Amtrak relaunches USA Rail Pass, a ticket that lets you travel the country for 30 days for $299

AP President Joe Biden Amtrak Train Boarding
Amtrak’s USA Rail Pass lets passengers take 10 trips for $299. Andrew Harnik/AP Photo
  • Amtrak’s USA Rail Pass is here as the country braces for a boom in summer travel.
  • The ticket allows buyers to book 10 trips over 30 days for a flat fee.
  • It normally costs $499, but it’s discounted to $299 through June 22.
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After a year-plus of coronavirus-induced stress and boredom, many Americans are eager to travel again.

Expecting a boom in summer travel, Amtrak is luring in travelers with the relaunch of its USA Rail Pass. The ticket, which Amtrak launched last week, allows people to spend a month crisscrossing the country on Amtrak trains for a flat fee.

Through June 22, the pass is $299, 40% off its usual price of $499. It doesn’t allow for unlimited train travel – the $299 covers 10 rail segments over 30 days.

According to Amtrak, a segment of a trip ends when a passenger gets off a train, so a trip with one connection would use two segments, but one long ride would be only one segment. Amtrak’s longest direct routes – like Chicago to San Antonio – stretch more than 1,609km.

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The USA Rail Pass is good for only coach seats and doesn’t let passengers book premium accommodations like sleeper cabins or first-class seats. Still, at $30 a segment, the pass offers massive discounts, given that one segment can cost hundreds of dollars.

For instance, one round-trip ticket on the 2,216km Crescent line from New York to New Orleans can run you close to $500. The USA Rail Pass would pay for itself after that trip alone.

Buyers have 120 days to book trips using their USA Rail Pass after purchasing it, so a discounted pass bought by June 22 would be good through late October. They have 30 days from the day of their first trip to use up the 10 segments.