Amtrak and ARC have notified all the old-timers. The official announcement says, “Amtrak Announces Discontinuation of Legacy GDS Connections and Support of Paper ATB Tickets.” Allow us to translate.
The “Legacy” that Amtrak is giving up has to do with old technology. This technology allowed us to print paper tickets (which some clients preferred), which were difficult to exchange (and not as easy to keep track of as your smartphone). For the rest of our clients, our agents connected to Amtrak’s inventory and ticket selling through a third-party technology.
We asked Pam Zager, Executive Vice President, Operations & Strategic Planning for World Travel, Inc., about the pending upgrade.
“The new GDS/Amtrak enhancement will allow a direct-connect from the GDS to Amtrak via a plug-in (for Apollo) or an app (for Sabre) that will allow our agents to book Amtrak using the enhanced GDS technology. So now all our clients will have the capability of etickets and easier changes.”
The takeaway: technology wins again, and the new enhancements will streamline the efficacy of booking Amtrak through your TMC.
Don’t pack away that nostalgia quite yet, though. The legacy Amtrak isn’t parting with is the joy of boarding a speedy silver bullet that zips across the open plains to whisk you to faraway places and new adventures. Or to that business meeting which, admittedly, isn’t quite as exciting.
This just in: Amtrak and some major local players have teamed up to announce some improvements to the 30th Street Station experience and the adjoining rail yard. Expect investment in roads, utilities, parks, bridges, and an extension of transit services. To learn more, check out the Amtrak Media Center.