Like airlines, Amtrak has taken a toll due to the pandemic, and many travelers are buying or renting cars for getaways. While Amtrak is taking extra precautions with safety, including enforcing a mask mandate on all train travel, the company will need to spend time improving its website since it’s not as modern as most travel booking sites, such as airlines or car rental agencies.
When travelers book on Amtrak.com, they’ll see a glaring setback if they try to join the Amtrak Rewards Program afterward: They can’t add their reservation to their account. At this time, if you book a trip on Amtrak, then sign up for Amtrak Rewards Program, there is no way for you to add your trip reservation to your Amtrak Reward Program account online. You have to call customer service to add your reservation to your account.
Even if you download the Amtrak mobile app, there is no option to add your reservation to your Amtrak account. You have to call Amtrak customer service.
This can be frustrating, especially since many travel companies have cut back on customer service to balance out the costs that came with the pandemic, meaning the wait time can be long.
After booking an Amtrak ticket, then wanting to add the reservation to an Amtrak Rewards Program, travelers will have to wait between 30 minutes to one hour (during peak time) to speak to a representative just to add their confirmation/reservation booking to their Rewards Program account.
Another irk some travelers may have with the website is that you can only select seats *after* you book your trip, unlike airlines, where you can select your seat before you purchase.
For some travelers, they have peace of mind when they can see the seating arrangement first, which will help them determine whether they want to book that specific leg of a trip.
While it may be inconvenient not being able to select seats before a trip, Amtrak offers Real-Time Seat Availability to help travelers determine the seat load. The indicator shows how full each reserved train is at the time of booking.
The number will adjust as more customers make reservations, but you won’t even know if you’ll have your own row, or if a passenger will be sitting next to you, or if a seat with table is open, until after you purchase your ticket.
If you join Amtrak Rewards Program, and you want to add your Amtrak reservation to your account, make sure you know Amtrak’s customer service number (800-872-7245). Mornings are the best time to call, and your time to wait to speak to a representative increases later in the day.
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