April 1, 2021 Amtrak: Delivering a New Standard of Travel

WASHINGTON – Amtrak is setting a new standard of travel with enhanced safety and cleaning measures. With its medical director, public health and safety team and partnership with the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, we have studied, analyzed and made improvements to the Amtrak travel experience – from beginning to end – for the safety and health of our people and travelers. In an effort to simplify and safeguard the travel experience, several cleaning, contact-free and convenience measures have been implemented into every part of the customer journey — from time of booking to the moment of arrival.

Amtrak continues to evaluate current practices and launch new initiatives to support personal safety. For more information, follow Amtrak on social media, sign up for Amtrak Guest Rewards and visit Amtrak.com/coronavirus to stay updated on the latest news and important information on our services. 

Before traveling on Amtrak, please review state advisories or restrictions that may be in place for travel to your destination. Learn more about state-specific travel restrictions.

Amtrak Guest Rewards: 

  • Coupons: We have paused coupon expiration through February 28, 2021.
  • Points: We have paused point expiration through June 30, 2021.
  • Tier Status: For members with tier status, status will be extended for an additional year, through February 28, 2022.
  • Travel Flexibility: We are waiving change fees on all existing or new reservations made before September 6, 2021, including reservations booked with points.
  • Learn More: Read more about the important Amtrak Guest Rewards updates we have made in response to COVID-19.

When You Book

  • Trip flexibility: Amtrak is waiving all change fees for reservations made by September 6, 2021. This includes reservations booked with points. To modify a reservation, log in to your account, go to ‘Modify Trip’ on Amtrak.com, or find your reservation from your account on the home screen in the Amtrak app. A fare difference may apply to your new itinerary.
  • Capacity indicator: When searching for travel, customers will see a volume percentage next to each route. This will give customers the opportunity to book a route that is less crowded. These percentage numbers adjust dynamically in real time as more passengers make reservations.
  • Limiting bookings: Starting May 23, Amtrak will no longer be limiting capacity. When searching for travel, the percentage of seats sold displays next to each trip option and adjusts as passengers make reservations. This gives customers the opportunity to book a train that is less crowded. If capacity exceeds comfort levels, customers can change their ticket without incurring a fee.
  • Private rooms: Offered on many routes, private rooms offer the perfect option for customers seeking privacy and space on a short trip and added comfort and amenities when traveling overnight.
  • Amtrak RideReserve: To allow customers ample space to distance themselves onboard, monthly, ten-ride and six-ride multi-ride ticket holders will need to confirm their travel on reserved services using Amtrak RideReserve prior to traveling.

Station Procedures:

  • Face coverings: Per federal law and Amtrak policy, all customers and employees must wear a face mask or covering that fully covers the entire mouth and nose, fits snugly against the side of the face, and secures under the chin at all times while onboard and in stations. Neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, face shields, and masks containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind do not qualify as acceptable face coverings.  Face masks can be removed briefly while actively eating, drinking or taking medication. Children under 2 years old are not required to wear a face covering. Refusing to wear a mask is a violation of federal law; passengers may be subject to penalties under federal law, denied boarding, removed from the train and banned from future travel in the event of noncompliance.
  • Partnership with RB, the makers of Lysol®: Built on its commitment to the safety and wellbeing of travelers, Amtrak announced a partnership with RB, the makers of Lysol. As part of this partnership, germ-kill experts and microbiologists from RB will help Amtrak strengthen and reinforce Amtrak’s comprehensive disinfection protocols for trains, stations and Metropolitan Lounge.
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols: Amtrak has enhanced cleaning frequency and retrofitted protective plastic barriers where necessary. Commonly used surfaces in stations such as door handles, counter tops, seating areas and Quik-Trak kiosks are cleaned with EPA-registered disinfectants.
  • Physical distancing: Signage has been displayed at our busiest stations to indicate safe distances in high traffic areas. In addition, protective plastic barriers have been installed at customer counters at our busiest stations.
  • Station arrival: Except for the Auto Train, customers are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes before departure and 60 minutes if in need of ticketing and/or baggage assistance. Priority boarding has been discontinued, and boarding procedures will be adjusted at stations in Washington, DC, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York Penn Station.

Contact-Free Travel

  • Amtrak app: The Amtrak app makes contact-free travel easy. Customers can book, board, check train status and access information from the convenience and safety of a mobile device. Amtrak encourages boarding with eTickets, which conductors scan from the Amtrak app.
  • Seamless gate service: To reduce crowds at departure boards, Amtrak app users automatically receive boarding gate and track information via push notification at select stations.

Onboard:

  • Face coverings: Per federal law and Amtrak policy, all customers and employees must wear a face mask or covering that fully covers the entire mouth and nose, fits snugly against the side of the face, and secures under the chin at all times while onboard and in stations. Neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, face shields, and masks containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind do not qualify as acceptable face coverings.  Face masks can be removed briefly while actively eating, drinking or taking medication. Children under 2 years old are not required to wear a face covering. Refusing to wear a mask is a violation of federal law; passengers may be subject to penalties under federal law, denied boarding, removed from the train and banned from future travel in the event of noncompliance.
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols: Amtrak is following industry recommendations for deep cleaning and sanitizing of its trains prior to service, with additional en-route cleaning to disinfect restrooms and frequently touched surfaces along the journey.
  • Limiting bookings: Starting May 23, Amtrak will no longer be limiting capacity. When searching for travel, the percentage of seats sold displays next to each trip option and adjusts as passengers make reservations. This gives customers the opportunity to book a train that is less crowded. If capacity exceeds comfort levels, customers can change their ticket without incurring a fee.
  • Air quality: All of our trains are equipped with onboard filtration systems with a fresh air exchange rate every 4-5 minutes.
  • Reducing exposure: All non-safety materials have been removed from seatback pockets.
  • Handwashing: Available in each car’s restroom, Amtrak strongly encourages washing hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Contactless movement onboard: To move between cars, customers can use an “automatic door open” button with their foot.
  • Upon arrival: When the train is approaching a destination, conductors will make announcements regarding where and when customers can disembark to minimize door crowding.

Food & Beverage:

  • Café service: Café cars are temporarily operating as carryout only.
  • Physical distancing: For customers placing orders in the cafe, signage and markers promoting physical distancing leading up to the café counter have been added.
  • Protective barriers: For added protection, protective plastic barriers have been installed at café countertops.
  • Flexible dining: Amtrak is temporarily offering flexible dining service on all long-distance routes (except Auto Train) and encouraging customers in private rooms to opt for room service.
  • Dining and lounge seating: Dining and lounge seating will remain available on select long distance routes with physical distancing protocols in place.

For More Information

Amtrak Media Relations

About Amtrak®

This year Amtrak is celebrating its 50th anniversary. For five decades Amtrak has done its part to connect America, transforming a classic form of transportation, preserving those aspects of train travel that are timeless, while modernizing those that are ripe for it. Amtrak will continue to play an important role in the national transportation network for the next 50 years and beyond by providing travelers with a safe, efficient and reliable experience. While a lot has changed, what hasn’t changed are the fond memories and essential service that train travel can provide. This year, Amtrak is setting a new standard of travel. To simplify and safeguard the travel experience, new cleaning and convenience measures are part of every customer’s contactless journey. Leveraging a full-time medical director and public health and safety team, we are committed to operating a safe, environmentally efficient and fiscally responsible business. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app. Learn more at Amtrak.com.

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