It Ain’t Broke, So Why Fix It?
Several weeks ago, Amtrak improved their website. No, wait . . . let me re-phrase that: Several weeks ago, Amtrak improved the appearance of their website.
Yes, that describes it better. They’ve improved the look of the site, not the functionality. The type is clean and most of it is large enough for my old eyeballs. There’s open space, I like the graphics, and the art and photography are OK and appropriate.
But it really doesn’t function so well in a couple of areas that are important for me. And I’m not alone. I’ve heard grumblings from a number of other people.
I’m on their website at least a half-dozen times a day, mostly double-checking details: arrival and departure times at various stops, price comparisons, details like that. The most annoying problem I’ve run into is not being able to figure out how to book a multi-stop trip.
In May, I’m planning to take Amtrak from Chicago to Los Angeles, but with overnight stays in Denver and in Davis, California—three segments on two different trains. That’s not a big deal and I should be able to book all three segments at one time. It can be done because I found the pathway through the mire several days ago. But I got there by accident and have been unable to figure out how to get back there ever since.
Yes, I can book the three segments separately, but that means I’ll have to go through the entire payment ritual three separate times. And if I figure out how to book all three segments at the same time and they appear on the same ticket, will the fare be less that if I book all three separately? I don’t think so, but I want that clarified before I commit.
Of course I could revert to the old-fashioned approach and just call Amtrak Reservations. But not yet. I’m still looking for the “Multi-Trip” button. I know it’s gotta be in there someplace.