Summer may be officially over—R.I.P.—but Amtrak is already giving us reasons to get excited about celebrating fall. This week the national rail service announced a huge buy-one-get-one sale on Acela business class and Northeast Regional coach train fares. This means you can buy a ticket and bring a friend for free—or just split the difference and save 50 percent on ticket prices.
Sure, cars are great for road trips, but trains are where it's at when it comes to the ultimate hands-free way to snag that much-needed change of scenery. Riding the rails is the perfect way to follow fall down the Northeast Corridor, from Boston to Virginia, whether it's leaf-peeping, pumpkin patch hopping, or just winding through beautiful landscapes that are only accessible via train.
Fares are on sale through Sept. 30 and are good for travel on dates from Sept. 24 to Dec. 12, 2020. Fall foliage tour, anyone? To take advantage of these bring-a-friend fare deals that range from $30 to $129 one-way, you'll have to book at least three days in advance. Need a reason to bite the bullet and plan ahead? Amtrak is also offering no change fees and full refunds on tickets through Sept. 30.
"The BOGO sale offers a fantastic deal for Northeast Corridor travelers, while also providing the chance to experience new amenities, and learn more about extra savings on upcoming initiatives that will upgrade the overall customer experience," Caroline Decker, Amtrak's vice president for the Northeast corridor service line, told TripSavvy.
If you're concerned about safety, Amtrak has adopted enhanced health safety measures that include aggressive disinfection and cleaning protocols on trains and in stations, onboard filtration systems that replace the air on the train every four to five minutes, and booking to limited capacity and leaving middle seats open to ensure adequate spacing between passengers.
"Our efforts to deliver a new standard of travel and highlight our commitment to customer and employee safety are reflected in the expansion of Reserved Seating to Acela and Northeast Regional Business Class customers, offering peace of mind with a reserved seat and the ability to physically distance or be seated with friends and family," Decker said.
They also require all employees and passengers wear masks that cover both their nose and mouth—anyone who doesn't comply risks being removed from the train or station or banned from future travel on Amtrak trains. Plus, you can use the Amtrak app for a contactless ticketing experience.
The Amtrak experience is only bound to get better in 2021, as the company has a new Acela fleet in the works and looks forward to the opening of the Moynihan Train Hall, an expansion of New York's bustling Penn Station, next year.