Amtrak Ends Discount Fares for Students and AAA Members
Amtrak no longer offers discounted fares for students and AAA members—both of which had 10% discounts— and increased the senior discount eligibility age from 62 to 65. The discount programs changed between January and February, with no official announcement from Amtrak.
"Amtrak is moving passenger rail service to a more streamlined and efficient business model," Amtrak Spokesperson Jason Abrams told TPG. "The goal is to improve overall revenue performance by expanding the use of tactical fare sales to generate ridership growth versus everyday discounts for certain consumer segments."
In place of student and AAA discounts, Amtrak has implemented a bi-weekly sale program to offer savings to customers. Sales are offered on tickets for travel in the Northeast and long distance routes and are available more frequently like every two to three weeks. With this program, Amtrak is rolling out short “Flash” sales, which include sale promotions such as Track Friday—a nationwide sale that was available on Black Friday, Abrams said.
Additional changes to note: Senior and Disabled discounts were lowered from a 15% discount down to 10%, and the limit for half-off child fares (for kids age 12 or younger) decreased from two per adult fare to one per adult fare.
Amtrak said they will continue to evaluate various discount programs. The best way for customers to save is to book early (at least 14 days in advance) and use Amtrak’s Saver Fares, according to Abrams.
Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.