Hopping on earlier train? Surfliner.

Old Apr 14, 17, 1:01 am
  #1  
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Hopping on earlier train? Surfliner.

On our way south from Anaheim to San Juan Capistrano in business, we asked the conductor if it was alright to catch an earlier train back. He told us that the tickets were actually good for seven days and it was alright to catch an earlier train as long as seats were available. He said if seats in business were not open, then we could ride in coach.

So we did our tourist things and tried to get on the train that was one hour earlier.

The conductor (she this time) said absolutely not and didn't even suggest coach. She was checking everyone's boarding tickets. No one checked our tickets until after boarding on the way down.

So can you catch a different train or not?
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Old Apr 14, 17, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by tmorse6570 View Post
He told us that the tickets were actually good for seven days and it was alright to catch an earlier train as long as seats were available.

So can you catch a different train or not?
Did you think to ask if seats were available --- even if there are some available at stop a, someone may have reservations downline at stops b, c , d etc that would have filled up the train

Bob H
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Old Apr 14, 17, 7:15 pm
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The answer is no. You must take the train that you are ticketed on for the Pacific Surfliner as Business class on this route are reserved. The only exceptions are on routes where the trains are unreserved.

The difference between reserved and unreserved is that with reserved trains, Amtrak will not oversell the train (unless it's a corridor train like the Northeast Regional where they would oversell it by a very small amount, and perhaps other shorter distance trains). On unreserved trains, they sell as many tickets as they can, and after the seats are all full, people would have to ride in standing room only. Unreserved trains are typically shorter commuter/corridor routes such as the Keystone service.

Last edited by diburning; Apr 15, 17 at 11:02 am
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Old Apr 14, 17, 8:31 pm
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Surfliners are reserved in Business, unreserved in coach (except during peak holiday weeks). So with the former, you need to change your e-ticket in advance. Definitely less flexibility, but Business regularly sells out at times.
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Old Apr 14, 17, 11:36 pm
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Originally Posted by BobH View Post
Did you think to ask if seats were available
Yes and we would have just moved to coach if people needed their seats, but she wasn't in the mood for questions that day.

Turned out for the best though cause he was on our train going North so we got to travel with Mr. friendly instead of Ms. grumpy pants.

Last edited by tmorse6570; Apr 14, 17 at 11:42 pm
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