Coast Starlight Roomette

Old Jul 31, 08, 12:11 pm
  #1  
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Coast Starlight Roomette

I'm booked on the Coast Starlight from San Jose to Seattle in Sept. The rez shows Room 012 - Car 1430. According to the website there are roomettes on the upper and lower level of the Superliners. Does anyone know if this room is upstairs or down? Is there a train equivlent to SeatGuru?

Thanks.
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Old Jul 31, 08, 12:35 pm
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Roger,

Room #12 is on the lower level of the sleeping car closest to the dining car. If you want to get a better lay of the land, check out the diagrams at Friends of Amtrak.
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Old Jul 31, 08, 12:53 pm
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On the Superliner, which end of the car is usually toward the front?
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Old Jul 31, 08, 1:45 pm
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Originally Posted by nerd View Post
On the Superliner, which end of the car is usually toward the front?
It's basically random -- the direction the car is facing is not something the car handlers need to worry about when they're putting the train together, and so they don't.
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Old Aug 1, 08, 11:10 am
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On a coach, it basically faces one direction, but with a sleeper, it can face either direction (bedrooms first or roomettes first). There is no way to know if room __ is on the "left" or "right" side until you board.
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Old Aug 4, 08, 12:50 am
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Room assignments

We have 2 roomettes this week and I just checked the numbers, they are 8 and 13 on a Superliner. I assumed they were across the hall from each other, but after checking the Friends of Amtrack link - they appear to be on two separate floors. How can this be? I booked these tickets months ago, would they have separated a family? Surely they could not have been that full that early.

Also, I read that two of the Parlour cars have been removed due to A/C problems - this in the last couple of days. Any update would be appreciated if anyone has news.
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Old Aug 4, 08, 2:06 am
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Room numbers with an odd number and then an even number one more than the odd number are across from each other. In other words, roomettes 3 and 4, 5 and 6, 7 and 8, etc. are opposite.

Amtrak's pattern of booking roomettes is fairly strange...they do seem to alternate upper floor, lower floor, upper floor, lower floor, etc. However, you would think that, given availability, they would place two rooms on the same reservation adjacent or opposite.

It may not be too late to rearrange--call Amtrak and see. Apparently, moving rooms without changing fare buckets requires some magickery in the Amtrak computer system, and some agents aren't as familiar with how to perform such delicate maneuvers. If the agent wants to charge you more for a room swap, ask for the agent's supervisor or thank the agent and call back and speak to another agent. It's not unheard of to have to talk to four or five agents before you get the correct answer...
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Old Aug 4, 08, 7:13 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Room numbers with an odd number and then an even number one more than the odd number are across from each other. In other words, roomettes 3 and 4, 5 and 6, 7 and 8, etc. are opposite.

Amtrak's pattern of booking roomettes is fairly strange...they do seem to alternate upper floor, lower floor, upper floor, lower floor, etc. However, you would think that, given availability, they would place two rooms on the same reservation adjacent or opposite.
Amtrak's computer assigns rooms based upon which rooms have the cheapest price at the time of booking. And since they vary the various price levels across both levels of the car, unless a special request is made, you can easily end up on two different levels. In fact, I've seen people end up in different cars.

The drawback to requesting opposite rooms is, as the Jackal mentioned, not all agents know how to swap rooms without changing the price or don't want to be bothered doing the work.
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Old Aug 4, 08, 7:56 pm
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I haven't heard of this issue in getting room assignments changed. At least I've never happened to me, anyway.

The assignment system has been explained to me as trying to maximize the usage of a room on each trip. If you aren't traveling the full route the system will book you into a room occupied on another segment, thus leaving empty rooms available for longer itineraries. After that there is some wizardry involved, including a preference to assign from the the center of the car, outwards. At least there aren't weight-and-balance issues like regional jets have.
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Old Aug 4, 08, 11:32 pm
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I did talk to Amtrak today, they told me the train was fully booked and I should try to change the rooms when I get to LA in the morning (we are leaving first from Irvine). I don't know how much of a chance I have, will just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for a kind agent at the customer service window.

Thanks for the info
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Old Aug 5, 08, 5:37 am
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Originally Posted by kabooker View Post
I did talk to Amtrak today, they told me the train was fully booked and I should try to change the rooms when I get to LA in the morning (we are leaving first from Irvine). I don't know how much of a chance I have, will just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for a kind agent at the customer service window.

Thanks for the info
If the train is sold out, then you have no hope. All the other rooms have already been assigned and most people already have their tickets in hand. It would create mass confusion to try to reorganize things now.

Next trip make sure that you find out early on and make changes as necessary.
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Old Aug 5, 08, 5:44 am
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Originally Posted by ByeByeDelta View Post
I haven't heard of this issue in getting room assignments changed. At least I've never happened to me, anyway.
I know a few people personally who've been told they'd have to pay more if they requested rooms that are opposite one another. And I've seen dozens of other people reporting the same. Biggest problem is that some people who call up to make a reservation knowing that they have to speak to an agent to make it happen, never even get told that they didn't pay the same bucket for both rooms.

It's only those who first book either online or don't think to request opposite rooms and then call up to make a change who often even realize that this is happening. If you call up to accomplish this from the start, rather than trying to change things after the fact, make sure that you confirm with the agent that you are getting the current bucket for both rooms. Or at least make sure that you know what the current bucket is, such that you'll recognize if you're about to be charged more so that you can question it.

It is possible of course that there really is only one room left at the current bucket, in which case you'll have no choice but to pay the higher tariff. But again, many people have unsuspectingly paid more than they needed to because either they and/or the agent didn't realize how things work.
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Old Aug 5, 08, 5:04 pm
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You can ask on board if anyone is willing to change rooms. My wife and I have changed rooms twice with people in your situation. Ask the car attendant to ask if anyone is willing to do a switch. You might get luckly.
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Old Aug 14, 08, 2:00 pm
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... now there are three...

How tight are they about access to the sleeper cars? We now have a third joining us on the Coast Starlight to SEA. None of the rooms are rated for three adults. I'm sure we will be able to join them in the coach sections of the train, but will they allow them to join us in the sleeper car and/or dining car? I do expect to pay for the third meal, but it would be nice if they can visit.
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Old Aug 18, 08, 3:03 pm
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Roger,

You'll certainly be able to join them in the regular Sightseer lounge car, if coach isn't sold out you might even be able to sit next to them for a while also. Regarding meals in the dining car, when the LSA comes around to make your lunch and dinner reservations, just tell him that you have 3 in the party one of whom is in coach. It shouldn't pose a problem unless you get a bad crew.

It's hard to say if you'll get a sleeping car attendant that would let the third person come up to the sleeper for a bit, some will allow it, other's won't. However, you'll probably find that it's not all that comfortable to seat three in the room anyhow and won't want to do that for very long.

The Parlour car, if there is one, should be off limits to the third person but who knows what will happen if you try. You may however be able to buy the third person a ticket for the wine tasting, which would get them into the Parlour car for a bit. I've heard that when all the tickets aren't sold in the sleepers, that the crew will open up the wine tasting to coach pax willing to part with the 5 bucks. So again if you ask nicely, odds are that you could get three tickets.
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