Travel

VIA Rail Premier status

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 14th, 2019 3:28 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2018
55 posts
52 upvotes

VIA Rail Premier status

Hey RFDers, my total amount spent since 2018/04/01 will be around $1,850 by 2019/04/01. VIA Rail recently pre-bumped me to Privilege status. Was wondering if it’s worth it to spend the extra $150 to reach $2,000 for the Premier status.

Few perks unique to Premier status is the additional two coupons which would be only an additional 1,725 in Preference points. I travel a lot for work, but only book Escape fares, so the other perks are kind of useless as they relate all to having Economy Plus or Business class tickets. Priority boarding is not very important to me either.

Any thoughts? Much appreciated!
18 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 6, 2015
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You probably have a crazy big treasure trove of VIA Preference points by taking advantage of that 10k bonus promo earlier this year. So the 50% off coupon for the Canadian could be very useful if you wanted to take a trip out west. In Sleeper class, of course..

Having said that, VIA often gives all Preference members the ability to redeem at 40% off in the off-season, but they haven't this year (yet). If you've never done the Canadian through the mountains in the middle of the winter, its an interesting experience... And the food is excellent.


The so-called 'benefits', bleh, pretty meaningless if you just travel on Escape tickets most of the time.

BTW, 2925 points gets you a $500-$600 trip, so 1725 points, "in theory", could be worth $295. If you do a redemption on the excellent Jasper-Prince Rupert train, my personal favourite.
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Oct 18, 2014
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burnt69 wrote:
Feb 6th, 2019 5:17 am
You probably have a crazy big treasure trove of VIA Preference points by taking advantage of that 10k bonus promo earlier this year. So the 50% off coupon for the Canadian could be very useful if you wanted to take a trip out west. In Sleeper class, of course..

Having said that, VIA often gives all Preference members the ability to redeem at 40% off in the off-season, but they haven't this year (yet). If you've never done the Canadian through the mountains in the middle of the winter, its an interesting experience... And the food is excellent.


The so-called 'benefits', bleh, pretty meaningless if you just travel on Escape tickets most of the time.

BTW, 2925 points gets you a $500-$600 trip, so 1725 points, "in theory", could be worth $295. If you do a redemption on the excellent Jasper-Prince Rupert train, my personal favourite.
I've never done my research on VIA and this post alone convinced me to try it out as an alternative to flying. $2k is very reasonable (compared to AC's $20k) and worth it for the 50% coupon alone.
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Oct 6, 2015
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McKinsey wrote:
Feb 6th, 2019 9:06 am
I've never done my research on VIA and this post alone convinced me to try it out as an alternative to flying. $2k is very reasonable (compared to AC's $20k) and worth it for the 50% coupon alone.

Lol, well definitely do your research, and if you are going to spend 4 days on the train, in sleeper, you will need to have a high tolerance for delays. As they are very often delayed. But you'll always be well fed with great food, that's for sure.
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Feb 7, 2017
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And...
Nothing beats train travel for meeting interesting people
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Dec 18, 2007
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I would say it's worth it to spend the extra bit.
Not sure if they still do it, but I spent a bunch of points on travel within Italy. Amazing experience.

I miss taking the train...I'm considering taking the Canadian during Christmas time...
We'll see though...
I'm looking for a NZ Silver Fern Kiwi coin! :)
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Oct 6, 2015
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IceBlueShoes wrote:
Feb 7th, 2019 11:27 pm
I would say it's worth it to spend the extra bit.
Not sure if they still do it, but I spent a bunch of points on travel within Italy.
No the ability to redeem outside of VIA was deleted years ago.
Deal Addict
Mar 1, 2016
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also, and not sure if this is always the way, when I got the Premier status in December they awarded status then, I got the 4 coupons, and then the 4 coupons again May 1, so the gain was doubled.
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Mar 1, 2016
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burnt69 wrote:
Feb 6th, 2019 12:59 pm
Lol, well definitely do your research, and if you are going to spend 4 days on the train, in sleeper, you will need to have a high tolerance for delays. As they are very often delayed. But you'll always be well fed with great food, that's for sure.
it's a fun experience. actually did segment runs in September to get the 10000 points to do the trip again,
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foreigncontent wrote:
Feb 8th, 2019 6:13 am
it's a fun experience. actually did segment runs in September to get the 10000 points to do the trip again,
Yeah it'd be really fun to do as a group. I find its full of foreigners (literally), which can be pretty interesting. There's a trip that's organized for retired railway managers that they put on every February and its a riot apparently.
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Nov 10, 2018
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PointsHubby wrote:
Feb 6th, 2019 3:14 pm
And...
Nothing beats train travel for meeting interesting people
And nothing beats sitting at one of the forward cars sucking in/breathing in all of that diesel smoke. Canadian Rail standards are pretty poor when it comes to the pollution those engines make.
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
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angryaudifanatic wrote:
Feb 10th, 2019 11:20 am
And nothing beats sitting at one of the forward cars sucking in/breathing in all of that diesel smoke. Canadian Rail standards are pretty poor when it comes to the pollution those engines make.
What’s your point
And exactly how does this contribute to the convo at hand
:facepalm:

OPs clearly on a budget
Their options are going to be...
Bus or Train
(Individual Car or Plane... probably too expensive for them)
Of all 4 the Train has the smallest carbon footprint
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angryaudifanatic wrote:
Feb 10th, 2019 11:20 am
And nothing beats sitting at one of the forward cars sucking in/breathing in all of that diesel smoke. Canadian Rail standards are pretty poor when it comes to the pollution those engines make.
Fortunately on the long distance trains, you're almost always at least 2-3 cars back, and can be as many as 25-27 cars back if you book in a sleeper over the summer.
Of all 4 the Train has the smallest carbon footprint.
Actually planes probably have lower carbon footprints than long-distance Canadian passenger trains. Montreal-Vancouver costs AC something like $75 worth of fuel to fly (as I read in one of their in-flight magazines a few years back), or maybe 30-40 gallons of jet fuel. A train like the Canadian with 400 passengers has those 2 huge engines to fuel that burn 300-400 gallons an hour over 4 days.
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burnt69 wrote:
Feb 10th, 2019 4:27 pm
Actually planes probably have lower carbon footprints than long-distance Canadian passenger trains. Montreal-Vancouver costs AC something like $75 worth of fuel to fly (as I read in one of their in-flight magazines a few years back), or maybe 30-40 gallons of jet fuel. A train like the Canadian with 400 passengers has those 2 huge engines to fuel that burn 300-400 gallons an hour over 4 days.
Well a 747 burns approximately one gallon of jet fuel per second, so unless the new ones are many multiples more efficient, that seems a bit off?

I think the $75 figure is/was per seat, rather than for the entire plane.
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Manatus wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 9:57 pm
Well a 747 burns approximately one gallon of jet fuel per second, so unless the new ones are many multiples more efficient, that seems a bit off?

I think the $75 figure is per seat, rather than for the entire plane.
5154 gallons or so for an A320 which can fly 6.5 hours and 150 passengers is 5.28 gallons/hour/seat. Montreal-Vancouver is 4.5 hours, so 23.76 gallons. $3/gallon for jet fuel sounds about right, so $75/hour/seat makes sense. That was basically what the article I read in enRoute magazine implied.

A SD40-2 train engine (basically the same EMD 645 engine VIA uses in their engines) burns 180 gallons/hour in "notch 8", and there's 2 of them (plus generators) on a long-distance train like the Canadian. They're at the high power setting maybe half the time over a 96 hour trip or so. So 180 gallons * 96 / 400 seats = 43 gallons of diesel/jet fuel.

The train is interesting to take for other reasons, but don't think for a moment you're "saving the Earth" by taking it instead of flying long distances across Canada.

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