Amtrak suspends nonstop Acela, waives change fees in response to coronavirus
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
As demand for travel continues to ebb amid coronavirus fears, Amtrak is joining U.S. airlines in modifying its schedules and policies.
Beginning March 10, the railroad will suspend Acela nonstop service between New York and Washington, according to a statement.
The service began in September, and generally targets New York-based travelers with an early morning departure from Penn Station to Washington, and an evening return to New York as the only current nonstop options on the route. The suspension will last until May 26.
In its announcement Friday, Amtrak also said it would be waiving change fees on new and existing reservations through April 30. And the railroad suggested it would likely cancel some other trains and reduce the number of cars on some services in response to slower ticket sales. It has not yet announced which other routes will be affected.
The change waiver comes less than a week after Amtrak rolled out new, more restrictive ticketing policies. Beginning March 1, the railroad’s cheapest tickets became nonrefundable and unchangeable 24 hours after booking. Those restrictions seem to be temporarily suspended as part of the railroad’s coronavirus response. The waiver is also more flexible than any of those announced by U.S. airlines so far.
On Saturday, governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency as the number of coronavirus cases in New York continues to rise. Amtrak mentioned, however, that there are no specific restrictions in place against rail travel or any of the destinations it serves.
Featured photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.