Saturday, July 5, 2014

Blumenthal: Amtrak agrees to expand veterans' travel benefits

In a prepared statement, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. said that, "at his urging, Amtrak has agreed to expand its existing 15 percent Veterans Advantage discount to include same-day travel, and to extend benefits to immediate family members of veterans, and retired and active duty servicemen and women."

Also according to the statement,  Blumenthal last year wrote to Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman "noting benefits offered to Veterans Advantage card holders elsewhere, and Amtrak discounts offered to other groups, including AAA members and seniors. He asked that discounts be extended to family members, and that the 15 percent discount apply to same-day travel. Veteran card holders had been required to book tickets at least three days in advance to receive the discount."

"The Veterans Advantage program recognizes, honors and aids veterans through discounts and benefits with 75 companies nationwide," the release said.

“The Veterans Advantage program recognizes the debt of gratitude we owe to all who served and continue to serve our country, which includes not only our veterans and servicemen and women themselves, but their families. I am pleased that Amtrak, at my request, has expanded the discounts and benefits it offers through the Veterans Advantage program. A discounted train ticket is one small thanks we can give to our veterans, and it shouldn’t be diminished by burdensome preconditions and exclusions,” Blumenthal said, in the release .

“We have come a long way together, as our nation has, since Amtrak and Veterans Advantage joined forces to thank those who serve our country in an effort we began before 9/11,” H. Scott Higgins, founder and CEO of Veterans Advantage, also a Vietnam veteran, said in the release. “At Veterans Advantage, we believe that when one person serves, the whole family serves. Now next of kin family members can proudly carry their VetRewards Card ID for same day savings when travelling with Amtrak.”

 Also in the release:
"Other key Amtrak benefits available to Veterans Advantage card holders include: weekend Acela discounts; discounts on the passenger fare portion of First Class, Business, Sleeper Service, and Auto Train; eligibility to accumulate Amtrak Guest Rewards points on Veterans Advantage fares; and, Amtrak Guest Rewards bonus points issued for new Veteran Advantage frequent traveler accounts.

Veterans Advantage’s VetRewards Card is the secure ID solution for verification and redemption of military discounts from the nation’s leading companies in travel and retail. Since commencing its card issuance in February 2001, Veterans Advantage has deployed its own proprietary system of de-identification, the most highly advocated method to protect personal identity by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and does not share its cardmember’s personal information with outside parties."


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