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Passenger Trains > USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class


Date: 08/07/12 09:05
USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: GenePoon

How to Choose Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
USA Today
by Jamie Lisse, Demand Media

> Step 1
>
> Go for business class if you want an upgrade from standard seating on
> the train. Business class offers reserved seating with more leg room,
> conference tables if reserved and fold-down tray tables, reading
> lights, electrical outlets and complimentary beverages, which can be
> obtained in the club car, on longer trips.

> Step 2
>
> Opt for first class if you want at-your-seat service. First class
> offers attendant service, providing on-call food and beverage
> services, including an exclusive selection of hot breakfast, lunch
> and dinner options on some trips.

> Step 3
>
> Select first class if you want to have a flat sleeping space on an
> overnight ride. According to the Amtrak website, sleeping cars are
> considered a first-class service.

> Step 4
>
> Consider first class if you are going to be spending a lot of time in
> the station. A first-class ticket gains passengers access to the
> Metropolitan Lounges and Club Acela lounges. Metro Lounges are
> located in Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, Raleigh, St. Paul and
> Portland. Club Acela lounges are in New York’s Penn Station,
> Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, Washington D.C.’s Union Station
> and Boston’s South Station.

> Step 5
>
> Choose first class if you want upgraded service on Acela trains.
> Acela trains have two levels of service, with business class being
> the lowest, so first class is the only upgrade option.

> Step 6
>
> Start with business class if you aren’t sure whether business class
> or first class is right for you. If you are dissatisfied with your
> business class seating arrangement, you can ask to upgrade on-board.
> If space is still available in first class, the on-board attendants
> can upgrade you.

http://traveltips.usatoday.com/choose-amtrak-business-vs-coach-class-1720.html

===========================================================


Not bad, but remember that Acela Business Class is such in name only.

It's really COACH.



Date: 08/07/12 09:31
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: ctillnc

Ain't necessarily so. Use 79/80 as an example. Reserved seat? The entire train is all-reserved; even a coach ticket has a guaranteed seat somewhere. In fact, I've boarded the Carolinian with a business class ticket and found that the business class car is absolutely full. Fold-down tray tables, reading lights, and electrical outlets? Same as in coach, although it's a crap shoot whether the outlet nearest your seat will actually work. More legroom? Not necessarily. Business class on 79/80 is almost never a 2x1 car; usually it's 2x2 Amfleet with 60 seats instead of 70, but not always -- Amtrak has been known to substitute a higher-density car and not offer any rebate to holders of business class tickets.

You will get a free newspaper (while supplies last) and a free soft drink.



Date: 08/07/12 09:37
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: Ptolemy

ctillnc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ain't necessarily so. Use 79/80 as an example.
> Reserved seat? The entire train is all-reserved;
> even a coach ticket has a guaranteed seat
> somewhere. In fact, I've boarded the Carolinian
> with a business class ticket and found that the
> business class car is absolutely full. Fold-down
> tray tables, reading lights, and electrical
> outlets? Same as in coach, although it's a crap
> shoot whether the outlet nearest your seat will
> actually work. More legroom? Not necessarily.
> Business class on 79/80 is almost never a 2x1 car;
> usually it's 2x2 Amfleet with 60 seats instead of
> 70, but not always -- Amtrak has been known to
> substitute a higher-density car and not offer any
> rebate to holders of business class tickets.
>
> You will get a free newspaper (while supplies
> last) and a free soft drink.

I was on the Carolinian twice recently and business class was quite full, with a control-freak attendant who told people where they would sit. If you were a weird-o who wanted a window seat with a full window, tough luck, even if such were available. There was lots of empty space in coach. Business class is becoming too popular.



Date: 08/07/12 10:58
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: reindeerflame

I especially like the comment that on Amtrak, sleeping car space is considered first-class service.

In reality, it sometimes seems more like economy class service with a bed.



Date: 08/07/12 11:05
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: prr60

reindeerflame Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I especially like the comment that on Amtrak,
> sleeping car space is considered first-class
> service.
>
> In reality, it sometimes seems more like economy
> class service with a bed.

Wasn't that the reason that Amtrak in most areas stopped calling sleeping car service "First Class", but now "Sleeper Class?" They had passengers who could not understand why a "First Class" passenger had to pay for a glass of wine at dinner, or a soft drink and bag of chips between meals.



Date: 08/07/12 12:11
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: coaststarlight99

PRR60--Yes, you are correct. It's been a few years now since they used the term "First Class" for the sleepers.



Date: 08/07/12 12:28
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: floridajoe2001

Acela 1st Class is something special I recommend to all rail fans who haven't tried it yet. But, be prepared to spend big bucks. Amtrak has a winner here; and it's being priced accordingly.

I used it last week from Boston to NYP and had a great lunch.

I enjoyed a delicious Bloody Mary before lunch---served with mixed nuts; followed by a "City Salad" which was mixed greens topped with excellent marinated chicken and a jumbo shrimp, which I enjoyed with a glass of white wine (no "well drinks" here, Acela only offers top brands). Desert was a custard cup with brandy on the bottom, which I topped off with coffee and my free copy of the NY Times.

Sound good? believe me, you will like Acela 1st Class. But be warned! they don't serve kool aid on board, not even to me.

Joe



Date: 08/07/12 12:38
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: RD10747

When he wrote 'served with mixed nuts', I thought he
meant the passenger load...



Date: 08/07/12 12:49
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: MarinCommuter

Agt-Highland Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When he wrote 'served with mixed nuts', I thought
> he
> meant the passenger load...


Best laugh of the week! Thanks for that!



Date: 08/07/12 14:17
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: floridajoe2001

I'm afraid the passenger load on Acela 1st Class is anything but mixed nuts. Strictly the business man types. You practically have to be a millionaire to buy a ticket.

Come on fellas, lay off the kool aid.

Joe



Date: 08/07/12 19:32
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: jbaker

Well Joe,

Sure nuff do 'preciate a millionaire business man like yurself sharing that Acela first class experience with us po' folk foamers. What's da madder with'n kool aid? They don't serve none on Acela? They should, cuz no body steals kool aid! :-)

Posted from Android



Date: 08/07/12 23:58
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: poffcapt

MarinCommuter Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Agt-Highland Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > When he wrote 'served with mixed nuts', I
> thought
> > he
> > meant the passenger load...
>
>
> Best laugh of the week! Thanks for that!


I second that. Good one.



Date: 08/08/12 06:11
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: floridajoe2001

My advice, gents, is to take a ride on Acela 1st Class; then come back and tell us what you think.

I think you will say it is the best train ride you've ever had.

Joe



Date: 08/08/12 06:21
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: njmidland

I use Acela First Class several times each year. The price compares to the coach airline fare so that passes my company's expense rules. Several times co-workers have been surprised to get an instant message from me and then find out I am outside of Baltimore and on the move!

Food is very good and I really like the single seating. However if I had to pay for it out of my own pocket I would be in Business Class.

Tim



Date: 08/08/12 09:14
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: chs7-321

GenePoon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
>
> Not bad, but remember that Acela Business Class is
> such in name only.
>
> It's really COACH.

Gene, I disagree.....it's a much better than Coach class on Regionals.....muuch better.

And, in turn, Coach class on Regionals is much better than Economy Class on any Airline I flew so far. :)



Date: 08/08/12 09:51
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: GenePoon

chs7-321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> GenePoon Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> >
> >
> > Not bad, but remember that Acela Business Class
> is
> > such in name only.
> >
> > It's really COACH.
>
> Gene, I disagree.....it's a much better than Coach
> class on Regionals.....muuch better.

==================================================================

Sorry, but I have copies of the documents from thirteen years ago when this decision was made...
for marketing reasons because of the cachet that airlines attach to Business Class.

All you get is a seat. No other amenities. So although it may be in a nicer environment, it
is still Coach in all but name.

This ISN'T one of the documents, by the way:



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/12 09:53 by GenePoon.




Date: 08/08/12 11:17
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: prr60

GenePoon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> chs7-321 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > GenePoon Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > >
> > >
> > > Not bad, but remember that Acela Business
> Class
> > is
> > > such in name only.
> > >
> > > It's really COACH.
> >
> > Gene, I disagree.....it's a much better than
> Coach
> > class on Regionals.....muuch better.
>
> ==================================================
> ================
>
> Sorry, but I have copies of the documents from
> thirteen years ago when this decision was made...
> for marketing reasons because of the cachet that
> airlines attach to Business Class.
>
> All you get is a seat. No other amenities. So
> although it may be in a nicer environment, it
> is still Coach in all but name.
>
> This ISN'T one of the documents, by the way:

That marketing move almost backfired on Amtrak. Many corporate travel policies prohibit use of Business Class for domestic travel. When Acela launched, there were stories of business travel on Acela being rejected by corporate agencies since it was "Business Class" and in violation of policy. Getting Acela travel approved sometimes took some explaining (walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc.). Bart's backboard would have been helpful.



Date: 08/08/12 13:08
Re: USA Today: Amtrak Business vs. Coach Class
Author: Lackawanna484

prr60 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> (snip)
>
> That marketing move almost backfired on Amtrak.
> Many corporate travel policies prohibit use of
> Business Class for domestic travel. When Acela
> launched, there were stories of business travel on
> Acela being rejected by corporate agencies since
> it was "Business Class" and in violation of
> policy. Getting Acela travel approved sometimes
> took some explaining (walks like a duck, quacks
> like a duck, etc.). Bart's backboard would have
> been helpful.

Many corporate travel people seem to be on board with Business Class (coach) on Amtrak now, but it was definitely an uphill battle to get them to understand it.

Travel, meals, and entertainment tend to be flash points with many executives and outside observers. Witness Boardman being spit-turned on the grill when Amtrak wastes far more money on other stuff every year.



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