Book Sleeping Car for Others

Old Jun 2, 13, 8:46 pm
  #1  
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Book Sleeping Car for Others

Can I use my own AGR points to book sleeping car accomodation for my parents? I will not travel with them.

If so, can I escort them on board and leave the train before the train starts?

Thanks.
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Old Jun 2, 13, 9:27 pm
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Originally Posted by cloudybw View Post
Can I use my own AGR points to book sleeping car accomodation for my parents? I will not travel with them.

If so, can I escort them on board and leave the train before the train starts?

Thanks.
Yes, you can book tickets for other people. Their names must be listed on the reservation.
Second question, probably not a good idea. At major stations tickets are gate checked for boarding. Only people with tickets can go to the platform. At small stations with short stop time you risk taking a ride.There is no announcement for "guests" to leave the train. The train just starts moving. If your parents need assistance because of mobility issues you can request a notation for "special assistance", to be put on the reservation.
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Old Jun 3, 13, 6:52 am
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where are they leaving from?

Whether or not you can walk to train is dependent upon the station.

Where would they be leaving from?
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Old Jun 3, 13, 10:41 am
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Walking "to" the train is a much better bet than escorting them "onto" the train. The former is possible with no restrictions at most en route stations as well as many major hubs. Getting "onto" the train is highly discouraged for the reasons noted above. If your parents are unsure about the amenities of their accommodations, the Sleeping Car Attendants should be happy to explain them.

Sometimes the attendant stands outside the entrance to the sleeping car to welcome boarding passengers. If that is the case, that would be a great time to ask for his/her assistance for your parents.
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Old Jun 3, 13, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by darben View Post
Whether or not you can walk to train is dependent upon the station.

Where would they be leaving from?
CHI. Can I walk to the train at CHI?

Originally Posted by fairviewroad View Post
Walking "to" the train is a much better bet than escorting them "onto" the train. The former is possible with no restrictions at most en route stations as well as many major hubs. Getting "onto" the train is highly discouraged for the reasons noted above. If your parents are unsure about the amenities of their accommodations, the Sleeping Car Attendants should be happy to explain them.

Sometimes the attendant stands outside the entrance to the sleeping car to welcome boarding passengers. If that is the case, that would be a great time to ask for his/her assistance for your parents.
That's a good suggestion. I'll try to talk to the attendants outside the train.
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Old Jun 3, 13, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by cloudybw View Post
CHI. Can I walk to the train at CHI?
Most certainly not; CHI is a prime example of tightly-controlled platform access for passengers only. You could ask about special arrangements when accompanying them to check in at the Metropolitan Lounge (for sleeping car pax). The attendant will most likely recommend that your parents request Red Cap assistance to pre-board, admonishing you to not follow them when they're called to board.

Back in the day (mainly pre-9/11), many conductors used to make a warning announcement at major stations for "visitors and baggage helpers" to detrain. I haven't heard that announcement in many, many years because it is now assumed that only ticketed pax would be aboard.
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Old Jun 3, 13, 4:06 pm
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This doesn't apply to the OP's case, but I thought I'd mention that platform access in most, if not all, southern California Amtrak stations is not secure. It is possible to assist others in boarding the train at stations with longer stops, as indicated on the printed schedule. These stops include SAN, LAX, SBA, and SLO. However, on long distance trains with reserved seating, there is usually an attendant checking tickets at the door of each car, so you'll probably have to ask to board.

The warning announcement at those stations for "visitors and baggage helpers" to detrain is pretty typical on the Pacific Surfliner.
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Old Jun 4, 13, 7:05 pm
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No in Chicago you cannot walk them to the train. Chicago has a nice first class lounge where you can all sit together until the train is called. If they need help to the train tell the person at the desk that help is needed for them and a redcap will give them a ride to their car and make sure their carry on luggage is in the proper place. You might ask the redcap$$ if you can go with him as you are concerned about your folks. (Might work $$)
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Old Jun 5, 13, 1:08 am
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Originally Posted by darben View Post
Chicago has a nice first class lounge where you can all sit together until the train is called.
You mean the Metropolitan lounge right? Can I enter the lounge without a train BP? I know most airline lounges require a BP unless you have some sort of membership...

Originally Posted by darben View Post
If they need help to the train tell the person at the desk that help is needed for them and a redcap will give them a ride to their car and make sure their carry on luggage is in the proper place.
Are their any chances to speak to the sleeping car attendant directly myself? It will be their first Amtrak train trip, so I want to make sure everything goes smoothly...
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Old Jun 5, 13, 6:16 pm
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Your parents would be entitled to bring in a guest to the lounge.
If the red cap will get you to the train the car attendant will usually be right outside the car and you could speak with him/her there. Ask nicely and you usually will get accommodated. If the train is going somewhere were you can buy a cheap ticket. You could cancel ticket before train leaves.

For example Chicago to Glenview on Amtrak Empire Builder is only $9.50. If you get off the train and cancel before train departs you will get a credit of $9.50 for future travel but if you want a refund you cancel and there is a 10% or $5.00 minimum fee.
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Old Jun 6, 13, 11:26 pm
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Originally Posted by darben View Post
Your parents would be entitled to bring in a guest to the lounge.
.
Even if I am not travelling on Amtrak? Airline lounges usually require guests to be travelling on the same alliance
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Old Jun 7, 13, 5:04 am
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Originally Posted by cloudybw View Post
Even if I am not travelling on Amtrak? Airline lounges usually require guests to be travelling on the same alliance
Darben is correct, Amtrak normally allows sleeping car pax to bring in 1 guest, without regard to whether or not that guest is traveling on Amtrak that day.

That said, Chicago is the busiest lounge in the Amtrak system and it is often quite full. And the above is at the agents discretion, so if the lounge is very busy or expected to be so, it is possible that you could be denied entry.
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