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Recent "forced stopover rule" for AGR?

Recent "forced stopover rule" for AGR?

Old Jun 21, 13, 11:07 pm
  #1  
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Recent "forced stopover rule" for AGR?

Is there a phantom "forced stopover rule" when redeeming two AGR awards for a trip?

There is nothing about such a restriction in the recently published guidelines, but posters on AU say they've been repeatedly told they cannot redeem two awards unless they force an overnight stopover between the awards and take the next day's train. This gains nothing for Amtrak that we can see, but greatly inconveniences the passenger, adding an unnecessary hotel night.

For example, say someone wants to travel from point A to B on one award, and from point B to C on another separate award. If he or she is willing to pay the points for each of the two awards, wouldn't that be allowed?

Thanks.

Btw, I have not personally experienced this, but if the "rule" exists, it would affect a tentative trip I'd like to take. One poster was able to book such a trip without any problem, but others on AU have been refused even when each award was for a published route. Quite a bit of confusion over there about this. Help, please! Again, thanks.
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Old Jun 21, 13, 11:30 pm
  #2  
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So are you able to book your trip, or not?

And why not just keep the discussion going on the Amtrak Unlimited website?
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Old Jun 22, 13, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by nerd View Post

And why not just keep the discussion going on the Amtrak Unlimited website?
Because the AGR Insider only post on this board, not over there, and they are the ultimate source for correct information re: AGR bookings.
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Old Jun 22, 13, 6:40 am
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Connection?

Could it be that the itinerary is not a guaranteed connection (to little time between trains) and thus Amtrak unwilling to chance you making the connection? Is that what you mean by published route? Or are you taking about booking a single train going A- B- C as 2 separate trains first A-B then B-C a few hours later


The way to check is to see if it bookable as a complete trip on Amtrak website.
If it is bookable as a complete trip on Amtrak then it is a guaranteed connection.

Of course you could be looking for a longer layover which I think Amtrak Guest Rewards would allow

Another alternative is to try and book the trip on 2 separate calls.
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Old Jun 22, 13, 7:50 am
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Originally Posted by darben View Post
Could it be that the itinerary is not a guaranteed connection (to little time between trains) and thus Amtrak unwilling to chance you making the connection? Is that what you mean by published route? Or are you taking about booking a single train going A- B- C as 2 separate trains first A-B then B-C a few hours later


The way to check is to see if it bookable as a complete trip on Amtrak website.
If it is bookable as a complete trip on Amtrak then it is a guaranteed connection.

Of course you could be looking for a longer layover which I think Amtrak Guest Rewards would allow

Another alternative is to try and book the trip on 2 separate calls.
The original poster wanted to use two AGR redemptions consecutively on the same train with no requested stopover what so ever. First redemption A to B, and second redemption B to C. AGR reportedly said OP must do a (forced) overnight and take the next day train. Supervisors backed up the agent's decisions on this. The OP account had been tagged so other agents would not change the original agent's decision.

Last edited by dicksboat; Jun 22, 13 at 8:02 am Reason: clarification
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Old Jun 22, 13, 10:28 am
  #6  
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Nerd: I am not ready to book my trip for next year. Others on AU have already tried to book their trips, unsuccessfully, despite following the published guidelines.
I'm on FT because obviously we on AU do not know. That is implicit in my post. Importantly, as amamba pointed out, AGR Insider (an authority) is here, not on AU.

Dicksboat has it. It's the same train so no connections are involved. Also, no duplicate or impossible bookings are involved, obviously. Technically, the first award ends and the second one begins while the train is standing in the station. The trip is just paid for with two "payments" (awards). For a trip paid with $$, this is equivalent to paying for one reservation for A-B, then adding another reservation for B-C and paying for the second reservation separately. Perhaps making a separate phone call for each award would have worked, unless an unpublished "rule" really is in effect. ??

It's puzzling, because each of the two awards could easily be booked if they were for separate trips on different dates. We don't understand why the two awards were not allowed on one trip (without a forced overnight stopover). They would be back to back but there is no overlap. Amtrak would not be losing anything by allowing them, and the forced overnight to wait for the next day's train doesn't help Amtrak in any way.

Thanks, all. Hopefully Insider can clarify for us.
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Old Jun 22, 13, 10:40 am
  #7  
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I've booked awards such as that (coach to zone boundary, sleeper the rest of the way) but not in the past year.

Pending clarification, it seems you can just: 1) Book them separately, or 2) Hang up, call back, and try a different agent.
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Old Jun 22, 13, 11:06 am
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Thanks, nerd. I'm hoping a separate call for each award would work, but who knows. I'm still in the planning stages and knowing the rules will be of help in my planning.

Edit to add: Other AU posters have said, like you, they've been able to do it in the past. But a few have been told no recently.

Unfortunately, one of the AU posters tried calling back, got the same response from the second agent and a supervisor, and now has a note about it in his record. The three AGR people he got were adamant that it was not allowed--although we can't imagine a reason why it isn't. Another AU poster also was not allowed to do it, but a couple of other posters were allowed. There's nothing about it in the published guidelines. We are hoping to clarify with Insider here.

Last edited by crescent2; Jun 22, 13 at 11:11 am Reason: left out something
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Old Jun 22, 13, 11:08 am
  #9  
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I would like to hear one can do same-train changes of service at a zone boundary:

- sleeper to coach, or vice versa

- paid to award, or vice versa

Yes, it's going to mean processing a second ticket and relocating aboard the train, but that really doesn't seem so hard. There are lots of trains where a conductor is doing a sweep for new tickets/boardings at ~20 minute intervals, anyway.
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Old Jun 22, 13, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
I would like to hear one can do same-train changes of service at a zone boundary:

- sleeper to coach, or vice versa

- paid to award, or vice versa

Yes, it's going to mean processing a second ticket and relocating aboard the train, but that really doesn't seem so hard. There are lots of trains where a conductor is doing a sweep for new tickets/boardings at ~20 minute intervals, anyway.
One of my trips involved the above, but not at a zone boundary:

In order to get a certain published routing so others could join me for the trip, my two-zone award in sleeper ended hours before my destination. After setting that up, I then went online and booked a paid coach ticket for the rest of the trip without a problem.
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Old Jun 22, 13, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
I would like to hear one can do same-train changes of service at a zone boundary:

- sleeper to coach, or vice versa

- paid to award, or vice versa

Yes, it's going to mean processing a second ticket and relocating aboard the train, but that really doesn't seem so hard. There are lots of trains where a conductor is doing a sweep for new tickets/boardings at ~20 minute intervals, anyway.
Well supposedly AGR agents are now saying that you can't combine paid travel with a reward ticket (switching at the zone boundary) on the same train.

AGR Insider, can you help and clarify this policy?
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Old Jun 23, 13, 10:40 am
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It has to be handled by phone and where they can also answer all of your questions directly.

(Disregard...this was meant for another thread).

Last edited by RoboTraveler; Jun 23, 13 at 4:09 pm Reason: Wrong thread
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Old Jun 23, 13, 10:52 am
  #13  
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To all -- I thank you for your patience as this topic is researched and we discuss with our reservation sales and operations staff to get you the answers you are seeking.

Last edited by AGR Insider; Jun 23, 13 at 11:00 am
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Old Jun 23, 13, 1:21 pm
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Thanks, Insider, for listening to our many questions and for the help you've already given. AGR is a good thing!
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Old Jun 23, 13, 1:27 pm
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Question AGR INsider/Clarification re Booking Conbo Awards

AGR Insider: Thanks,looking forward to your Answer! I think most of us understand what we want and because of the new Policies @ AGR the Agents and Supervisors think we are trying to "Get Over"! Not the Case, there is No Reason why a Paid Reservation shouldn't be allowed with an AGR Award Trip whether or not it's @ a Zone Boundary or in the Middle of Nowhere! Those of us in Flyover Country and out in the Sticks often have to do this to go on LD Trips that we can afford! Amtrak is out absolutely nothing when we have to Book these Combo Trips!
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