Posted by William Charles on December 28, 2019
Misc

Published on December 28th, 2019 | by William Charles

21

Amtrak: Leaked Memo Shows New Change & Cancellation Fees

According to an internal memo seen by Business Insider Amtrak is considering adding new change & cancellation fees as early as late January 2020. Changes/fees will be as follows:

  • Saver fares will become completely nonrefundable and nonchangeable (currently these can receive a 75% voucher for cancellations)
  • Value fares will be subject to a 25% cancellation fee or 15% change fee within 14 days of departure (currently these can be fully refunded up to 8 days before departure and there are no change fees)

Based on the wording of the Business Insider article it seems that Amtrak are considering these changes rather than them being certain to be implemented, but given how specific they are I suspect new fees are on the way in the short term.

Hat tip to VFTW



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Chong786
Chong786

I am actually ok with adding fees as long as they dont devalue their point

Bob
Bob

It’s coming….. Lol.

Me
Me

If they would offer a discounted fee for cobranded credit card holders, I’ll definitely jump on board.

Samosa
Samosa

The “leaked” memo sounds like a tool to test the waters.

Derek
Derek

Amtrak keeps losing the few elements that differentiated them from the airlines and buses.

anonymous
anonymous

Next they’ll be “unbundling” their fares… i.e. deceptively raising them.

Bob
Bob

Doesn’t Amtrak lose billions upon billions of taxpayer money?

Ben
Ben

Much like the highway system, the military, and the fire department, Amtrak provides a service other than short term profit.

JG
JG

The military prevents my home from being invaded by a foreign power, I actually use the highway system and pay for a portion of it via a gasoline tax, and I pay a separate annual subscription fee for my private fire protection service. What service does Amtrak provide me to justify billions in federal spending? Good for Richard Anderson to actually bring this cash sink into the black. And although I was able to take advantage of the points game for awhile, if I had to choose between that hobby and an airline that actually generates billions in profits and supports thousands of jobs with a sustainable business model, I would absolutely choose the latter.

aubergine
aubergine

The highway experience would be worse if the train passengers weren’t on rail and were forced to drive. Particularly in Northeast corridor and some other routes like Cap Corridor

Jason
Jason

Man, if you think Amtrak is a money pit, wait until you find out how subsidized roads are.

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2013/01/23/drivers-cover-just-51-percent-of-u-s-road-spending/

DWhite
DWhite

It depends on the accounting used, but on an operating basis, Amtrak is expected to be breakeven in 2019 (and is potentially going to be profitable in 2020).

https://www.crainsnewyork.com/transportation/amtrak-verge-breakeven

Greg
Greg

The federal highway system isn’t profitable either.

Doggo
Doggo

They do have a former airline CEO (I believe Delta) running the show now after all

just saying
just saying

since the new CEO is the one that ran Delta out of bankruptcy, through fees and devaluations, I believe the same will happen with Amtrak.
I hate to see them go the way delta went with their points.

aubergine
aubergine

if he could get Delta operational efficiency with Amtrak that might be ok. It’s pretty hard to rely on Amtrak to get you where you want to go on schedule – especially for long haul.

OyVey
OyVey

Northeast regional is quite excellent, and I’ve never had delays.

DWhite
DWhite

It’s potentially smart for the business, but worsens the Amtrak experience. The current fare rules have quirks but, if you need to catch a different train or cancel a trip, you’ll typically get an evoucher for later use or a refund.

Is it worth trying to be more like the Big Three than like Southwest on this front?

Creditian
Creditian

Amtrak’s budget 98% from federal and state governments, most Amtrak’ s money go to union and pension, pension is fine, but union taking money is not okay.

OxyTrojan
OxyTrojan

“Most” sounds like an extreme left or right wing radio talking point. Is it a perfectly tolerable 51% pension and 1% union budget (i.e. “most Amtrak” spending when bundled) or a not fine double digit union spending? Facts matter.

escot
escot

sadly so…. we’ve become a nation of robotic dolts…. mouthing the ideology, with precious little interest in reasoned, coherent examination of facts…..

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