Amtrak has seen record ridership on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for years, but offials say that trend is shifting.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says traditionally today — the day before Thanksgiving — has been Amtrak’s busiest, but in recent years, people are leaving for their holiday destination earlier in the week as work and school allow. But he says everyone has to be back by Monday morning, leading to sold-out trains on Sunday.
He says this year is the first time e-tickets are available, which people can use on their smart phones, scanning them to board the train. Magliari says something new this week will show whether e-ticketing will speed up the sometimes hectic travel process for Amtrak riders.
Amtrak is adding extra cars on some routes and adding more back-and-forth trips in some areas to accommodate the extra travelers. He says the week will be one of sold-out trips for Amtrak.
Those on overnight trips will see a few special menu items on the dining car — turkey, cranberry sauce and pecan pie with maple sauce.
Magliari says although gas prices are low right now, Amtrak ticket prices are more predictable year round. He says passengers can purchase tickets nearly a year in advance, locking in the set price for the trip so there are no surprises.
And he says a lot of passengers are happy to avoid the congested roadways during the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
AUDIO: Jessica Machetta reports (1:14)