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Who's Booked Business Class and Ridden in Coach?

Who's Booked Business Class and Ridden in Coach?

Old Aug 12, 17, 4:29 pm
  #1  
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Who's Booked Business Class and Ridden in Coach?

I have, a few times. No, Amtrak didn't downgrade me.

Non-Acela business class off the corridor involves one car, or part of a car. Oftentimes most seats are reserved and you must share a seat pair with someone else, most likely sitting in an aisle seat and worst case, where there's no window or only part of a window. Meanwhile, in coach there are loads of available seats.

Is it a bummer to pay for business class and end up sitting in coach? It depends. Biz class upcharges are often small and may even be covered by a voucher. You get a newspaper, snack and on the Pacific Surfliner, a small bottle of wine or perhaps beer. Just take these items next door. Coach seats are plenty spacious, and if you're lucky the adjacent coach car will have lots of available doubles. So I'm not necessarily bummed.

It's just kind of weird.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 12:11 am
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I've booked business class and rode in the Cafe car. Does that count? The conductor was being obnoxious. He seated some ladies in the Business Class car for free and proceeded to flirt with them.

I sat in the cafe car as I ran into a friend who worked for Amtrak who was deadheading (deadheading crew typically sit at the end tables in the Cafe car to not take up space in Coach). I asked if it was worth reporting the conductor. He said I could, and he would if he were in my place, but because they're unionized, Amtrak wouldn't do anything about it, and I'd get a canned apology at best.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by Explore View Post
I have, a few times. No, Amtrak didn't downgrade me.

Non-Acela business class off the corridor involves one car, or part of a car. Oftentimes most seats are reserved and you must share a seat pair with someone else, most likely sitting in an aisle seat and worst case, where there's no window or only part of a window. Meanwhile, in coach there are loads of available seats.

Is it a bummer to pay for business class and end up sitting in coach? It depends. Biz class upcharges are often small and may even be covered by a voucher. You get a newspaper, snack and on the Pacific Surfliner, a small bottle of wine or perhaps beer. Just take these items next door. Coach seats are plenty spacious, and if you're lucky the adjacent coach car will have lots of available doubles. So I'm not necessarily bummed.

It's just kind of weird.
Sometimes the Surfliner trainsets have one coach car with bigger, more comfortable seats than in business. I think this happens when they sub in a Coast Starlight car.
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Old Aug 14, 17, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by Explore View Post
I have, a few times. No, Amtrak didn't downgrade me.

Non-Acela business class off the corridor involves one car, or part of a car. Oftentimes most seats are reserved and you must share a seat pair with someone else, most likely sitting in an aisle seat and worst case, where there's no window or only part of a window. Meanwhile, in coach there are loads of available seats.

Is it a bummer to pay for business class and end up sitting in coach? It depends. Biz class upcharges are often small and may even be covered by a voucher. You get a newspaper, snack and on the Pacific Surfliner, a small bottle of wine or perhaps beer. Just take these items next door. Coach seats are plenty spacious, and if you're lucky the adjacent coach car will have lots of available doubles. So I'm not necessarily bummed.

It's just kind of weird.
I've done it a few times: Booked business class on a Regional, only to find it Cell Phone Hell. Each time I just walked back to the Quet car.

Now, I save my money and points, and just book coach and sit in the QC. And bring my own Diet Coke
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Old Aug 15, 17, 5:06 pm
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Originally Posted by physioprof View Post
Sometimes the Surfliner trainsets have one coach car with bigger, more comfortable seats than in business. I think this happens when they sub in a Coast Starlight car.
Actually, it's pretty permanent and has been for several years, now. It's not specifically a Coast Starlight car but rather just a generic Superliner coach that I believe Amtrak California does lease from Amtrak for extra space. It's usually positioned immediately behind the business-class car.

I've always taken the Superliner car if it's open (roomier seats, plus it tends not to fill up as quickly because the downstairs door is manually operated and thus doesn't open at stations), but the one downfall always was that it lacked wifi (so I'd have to use up my own data while working en-route). I was pleased to discover on a recent trip on the Surfliner that they've installed an access point inside the car.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by wxguy View Post
I've done it a few times: Booked business class on a Regional, only to find it Cell Phone Hell. Each time I just walked back to the Quet car.

Now, I save my money and points, and just book coach and sit in the QC. And bring my own Diet Coke
I was tempted to do this once on the Carolinian WAS-RGH. Business Class (full car) was jammed, and I was stuck in an aisle seat (assigned on platform by attendant) with essentially no view. Business was at the back of train (behind cafe), but coaches ahead of the cafe looked pretty full, and I think they were assigning people to cars (and perhaps seats) by destination, so I probably would not have been allowed to stay regardless.

Even stranger was during a late lunch, I tried to linger in the nearly empty cafe car, but the business attendant (seemed to spend a lot of time in the cafe car) and the cafe attendant were working hard to drive me back to my regular seat (tried to clear my trash before I was completely done, refused my attempt to buy a beverage so I could linger at the table, etc.).

One of those moments that leaves even someone who likes train travel thinking, "why didn't I just fly WN?"
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Old Aug 16, 17, 5:27 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Actually, it's pretty permanent and has been for several years, now. It's not specifically a Coast Starlight car but rather just a generic Superliner coach that I believe Amtrak California does lease from Amtrak for extra space. It's usually positioned immediately behind the business-class car.

I've always taken the Superliner car if it's open (roomier seats, plus it tends not to fill up as quickly because the downstairs door is manually operated and thus doesn't open at stations), but the one downfall always was that it lacked wifi (so I'd have to use up my own data while working en-route). I was pleased to discover on a recent trip on the Surfliner that they've installed an access point inside the car.
Thanks for your insights!
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