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Amtrak Deal Bulletin – Jan. 8 and Flash Sale

A northbound Amtrak Acela Express passing through Old Saybrook, Connecticut in 2011 A northbound Amtrak Acela Express passing through Old Saybrook, Connecticut in 2011 Shreder 9100 at en.wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons

General Conditions: Except where noted, all Amtrak promotions apply to coach travel only; discounts apply to full-fare tickets and can’t be combined with other discounts; most deals entail blackout dates; seats are limited; some promotions do not apply to all trains; most promotions make provisions for one or two children accompanying each adult traveler. Companion and most children’s deals require all travelers to travel together. Amtrak also offers other minor deals and promotions. In most cases, the Amtrak website automatically computes and displays eligible discounts for any trip you enter. Check amtrak.com/deals for details and booking.

Flash Sale

Take 50 percent off companion tickets on Northeast Regional as well as Adirondack, Cardinal and Carolinian. Buy by Jan. 10, travel Feb. 5-April 17. Not valid on Acela.

Weekly SmartFares NOT discontinued: 

I got it wrong: Last week’s lack of Smart Fares was apparently a year-end glitch, not a discontinuation. They’re back, as before; see below.

Standard Ongoing Discounts

Amtrak routinely offers modest discounts to certain travelers. For the most part, these discounts apply only to coach travel and are generally not combinable. Most routine discounts do not apply to weekday Acela Express trains and many do not apply to some Thruway bus travel. When you enter itineraries and personal details, the Amtrak website automatically computes discounted fares. Discounts are subject to capacity control.

  • Senior: 10 percent discount for travelers age 65 or over except on cross-border travel with VIA Rail, where the minimum age is 60. Senior discount is not valid on Acela, Auto Train, Saver fares, or on business class or sleeper accommodations. 50 percent senior discount on Downeaster trains. 15 percent discount for seniors age 62 or over on Capitol Corridor, Pacific Sunliner and San Joaquins; any-age advance purchase fares may be lower.
  • Disability: 10 percent discount for travelers with disabilities and traveling companions, with appropriate ID. 50 percent discount on Downeaster trains.
  • Children: One child age 2-12 travels for 50 percent off with an adult age 18 or over.
  • Military: 10 percent discount for travelers on active duty and their spouses/dependents, including travel on Auto Train, excluding Canadian portion of transborder trains.
  • NARP: 10 percent discount for members of National Association of Railroad Passengers with three-day advance purchase.

Discounts previously available to AAA, AARP, and Veterans Advantage members have been discontinued.

Advance-Purchase Discounts

  • Saver Fares discounts of 15 percent-25 percent are routinely offered on most long-distance Amtrak trains with 14-day advance purchase. Discounts are limited to coach class and to Saturday and select weeknight Acela trips.

Weekly SmartFares: 

Buy Tuesday-Friday, Jan. 8-11.

Travel Monday-Thursday and Saturday, varying dates, Jan. 19-Feb. 9.

Deal: 30 percent off regular coach fares.

Routes: Sale seats are available between endpoints or intermediate points of sale route; sale fares apply only in the direction noted.

  • Cascades: Vancouver BC-Portland.
  • Northeast Regional: varying dates.
  • Southwest Chief: Chicago-Topeka.
  • Sunset Limited: Palm Springs-Del Rio.

Time-Limited Promotions

  • Adirondack: $45 one-way fares between New York and Montreal. Buy by April 26, at least three days in advance; travel through April 29, Thursday through Monday only, five-day maximum stay.
  • California: 15 percent Senior discount for travelers age 62 or over on “selected” Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin trips. Travel through Jan. 31, 2019. When booking, enter “adult” rather than “senior” and enter promotion code “V282.”
  • Capitol Corridor: Up to 5 companions: $5 per ticket on weekend trips through March 30 or 50 percent discounts on most dates through December 2020.
  • Downeaster: Free companion ticket. Buy three days in advance; travel through Dec. 31.
  • San Joaquins: 50 percent discount on up to five companion tickets for travel through April 30, 2019.
  • Ed Perkins, editor

For more travel tips from Ed Perkins, see our companion site Ed on Travel

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