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Ticket when unsure of departure time?

Ticket when unsure of departure time?

Old Jan 29, 20, 6:41 am
  #1  
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Ticket when unsure of departure time?

I am flying AMS-PHL-JFK but i'm considering booking AMS-PHL and then taking the train from 30th street station to Penn Station. As I am not sure how long customs will take at PHL (no luggage) I would like some advice on which ticket to book. Have I understood correctly that all tickets are for a specific train / time? Can I buy a flexible ticket and then change it to a train to my liking after I have cleared customs in PHL?
My flight wil arrive 01.30 PM and I have tickets for a broadway show at 7 pm so I gues that would be doable. Hotel is near Penn.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old Jan 29, 20, 8:04 am
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I can't help with customs, but you should allow about 90 minutes to get to 30th Street station -- counting the time to get to the boarding area for Septa's airport line and to change trains at 30th St.

As you may know the airport line runs on a 30 minute headway and takes (if it's on time) 25 to 30 minutes to get to Center City, Philadelphia.

Also, I recommend buying tickets on line.

Bob H
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Old Jan 29, 20, 8:30 am
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I would just buy the Regular reserved ticket for a train that gives about 2 hours after landing. there are a few trains in the 3:00-4:00 time period that you can choose from. If something happens where you are late to 30th Street, you can always head to the counter and change. Probably cheaper than buying the full flex ticket.

Personally, I wouldnít take the airport line, Iíd consider an Uber. Itís 25 minutes, costs only $20-25 and will be more comfortable after a long flight.

Originally Posted by jeroen100 View Post
I am flying AMS-PHL-JFK but i'm considering booking AMS-PHL and then taking the train from 30th street station to Penn Station. As I am not sure how long customs will take at PHL (no luggage) I would like some advice on which ticket to book. Have I understood correctly that all tickets are for a specific train / time? Can I buy a flexible ticket and then change it to a train to my liking after I have cleared customs in PHL?
My flight wil arrive 01.30 PM and I have tickets for a broadway show at 7 pm so I gues that would be doable. Hotel is near Penn.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old Jan 29, 20, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by DailyGrind View Post
I would just buy the Regular reserved ticket for a train that gives about 2 hours after landing. .
Thanks! good to know that is an option. I think i'll book the 3.59 94 northeast regional and if i'm really early perhaps see how much a change would be
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Old Jan 29, 20, 10:09 am
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Unless you are traveling on the evening before a major holiday, you are unlikely to encounter a problem purchasing a ticket at the counter (or from a kiosk) when you arrive at 30th Street. There will be both an Acela and a NER roughly every hour, this service roughly every 30 minutes. SEPTA/NJ Transit also operates this route, but those are local commuter trains which are best avoided when there is an Amtrak alternative (which you certainly have here).

Also, very much agree on the Uber as the means for local transport at PHL.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 10:38 am
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Thank you, will fares differ a lot from what I would pay now online, if I buy a ticket at a kiosk on the day? (Cheapest now is $ 45 for a one way).
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Old Jan 29, 20, 11:40 am
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Originally Posted by jeroen100 View Post
Thank you, will fares differ a lot from what I would pay now online, if I buy a ticket at a kiosk on the day? (Cheapest now is $ 45 for a one way).
Just depends on demand for the train. If itís pretty full, might pay over $100. Given your travel time I donít think itís an issue but hard to predict. Buying at the counter is usually ok, but if you have a short window at the station and the agents are tied up, itís just another headache.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 12:06 pm
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1. Can't predict demand far ahead as many / most buy at the station. But, as an example, most trains operating this afternoon have a low fare of $61.

2. Go to a kiosk to purchase your ticket. This is a simple one-way. No need to stand in line just to have an agent push what amount to the same buttons on a different machine. As a backup, the last train is not until 23:44, so you have enormous flexibility.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 7:59 pm
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You can buy/exchange on the Amtrak app. No need to worry about slow gate agents or kiosks. Did it once at Philly after getting to to the station a half hour earlier than planned. Was able to jump on an earlier Acela and somehow ended up saving money!
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Old Jan 30, 20, 5:45 am
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After reading all above and checking prices / times I bought a $ 79 business class ticket for the 3.59 pm northeastern regional. Ticket is 100% refundable so should easy to change if delayed or super early and I can select a seat for free. (for now I've selected a "table" seat at the right side of the train (better views?).

Much obliged for all your advice!
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Old Jan 30, 20, 8:13 am
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I couldn't disagree more on the people who recommend taking an Uber over the Airport Line if you're going to 30th street. The Airport Line is a quick, cheap, direct shot to 30th Street!
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Old Jan 30, 20, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by danib62 View Post
I couldn't disagree more on the people who recommend taking an Uber over the Airport Line if you're going to 30th street. The Airport Line is a quick, cheap, direct shot to 30th Street!
I was wondering about that, thanks for providing another point of view. As I will be travelling light with just one bag, the airport line might be a good option for me.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 9:20 am
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If the timing works out you should definitely make it plan A especially if you're traveling light as you are. Depending your terminal it's a 19 to 23 min trip to 30th st. Given that you're posting on an Amtrak forum I suspect you enjoy travelling by rail...
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Old Jan 30, 20, 10:40 am
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I do like trains.. the next day itís New York- Montrťal on the schedule for me.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 10:41 am
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Jealous. I always wanted to do either Montreal or a Toronto by train but the timing from DC is terrible.
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