Amtrak Discounts

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Amtrak Discounts
Posted by meatball914 on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 9:37 AM

I know Amtrak has started to nickle and dime over discounts (I recently lost my senior discount since the qualifying age went up to 65 yrs).  Today, however, I tried to book a trip online and the AAA discount option was not available.  It also does not show up on the DEALS section of the webpage.  Has Amtrak dropped this discount unannouced?  Does anyone have any information?  I used this discount for so many years.

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Posted by oltmannd on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 11:28 AM

meatball914

I know Amtrak has started to nickle and dime over discounts (I recently lost my senior discount since the qualifying age went up to 65 yrs).  Today, however, I tried to book a trip online and the AAA discount option was not available.  It also does not show up on the DEALS section of the webpage.  Has Amtrak dropped this discount unannouced?  Does anyone have any information?  I used this discount for so many years.

 

Me, too.  Poof!  Might have to try to use my "pass" from now on...

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by PJS1 on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 5:40 PM
Here is a link to Amtrak’s website that outlines the current discounts:
 
 
I am 78.  My annual income, thanks to a lucking savings and investment scheme, is greater than when I was working.  So why should I get a discount?  Just because someone has reached a certain age does not mean that they cannot afford to pay full fare.  Some can't; but many can. 
 
For those seniors that don't have a lot of income, Amtrak could offer them a senior discount fare based on a qualified income level.  With today’s computer technologies, once a person has qualified for the discount, it could be made seamless.  No one would know other than the recipient. 

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 9:36 PM

JPS1
Here is a link to Amtrak’s website that outlines the current discounts:
 
 
I am 78.  My annual income, thanks to a lucking savings and investment scheme, is greater than when I was working.  So why should I get a discount?  Just because someone has reached a certain age does not mean that they cannot afford to pay full fare.  Some can't; but many can pay full fare. 
 
For those seniors that don't have a lot of income, Amtrak could offer them a senior discount fare based on a qualified income level.  With today’s computer technologies, once a person has qualified for the discount, it could be made seamless.  No one would know other than the recipient. 

You mean there is no reward for growing older?  Just the slowing down and aches and pains as well as the multiple continuing medications?

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Sunnyland on Monday, February 26, 2018 8:46 PM

I just booked a trip on MO River Runner and was able to get the discount as I am over 65. Don't belong to AAA, so know nothing about that one.  New cancellation policies too.  But Amtrak Guest Rewards for now is still working the same, I will redeem some of those points when I hope to ride City of NOLA again this summer. I still get e-mails with points listed so I will find out, but read there would be no problem with those.  I paid for my ticket to Lee's Summit as it was not that expensive and can get more points and I always use that credit card for larger expenses to get more points.  At least they don't go away like airlines now do, TWA would keep them active, but not these other airlines. I have not flown in years and don't intend too, not my idea of fun any longer from what I hear. I racked up a lot of miles with TWA Getaway Tours to Europe multiple times and glad I did it then.  

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Posted by runnerdude48 on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 1:33 PM

I suspect Guest Rewards will be the next perk to fall.  I don't think it will go away entirely but I think redeeming points will be much more difficult.  You will still have multiple ways to earn points but when you come to redeem them the number of seats and rooms available for rewards travel will be controlled just like the airlines do now.  Probably based on the number of seats/rooms available on a given train.  Maybe one room per sleeper so say 3 during peak season on the Coast Starlight but only 1 on the Cardinal.  Number may increase seasonaly on some trains.  More in the summer to Florida and fewer in the winter.  Amtrak Guest Rewards is the only rewards program that I ever use and if they make it difficult I'll go back to the airlines because Amtrak's fares are too expensivew for the poor service they provide.  Travel 1st Class on the plane for a trip that takes hours as opposed to days.  Cheaper too.

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Posted by DENNIS SCHAUER on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 11:12 PM

Yeah, I was trying to book a ride from Chicago to Florida, and lo and behold, no AAA discount any more.  Maybe if I fly a whole lot on Delta I could get some Amtrak points.  What do you think?

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Posted by GN_Fan on Sunday, March 18, 2018 7:16 AM

JPS1
Here is a link to Amtrak’s website that outlines the current discounts:
 
 
I am 78.  My annual income, thanks to a lucking savings and investment scheme, is greater than when I was working.  So why should I get a discount?  Just because someone has reached a certain age does not mean that they cannot afford to pay full fare.  Some can't; but many can. 
 
For those seniors that don't have a lot of income, Amtrak could offer them a senior discount fare based on a qualified income level.  With today’s computer technologies, once a person has qualified for the discount, it could be made seamless.  No one would know other than the recipient. 
 

I'll be 75 in May and am an ex-pat retired with my wife in Italy.  We have NO SAVINGS, and rely entirely on 2 Social Security checks and a small pension.  Neither of us have worked in well over a decade and do not want to, but Amtrak's senior discount is a blessing that is slowly eroding.  Our yearly trip is to visit relatives in Maine and our son in California, with the distance between them spanned by Amtrak on the Lake Shore Ltd, the Empire Builder, and the Coast Starlight, and is done exclusively by sleeper.  And yes, we can afford that because we live in a country that has both public health and public transport.  You do not have that luxury and I feel for you and all of your compatriots.

If you feel that you don't need an Amtrak discount, why do you take it?  Travel as an adult, and not as a senior.  It is an easy choice to make, just don't change the default adult catagory to senior and you've got the full fare.  This is not rocket science.  There are a LOT of older folks in the US holding down mulltiple jobs just to pay for health care and private trasport because the gov't refuses to provide either.  Do not short change those hard working people with this cockamamy scheme.  They worked hard all of the lives, and in the end, they CANNOT RETIRE because the gov't is not there for them.  Just because they make X-amount of bucks to pay hospital bills is not a reason to screw them on their 50th anniversary vacation.

Have a heart.  Just because you have income doen't mean that you don't have bills.  Think of your fellow man instead of thinking about $$$. 

 

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Posted by PJS1 on Sunday, March 18, 2018 10:54 AM

"If you feel that you don't need an Amtrak discount, why do you take it?"

I would be stupid not to take the Amtrak senior discount.  Just as I would be stupid not to minimize my income tax liability.  But that does not mean that I believe having reached an age milestone is a good reason to give a customer a discount.  Many seniors can afford to pay full fare, and if Amtrak changed its policy, I would not squawk.

Given today’s technologies, all commercial carriers, including Amtrak, could seamlessly grant discounts based on income, as opposed to age, and perhaps achieve a better outcome.  Many retired people probably would qualify for the discounts, but so too would some younger people.  I don’t believe age should be the defining breakpoint.  

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Posted by runnerdude48 on Sunday, March 18, 2018 12:14 PM

Neither age nor income should be the defining point to offerred discounts.  It should be market driven.  Discounts should be offerred until the number of reservations reaches a certain point, or a certain percentage of capacity, and then they should either be adjusted or eliminated.  Seasonal discounts would also make sense.  The earlier you commit to a trip and purchase your ticket the bigger the discount.  That is the only fair way to do it.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, March 18, 2018 1:09 PM

Someone here made a point about early discounts.  If Amtrak had enough spare equipment it would find the early demand for space and add additional cars for those trains and or routes. 

Amtrak as well could provide for the additional personnel needed for the additional equipment.

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Posted by GN_Fan on Monday, March 19, 2018 3:09 AM
What you're really saying is that you must present your income tax return to the ticket agent in order to get a discount. Trump said he would disclose his tax return, but lied about it and never has done it. If he doesn't have to, neither do I. Income alone is not a measure of whether you can afford it because there are no offsetting expenses there. You'd need to produce a full income statement just like a businesses do that includes not only income, but expenses also. This is the only way your scheme will work, and it's easy to cheat since nothing is certified by a CPA.
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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Monday, March 19, 2018 4:13 AM

GN_Fan
What you're really saying is that you must present your income tax return to the ticket agent in order to get a discount. 

 

No; what he said is HE doesn't need it so no one should get it.  He then offered a different discount based on income.

Welcome to the new America.    "**** you mate, I've got mine.

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Posted by PJS1 on Monday, March 19, 2018 9:37 AM

Phoebe Vet
 What you're really saying is that you must present your income tax return to the ticket agent in order to get a discount.  

No; what he said is HE doesn't need it so no one should get it.  He then offered a different discount based on income. 

This is what I said: 

"For those seniors that don't have a lot of income, Amtrak could offer them a senior discount fare based on a qualified income level.  With today’s computer technologies, once a person has qualified for the discount, it could be made seamless.  No one would know other than the recipient."

I did not say no one should get it.  

If you are referring to another post, which argues that no one should get discounts, I could make a case for that point of view.  By granting discounts, Amtrak, as well as any business, assuming all other revenue requirements remain constant, has to recover the cost of the discount from others, which means the fares for younger people, as an example, are higher than they would be otherwise. 

Setting up an income qualified discount program for seniors could be seamless.  Most seniors qualifing for the discount would only have to fill out a short request form, which could be done on-line or over the phone.  The IRS, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid already have their income information.  It would be a simple matter for Amtrak to verify it and, if appropriate, issue the discount.  

No one would have to present their income tax return to an Amtrak ticket agent!

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, March 19, 2018 10:16 AM

At its beginning, Amtrak offered one discount which is no longer offered--the clergy discount, which was available to ordained ministers of the Gospel, was 50% off the cost of first class travel, and was good for both coach and first class travel.

This was a continuation of a discount that most railroads had offered (though it was not good for use on some trains). 

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Posted by Enzoamps on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 12:30 AM

I am a senior on low fixed income.  Discounts mean something to me, and may make the difference between travel or no travel.  One problem with "qualifying" financially is that you might think it is private, but Amtrak like any other organization will surely sell their lists of qualified seniors.  Even if they don't disclose my specifics, they will sell my name and address as "low income qualified".  I will then get marketing calls and mailings from others that I don't want, not based on Amtrak, but based upon my financial situation.

 

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Posted by PJS1 on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 12:22 PM

Enzoamps

One problem with "qualifying" financially is that you might think it is private, but Amtrak like any other organization will surely sell their lists of qualified seniors.  Even if they don't disclose my specifics, they will sell my name and address as "low income qualified".  

There is no evidence that Amtrak sells any of its customer information.  Amtrak is owned by the federal government and operates like a government agency.  There are strict rules about government agencies selling lists containing personal information.  It could happen but it is unlikely.

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Posted by GEORGE RUEDEMAN on Monday, March 26, 2018 9:13 PM

Folks,  Rail Passangers Association membership will give you a 10% at this time.  Membership is fro $25.00.  We need more members as we lobby for more money for Amtrak.

 

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Posted by Sunnyland on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 4:14 PM

By now I have booked my trip to NOLA and was able to redeem points OK, but it did take more than it did 2 years ago.   The agent told me points will never expire as long as I have the Amtrak Guest Rewards Master Card and use it, if I give it up, they will expire. I always use it anyway to get more points but that was good to know. I was talking about airlines take points away now and mentioned TWA Getaway tours. Turns out the agent used to work for them and we had a nice chat about how wonderful they were.  I have not been on a plane since TWA went down and do not intend to, as I have no where I need to go that I can't go to on a train. 

 

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Posted by 243129 on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 4:58 PM

Just to revise the list of discounts being revoked add the veterans discount which is no longer offered.

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