Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Other Loyalty Programs/Partners > Amtrak | Guest Rewards
Reload this Page >

Best response to confused reactions when you're planning to take a long-distance trai

Best response to confused reactions when you're planning to take a long-distance trai

Old Dec 23, 19, 6:11 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: American Airlines, National Car Rental
Posts: 140
Best response to confused reactions when you plan to take a long-distance trai

I'm taking an Amtrak overnight train, in a sleeping car, to head home for Christmas instead of flying.

* The total travel time during the day is the same as door-to-door flying, and the time on the train is more productive, with fewer interruptions (e.g., takeoff, landing, boarding, security, etc.).
* The sleeping cars are very nice and it's a very pleasant way to go.
* I had some Amtrak vouchers from a prior trip that I had cancelled.

My coworkers and friends make such a big deal out of it: "You mean you're taking a train? Are you serious? Is it safe?"

The main attraction for senior people at work should be that I'll be able to get work done for 7 hours straight, not interrupted with all of the broken-up time involved in flying.

But I'm tired of the odd reactions.

How do you explain to people that you're taking an Amtrak overnight train, even when it's the best way to travel for a specific trip?
strickerj and synergistic like this.

Last edited by WeekendTraveler; Dec 24, 19 at 10:22 am
WeekendTraveler is offline  
Old Dec 23, 19, 6:50 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DCA
Posts: 7,059
I would probably employ a succinct appeal to reason using the points you have already noted - ďItís faster than flying, way more comfortable, and I have a coupon for a free ticket.Ē And if that didnít work, well, most of my coworkers already think I am nuts for various reasons, so it just adds to the mystique.
arlflyer is offline  
Old Dec 24, 19, 6:30 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Programs: Marriott Ambassador, AA Plat, Amtrak Select Exec, former WN apologist
Posts: 475
I am curious what overnight routes take the same amount of time as flying? Iíve considered a couple in the past for many of the reasons you mention, but they always clock out as way longer than a flight door to door.
Mr. BoH is offline  
Old Dec 24, 19, 10:25 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: American Airlines, National Car Rental
Posts: 140
Originally Posted by Mr. BoH View Post
I am curious what overnight routes take the same amount of time as flying? Iíve considered a couple in the past for many of the reasons you mention, but they always clock out as way longer than a flight door to door.
Crescent from Washington to South Carolina or Atlanta
Some of the Silver Service trains and the Lake Shore Limited might be the same, particularly to cities that you'd have to connect to if you flew.
WeekendTraveler is offline  
Old Dec 24, 19, 10:58 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 345
Note that the OP said "total travel time during the day", implicitly saying that the time between e.g. 11pm and 5am doesn't count.

For the O/D pairs served by Amtrak in 8-10 hours on the LD network, redeyes aren't commonly available, so the flight alternative would be something like fly out earlier and stay overnight in a hotel or get up at zero dark thirty to catch the early flight.

Consider Rochester, NY - South Bend, IN on 49/449:

Amtrak: Dp Rochester 11:12pm - Ar South Bend 8:49am +1
UA: Dp Rochester 7:00am +1 - Ar South Bend 10:54am +1 (via ORD)
- Dp Rochester 5:30pm - Ar South Bend 9:44pm (via ORD)
AA: Dp Rochester 6:17am +1 - Ar South Bend 2:08pm +1 (via CLT)
- Dp Rochester 1:17pm - Ar South Bend 7:42pm (via PHL, CLT)
DL: Dp Rochester 6:00am +1 - Ar South Bend 9:47am +1 (via DTW)
- Dp Rochester 5:36pm - Ar South Bend 9:28pm (via DTW)

AA is a joke here. UA/DL vs. AMTK, for a let's say 11:30 am thing in SBN:

* out the door around 4pm and fly the evening before: 19 hours in airport, plane and hotel
* wake up at 3-4:30am (probably damaging your evening plans) and fly in the morning with a hub connection: 6 or so hours and you're possibly already beat when you show up
* have a normal evening (likely on the train by midnight), get a free drink in the lounge, sleep, and have breakfast (possibly even shower) on the train: 12 hours door to door, but you were asleep for a lot of them

Different strokes and all that, but you can see how it could work.
WeekendTraveler likes this.
hhdl is offline  
Old Dec 24, 19, 11:10 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 345
I do think that Anderson has more of an idea than previous AMTK leadership of the opportunity available in stringing together the secondary/tertiary markets in the LD network, given that the airlines would probably not fight too hard to keep share on RJ-hub-RJ itineraries.
hhdl is offline  
Old Dec 24, 19, 11:55 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 184
I always just say that anyone who doesn't get the appeal of LD train travel has never done it and then I smile at them sympathetically and change the subject. It makes it seem like you've discovered something exciting that they have not and let's face it, that's the truth.
hhdl, Armani, dhammer53 and 2 others like this.
musicalbox is offline  
Old Dec 27, 19, 12:29 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 215
I would think it's certainly more relaxing.

Ha ha....for me, traveling from PHL to WAS all the time, if I were to fly, it would be three times as much, and three times the price too, not counting time sitting in airports and security and all that crap. Of course, yes, being so close, there are no direct flights from PHL to DCA or IAD.
Daze likes this.
jrich7970 is offline  
Old Dec 28, 19, 2:52 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DCA
Posts: 7,059
Originally Posted by jrich7970 View Post
Of course, yes, being so close, there are no direct flights from PHL to DCA or IAD.
Not sure what you mean; there are tons of flights on the DCA-PHL route. Not the most useful for O&D, but great for international connections.
arlflyer is offline  
Old Dec 29, 19, 1:52 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 215
Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Not sure what you mean; there are tons of flights on the DCA-PHL route. Not the most useful for O&D, but great for international connections.
Huh?

I just checked 3 separate dates. 3 non stops. And the cheapest one of them is $420, which is a whole lot more than an Amtrak ticket. I would hardly call that "tons". (oddly enough, I know one guy who would do that weekly...not sure how he got away with it)

67 one stops, which is a lot, but going through BOS, LGA, RDU, CVG, DTW, ORD, ATL, CLT, etc, which make them useless. I guess the Richmond one isn't so bad. The cheapest one is $242, which could rival a business class ticket on the NER one week out, or an Acela ticket, but it's a 10 hour flight.

HOWEVER....if you don't mind spending time in the lounges...it might be worth it for the Frequent Flyer miles. Hmmmm....I'll have to think about that. :-)
jrich7970 is offline  
Old Dec 29, 19, 11:21 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DCA
Posts: 7,059
Originally Posted by jrich7970 View Post
Huh?

I just checked 3 separate dates. 3 non stops. And the cheapest one of them is $420, which is a whole lot more than an Amtrak ticket. I would hardly call that "tons". (oddly enough, I know one guy who would do that weekly...not sure how he got away with it)
You didn't say anything about the price...you said there were, quote, "no direct flights from PHL to DCA", end quote. And the fact is that there are many per day. No, they're not cheap, because, like many short hub-to-hub flights, they're priced to deter O&D traffic to keep room open for connecting long-distance / international traffic.

Last edited by arlflyer; Dec 30, 19 at 6:33 am
arlflyer is offline  
Old Dec 30, 19, 3:58 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 215
Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
You didn't say anything about the price...you said there were, quote, "no direct flights from PHL to DCA", end quote. And the fact is that there are many per day. No, they're not cheap, because, like many short hub-to-hub flights, they're priced to deter O&D traffic to keep room open for connecting long-distance / international traffic.

Fair enough. Not sure why Expedia only turned up 3.

By the way, what does O&D mean?
jrich7970 is offline  
Old Dec 30, 19, 5:19 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 345
Originally Posted by jrich7970 View Post
Fair enough. Not sure why Expedia only turned up 3.

By the way, what does O&D mean?
Origin & destination. Passengers who aren't connecting at either PHL or DCA.
hhdl is offline  
Old Dec 31, 19, 11:04 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 215
Originally Posted by hhdl View Post
Origin & destination. Passengers who aren't connecting at either PHL or DCA.
Thanks
jrich7970 is offline  
Old Jan 7, 20, 11:11 am
  #15  
Fairmont Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Orcas Island, Washington
Programs: Amtrak Guest Rewards Select, Maika'i Card
Posts: 171
I am going out of my way to take a short-distance train. The simplest way to get to Portland from Orcas Island is to drive onto a ferry then drive on I-5 to Portland. Well, I have lived on small islands my whole life and am not a fan of interstates or city traffic, and besides, I love trains. So, I am walking onto the ferry then catching a bus from the ferry terminal to SeaTac. The bus is fairly convenient schedule-wise, but it ONLY goes to SeaTac, so I have to back-track by light rail to King Street Station. It would make the most sense to fly to Portland, since I'm right there at the airport.

I get some understanding when I tell friends the train tickets were free on points.
Maglev is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: