Amtrak Fare Structure Reduced to Two Categories

Amtrak announced they’re simplifying their fare structure to make it easier to book an Amtrak seat. Starting this fall, they’re introducing a new set of fares that reduces the previous three fare categories to just two.

Amtrak Silver Star arrives into Winter Park Florida.
Winter Park Florida train station. (Photo: Sherry Laskin)

Amtrak Changes to Simpler Ticket Options

This fall, they’re ditching their old fare system and rolling out just two easy-to-understand choices: Flex and Value.

Flex Fares

Flex fares are for those who love, well, flexibility. Change your plans last minute? No worries! These fares are refundable and you won’t get hit with any sneaky change fees.

Value Fares for Those on a Budget

Feeling budget-conscious? Value fares are your friend. While not changeable, you can still cancel and get 75% of your money back. Consider it a small fee for keeping your options a bit more limited.

These new fares cover most coach and Acela business-class tickets, but there are some special rules for long-distance train sleepers and routes like the Capitol Corridor and Pacific Surfliner.

“We want to make booking a train a no-brainer, with prices and options that fit everyone,” said Amtrak President Roger Harris.

Getting a Refund

Here’s how it shakes out with refunds:

  • Value fares: Cancel 15+ days ahead, you get it all back. Cancel closer to your trip? You’ll lose 25%.
  • Flex fares: Basically, these are just like the old Flexible fares, only cheaper! Amtrak hasn’t spilled all the pricing details yet, but expect some seriously good deals on flexible travel.

All kids 2-12 travel for half-price with an adult (and it’s not just one kiddo per adult anymore). Sometimes you’ll even find crazy cheap sale fares, but remember, those are locked in with a slightly higher refund fee.

Night Owl fares in the Northeast mean super affordable late-night travel, AND spiffy new Acela trains are arriving in 2024 with comfy seats and tons of power outlets.

Bottom line: Amtrak’s making train travel easier and more tempting! This new fare system is just one way they’re showing they’re serious about making rail travel a top choice.

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