Boy, I’m disappointed in Amtrak‘s pricing for Seattle to Chicago.
Round-trip by plane: $275 + $65 airport shuttles = $340, and 4 hours each way.
Round-trip by train: $300 + no cost bus to train station = $300, and 48 hours each way.
Amtrak is pricing this trip to attract only those travelers who so intensely hate flying that they’ll pay the same price to not fly. Or, those who cannot fly due to medical conditions.
They’re completely forgoing those who dislike (but are willing to put up with) flying, and who want a price break in addition to the more pleasant traveling mode.
For this trip, Amtrak offers the benefits of increased safety and decreased boarding hassles. But for me, a total of four days in transit is too high a cost for only those benefits. Looks like I’ll be flying to PyCon 2009.