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Amtrak News + Deal Bulletin – June 11

Amtrak San Joaquins at Emeryville station in 2012. The locomotive is wearing Amtrak's California logo by Hornswoggle via Wikimedia Commons Amtrak San Joaquins at Emeryville station in 2012. The locomotive is wearing Amtrak's California logo by Hornswoggle via Wikimedia Commons


Missouri River Runner trains remain suspended, at least through June 12, due to flooding. Resumption of service depends on weather and flooding developments. If you’re planning on using Missouri River Runner, check Amtrak for status.

Deals: 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 for details and booking.

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.
  • “Share Fares:” Average 35 percent discount for groups of four traveling together with three-day advance purchase.
  • Veterans: 15 percent discounts in California on Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner, and San Joaquins for veterans and family members.

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, June 11-14.

Travel Monday-Thursday and Saturday, varying dates, June 22-July 13.

Deal: 30% 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.

  • Blue Water: Port Huron-Niles, Kalamazoo-Port Huron.
  • Illini: Carbondale-Chicago, Chicago-Champaign/Urbana.
  • Lincoln Service: Dwight-St. Louis, St. Louis-Chicago.
  • Missouri River Runner: Hermann-Kansas City.
  • Northeast Regional: Various Routes.
  • Southwest Chief: Los Angeles-Raton.
  • Wolverine: Jackson-Pontiac, Kalamazoo-Pontiac both directions.

Time-Limited Promotions

  • Capitol Corridor: Up to 5 companions: 50% discounts on most dates through December 2020. Also, 25% discounts on travel to/from Oakland Athletics home games, through Nov. 1.
  • Downeaster: Free companion ticket. Buy three days in advance; travel through Dec. 31.
  • Northeast Regional: BOGO — for one fare, get tickets for yourself and a companion for travel along Boston-Washington main line on Saturdays on Regional and Acela. Buy by June 15, travel through Sept. 7, book three days in advance.
  • Pacific Surfliner: Buy one, get a companion ticket for 50% of the regular price. Buy by June 24, travel through June 30, with three-day advance purchase, Monday through Thursday only.

Ed Perkins, editor

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

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