Amtrak.com can't search by points NYP to PHL

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Amtrak.com can't search by points NYP to PHL

Postby radioboy » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:58 pm

I'm trying to book a trip from NYP to PHL using points. When I try to search for that fare combination, amtrak.com is throwing up a server error:

Access Denied
You don't have permission to access "http://tickets.amtrak.com/itd/amtrak/SelectTrainsPage" on this server.
Reference #18.4ddc6068.1503514465.5a19249

Fails on shop with points for one way and round trip, NYP-PHL and PHL-NYP. Any other trip combination completes the search successfully, including NYP-PHL in dollars instead of points.

The response from @amtrak on Twitter was "you need to use a different server" (sigh). The response by email was a form letter thanking me for my suggestions about their website.

Anyone have any ideas how I could get this in front of someone capable of fixing it?
-CW
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Re: Amtrak.com can't search by points NYP to PHL

Postby prr60 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:03 pm

I just tried a booking NYP to PHL using points and did not have any issues.
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Re: Amtrak.com can't search by points NYP to PHL

Postby radioboy » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:09 pm

This is quite frustrating, because only a few people have been able to reproduce it.

Here is what I choose:
Image

And here is the result
Image
-CW
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Re: Amtrak.com can't search by points NYP to PHL

Postby amtrakhogger » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:18 pm

i know you are trying to do it online, but if you have no success try 1-800-USA-RAIL and speak to an agent. Just a thought.
Last edited by amtrakhogger on Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amtrak.com can't search by points NYP to PHL

Postby inlogan » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:19 pm

I get the same error if I try to make the booking request with the Points button selected. However, if I search first with the Dollars button selected and wait for the listing of trains and prices to appear I can then click on the Dollars/Points toggle at the top of the train listing and it will switch over to points and allow booking. Try that as a workaround.
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Re: Amtrak.com can't search by points NYP to PHL

Postby radioboy » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:28 pm

Aha, yes, that toggle at the top does do the trick.

i know you are trying to do it online, but if you have no success try 1-800-USA-RAIL and speak to an agent. Just a thought.


Well sure, but then am I just supposed to let an error go unfixed :-P?
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Re: Amtrak.com can't search by points NYP to PHL

Postby bratkinson » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:13 pm

While trying out several date/train/intermediate station pricing scenarios for my next year 'joyride on points' vacation earlier this week, I discovered that after perhaps 8-10 city pair selections and toggling back and forth between dollars and points, the Amtrak website went a little screwy and ultimately wouldn't let me do anything more. I managed to 'break it' a couple of times toggling back and forth between 'adult' and 'senior' pricing, too. The computer geek in me says it could be your (my) browser, anti-virus software, and/or the Amtrak ticketing/pricing routines on their server, any of which may have had too many open 'threads', etc. caused by toggling back and forth with various 'secure' info (my AV software sometimes frustrates me by getting over protective at times).

Not knowing what the cause is/was, I took the easy way out. I exited the browser completely (Firefox, in my case) to force it to 'start fresh' and then went back to the Amtrak site. Everything worked perfectly for the next 10-15 minutes and the trouble started again. Repeat as needed.

The reality is that the browser software, and AV/Internet (overkill security) software, and the web site are extremely complex and there's never a guarantee they will all 'play together' nicely. Throw in the millions of lines of code in Windows, and I'm extremely surprised we don't get more hiccups than we do these days!

For what it's worth, I use Kaspersky Internet Security software. In my opinion, it's the best and fastest. But since Kaspersky is a Russian company, I'll blame the Russians for all my troubles!
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Re: Amtrak.com can't search by points NYP to PHL

Postby andrewjw » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:21 pm

bratkinson wrote:While trying out several date/train/intermediate station pricing scenarios for my next year 'joyride on points' vacation earlier this week, I discovered that after perhaps 8-10 city pair selections and toggling back and forth between dollars and points, the Amtrak website went a little screwy and ultimately wouldn't let me do anything more. I managed to 'break it' a couple of times toggling back and forth between 'adult' and 'senior' pricing, too. The computer geek in me says it could be your (my) browser, anti-virus software, and/or the Amtrak ticketing/pricing routines on their server, any of which may have had too many open 'threads', etc. caused by toggling back and forth with various 'secure' info (my AV software sometimes frustrates me by getting over protective at times).

Not knowing what the cause is/was, I took the easy way out. I exited the browser completely (Firefox, in my case) to force it to 'start fresh' and then went back to the Amtrak site. Everything worked perfectly for the next 10-15 minutes and the trouble started again. Repeat as needed.

The reality is that the browser software, and AV/Internet (overkill security) software, and the web site are extremely complex and there's never a guarantee they will all 'play together' nicely. Throw in the millions of lines of code in Windows, and I'm extremely surprised we don't get more hiccups than we do these days!

For what it's worth, I use Kaspersky Internet Security software. In my opinion, it's the best and fastest. But since Kaspersky is a Russian company, I'll blame the Russians for all my troubles!


Usually one thread of a server will handle a whole session of a given user, so I suspect that the server-side information about the state of your session gets out of sync with the actual state of your web browser, causing some messages to get misinterpreted. The security of the connection would not likely be the cause of the issue.

Also regarding Russians - maybe a little serious than you had realized: https://www.cyberscoop.com/fbi-kaspersky-private-sector-briefings-yarovaya-laws/
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