Booking Trips & Buying Amtrak Tickets
Before you can enjoy traveling aboard Amtrak, you must first make reservations and purchase your train tickets.
Depending on where and when you are traveling, the price and details of your itinerary aboard Amtrak may vary.
Below you will find a few tips and considerations that might make this process a bit easier.
Searching For Lower Train Fares
While many passengers have chosen Amtrak as their source of transportation in order to save money from the ever-increasing prices of airline tickets, there are still a few ways to receive additional savings. Making your reservations early is a great way to receive the best available fares, as well as lock in the travel dates and accommodations you prefer. The earlier you book your Amtrak travel plans, the lower your fare will be. Some passengers have even booked their travel plans up to 11 months in advance (the limit for Amtrak).
If you are flexible in your travel dates, you will also be able to enjoy better fares. Certain dates and times throughout the year will always cost more than others (especially during the holiday season). If you can be flexible with your travel plans, you can utilize the Fare Finder tool, which compares fares for various days to help locate the best deal.
Passengers often ignore the discounts available to them when traveling with Amtrak. Some of the options include infant, child, and senior travel discounts. Also, AAA, Veterans Advantage, and Student Advantage offer bargain fares and deals. There are also weekly specials for discounted Amtrak fares that are only available for purchase across the Internet.
Booking Your Reservation
When booking a reservation, you should know that many different factors go into determining your fare. Regardless if you are traveling in Coach Class or First Class, you will be charged a rail fare. If you choose a higher class, additional fees apply, especially when it comes to sleeping accommodations. You should also know that if you are sharing a sleeping car, the accommodation fee is only charged once.
When it comes time to purchase your ticket after you have ironed out the details (such as class preference, and accommodation needs), the issue of payment arises. Tickets can be purchased over the Internet with a valid credit card: Discover, Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, and American Express. To book and pay for your ticket, you must enter the details of your trip, such as departure and arrival stations, dates, and times. BlackBerrys and web-enabled phones also allow travelers to book their trips.
Amtrak also books trips and accepts ticket payment over the phone on a 24-hour basis. By following the directions of a voice-activated agent, you will be well on your way to securing your seat on a comfortable Amtrak train ride. Staff is also ready and willing to make your reservations and take payment at the nearest Amtrak station.
Picking Up Your Ticket
Once you have purchased and paid for your tickets, you must now obtain the actual physical proof of this transaction. It is important to know that Amtrak does not issue electronic tickets. Passengers may pick up their tickets at a Quik-Trak kiosk, or a staffed Amtrak station. Depending on time constraints, tickets are also sent by mail or express delivery for an additional fee.
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