Amtrak has had great deals all year round, but this one is perhaps the best yet: Rail service is bring back the USA Rail Pass for $ 299, or 40% off their usual price, making it a cheaper alternative to air travel or car travel. Here’s what you need to know.
What is the USA Rail Pass?
The Pass is a multi-trip coach ticket that allows passengers to book ten travel segments over 30 days, valid for hop-on hop-off travel across 500 of Amtrak’s destinations (a “segment” it’s when you have to change trains to continue travelingalong your route). Once purchased, the pass is valid for the first 120 days of purchase, although after the first trip has been completed, remaining segments must be used within 30 days. Fortunately, there are no blackout restrictions on dates or times. You can buy the pass here.
The USA Rail Pass is cheaper than traveling by plane or car
With the discount, each travel segment will cost less than $ 30 each, making Amtrak the cheapest option relative to the price of the tripby car or plane, to many destinations (even if the journey will be longer, it is still a train, after all). For example, let’s look at the trip from New York to New Orleans:
- Without the discount, a one-way train ticket can be found for approx. $ 150
- Airline tickets (excluding luggage) can be found for approx. $ 80
- If you are travelingby car, the price of gasoline is roughly $ 150
The USA Rail Pass has certain restrictions
The pass is only valid for economy fares or economy fares (meaning no private rooms, business class, or flexible rate), and it is not available for Acela, Auto Train, Maple Leaf, and Thruway Bus Series 7000 to 7999.
Additionally, this pass is better suited for long journeys across the country than for regional journeys, as the pass limits you to just two round trips between the same two stations (think one multi-trip pass if your tripfrequently between the same destinations).
You will also need to follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask, except for eating and drinking.