SOURCE: Veterans Advantage

June 20, 2005 16:54 ET

Missouri's Bond Continues Support of Vets & Military With Amtrak Discount Program

Senator Lauded by Military, Veterans, Guard & Reserve and Their Families for Urging Continuation of Special Amtrak Veteran Discount Fare

GREENWICH, CT -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 20, 2005 -- U.S. Senator Christopher S. "Kit" Bond, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, has again demonstrated his strong support of our nation's Veterans in urging Amtrak to restore a special Amtrak 50% off veteran discount fare. He deserves special credit for his leadership position, according to Veterans Advantage, the leading nationwide card program for America's military and veterans.

"Kit Bond is an American Patriot and recognized by all of us who have served for his continued support of Veterans," said H. Scott Higgins, an Army Vietnam Veteran, founder and CEO of Veterans Advantage, which offers money-saving benefits and rewards to U.S. veterans, active duty military, retired military, and active and retired National Guard and Reservists and their families.

"Veterans Advantage is a national membership program open to all Veterans and their families that partners with patriotic companies that want to honor and thank Veterans and their families for their service to the country," Higgins added. "Our members thank leaders like Kit Bond who are role models for their unwavering support of these special Americans."

A long-time advocate for veterans and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Veterans Affairs, Senator Bond has championed a number of veterans' priorities. In 2004's VA-HUD spending bill Senator Bond and Ranking Member, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) made veterans health care a top priority and fought to provide almost $2 billion in increased funding.

And late last month, Bond urged Amtrak officials to continue to offer an off-peak deep discount program for Veterans, Active Duty Military, National Guard & Reserve that it has offered in the past, concluding his Opening Statement regarding the FY2006 Request for Amtrak Funding, with the following remarks:

"Finally, a small but important issue. The FY2004 Omnibus Appropriations bill included language encouraging Amtrak to continue providing an off-peak travel discount for our veterans and current military personnel. It appears Amtrak has ignored this language and has not made this service available since December of 2003. This is the type of program that engenders goodwill and builds ridership and I urge you to reconsider this policy."

In the past, Amtrak's 50% off discount fare for veterans has helped build new ridership and revenue for Amtrak, particularly on its long distance intercity lines. According to a recent study using data supplied by Amtrak, the fare, available during off-peak periods, help fill empty seats on these trains with veterans, providing incremental new ridership and revenue for Amtrak.

According to Higgins, "If Amtrak discounts tickets to fill seats, there is no more deserving group of Americans for such fares. We greatly appreciate Senator Bond for recognizing that this has been an important program that can continue to help build revenue and ridership for Amtrak, and also help our country reward and thank all who serve."

Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, and Coast Guard Veterans, National Guard, Reservists, and those on active duty are currently eligible to travel on Amtrak with a 15% off fare. For more than two years, during 2002 and 2003, they were eligible for a 50% off fare during off-peak periods.

Veterans can enroll in Amtrak's Veterans Advantage program at www.amtrak.com.

About Veterans Advantage:

Veterans Advantage is the largest nationwide card membership program delivering new recognition and rewards for U.S. Military Veterans, Active Duty Military, Retired Military, Active and Retired National Guard & Reservists, and their family members. The card membership program provides special offers and money-saving benefits to thank them for their service to the country. Members are eligible for valuable offers on rail travel from Amtrak, airline travel with Continental Airlines, bus travel on Greyhound Lines, a division of Laidlaw International, Mac system hardware and software, and iPods from Apple Computer, computer systems and other electronics from Dell Computer, home loans from GreenPoint Financial, rental cars from major car rental companies including Ford Motor Co.'s Hertz Corp., Enterprise, ANC Rental Corporation's National Car Rental and Alamo, Cendant Corporation's Avis and Budget Rent a Car, special rates at Days Inn, Ramada, Howard Johnson's, Knights Inn, Travelodge, Wingate Inn, Anheuser-Busch Company's Busch Gardens and Sea World, Blockbuster Inc., AMC Entertainment, Inc., hotel discounts and vacation rentals from IAC/Interactive Corp, prescription drug discounts from Advance PCS, a division of Caremark RX, Inc., discounts on National Park Resorts from Aramark Corp., discount phone services from Cognigen Networks, Inc., interstate moving discounts from Global and North American Van Lines, both SIRVA companies (the world's largest relocation company), ground and air shipping from DHL Holdings , Inc., XM Satellite Radio, The Golf Warehouse, an official PGA TOUR Retail and Consumer Marketing Licensee which powers PGATour.com. and discounts on fitness club memberships nationwide, including Bally's and Gold's Gyms.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Roy Asfar
    Marketing Director
    Veterans Advantage
    203 422-2526 extension 21