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Fares all over the place/How hard to change ticket?

Fares all over the place/How hard to change ticket?

Old Feb 19, 18, 7:16 am
  #1  
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Fares all over the place/How hard to change ticket?

Trying to make a couple inexpensive trips from WAS-NYP. Yesterday fares were $49 each way, now as high as $122.

There is a $43 fare but it leaves later in the day than I want to. Can I buy that ticket and show up for an earlier train?

OR/AND, will fares go down if I buy the more expensive tickets and then can I refare?

New Amtrak user, site is confusing! Thank you for any tips.
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Old Feb 19, 18, 7:35 am
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You can change tickets with no change fee, but they will collect the fare difference. You can't just show up to the earlier train, the conductor will have you call in to the 1-800 line and it will reprice at walkup fares (worse than right now) unfortunately I see this nearly every day on my BOS-PVD commute (which is normally on a BOS-WAS train).

If the fare does go down, you should be able to get a fare voucher.

What dates are you looking at? Normally it's pretty easy to get ~$50 fares when booking >2 weeks out.
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Old Feb 19, 18, 7:38 am
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Looking at several weekends in May. Do you ever see the fares go down? Thank you so much!
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Old Feb 19, 18, 8:36 am
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The fares generally don't go down. Amtrak's revenue management system generally is pretty simple, they will sell 20% of seats at price x, 20% at x+2 and 20% at x+3 ect... there's a website called amsnag that helps you "snag" the lowest bucket. Unfortunately sometimes the price does jump (lots of groups can book Amtrak and boom all the lower bucket seats are gone) but it's rare to see the price drop unless there's a fare sale or something.

I would just book now, keep an eye on the price and call in for a voucher if it drops (or even if another train drops, you can change trains just for the fare difference).

Think of the system like Southwest.
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Old Feb 19, 18, 8:47 am
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Got it. Thanks so much for the help!
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Old Feb 19, 18, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by hi55us View Post
The fares generally don't go down. Amtrak's revenue management system generally is pretty simple, they will sell 20% of seats at price x, 20% at x+2 and 20% at x+3 ect... there's a website called amsnag that helps you "snag" the lowest bucket. Unfortunately sometimes the price does jump (lots of groups can book Amtrak and boom all the lower bucket seats are gone) but it's rare to see the price drop unless there's a fare sale or something.

I would just book now, keep an eye on the price and call in for a voucher if it drops (or even if another train drops, you can change trains just for the fare difference).

Think of the system like Southwest.
I thought this, too, but @AlanB posted recently in another thread that Amtrak has been adjusting their revenue management systems to allow for a little more complicated adjustments.

Your advice is still sound, though, about how to handle it (for now, though Amtrak is also now beginning to screw around with their change/cancel policy).
jackal is offline  

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