- Amtrak’s USA Rail Pass is here as the country braces for a boom in summer travel.
- The ticket allows buyers to book 10 trips in a 30-day period, all for a flat fee.
- It’s discounted to $299 through June 22, but normally costs $499.
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After a year-plus of coronavirus-induced stress and boredom, many Americans are eager to travel again.
Looking ahead to an expected boom in summer travel, Amtrak is luring travelers in with the relaunch of its USA Rail Pass. The ticket, which Amtrak launched last week, allows people to spend a month criss-crossing the country on Amtrak trains for a flat fee.
Through June 22, the pass is discounted by 40% to $299 from its usual price of $499. It doesn’t allow for unlimited train travel, but rather the $299 includes the purchase of 10 rail segments over the course of 30 days.
According to Amtrak, each segment of a trip occurs when a passenger gets off of a train. So a trip with one connection uses up two segments, but one long direct ride would only be one segment.
The USA Rail Pass is only good for coach seats and doesn’t let passengers book more premium accommodations like sleeper cabins or first-class seats. Still, at an average cost of $30 per segment, the pass offers massive discounts, given that a single segment can cost hundreds of dollars.
For instance, one round-trip ticket on the 1,377-mile-long Crescent line from New York to New Orleans can run you close to $500. The USA Rail Pass would pay for itself after that trip alone.
Buyers have 120 days to book trips using their USA Rail Pass after purchase. They then have 30 days to use up the 10 segments from the date of their first trip.