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/19 14:08 by PRSL-recall.



Date: 11/04/19 15:34
Re: Did You Know?
Author: GenePoon

I am not sure whether this is still happening but the ARP in a major Southern state with multiple Amtrak trains was "bullied" by NARP leadership a few years ago for not following the national organization's "party line." I can't name the State ARP because it's leadership remained steadfast and is still in power.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/19 15:35 by GenePoon.



Date: 11/04/19 17:30
Re: Did You Know?
Author: AndyBrown

I have no exact details like you do but we were planning to do another family trip to southern CA next year, and in pricing reservations I was surprised at how expensive it is.  Final result is we won't be going via Amtrak unless prices drop as the date(s) get closer.  I love to ride Amtrak and it would be one thing to do it as a couple, but when you're talking 8 persons and 3 roomettes it adds up quickly.  When airfare is less than half the price it's a no brainer.

Andy



Date: 11/05/19 07:16
Re: Did You Know?
Author: mp51w

There was a small increase in fares.  Whether this was an appropriate time for that, is beyond my decision making skills.
That's a dangerous game to play, and I'm not seeing recent big increases in fuel or labor costs for motivators.
However, they did just came off a fiscal year of record ridership and strong demand.  Maybe they're a bit bullish.
On the sleeper front, they have decided to increase the base rail fare, historically the D bucket, to the B bucket. 
So, even before you start shopping for the lowest price room, not an easy task mind you, you are already being whacked by a higher rail fare!
 



Date: 11/05/19 07:30
Re: Did You Know?
Author: joemvcnj

Given the airline hacks that have totally infiltrated management and their lack of institutional knowledge, they are testing the limits of demand elasticity, whose micro-econ demand curve they have no knowledge of. 



Date: 11/05/19 10:37
Re: Did You Know?
Author: RRTom

Don't know if this will work but seems that you can get some kind of online coupon for just about anything.
Stores like Kohl's send us an unending supply of 15-20% off paper coupons plus ther are ever-present online coupons plus Kohl's cash.  Maybe Amtrak is playing the same game, I don't know.
Another possibility is the purchase of discounted gift cards online.
I hate shopping.



Date: 11/05/19 10:49
Re: Did You Know?
Author: joemvcnj

I wouldn't step foot in Kohl's unless armed with 20% off coupons. They are overpriced and know how people get around it, so they puff up their prices to play the game. They are also about to close 2% (40) stores by year end. I don't know what Amtrak is up to, but they've never been very good at marketing.  



Date: 11/06/19 00:20
Re: Did You Know?
Author: GenePoon

Actually, stacking coupons on top of sale prices on top of a scratch-off 30% discount for using a Kohl's credit card did us well, lately...and yielded a chunk of Kohl's Cash, too.

But without all that, we wouldn't have gone.

Amtrak might be figuring that making a big splash with discounts and promotions will be their marketing strategy...and jacking up the basic prices could be a prologue.

Or, they're just price-gouging.

And what does NARP/RPA say about it?    There's very bad financial news about that organization, by the way...



Date: 11/06/19 06:20
Re: Did You Know?
Author: PRSL-recall

Wonder if it's at least partly due to members jumping ship.



Date: 11/06/19 08:48
Re: Did You Know?
Author: Dcmcrider

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wouldn't step foot in Kohl's unless armed with
> 20% off coupons.

In my view, this is the fundamental problem with the endless cycles of "flash sales" and other "discounting" gimmicks. It comes to the point that a sizable portion of your customer base won't book discretionary travel unless they think they're getting a "deal." They sit and wait otherwise.

Paul Wilson
Arlington, VA



Date: 11/06/19 08:57
Re: Did You Know?
Author: GenePoon

PRSL-recall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wonder if it's at least partly due to members
> jumping ship.

That is only a small part of it. The main financial problem is far worse and I have it from three independent sources. More to come.

Posted with a Number Two pencil



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/19 08:59 by GenePoon.



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