The Canadian will have to wait.

Well, I finally listened to my wife, my daughter, and my doctor and so I have just finished canceling my trip to Washington, DC. I was scheduled to leave in ten days to attend the annual Spring meeting of the Rail Passengers Association in Washington, but from there I was going up to Boston for Opening Day festivities and a ballgame at Fenway Park. It was scheduled for the afternoon of April 2nd, but has been cancelled because of the coronavirus. 

Next was to be Toronto where a travel pal and I would enjoy the fabulous ride from there to Vancouver on VIA Rail’s Train #1, The Canadian. Then more baseball games, since, by a happy coincidence, the Red Sox were scheduled to play in Seattle the day after we would be arriving in Vancouver. From Seattle i was the Coast Starlight overnight to Oakland, where the Sox had critically important series.

I’ve learned an interesting factoid from this experience: It’s a whole lot easier and a lot faster to book something than it is to cancel it.

Amtrak’s Julie said it would be at least an hour on hold before I could talk to an agent and cancel my train reservations. Actually, the wait was close to 70 minutes and the time was filled with recorded announcements from Amtrak’s Marketing Department. (Amtrak uses an obviously non-professional female voice to read these announcements. What could possibly be the reason for that?)

I had booked Delta Airlines on my original schedule to get me from Boston to Toronto. Today, the Delta website says I shouldn’t try to cancel my flight until 72 hours from original departure. Same with American Airlines for my flight home to Maui from L.A. 

On this cross-country ride home,  I actually had a total of seven Amtrak segments, and a very professional, very competent reservations agent got me 100% refunds on all seven segments of what would have been a  very nice trip.

Meanwhile—Word just in!—the Rail Passengers Association’s annual Spring meeting has been re-scheduled for June 21-24 in Washington.

OK . . . first, I gotta find out where the Red Sox will be playing on the 25th of June . . .