US national railroad company Amtrak is contemplating new fees for changing itineraries, and may also start selling nonrefundable tickets, BGR reports.

The changes are similar to charges and products used in the airline industry, but largely unfamiliar to rail passengers in the US.

The proposals were outlined in an internal Amtrak memo that was leaked to the media. The stated intent is to increase revenues as the railroad seeks to become a profit-making company for the first time in its history.

According to the memo, Amtrak could make “Saver” fares non-refundable after 24 hours of purchase and add change and cancellation fees to “Value” class fares. Cancellation of Value tickets would incur a 25 per cent fee; changes made within two weeks of travel would incur a 15 per cent fee.

Observers say that modeling the Amtrak fare structure after those used in the airline industry is in line with other changes implemented by Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson, who formerly headed Delta Air Lines. The fare changes could come as soon as January 2020.

Business Traveller recently interviewed Caroline Decker, vice president of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Service Line, on plans for growth and the aim of breaking even for the first time next year.

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