Marcus Lawrence | 

Amtrak Is WAY Cheaper than Flying Now Through September

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If you’ve decided that you’re not going to resist the travel bug any longer, you might’ve noticed that airfares have inched back up in price.

You might’ve missed that some of the best prices in travel right now come from riding the rails. Amtrak deals are aplenty right now, so before you throw in the towel on a summer trip, consider taking the train.

Here’s why:


Adult fares are 30% off now through Sept. 7.

Now through Labor Day, Amtrak’s regular adult fares are 30% off. There’s nothing you have to do — no promo codes or anything.

Once you put in your trip info, you can even search by flexible dates to get the best price (and most ideal travel time).

Tip: Pay attention to HOW Amtrak gets you there. While a train sounds lovely, many times Amtrak uses Greyhound-type buses for certain legs of trips. If that’s a turnoff, select train-only trips.


You’ll easily save 66% compared to airfare.

An Amtrak train goes over a bridge

Everybody freaks out when you find one-way airfare for under $100, but on Amtrak right now, that’s pretty common. Actually, some fares are as low as $9.

I found San Diego to Seattle tickets for $98 in July — way less than the cheapest standard flight I was able to find at about $300. Portland to Chicago starts at $151, while a flight will run you $323. Roanoke, VA to Atlanta is $100 by train, versus more than $250 in the air.

Check out all the current Amtrak promos. There are a lot of them.

Also: Round-trip fares are cheaper, too, on Amtrak, but the margin is much smaller. I found prices to be around $100 cheaper on average.


Amtrak has implemented a number of new safety measures amid coronavirus.

New safety protocols include:

  • Reduced capacity to allow for social distancing on trains
  • Required facial coverings
  • Making food service carryout only
  • Enhanced cleaning measures
  • Barriers and other physical distancing measures and signage
  • Contactless ticketing and cashless payments only
  • New handwashing stations
  • Foot-operated automatic door-opening buttons


But if you change your mind, Amtrak has waived all change and cancellation fees for the summer.

An Amtrak train chugs along a rocky coast

All reservations made by Aug. 31, 2020 are exempt from change and cancellation fees — even reservations booked with travel points.

Whether you’re feeling weird about traveling or have something come up — whatever the reason — you can cancel any reservation made before September.

To cancel reservations without getting a fee, you can’t use the Amtrak app or website; you must call 1-800-USA-RAIL and speak with an agent.


UP NEXT: Even If You Aren’t Ready to Fly Yet, You Should Buy a Plane Ticket by June 30

Southwest airlines desk 2020

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