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Amtrak’s New Fare Structure Allows You To Book Cheaper Flexible Tickets



Amtrak - San Diego


Amtrak has just introduced a new, simplified fare structure with more flexible and affordable options. The simpler fare structure builds on other recent improvements Amtrak has made to the booking experience.

“This streamlined fare structure with more affordable and flexible fares is part of Amtrak’s continued commitment to upgrading the customer experience at every step along their journey,” said Amtrak President Roger Harris.

The new fare structure reduces fare types from three categories to two and serves to provide a more consistent booking experience with fare types that are clearly differentiated and easy-to-understand:

  • Flex: For customers who want a more flexible travel option, these tickets are fully refundable if canceled, and can be changed without fees before departure.
  • Value: For customers who know their travel plans and want a more affordable option, these tickets are at a lower price than Flex tickets, non-changeable and receive a 75% refund if canceled.

In addition to simplifying the fare structure, benefits of the new approach also include:

  • Flex fares will often be available starting at lower prices than previously offered.
  • Occasional sale fares at an even deeper discount (these will be non-changeable and receive a 50% refund if canceled).
  • Any refunds of credit card purchases will be made to the original form of payment, rather than as an eVoucher.

These changes to Coach and Acela Business tickets make it easier for Amtrak customers to choose the ticket type that best fits their travel needs. Non-Acela Business and First Class tickets were already fully refundable and changeable with no additional fees. Tickets purchased prior to the launch of the new simplified fare structure remain subject to the fare rules and conditions that were in effect when the ticket was purchased.

Example: One-Way Trip Between Washington, DC and Philadelphia

Cheapest Saver Ticket: $19
Only Flexible Ticket: $127

Starting Price Difference for Full Flexibility: $108


Cheapest Value Ticket: $18
Cheapest Flex Ticket: $20

Starting Price Difference for Full Flexibility: $2

Note: For travel on select trains between 7 p.m. – 7 a.m., the cheapest Night Owl fares for this trip are $9 for Value and $10 for Flex.

These improvements build on other recent pricing enhancements Amtrak has made to make travel more affordable, including:

  • Introducing ultra-low “Night Owl” fares, which are as low as $5 – $20 on select Northeast Corridor (NEC) routes;
  • Enabling Amtrak Guest Rewards members to redeem tickets with points on more fare types;
  • Updating the children’s discount so that all children (2-12 years old) can travel for 50% off with an accompanying adult (previously limited to 1 child discount per adult fare);
  • Expanding passenger discounts – such as senior and military – to apply to all fares, including sales; and
  • Improving Share Fares, which allow groups of 3-8 people traveling together to receive discounts ranging from 17% to 60%.

Needless to say, if you’ve got a trip/vacation planned, you should definitely check out Amtrak’s website and see if makes more sense to take the train rather than drive or fly there. 🚆

Zander Chance is a technology nut who is always first in line to try out the latest tech gadgets. He also has been an active affiliate marketer for the past 15 years, and he writes about his adventures in that on his blog.

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