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Old 11-25-2012, 06:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Searching for Auto Train Discounts

We are thinking about an Amtrak Auto Train trip from Virginia to Florida in 2013, coupled with a side trip to the museums in Washington, DC. We know that there are a variety of discounts offered on amtrak.com, but is there an easy way to search if your dates are flexible (similar to expedia, travelocity, orbits, kayak, etc.)? On the Amtrak site you can enter the discounts manually for each day you are considering, either one-way or round-trip, but this seems rather time-consuming. Has anyone come across any apps or other tools specifically focused on Amtrak that would make this simpler?
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Amtrak does have its own app. And I think you can sign up for emails, too.
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My Previous Trips10/13 - F&W, BCV, SSR [1st stay]; 5/13 - Bob and Cam's Retirement, BWV; 12/12 - Holiday Reunion, BLT; 4/12 - Bob's 65th Birthday Bash, BLT, AKV Club Level [1st stay]; 12/11 - BCF Reunion VWL, BLT [1st GV stay]; 9/11 - Labor Day BCV; 4/11 - VWL [NATREC]; 4/11 - AKV; 10/10 - Epcot F&W Fest BLT [1st stay], VWL [1st stay]; 9/10 - Labor Day BWV; 5/10 - Memorial Day AKV Kidani Village; 12/09 - Sousefest AKV Jambo House; 09/09 - BWV [1st DVC stay!]; 05/09 - PP DoD CR GW and MK View; 12/08 - Mousefest YC Club Level; 4/08 - BWI, POFQ; 4/07-5/07 - WL, Poly MK View; 4/06 - WL OFC; 1/06-2/06 - AKL; 4/05 - BC, POR; 2/04 - AKL; 4/03 - POR; 2/02 - WL, CBR; 1/01 - DxL; 4/00 - DxL, WL; 12/95 - CBR; 11/85 - Offsite; 8/74 - Royal Inn; 6/73 - Offsite; 4/73 - Offsite
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Join the Amtrak loyalty program too - there are sometimes good discounts offered that way!
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Their site is very old-fashioned that way, one date at a time. I normally search one each of early week, late week, and weekend dates during the time period I want to travel, just to get an idea of the price variation. The best way to get a low price is to avoid holidays and book early, especially if you want sleeping accomodations. Don't forget that you can save with AAA, senior, student and military discounts. As suggested, sign up for the loyalty program to get notice of any specials, like kids half price fares. Be aware that often these do not apply to Autotrain, but if they're having trouble filling a particular time period, you could see some offers.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yalibrarian View Post
Their site is very old-fashioned that way, one date at a time. I normally search one each of early week, late week, and weekend dates during the time period I want to travel, just to get an idea of the price variation. The best way to get a low price is to avoid holidays and book early, especially if you want sleeping accomodations. Don't forget that you can save with AAA, senior, student and military discounts. As suggested, sign up for the loyalty program to get notice of any specials, like kids half price fares. Be aware that often these do not apply to Autotrain, but if they're having trouble filling a particular time period, you could see some offers.
Great idea!! If traveling with other family members, is it better to have one person accumulate points in the loyalty program or should each person have his or her own account?
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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We just have my account. If it's your family, you'll accumulate more usable points that way, so that if a bedroom add-on is 30,000 points, you'll have it all on one card to reserve with. I don't think they'd let you pool points from various family members to accomplish this.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We book as early as we can and use the AAA discount. (We've already booked for our July trip) We also are rewards members so we've been racking up the points on our trips.

Accomodations on the Autotrain need a lot of points it seems. Unfortunately we're not there yet.

We did the math and its working out to about $400 round trip per person in our group, including accomodations, luggage and a car. Airfare starts out a lot less expensive but adds up quickly once you add in baggage fees, airport parking, food at the airport and incidentals like that.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary n Connie View Post
We book as early as we can and use the AAA discount. (We've already booked for our July trip) We also are rewards members so we've been racking up the points on our trips.

Accomodations on the Autotrain need a lot of points it seems. Unfortunately we're not there yet.

We did the math and its working out to about $400 round trip per person in our group, including accomodations, luggage and a car. Airfare starts out a lot less expensive but adds up quickly once you add in baggage fees, airport parking, food at the airport and incidentals like that.
Great point about the incidentals. At EWR, parking near the terminals costs $24-$33 per day, and food & beverages can be overpriced.
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Hudson River view from promenade at Liberty State Park in NJ - Disney Magic in Hudson River, passing the new One World Trade Center

Contemporary/Red Boat 1993; Dixie Landings 1994, POR 6/2007; CSR 8/1998, 6/2005, 2/2011; 8/2012; DCL (Wonder)/Boardwalk 2000; AKL 1/2003, 6/2003, 6/2004, 4/2006, 6/2009; DL 7/2007, 7/2010; 8/2011; CBR 4/2008; Polynesian 12/11; Hollywood Hotel (Hong Kong Disneyland) 8/2008
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Is it worth adding sleeping accommodations or are the coach seats comfortable enough to get a decent night's rest? If getting a roomette, are there connecting ones or should a family of four just opt for the family bedroom?
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Hudson River view from promenade at Liberty State Park in NJ - Disney Magic in Hudson River, passing the new One World Trade Center

Contemporary/Red Boat 1993; Dixie Landings 1994, POR 6/2007; CSR 8/1998, 6/2005, 2/2011; 8/2012; DCL (Wonder)/Boardwalk 2000; AKL 1/2003, 6/2003, 6/2004, 4/2006, 6/2009; DL 7/2007, 7/2010; 8/2011; CBR 4/2008; Polynesian 12/11; Hollywood Hotel (Hong Kong Disneyland) 8/2008
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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No, the roomettes do not connect. Some of the other rooms do connect, but not the roomettes. As for sleeping in coach, your mileage may vary, some folks have no problem sleeping, others can't sleep a wink. The seats are good sized and do recline quite a bit. I prefer the rooms/roomettes mostly for the privacy.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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You can get connecting bedrooms, which also have their own toilets. The toilet compartment also doubles as a shower stall, and they recommend sitting down to bathe. I liked having a bed and my own toilet.
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My Previous Trips10/13 - F&W, BCV, SSR [1st stay]; 5/13 - Bob and Cam's Retirement, BWV; 12/12 - Holiday Reunion, BLT; 4/12 - Bob's 65th Birthday Bash, BLT, AKV Club Level [1st stay]; 12/11 - BCF Reunion VWL, BLT [1st GV stay]; 9/11 - Labor Day BCV; 4/11 - VWL [NATREC]; 4/11 - AKV; 10/10 - Epcot F&W Fest BLT [1st stay], VWL [1st stay]; 9/10 - Labor Day BWV; 5/10 - Memorial Day AKV Kidani Village; 12/09 - Sousefest AKV Jambo House; 09/09 - BWV [1st DVC stay!]; 05/09 - PP DoD CR GW and MK View; 12/08 - Mousefest YC Club Level; 4/08 - BWI, POFQ; 4/07-5/07 - WL, Poly MK View; 4/06 - WL OFC; 1/06-2/06 - AKL; 4/05 - BC, POR; 2/04 - AKL; 4/03 - POR; 2/02 - WL, CBR; 1/01 - DxL; 4/00 - DxL, WL; 12/95 - CBR; 11/85 - Offsite; 8/74 - Royal Inn; 6/73 - Offsite; 4/73 - Offsite
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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There was complimentary wine and cheese after we boarded, and dinner and breakfast was included. We arrived early, too, and there was no issue about waiting for a free gate.
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A beautiful day in the neighborhood!
My Previous Trips10/13 - F&W, BCV, SSR [1st stay]; 5/13 - Bob and Cam's Retirement, BWV; 12/12 - Holiday Reunion, BLT; 4/12 - Bob's 65th Birthday Bash, BLT, AKV Club Level [1st stay]; 12/11 - BCF Reunion VWL, BLT [1st GV stay]; 9/11 - Labor Day BCV; 4/11 - VWL [NATREC]; 4/11 - AKV; 10/10 - Epcot F&W Fest BLT [1st stay], VWL [1st stay]; 9/10 - Labor Day BWV; 5/10 - Memorial Day AKV Kidani Village; 12/09 - Sousefest AKV Jambo House; 09/09 - BWV [1st DVC stay!]; 05/09 - PP DoD CR GW and MK View; 12/08 - Mousefest YC Club Level; 4/08 - BWI, POFQ; 4/07-5/07 - WL, Poly MK View; 4/06 - WL OFC; 1/06-2/06 - AKL; 4/05 - BC, POR; 2/04 - AKL; 4/03 - POR; 2/02 - WL, CBR; 1/01 - DxL; 4/00 - DxL, WL; 12/95 - CBR; 11/85 - Offsite; 8/74 - Royal Inn; 6/73 - Offsite; 4/73 - Offsite
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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How old are your children? Two of the beds in the family room are very small. The rooms on the upper floor have the private baths and connect. As the boys got bigger we had the connecting rooms and used one bath for the toilet and the other for the shower.
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