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Old May 4, 06, 11:25 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
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"Standby" ok on earlier or later train?

Suppose I buy a ticket to ride train #5 scheduled to depart at noon, 7 days from date of purchase. If I show up at the station on the scheduled day of departure, and try to ride earlier on train#4 or later on train #6 on the same routing that I purchase, and assuming there are plenty of open seats for this one segment....

(1) will I be able to ride without problems, or will the
conductor say I can only ride train#5?
(2) assuming I can ride train#4, when the
AGR points post, will they post as riding train#4 or
as riding train#5?

Thank you.
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Old May 4, 06, 12:49 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankyusi
Suppose I buy a ticket to ride train #5 scheduled to depart at noon, 7 days from date of purchase. If I show up at the station on the scheduled day of departure, and try to ride earlier on train#4 or later on train #6 on the same routing that I purchase, and assuming there are plenty of open seats for this one segment....

(1) will I be able to ride without problems, or will the
conductor say I can only ride train#5?
(2) assuming I can ride train#4, when the
AGR points post, will they post as riding train#4 or
as riding train#5?

Thank you.
I can not say for certain, but I believe with an all-reserved train, you can only ride on that specific train, without a new ticket for the new train.

I had an experience where I had a res on a 9 AM train that allowed only a 45 minute connection. I wanted to get on the 7 AM train, but they said that I would need a new ticket for the 7 AM train. But to get the new ticket, I would have to pay the 10% penalty also!

I chose to remain on the 9 AM train. Luckily, it was on time!
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Old May 4, 06, 2:48 pm   #3
 
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Depends on the train, the conductor you get, the number of other passengers. The rule is that if you're on a reserved train, you need a ticket for that train on that day.

In reality, I've seen conductors who will accept same-day tickets for a different train, but I've also seen conductions who will ask passengers to get off at the next station and either exchange their ticket for a later train or to ride their ticketed train. Most of the time I've seen conductors accept a ticket for a different train it's been on fairly short NEC runs, something like NYP-PHL.
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Old May 4, 06, 5:52 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCAview
Most of the time I've seen conductors accept a ticket for a different train it's been on fairly short NEC runs, something like NYP-PHL.
If that was for your personal situation, did the points post for the unplanned trip, or the originally scheduled trip? Thanks again.
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Old May 4, 06, 11:36 pm   #5
 
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On the capitol corridors (unreserved trains making the 2 hour round trip between Oakland (or sometimes San Jose) and Sacramento, the seats are unreserved, and it doesn't seem to be a problem which train you ride.

I suppose if they were really full and there were no seats, then people would just sit in the aisles like they do on Deutsche Bahn's ICE trains--but I can't imagine they'd kick you off the train.

-Hayden
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Old May 5, 06, 7:49 am   #6
 
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Many thanks, especially for the info about the Capitol Corridor.
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Old May 8, 06, 11:14 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankyusi
If that was for your personal situation, did the points post for the unplanned trip, or the originally scheduled trip? Thanks again.
Not me. Only time I've been on a train for which I wasn't ticketed was when I was using a PHL-NYP monthly pass on a verboten train.
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Old May 9, 06, 1:18 pm   #8
 
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If you are taking an earlier or later train, same day, same routing, same class-of-service (Acela First, Acela Business, Regional Business, Regional Coach), I don't think the conductor is going to split hairs about the train number on the ticket. I've done it frequently. However, the platform guards check tickets in some stations, and they can be stickly about it.
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Old May 9, 06, 2:13 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastflyer
If you are taking an earlier or later train, same day, same routing, same class-of-service ....... I've done it frequently.

Thank you for the input. Do you recall if the AGR points posted on the new train you actually took, or on the train that you were scheduled to ride? (assuming that an AGR account shows which train # you rode)
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Old May 9, 06, 2:59 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankyusi
Thank you for the input. Do you recall if the AGR points posted on the new train you actually took, or on the train that you were scheduled to ride? (assuming that an AGR account shows which train # you rode)
AGR postings only show (at least for me) "station A" to "station B" and the points earned. So it wouldn't show what train (#x or #y) that you took. (At least my account does not show it.)
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Old May 9, 06, 3:18 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_traveler
AGR postings only show (at least for me) "station A" to "station B" and the points earned. So it wouldn't show what train (#x or #y) that you took. (At least my account does not show it.)
Ditto
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Old May 10, 06, 4:49 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_traveler
I can not say for certain, but I believe with an all-reserved train, you can only ride on that specific train, without a new ticket for the new train.

I had an experience where I had a res on a 9 AM train that allowed only a 45 minute connection. I wanted to get on the 7 AM train, but they said that I would need a new ticket for the 7 AM train. But to get the new ticket, I would have to pay the 10% penalty also!

I chose to remain on the 9 AM train. Luckily, it was on time!
My experience has been that they will do an even exchange at the ticket window without any penalty. The penalty applies only if you do not cancel 1 hour before the scheduled train.
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Old Jun 2, 06, 3:13 pm   #13
 
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Does anybody know what is likely to happen on the Keystone? Thinking my husband was flying out early on Monday morning for a business trip, I booked myself on an 11 AM train back to New York from Hershey where we have a wedding. Now it turns out he doesn't need to be at MSP until 8 PM, meaning he can leave from MDT as late as 4 PM and get there in time.

I don't mind paying the fare difference because the price went up a little, but I don't want to pay an administrative fee and I'm also on an H570 ticket, which warns that there may be restrictions on ability to exchange tickets. Thoughts?
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Old Jul 14, 06, 4:48 pm   #14
 
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I had to leave earlier on the same day from DC. I had no problems exchanging the ticket. I was also using the the H570 discount code.
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Old Jul 24, 06, 1:42 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSP2000
I had to leave earlier on the same day from DC. I had no problems exchanging the ticket. I was also using the the H570 discount code.
My experience in the DC to NYC corridor has been different. In the old days, when the price of the ticket was always the same whether you bought it way ahead or the day of, the people at the ticket counter had no problem with you switching to an earlier train, so long as the space was available and it was the same type of service.

Yesterday, I was coming back from DC to NYC on a discounted ticket and I was told that if I switched to an earlier train I would pay the difference between the 15% discounted fare and the full fare. Ended up not mattering because the earlier train was completely full anyway. Why they had to charge me the extra $$, I don't know because it seems I am doing them a favor by switching to an earlier train. Maybe I just need to beg that much more.

Traveling on a free/AGR ticket I have had no problem switching to an earlier train or even a later one if I missed my train. Simply a space availability issue.

Traveling on the Acela with a ticket paid for by my employer usually allowed me to switch to an earlier train if I wanted to at no extra charge. Then again, my employer would have paid for the extra charge anyway, so long as it wasn't too much.

Seems like everybody has a different experience on this and Amtrak is sorely lacking in consistency!
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