AMTRAK needs to allow for online checkin.

Discussion in 'Amtrak | Guest Rewards' started by mht_flyer, Feb 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    I ride AMTRAK every so often enough on the Downeaster and NE Regionals.

    One thing I can't wrap my head around, why doesn't AMTRAK have a online checkin and ticket print?

    It seems silly and a waste of what is probably government money to have to always use a kiosk and print out a paper ticket.

    Also I've never understood why you have to sign the tickets?

    Anyhow just some thoughts as I sit on the Downeaster this morning from EXE to BON.
     
  2. TheInternationalLine
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    TheInternationalLine Silver Member

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    +1

    A complexity, though -- AFAIK, Amtrak tickets are still paper tickets, in that the paper has some kind of "value". Airline boarding passes are essentially just identification. If someone runs 100 boarding passes off, the airline will still let them on to the plane only once. If someone prints out 100 copies of their Amtrak ticket, they may well be let on to a train 100 times. Amtrak would need to implement e-tickets (and verification) before they could really allow online check-in.
     
  3. calwatch
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    calwatch Silver Member

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    Other reasons include the available of cellular access - as many of the long distance Amtrak routes, especially in the West, have long stretches of dead zone.

    Now, on the Capitol Corridor, the conductor now scans paper tickets to "validate" them. Apparently they are just validated so that they can't be used again, as I have a friend who regularly purchases CC tickets on AAA discount, but uses them before the validity period begins. He was expecting to be told that the ticket was invalid when he got scanned, but nothing happened.
     
  4. eap
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    eap Silver Member

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    TheInternationalLine likes this.
  5. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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  6. chemist562
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    chemist562 In Memorian

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    I would also like to see online check in. [​IMG]
     
  7. IMGone
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    I actually like the current system. I book my tickets in advance and pay with a cc. All it takes is a quick swipe when I arrive at the station. Best thing is with no OLCI even if I miss the train can still get a full refund and just switch to another train by not printing the ticket first. It's a trade off I'm willing to keep if given the choice.
     
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  8. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Agreed. I'd love to have the option to print the ticket at home. It doesn't mean I have to, but it certainly would be more convenient if I could.
     
  9. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    I'm like they to bypass the generic OLCI where you print the ticket and move straight to the mobile ticket option. That would provide the most lift, IMO, as you can run for the train irregardless of whether you had printer access before arrival. You also can wait for the last minute to "issue" the ticket :)
     
  10. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    I'm all for that option as well. I've been using mobile boarding passes almost every week since Continental first introduced them (they were the first in the US) in 2008. However, this is Amtrak we're talking about. I know better than to get my hopes up too much; Amtrak just getting to the same level of technology that the airlines were at in 2004 would be a big step for them.
     
  11. Exiled in Express
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    Exiled in Express Gold Member

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    I fully agree with your thoughts. I am spoiled to have a home station that is staffed all my waking hours though, if I lived near the small stations in Montana I would likely have a different opinion.
     
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  12. alphaeagle
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    alphaeagle Silver Member

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    One thing I'm afraid if they move to e-tickets is losing the fully refundable aspect of most Amtrak tickets. I would rather have the status quo then them trying to emulate airline practices.
     
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  13. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    Haven't booked a AMTRAK ticket in a while but noticed now they offer PDF e-tickets. Just booked a quick RT last night.

    Very nice improvement, and the one printout is good for the entire RT.
     
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  14. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    I had heard that they had implemented it on the train that you're on as a pilot type project and where I live you don't need to check in, just get on the train.

    DTWBOB
     
  15. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    AH, ok, so they only offer e-tickets right now on certain routes.

    This makes sense on the route I'm on as I imagine the Downeaster to be a commuter line.

    The one I just booked was EXR-BON (Exeter NH to Boston North Station) which is a pretty quick train ride 1hr 8 minutes to Boston and 1h 7 minutes back to Exeter.
     
  16. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    Amtrak considers that to be short distance -- as opposed to long distance -- e.g. Chicago to Denver or LA.

    DTWBOB
     
  17. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    I used a E-Ticket this weekend on AMTRAK going EXR-BON and back. And let me say this, it was EASY. No signing anything on board, no using the kiosk. Bring the printout, the conductor scans the e-ticket and that's that.

    I don't use AMTRAK often but I have remembered it usually took a while to post AGR points. I can say my two small 100 point postings for EXR-BON, BON-EXR posted within 3 days. Not bad.
     
  18. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    if only i could check in on my zfv to ewr trips online... would save so much time
     
  19. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    Got a email the other day, Amtrak now allows for E-Ticketing on all routes :)

    Very nice.
     
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