Will this Corona Virus panic mean cheap seats/sleeper berths on Amtrak and Airlines?

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Posted by scilover on Friday, June 19, 2020 6:05 AM
Definitely! Not only in the transportation industry, but as well clothes, electronics, cars and many more are having a huge discount. Covid 19 lockdown really affected the business for so many companies.
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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, July 3, 2020 10:40 PM

Went racing last weekend at Savannah, GA.  Stayed at a Sleep Inn.  

In the past they would have a 'breakfast bar' and maid service cleaning the room.

NaDa.  When I went to the track Saturday morning - No Breakfast Bar.  When I returned Saturday evening - the bed was in the same condition I left it.

I really feel the the room rate should be lowered account of the curtailment in services provided by the facility - I am sure they have reduced their employment 'footprint' along with the reduction in service.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 7:23 AM

There could be a demand for more persons who have not recovered from Covid-19 to travel on Amtrak. The main item is the long term damage to lungs.  It may be that these persons will not be able to survive the high cabin altitudes of airplanes.  they can expect  6000 - 8500 feet cabin altitudes depending on flight levels flown.

since the sunset / Eagle trains cross the divide the lowest altitude at about 4000  feet (nar El Paso) that could be a big boost for traveling that route to / from the west coast ?  The east coast for trains do not exceed what altitude ?  Anyone know ?  

https://www.unionleader.com/news/health/coronavirus/scientists-beginning-to-grasp-covid-19s-lingering-effects/article_b13b8528-7e2e-5730-a105-47d1403cf2f3.html 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 3:08 PM
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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 6:17 PM

CMStPnP
He stated he wants to see an elimination of "seats" on some consists of the LD trains (no idea what that means, does that mean LD Coaches?)

Perhaps what it ought to mean is a removal of tracked seats so the effective 'seat pitch' satisfies social distancing in all directions.  

Otherwise it probably means what you say: running only enough cars on a given train for projected demand.  A problem I have with this is that there is increasingly little 'mechanism' for those without Internet access and the right kind of checking account/credit card to board or ride these trains ... and I suspect a relatively large number of prospective LD coach riders may be in that category.  We had the spectacle of someone who was apparently summarily put off an Amtrak train because there were something like 40+ people with confirmed reservations waiting to board -- try as I might I can't find the supposed story either from Amtrak or supposedly objective media.  Look for more 'poor optics' if the number of seats and safe standees (if indeed there is such a thing) when "demand consisting" is implemented.

In my opinion it is nonsense to provide LD service without sleeping accommodations -- in fact I think there should be more types, perhaps even including hostel-style racked bunks or berths.  There might be more of a rationale for Motel 6 level subsidy than 'luxury' sleepers; there might be still more for business-class 'pods' both in initial provision and marginal cost of maintenance and stocking provided business improves as a consequence.  (Note that an ideal time to retrack a car for pods is when the 6' separation for searing of any kind becomes a mandate...)

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 2:10 PM

An article in Scientific American that states the desire to get back to normal has colored our rational thinking about a sucessful vaccine.  Would add that we need to think about the virus that still has no vaccine. Can think of Aids, Sars, Mers,  Ebola

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bad-news-about-the-pandemic-were-not-getting-back-to-normal-any-time-soon/ 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 4:01 PM

Overmod

 

 
CMStPnP
He stated he wants to see an elimination of "seats" on some consists of the LD trains (no idea what that means, does that mean LD Coaches?)

 

Perhaps what it ought to mean is a removal of tracked seats so the effective 'seat pitch' satisfies social distancing in all directions.  

 

Otherwise it probably means what you say: running only enough cars on a given train for projected demand.  A problem I have with this is that there is increasingly little 'mechanism' for those without Internet access and the right kind of checking account/credit card to board or ride these trains ... and I suspect a relatively large number of prospective LD coach riders may be in that category.  We had the spectacle of someone who was apparently summarily put off an Amtrak train because there were something like 40+ people with confirmed reservations waiting to board -- try as I might I can't find the supposed story either from Amtrak or supposedly objective media.  Look for more 'poor optics' if the number of seats and safe standees (if indeed there is such a thing) when "demand consisting" is implemented.

In my opinion it is nonsense to provide LD service without sleeping accommodations -- in fact I think there should be more types, perhaps even including hostel-style racked bunks or berths.  There might be more of a rationale for Motel 6 level subsidy than 'luxury' sleepers; there might be still more for business-class 'pods' both in initial provision and marginal cost of maintenance and stocking provided business improves as a consequence.  (Note that an ideal time to retrack a car for pods is when the 6' separation for searing of any kind becomes a mandate...)

 

Amtrak is supposed to be transportation,  not land cruises.  The people who ride two nights in sleepers on LD trains are largely people there for some "experience" and this has no business being subsidized. 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 4:50 PM

charlie hebdo
The people who ride two nights in sleepers on LD trains are largely people there for some "experience" and this has no business being subsidized.

The argument here is a little more subtle.  Almost everyone looking at this agrees that sleeper accommodations on many of the LD trains are underpriced relative to demand; I think it may be possible that the marginal price of providing the sleeper service  in an existing train rendering "transportation" could be raised to provide a nominal operating profit.

The question is whether the 'rest of the operation' can be subsidizable if a pro-rata share of all the overhead cost isn't allocated to sleepers ... or, more directly, is the overhead of the 'opportunity transportation', the cost of running without sleeper accommodations of a given type, the correct measure to use when discussing LD trains as 'transportation'?

Certainly the 'shorter' segments that are supposed to be a key rationale of the non-sleeper service are better served with less expensive vehicles than Government-standards-compliant trains.  Certainly most of the people riding more than a night are going to require better accommodation than the current excuse that much coach travel appears to be.  

By extension, bringing bck PV "service" uses the same marginal test: does the revenue from hauling and handling a PV 'more than' cover Amtrak's direct cost, even by pennies?  Does the direct cost of the pro rata share of things difficult to apportion, such as greater rail wear, factor into this the same as for Amtrak's equipment per axle?  I certainly think it appropriate to require equivalent insurance coverage be the responsibility of the PV operator, but Amtrak's policy is 'not to ask questions' about liability but cap it at $225M ... something that might or might not count as 'subsidy' if one of the PVs causes a severe accident or its passengers suffer injury or illness of some kind ... let alone Amtrak's passengers.  All this stuff quietly operated 'behind the scenes' up to recently, but in the new age of defined 'profitability' before Congress, that tired old scheme won't trot.  

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 7:49 PM

Succinctly stated,  if there is a market for non-subsidized deluxe LD trains (doubtful) ,  Amtrak shouldn't be providing the service.  Let private operators do so.  Trouble is,  most of those private land cruises failed. 

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