Benefits of traveling with Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, working as Amtrak, is a passenger railroad service. It provides medium to long-distance intercity service in the country to nine cities in Canada. Amtrak was established in 1971 as a quasi-public corporation for operating passenger rail services in the country. It offers a rail journey to 46 states and spans over 21,400 miles. The trains stop at more than 500 stations and operate 300 trains every day. Additionally, Amtrak is known for its environment-friendly mode of long-distance transportation.
Amtrak offers various amenities for its passengers, including three seating options that are categorized as the Coach, the Business, and the First Class. Sleeping accommodations are available for long-distance journeys. Apart from cooked-to-order full meals, Amtrak passengers can get snacks, beverages, etc in the cafe car. People get to enjoy the beauty of the countryside by traveling on the trains.
However, Amtrak journeys are not always affordable as compared to cheap airlines and buses. If you put a few tips into action, you can enjoy the rail journey without spending much.
Below is some information to help you get the Amtrak deals.
What are the benefits of choosing Amtrak?
Apart from the fact that Amtrak is an environment-friendly mode of long-distance traveling, there are some benefits that cannot be missed:
- Free WiFi– Amtrak trains offer free WiFi that enables you to stay connected while you are on the move.
- Delicious dining– The dining car offers delicious meals that are cooked by expert chefs. So you can enjoy delicious food even when you travel.
- Comfortable seats– The seating in Amtrak is cozy, spacious, and comfortable as compared to airline seating arrangements.
- Easy boarding– You can board an Amtrak train without the hassles of long security check lines, endless waiting at baggage centers or traffic. Additionally, you do not need to arrive two hours prior to your departure time.
- Sleeping accommodation– For long-distance journeys, Amtrak trains offer sleeping accommodation. The sleeper cabins are comfortable and spacious.
- Additional perks– Passengers in sleeper cabins get complimentary bottled water, snacks, fresh linen, towels. etc.
What are the different types of discounts and deals available for Amtrak?
- Government discount savings– Federal government employees are offered discounted fares on rail travel by Amtrak within the Northeast corridor. Additionally, federal government employees traveling for business are offered discounts on the Coach fares all over the country.
- NARP Members discount– People who are members of the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) can avail a discount of 10% on their Amtrak fares.
- Group travel– If you are traveling as a group of more than 20 people, then you may be eligible to get a discounted rail fare or a free escort ticket for each of the 20 passengers.
- Military personnel– Military personnel with a valid active-duty United States Armed Forces ID card, their dependents, and their spouses are eligible for a 10% discount on the lowest rail fare available on most of the Amtrak trains, including the Auto Train. Use the Fare Finder at the start of your search, and choose “Military” for every passenger eligible to the discount. Additionally, uniformed military personnel will be given a head at the ticket line.
- Seniors– Travelers aged 65 years or older are eligible to receive 10% discount on most of the Amtrak rail fares. For cross-border travelers aged 60 years or older, Amtrak in collaboration with VIA Rail Canada offers 10% discount on the rail fares.
- Children– One child traveling with each fare-paying adult (18+ years) between the age of 2 to 12 years is eligible to a 50% discount on the lowest rail fare on most of the Amtrak trains that is available. One child below the age of two years, who is not occupying a seat, can ride for free with each fare-paying adult. Additional children can be booked as “child” availing a 50% discount on the fare (if available).
- Passengers with disability– Passengers with disability are offered a 10% discount by Amtrak on their regular adult rail fares. The passengers with disability who are traveling on Downeaster trains (Boston, Ma to Portland, Ma) are eligible for a 50% discount. Amtrak offers a discount of 50% everyday to child passengers with disability in addition to a 10% off the discounted child’s rail fare. Persons traveling with a passenger with disability are offered a 10% discount. These passengers must be adults who are 18 years or older.
How to get the best deals in Amtrak?
- You can save money if you book the tickets early, especially, when you travel through the popular routes. You can pre-book the ticket as early as 10 months before the travel date.
- Get a railcard if you travel consistently.
- Be a member and earn points as Amtrak Guest Rewards.
- Follow Amtrak on social media to know the seasonal discounts and deals.
- Choose vacation packages when you travel for vacations.
- Buy in bulk if possible and share it with friends.
- Join partner organizations like NARP.
- What are the expert hacks for cheap tickets on Amtrak?
- Check all the possible discounts in Amtrak to check if you are eligible for it.
- Check which one is cheaper, buying Guest Reward Points or Amtrak fares.
- Leave heavy luggage at the station if possible.
- Get an Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card if you are a regular traveler.