COVID-19 Innovative Adaptations

As COVID-19 has greatly impacted the transportation industry, Amtrak has had to make some innovative adaptations.

COVID-19 has fast-tracked many innovations already in the works. One such innovation is the expansion of reserved seating on Acela trains. Seats are auto assigned on trains with the reserved seating option; however, they can be changed using an interactive diagram on or the Amtrak app. As long as the seat itself is available, seat assignments can be altered up until a passenger is onboard. Customers can view where there might be empty seats to allow for greater distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This expansion also marks the first time customers can reserve a seat in the Quiet Car.

Since not all routes have the reserved seating option, customers are able to see seating availability to get a sense of how busy their train will be. When searching for travel, customers will see the percentage of seats sold next to each route as customers make reservations. This will give customers the opportunity to book a train that is less crowded. If capacity exceeds comfort levels, customers can change their ticket without incurring a change fee. Amtrak has implemented many other innovations in part due to the pandemic, including gate & track push notifications sent to mobile devices and digital wallet payments made with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal.