Membership Benefits Suspension - Addressing Rumors
May 7, 2020
I’d like to take a few minutes to address some rumors around our April 30th membership benefits suspension announcement.
We are NOT taking away the discount on Amtrak. At no time has that ever been communicated to our members. The 10% every day discount remains in force and can be used today, or tomorrow or when you feel comfortable traveling by rail.
You are NOT losing your Amtrak Guest Rewards points. While we work closely with Amtrak, we are not the railroad. We have no power over how you use your Amtrak Guest Rewards points in any way. Those policies are set by Amtrak. Nothing we have done would prevent you from using the points you have been saving up. If you have a trip you want to take with those points, Amtrak will honor them.
Our announcement on April 30th was only about the bonus points that we, as a nonprofit association, make available to our dues-paying members from time to time. We have typically awarded points in two ways: we have given members bonus points for their annual renewal, and we have run promotions a couple of times a year where we might offer extra point totals for buying a membership at a certain level. This has nothing to do with Amtrak having the points program or letting you use points to travel.
To clarify: we are TEMPORARILY suspending awarding bonus Amtrak Guest Rewards points for memberships. With the economic crisis facing the country, we have seen our income and donations decline and we had to find ways to economize. Once the financial situation improves, we fully expect to restore points.
When you give us money (as a member or as a donation) you are NOT giving money to Amtrak; you are supporting the Rail Passengers Association. We work to educate our members and the general public about rail travel, and we help our members support Amtrak by reaching out to their congressmen and Senators and other leaders asking them to support Amtrak. We do not own nor manage Amtrak or the Amtrak Guest Rewards program.
I hope you'll understand that we have to do things to preserve the financial health of your Association so that we can continue to fight for more trains, better trains, restoration of important routes and new equipment, and all of the rest of the things our staff does every day to make sure that Amtrak passengers' voices are heard in Congress, at the Federal Railroad Administration and in Amtrak's executive offices.
Stay healthy and safe!
President & CEO
"On behalf of Amtrak’s onboard service staff, I want to thank the Rail Passengers Association for honoring their hard work with this award. The past couple years have indeed been difficult for Amtrak onboard service staff – coping with furloughs and job insecurity, adapting to changing protocols and services, not to mention the unfortunate events such as a tragic derailment and a fatal shooting. Nevertheless, our dedicated members at Amtrak have handled these hurdles with the care, attention and diligence for which they’re known. We thank Rail Passengers for their acknowledgement of our members’ hard work and, as always, look forward to seeing you on the rails."
Arthur Maratea, TCU/IAM National President
December 21, 2021, on the Association awarding its 2021 Golden Spike Award to the Frontline Amtrak Employees.