Travel Booking Site Adds Amtrak Alongside Airlines
The next time you book a flight on CheapAir.com, you might also consider the train.
The reservation site now also offers reservations on Amtrak, the first online travel portal in the United States with this option, said Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com.
Passengers who click on the website to search for flights will also see potential trips on Amtrak. Currently, train tickets are only available for trips between New York and Boston, Boston and Washington DC, and New York and Washington, busy East Coast routes where corporate hikers and other travelers may be as well. likely to take a train than to take a plane.
Incorporating train journeys into the travel mix may appeal to some travelers who travel a relatively short distance and don’t want to deal with long security lines at the airport or other potential stresses while on a flight.
âFor many markets, and these three are the most important, it makes a lot of sense to consider rail rather than flights, especially when you factor in all the hassle and time of transportation to and from the airport, âKIee said.
But Klee says having the ability to reserve a seat on Amtrak can also attract customers who would never consider traveling by train.
“If you’re coming from out of town and you don’t even used to think of rail, all of a sudden when it’s showcased over there and you see it’s a lot less expensive and not much longerâ¦ you will see a great option. you didn’t know it existed, âKlee says.
Passengers can create travel combinations, taking a one-way train and then a return flight. Or, Klee says, a passenger traveling to eastern California could book a flight from Los Angeles to New York, then book a seat on Amtrak for their final jump from New York to Washington.
âYou can do it all in one transaction,â he says. âIt’s easier than going to separate sites and piecing together the route. “
Amtrak is happy with the new listings, but hopes the benefits of taking the train can be better highlighted, said Amtrak spokesperson Craig Schulz.
âWe are very happy to be presented there with all the flight options, but we are still working with them to refine the way we are presented,â said Schulz. âIt’s not always easy to communicate all the differences between air and rail travel, so it’s a work in progress. ”
Klee expects the site to eventually add additional Amtrak destinations.
Of course, a train ride isn’t always cheaper than a flight, nor as convenient.
âI still think most of our business will continue to be aerial,â Klee said, âand on most routes the air is really the only thing that makes sense. However, there are certain markets where we see rail as a very viable option which is in many cases just as convenient and cheaper than airplane. So in those cases we want to be as thorough as possible. ”