Are there ever any discounts for the Autotrain?

KristinU

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 25, 2000
Has anyone ever done better than $300-$400 per person (2 adults) on the Amtrak Autotrain from Lorton, VA to FL?

My DH and I drove down last September (post-9/11) and found that we enjoyed the freedom of driving and having our car there and plan to do it again this coming September. The Autotrain seems like a great way of combining the ability to pack your car with anything you want with the ability to kick back and let soemone else do the navigating...but I don't know if it is worth that much to us.

I've been checking the Amtrak site every once-in-a-while to see if the rates fluctuate and they really haven't. Anything I am missing? Anyone with pros or cons of using the Autotrain?

Thanks in advance for your help!
 
Kristin,

The AutoTrain IS a great way to travel to WDW.. and cuts a lot of wear and tear on you and your car. What I have noticed is that it seems that it definitely depends on the time of year and what specials they are running at the time. We went in Sept, 2000 and paid about $850 for two adults in a standard sleeper round trip. The same trip this past Dec. (2001) cost us $1060. I have been looking into a trip this Dec. (2nd week) and right now they are quoting $960. I spoke to a reservation agent who mentioned that they have a bunch of rate levels for each train/date. Once the cheaper ones are sold, the fare goes up. (it's the same as capacity controls on airlines)..... BUT Amtrak regularly has promotions which can sometimes substantially reduce the fare. The good thing about Amtrak is that once you purchase your ticket, you can usually get a refund of any fare difference, (less a change fee of about $60) if a cheaper fare is announced. Also, I believe, most train tickets are refundable up to a few days before the train.. This gives you a lot of flexibility. You can, and should, verify these policies with Amtrak when you purchase the tickets. This is the info that I was given when I purchased the tickets.

If you have any other questions about teh AutoTrain, let me know and I'll be happy to help!
 
Thanks for the quick response, Chris!

I noticed that you get a sleeper car. I have been just looking at rates for Reserved Coach I think. If you don't get a sleeper I assume you sleep in your seats like you would on a plane, am I right? Do you know if there is a difference between Standard Coach and Lower Level Coach? I can't find a difinitive answer on their web site.

If we don't do the Autotrain, we'll rent a car here and drive it down - which is what we did last year. We have a rental reserved for $350 right now, so it is really the value of gas, food along the way, and the two of us being "fresh" when we arrive (which seems to be the biggest value to me). I should mention that we drive straight through taking turns sleeping and driving, so we don't weigh in a hotel room.

Decisions, decisions...
 
Hi again,

The train cars are "Superliner 2" type cars which are 2 level cars. You enter on the ground level and most seats, etc are one level up. You have to go to the 2nd level to walk through the train. The lower level seats are usually 'reserved' for handicapped folks, but anyone can reserve them. There are only a handful of seats on the lower level, so it can tend to be quiter. You are able to recline in the seats. I have not taken coach, but many people here have said that the coach seats are very comofortable and offer lots of room. They are similar to first class seats on a plane. When looking at the fares, remember that the fares include dinner and a continental breakfast.

Here is a web site with more great info: http://communities.prodigy.net/trains/amtauto.htm
 
I have seen Auto-Train on Amtrak's Railsale (a very low fare promotion from the Amtrak website), though not recently. It is, however, worth keeping an eye out for, because when it's there, the fare may be as low as $70 per person (coach, one-way). That doesn't include the (much more expensive) cost of your automobile (hence, a bit misleading), but it is a significant savings.
 
Kristin, If you're looking to feel refreshed I'd go for the sleeper. That's what we're doing this August. We did coach last year and the drive home from Va. was a constant battle to stay awake after a hectic week in WDW and very little sleep the night before on the train. Very scary! The coach seats are very comfortable for relaxing but not for sleeping. Either way bring your own pillow.:)
 
I just booked a southbound trip this morning from the railsale page

Total one way coach was 355.20 for four tickets (2adults 2 children however all priced as adults) The price was as follows 55.00 each for 4 tickets and 130 for the auto. The dates are southbound only and from 4/5/02-4/30/02. I guess we will probably drive back north because the fare for the same passengers and car northbound is sitting at over 800 still.
 
Just moving to the top to be seen before all seats are gone. I replied earlier and the message is intact but it didn't move up
 
Gee, Railsale is short this week... :(

Even $800 isn't so bad a price right now, though I'd pass on it as well. Best I found while ago in the website was $1009 coach / $1104 sleeper. Keep checking RailSale to see if the sale direction goes northbound, and check the regular fares to see if something more reasonable opens up (especially at the last minute; consider checking with Amtrak on arrival or even while in WDW). Have a great trip! :)
 
































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