Trains.com

Regarding: Amtrak now offers passengers opportunity to bid on upgrades

752 views
5 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2014
  • 376 posts
Regarding: Amtrak now offers passengers opportunity to bid on upgrades
Posted by GERALD L MCFARLANE JR on Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:02 PM

Apparently my posts are not welcome on Newswire as I tried to reply to this message by John Rice on the above subject: "John Rice

Airlines used to offer these "on demand" first class upgrades at check in, but they have run into several contract of carriage issues. Your upgrade gets you a seat in first class, but it is not a first class booking. There is a difference. When the flight was cancelled or required a plane replacement, your first class replacement seat is not guaranteed. And if you have to be moved to a different flight completely, that on demand first class upgrade means nothing.=P=So I would examine this Amtrak offering closely. If your train is anulled, or you have to be bussed to the next stop, you may not be guaranteed that premium seat and could get bounced back into coach."
The major difference between what Amtrak is offering and what the airlines used to offer is that when an airline upgraded you to a different class you didn't have to pay any additional fees.  Under this new Amtrak option you place a bid amount in dollars that you are willing to pay for being upgraded.  Having now paid for an upgraded service, should your train get cancelled or the equipment changes and you lose your seat, Amtrak would still have to accomodate you on the next available train in the upgraded section because you paid for it, unlike the airlines which could easily bump you back to coach since it was at their cost, and not the passengers.
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 15,997 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:37 PM

I was looking at the upgrade option on the Amtrak app this morning.

Go to https://www.Amtrak.com/bidup and scroll down to the FAQs bar.  I think there are answers to all the questions in there.

Note the typical Amtrak language about non-refundable, non-changeable, non-transferable once your bid is accepted and your card has been charged.   What happens when you get on the train and people are squatting in "your" new seat, I don't know.

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 1,768 posts
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:55 PM

Just FYI, I wasn't using an Amtrak app. I was sitting at my desktop computer using Safari.

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 1,768 posts
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Thursday, February 25, 2021 11:01 PM

I assume OM's quadruple post was an anomaly, not intentional.

OM, from your end, do you see that there are four duplicate posts? Being an anomaly, maybe you see only one. ??

In any event: You can say that again!

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 15,997 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 26, 2021 8:40 AM

Yeesh, that was awful!

And you wouldn't believe how many times it tried to restore posts when I edited them out, too!  I finally had to back all the way out each time, or the software would 'helpfully' restore the duplicate posts.

I don't know if this is a Kalmbach change or something in the recent criOS update.  But I sure hope whatever-it-is gets fixed!

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 15,997 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 26, 2021 8:49 AM

With regard to late annulment or 'bustitution' I notice Amtrak is notably, and perhaps intentionally, silent in the FAQs.  One would think that an "upgrade" to amenities now unavailable or insufficient would warrant a refund of the upgrade bid charge when Amtrak cannot provide the expected amenities.  But the large and highly-paid legal department carefully avoids any discussion; perhaps it wasn't frequently-asked enough there...Clown

I thought the FAQ entry regarding travel insurance coverage worth discussing, though.  Note how carefully the Federal presumption of 'consult your lawyer' carries over to the question of whether you get your bid money back... even from a nominal Amtrak 'partner institution'...

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy