Anderson brings FCM to Amtrak

Old Jun 8, 18, 1:19 pm
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Anderson brings FCM to Amtrak

Have a ticket booked on 177 tonight BOS-NYP, roughly 3 hours before departure I get a notification from the Amtrak app to upgrade to Business for $19.

Definitely not worth $19 for a a little more legroom and a free can of soda, but interesting idea nonetheless. I snagged a $39 saver fare on the trip and I think Biz was ~2x the price.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 3:14 pm
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This is actually a great development. Prior to e-ticketing, Amtrak used to offer on-board upgrades for the lowest published accommodation charge bucket, including for sleepers. It was very low-tech as it involved the conductor writing out a paper ticket and calling their operations center to block off the space (or, in the pre-cell-phone era, having the next staffed station's agent do so). Some conductors even made announcements to advertise the availability of paid upgrade space. There were also "phone-based FCM" offers: When inventory management identified rooms that were likely to be perishable inventory, they'd call booked coach pax a day or two before travel and offer upgrades at an unpublished discount. I benefited from both programs many times in the late '90s-'00s.

More recently, with e-ticketing, on-board upgrades were abolished and there were no special offers of any kind. So, upgraded seats/rooms would go unsold even as they priced into high-bucket inventory. Sounds like Amtrak is getting smarter about this. Unlike at Delta, FCM is much less likely to cause elites to miss out on upgrades (unless it rolls out to certain peak Acela departures).
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Old Jun 8, 18, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by GoAmtrak View Post
This is actually a great development. Prior to e-ticketing, Amtrak used to offer on-board upgrades for the lowest published accommodation charge bucket, including for sleepers. It was very low-tech as it involved the conductor writing out a paper ticket and calling their operations center to block off the space (or, in the pre-cell-phone era, having the next staffed station's agent do so). Some conductors even made announcements to advertise the availability of paid upgrade space. There were also "phone-based FCM" offers: When inventory management identified rooms that were likely to be perishable inventory, they'd call booked coach pax a day or two before travel and offer upgrades at an unpublished discount. I benefited from both programs many times in the late '90s-'00s.

More recently, with e-ticketing, on-board upgrades were abolished and there were no special offers of any kind. So, upgraded seats/rooms would go unsold even as they priced into high-bucket inventory. Sounds like Amtrak is getting smarter about this. Unlike at Delta, FCM is much less likely to cause elites to miss out on upgrades (unless it rolls out to certain peak Acela departures).
If these offers only come a few hours before departure, they will hardly affect the use of upgrade certs, the shortest of which are twelve hours prior to departure. They would only affect travelers trying to change trains into a first class within the shorter time frame for FCM upgrades.
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Old Jun 11, 18, 7:26 pm
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What does FCM mean?
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Old Jun 11, 18, 7:32 pm
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"First Class Monetization". It is a term originated by DL passengers upset that DL, a for-profit company, was selling F seats on flights for less than the full fare difference and thus depriving people who wanted freebie UG's.

Here, I guess it is people complaining that if Amtrak sells UG's, they won't be able to use UG certificates. I'm not sure I understand how that is.

For what it's worth, OP may not want to pay $19 for a J seat on a regional, but that's fine. There are tons of people who will.
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Old Jun 11, 18, 7:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
"First Class Monetization". It is a term originated by DL passengers upset that DL, a for-profit company, was selling F seats on flights for less than the full fare difference and thus depriving people who wanted freebie UG's.

Here, I guess it is people complaining that if Amtrak sells UG's, they won't be able to use UG certificates. I'm not sure I understand how that is.

For what it's worth, OP may not want to pay $19 for a J seat on a regional, but that's fine. There are tons of people who will.
You guessed wrong. No one's been complaining about it so far
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Old Jun 12, 18, 8:01 am
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Oh I'm certainly not complaining. Amtrak's going to have to enhance their Business Class on the regional trains to get me to pay $19 for it. It's worth about $5 to me for the (slightly) extra legroom and free non-alc drink. I'd pay about $40 for a BOS-NYP acela upgrade to F since it offers a free meal and 2-1 seating.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 5:59 pm
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Has anyone had this happen on the Acela too?

And for a counterpoint, the 19 might be worth it IF the paid upgrade counts as a paid F ticket, allowing for additional TQPs, which can be helpful for status chasers.

Also, would be totally worth it on the ALB-NYP trains as biz class there is 2-1 seating with deep recline
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Old Jun 14, 18, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by uppereastsider View Post
Has anyone had this happen on the Acela too?

And for a counterpoint, the 19 might be worth it IF the paid upgrade counts as a paid F ticket, allowing for additional TQPs, which can be helpful for status chasers.

Also, would be totally worth it on the ALB-NYP trains as biz class there is 2-1 seating with deep recline
My return was on the Acela and tickets where still available in F, but did not receive an upgrade offer.
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Old Jun 23, 18, 6:06 pm
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I wonder if/how these UGs count for AGR points.
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Old Jun 27, 18, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by hi55us View Post
Have a ticket booked on 177 tonight BOS-NYP, roughly 3 hours before departure I get a notification from the Amtrak app to upgrade to Business for $19.

Definitely not worth $19 for a a little more legroom and a free can of soda, but interesting idea nonetheless. I snagged a $39 saver fare on the trip and I think Biz was ~2x the price.
I'd pay $19 if Business Class was the 2-1 recliner seats, AND they were actually functional, but unfortunately there's no way of knowing that in advance.
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Old Jul 22, 18, 3:55 pm
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That may be one of the very few good things Airline Anderson has done for Amtrak (if he's even responsible for the change).

All Fly Boy has wanted to do is remove each and every amenity which makes train travel special.
Then, when ridership plummets, he can justify discontinuing those trains.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 7:01 am
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Are people still getting these FCM offers? I travel Amtrak frequently and have yet to get one.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 11:29 am
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In App Upgrade Offer

Has anyone ever gotten this? I got this the other day and had no way to activate it and the agents at penn station told me upgrading was $200..

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Old Oct 11, 18, 2:36 pm
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Did you try to upgrade in the app? You do that through "modify trip," picking the same date then your train. The upgrade option should be there.
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