Amtrak without eTicket?
November 23, 2015 7:17 PM   Subscribe

We just purchased Amtrak tickets for our in-laws, making the selection "pick up from ticket agent." We were sent eTickets. In-laws do not have the technical savvy to receive or print eTickets. One faq I found says that you can pick up tickets from an agent if you have ID and the credit card. If that's true, the credit card will be a problem, since it was ours. Anyone know for sure?

I'll call Amtrak tomorrow, and we'll figure out something, but I'm hoping someone can reassure me about how the ticket pick up works.
posted by Kriesa to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total)
Do they have smartphones? This might be too tech-heavy, but I've often just opened the email with the eTickets in and had the ticket agent scan the QR code that way.

You do need the credit card used to book to use the ticket machines, but I would be very surprised if your in-laws couldn't pick the tickets up from the agents with ID alone.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:24 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

How long until the trip? Is there enough time for you just print them and mail them to the in-laws? That would avoid the issue.
posted by brainmouse at 7:27 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

You can switch to a will call pickup mode, and put their name on the pick up. You might be able to get them to switch it, otherwise, cancel and reorder with the pickup.
posted by TenaciousB at 7:28 PM on November 23, 2015

Response by poster: No Smartphones on their end. Trip is Wednesday, not really enough time to overnight paper tickets. If necessary we may be able to get a neighbor to print them or something, but we'd like to not get that complicated. Pick up will be the ideal option if we can arrange it (we are pretty sure we did select that option originally though).
posted by Kriesa at 7:39 PM on November 23, 2015

Can you fax them the printed-out eTickets?
posted by blueberry at 8:09 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The hold times will be long, but Amtrak customer service is great (compared to airlines) and they will be able to help you.
posted by cakelite at 8:11 PM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]

Seconding just calling Amtrak.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:22 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just call them. The only other thing I'd mention is that, unless they're getting on in a major city hub, there might not be an agent at the station. Since you don't say what station, I just wanted to mention. Some stations no longer have a ticket window at all, just a QuikTrak machine, or not even that, on the assumption that you've either printed your ticket or got it on your phone.
posted by Miko at 8:47 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Seconding Miko's possibility that there is no longer an agent at that station. Our city of 150k+ has a nice station, but no longer an agent or kiosk.
posted by Yorrick at 9:22 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nowadays, I always print the ticket or use the print kiosk at the station but a few years ago I boarded at an unmanned station with no kiosk and just gave the conductor a confirmation number for my reservation and my credit card and he charged it and printed a receipt right there on the train.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:47 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If the tickets are in their names, ID and confirmation number will suffice for pickup from an agent, confirmation number alone for kiosk. I've done this many times.
posted by ersatzkat at 2:09 AM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks. I called Amtrak this morning and got right through to an agent. ersatzkat is correct, all they need is confirmation number and ID for pick up, and their station does have an agent desk.

I'm pretty wowed by their customer service. There was hardly any wait time, and the agent was efficient and helpful.
posted by Kriesa at 6:04 AM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

Another option, though you seem to have this one sorted, is for them to get tickets printed at the public library which does this all the time. Or receiving a fax (at the library or another service point). Amtrak delayed moving to etickets for a very long time, but now that they've done it, they seem to work hard to make sure that everyone can properly use them.
posted by jessamyn at 7:36 AM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

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