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How to Score a Deal on Amtrak Fares

Illustration for article titled How to Score a Deal on Amtrak Fares

Photo: Michael715 (Shutterstock)

If you’re comfortable with extended train travel during the pandemic, now is a good time to book your ticket: Amtrak is offering flat-rate fares for routes along the Northeast Corridor, that, in many cases, wind up being cheaper than taking a bus. As part of the sale, you can book coach fares for $19 and Acela business class for $39 on all available trains.

How the deal works

It’s a limited sale, so you’ll have to book before the end of the day on Friday, March 25. The deal only applies for travel that takes place between March 30 and Sept. 30, though there are no blackout days listed during that period. You can search for fares on this sale page on the Amtrak website.

The Northeast Corridor includes stations in Virginia, Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, as well as stops in-between on those routes. Per Travel and Leisure, the sale applies to stops within the Northeast Regional, Keystone Service, Pennsylvanian, Downeaster, Vermonter, Carolinian, Crescent, Palmetto, Silver Star, and Silver Meteor train services. The Acela Express offers high-speed service during morning and afternoon rush hours between New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Boston.

Essential travel is recommended

As traveling increases your risk of contracting or spreading COVID, the CDC is asking that you delay your trips, if you can. Be sure to review state-specific travel advisories for any restrictions at your intended destination. Amtrak has also put additional safety precautions in place:

  • Bookings are limited on reserved trains to allow for more physical distancing. Individuals traveling alone may use the seat next to them for personal belongings.
  • Amtrak deep cleans and sanitizes its trains prior to service, with additional en-route cleaning to disinfect restrooms and frequently touched surfaces.
  • Protective plastic barriers have been installed at customer counters in stations and at countertops in café cars.
  • All Amtrak trains are equipped with onboard filtration systems with a fresh air exchange rate of every four to five minutes.
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