Amtrak

Phone: 1-800-872-7245

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Amtrak

Amtrak Rewards and Amtrak Trains are not friends, don’t even talk to each other and such Rewards as there are may be subject to hidden unappealing restrictions | I reserved with Amtrak a 12:45 pm train out of Portland Maine with a connection with a 4:45 pm train from Boston to Philly July 26th | I had earned 3000 points trough the Rewards program and paid $33 for an additional 1000 points a total of 4000 points to entitle me to one free ride from Portland to Philly | When i tried to redeem my points, Amtrak told me I would have to cancel my reservation and book my travel solely through the Amtrak rewards telephone number. So I canceled my reservation | When I called Amtrak rewards the agent told me my afternoon train had been canceled due to track work and the earliest I could leave Boston would be 9:30pm Sunday getting me in to Philly groggily at 4:35 am Monday. | I was a little flexible and after the recent deadly Amtrak wreck in Philly glad they were doing needed work so I asked about leaving on Monday but the agent said there was track work scheduled for Monday afternoon too and the earliest I could leave would be that same 9:30 pm departure overnight train. What else could I do? | So the agent booked me on Sunday9:30 pm out of Boston train and before that a concord coach bus out of Portland at 6 pm bound for Boston. | The friend I was visiting in Maine got me on the last southbound bus out of nearby Bath bound for Portland and when I got in Portland I learned my bus was continuing on to Boston. So rather than dragging my bag off the bus and waiting 3 hours for the 6 pm bus, Concord allowed me to stay on the bus until its final Boston destination and we got in about 6:30 pm | Imagine my surprise when I looked at the departures and arrivals board and discovered that there was a train departing Boston 6:40 pm bound for DC through Philly and then heard the announcement it was boarding | I got in line and was told I would have to go to the ticket window to get my ticket changed from the 9;30 pm to the 6:40. The ticket agent could do nothing for me. I would have to contact Amtrak rewards directly and she couldn’t put me through to them | Clutching my cellphone to my ear in the noisy station I called as I raced back to the departing train and was on hold for several minutes when the conductor outside the train after everybody else had boarded,said I could board the train and work it out on phone onboard. | 17 minutes into the phone call most of which rewards agent heather had me on hold, she returned to chide me but we passed through the tunnel and the call dropped. | I called back, couldn’t get through to agent Heather, but agent Linda told me the reservation could not be changed to the train I was actually on, the earlier than 9:30 pm train that according to the Amtrak rewards booking agent wasn’t supposed to have existed. | Linda asked me to tell the conductor to call his supervisor and shortly afterward the supervisor showed up seat side. When I caught wind that he was going to make me pay full fare and not honor my Amtrak rewards I took out my phone to video our transaction | The supervisor followed through on his threat to bring a local police officer aboard at which time rather than being escorted by the genial officer onto the train platform at Some Small Town Mass I dialed up the Amtrak reservation number they gave me and after telling my sad story once again was obliged to pay $205 for full fare | I believe I was lied to by the Rewards agent about supposed train cancelations due to supposed track work because my original 4:45 train out of Boston did in fact run on schedule today and the 5:40 and 6:40 I am on after that | And I suspect there is some weird business/legal relation between Amtrak Rewards and Amtrak Trains and that my “reward” is the train with the least desirable departure and arrival times Amtrak has.

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