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VIA Rail's "Escape" fare. Question/help!?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 13th, 2017 3:32 pm
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Jan 20, 2013
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VIA Rail's "Escape" fare. Question/help!?

I'm wondering what the difference is - compared to the Economy fare

The "Escape" fare is $45 to where I wanna go, whereas the next fare (Economy) is $115. From what I can see, the Escape fare is online only.

Has anyone ever traveled with an Escape Fare? Mainly what I want to know is if the seats any different than what you'd get with Economy? Do people with Escape Fares ($45) sit in the same seats as people with Economy Fares ($115)?

My friend told me the Escape Fare is super cheap because the seats ones like on a city bus. I don't know if that's true though.
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Sr. Member
Jul 21, 2003
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They are regular economy viarail seats.
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patriots wrote:
Sep 7th, 2013 7:09 pm
I'm wondering what the difference is - compared to the Economy fare

The "Escape" fare is $45 to where I wanna go, whereas the next fare (Economy) is $115. From what I can see, the Escape fare is online only.

Has anyone ever traveled with an Escape Fare? Mainly what I want to know is if the seats any different than what you'd get with Economy? Do people with Escape Fares ($45) sit in the same seats as people with Economy Fares ($115)?

My friend told me the Escape Fare is super cheap because the seats ones like on a city bus. I don't know if that's true though.
Escape fares you book online yourself. Via offers these hoping people will book earlier. As these get booked up, then the next cheapest fare is available, usually Economy fares, then Economy Plus, then Business, etc.
Most people try and get the "Escape fares" because , obviously, it's cheaper.
The seating is "open" seating - this means when you get on the train just choose any seat (except Business Class).
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Member
Jan 8, 2008
431 posts
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Toronto
Yea I would opt for Escape Fare. You can only get this pricing if your purchase online. And the seating is the same with economy. There is only 2 kinds of class in Via Rail Economy and Business Class.
Sr. Member
Nov 22, 2010
678 posts
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Toronto
I booked an Escape fare over the summer. The only difference I could see was the change/cancel conditions. Everything else, like the seating, was the same.
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Feb 15, 2008
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Yeah same seats on the "Corridor" trains. There are discounted fares for the "sleeping" cars on the longer-distance trains (ie: Montreal - Halifax, Toronto-Vancouver).
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Oct 16th, 2012 9:06 pm
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Newbie
Oct 8, 2009
36 posts
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Hey Everyone, do you know if there is an additional discount for students who book the escape fare ticket?
Thanks!
Newbie
May 22, 2013
4 posts
Montreal
Have a question pertaining to this - is it better to buy early or do escape fares also pop up in the days/hours before departure?
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RMaini wrote:
Oct 30th, 2013 9:27 pm
Hey Everyone, do you know if there is an additional discount for students who book the escape fare ticket?
Thanks!
I think there is a student discount on rail passes, but never heard or seen one on single tickets.
You'll almost certainly need the ISIC card though in order to use it though.
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Newbie
Oct 27, 2009
46 posts
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Seems like the escape fares right now are only available on the day of travel, anyone else experiencing that?
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Nov 9, 2017
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Webhead wrote:
Sep 8th, 2013 4:32 pm
Escape fares you book online yourself. Via offers these hoping people will book earlier. As these get booked up, then the next cheapest fare is available, usually Economy fares, then Economy Plus, then Business, etc.
Most people try and get the "Escape fares" because , obviously, it's cheaper.
The seating is "open" seating - this means when you get on the train just choose any seat (except Business Class).
Are you CERTAIN you just "pick any seat" with Escape? That seems impossible considering most, or all, seats are assigned. What if you sit in a seat that someone at a later stop has booked? I've never seen anyone playing musical chairs because of escape seats. Wouldn't you have to be assigned seats?
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mudrubble wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 12:12 pm
Are you CERTAIN you just "pick any seat" with Escape? That seems impossible considering most, or all, seats are assigned. What if you sit in a seat that someone at a later stop has booked? I've never seen anyone playing musical chairs because of escape seats. Wouldn't you have to be assigned seats?
Wow! Resurrection of a 4 year old thread. Maybe back in 2013 it was.
Not sure the rules now in 2017. Best to check with VIA.
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Apr 26, 2004
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I have an Escape fare for next summer booked (Toronto>Ottawa and back), and I have assigned seats.
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Feb 25, 2007
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Ottawa
Some VIA trains/routes have assigned seats, some don't [at least, I've experienced both in recent years; depended on whether the train itself was serving a long-distance route]. On a given train, not related to what fare type you have. It's not like e.g. parts of Europe where sometimes you can travel without a seat reservation or pay extra (separate payment, or included in a higher fare) to get an assigned seat.

Escape fares differ from other economy fares only in their cancellation conditions, and that their number is limited on a given service. That generally means you have to book them early, and if they're gone, they're gone. Airlines, who do yield management very well, may dynamically adjust number of seats in each fare category based on how sales are going. Whether VIA is sophisticated enough to do this regularly, as a one off (i.e. if a train is half empty open up more Escape fares closer in to the day of travel), or not at all, I don't know. I wouldn't count on it, except if you/your friends travel a specific route regularly and actually see it in play there.

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