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Passenger Trains > Are Gate Dragons History?


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Date: 10/21/17 04:57
Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: SandHouseTalk

Starting Monday, October 23, 2017, at Albany, NY; Boston (South Station), MA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC; during the general boarding process ticket inspections will no longer be performed.

Passengers needing extra help, families with small children, active-duty military, seniors citizens, non-Acela business class passengers, Acela first class passengers, those traveling in sleeping car space, and Guest Rewards Select Executive & Select Plus members get an invitation to go from the station's waiting area to the platform first. The aforementioned should still expect to have their travel documents inspected to make sure they are eligible.

After "premium and priority" boarding has occurred, general boarding will happen and these passengers will no longer be required to have their travel information inspected by station staff.

Exceptions:
Seattle, WA and Portland, OR Cascades service pre-boarding seat assignments do not change. Neither does Los Angeles, CA for overnight trains.



Date: 10/21/17 06:28
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: steve4031

A big plus is that Elite agr members get first choice at seats.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 10/21/17 06:40
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: ctillnc

Alleluia.



Date: 10/21/17 08:09
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: swirsk53

Does this apply to all Acela in NY Penn? Going to be interesting to see. My sense has been that check was intended to make sure everyone going to platform actually has an Acela ticket, and that it is for the particular train number. While I hate the long lines and congestion in Acela boarding at NYP, it probably serves a purpose.



Date: 10/21/17 11:05
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: joemvcnj

Thank God.

Next step: stop the Passport checks and Canadian boarding passes at NYPS. These particular Gate Dragons are not CBSA, as much as Amtrak likes to make this look like an important ceremony: Canadian flag on the BIG desk, stamping your e-ticket, handing you a seat check only to be collected at the boarding gate, a numerical sicker affixed to the e-ticket for each bag, not that the real CBSA checks any of that anyway. Then, I do not like standing in line for an hour after that next to the stairs.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/17 13:30 by joemvcnj.



Date: 10/21/17 11:20
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: Jishnu

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thank God.
>
> Next step: stop the Passport checks and Canadian
> boarding passes at NYPS. These particular Gate
> Dragons are not CBSA. I do not like standing in
> line for an hour after that next to the stairs.
>
> Posted from Android

Yeah. The train crew could check the Canadian Border crossing document while lifting the tickets. They can then disembark all those found not to have documentation. There is a real cost to Amtrak if it carries an undocumented passenger to Canada, since CBSA is happy to bill Amtrak to process such passengers and the cost of shipping them back to the US.

Right now what they do is strangely haphazard, since they don;t seem to check anything if I board, say, at Pughkeepsie headed to Montreal.



Date: 10/21/17 11:27
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: joemvcnj

CBSA throws 1 or 2 off every time I go over the border, and these are the ones who boarded at NYP. Lotta good Amtrak's silliness is doing. I think CBSA taxis them back to Rousses Point. They are on their own at that point.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/17 13:31 by joemvcnj.



Date: 10/21/17 15:38
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: Jishnu

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CBSA throws 1 or 2 off every time I go over the
> border, and these are the ones who boarded at NYP.
> Lotta good Amtrak's silliness is doing. I think
> CBSA taxis them back to Rousses Point. They are on
> their own at that point.

There is a difference between "undocumented", and "refusal of entry" for other reasons. It is the undocumented, i.e. lacking in documentation, that the transportation companies are held responsible for, and that is why airlines meticulously check every passenger's paperwork before allowing them to board an international flight.

But this is straying way away from anything to do with Gate Dragons.



Date: 10/21/17 15:55
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: GenePoon

If this is Wick Moorman's legacy for his short stay at Amtrak, it will be worthy.



Date: 10/21/17 20:13
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: RuleG

On numerous occasions I have boarded trains in Albany, NY (really Rensselaer, NY); Boston South Station, Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC. I never once encountered any Amtrak personnel staffing the gates whom I could describe as being like "dragons."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/17 08:16 by RuleG.



Date: 10/22/17 06:47
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: njfrn

The gate dragons annoy me as much as anyone, but this is going to cause some problems. Re-ticketing or tossing off passengers with the wrong tickets takes time away from other duties, and creates service delays if the police need to be called.

As I understand it, the primary function of the dragons is to minimize such delays by culling the herd boarding at high volume stations. They don’t deter anyone that’s determined to board an Acela with an NJ Transit or MARC ticket, but they do weed out the clueless and inattentive, of which there are several per trip. The time spent dealing with such people on board adds up.



Date: 10/22/17 08:06
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: joemvcnj

njfrn Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The gate dragons annoy me as much as anyone, but this is going to cause some problems. Re-ticketing or tossing off passengers > with the wrong tickets takes time away from other duties, and creates service delays if the police need to be called.

> As I understand it, the primary function of the dragons is to minimize such delays by culling the herd boarding at high volume stations. >They don’t deter anyone that’s determined to board an Acela with an NJ Transit or MARC ticket, but they do weed out the clueless and >inattentive, of which there are several per trip. The time spent dealing with such people on board adds up.



Gate Dragons checking e-tickets slows boarding to a crawl, create delays, prevents trains form making up time, such as late NEC train going through NYP from New England. Get people through all available stairs, which may not be happening with this, and get the train out ASAP. If someone is on the wrong train, the train has already gotten out of the station; it does not delay the train. Put them off at the next stop, or let them stay on board if going to the same place, in the dinette car if necessary.

There is no need to re-ticket or call the cops. I am not the least bit concerned with anyone who can't pay attention, regardless of whose train it is, whether it be confusing Belmar, NJ for Bellmore, LI or Essex Jct, VT for Essex, MT.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/17 16:51 by joemvcnj.



Date: 10/22/17 08:22
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: ctillnc

Gate agents are on their way out at airlines, too. It's only a matter of time until the airlines use facial recognition and automated gates. There have already been experiments with the technology at baggage check. Likewise Delta has begun issuing boarding passes automatically at 24 hours. Boarding passes as we've known them are probably on their way out also.



Date: 10/22/17 08:45
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: Jishnu

ctillnc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Gate agents are on their way out at airlines, too.
> It's only a matter of time until the airlines use
> facial recognition and automated gates. There have
> already been experiments with the technology at
> baggage check. Likewise Delta has begun issuing
> boarding passes automatically at 24 hours.
> Boarding passes as we've known them are probably
> on their way out also.

Automated gates do not require facial recognition or anything of the sort. I have already used them with boarding passes at several airports.

And actually facial recognition has some serious issues, notwithstanding the WOW factor of it. ;)



Date: 10/22/17 09:43
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: joemvcnj

We'll see if Amtrak stops wasting police man hours guarding lower level stairs at NYPS from people boarding Amtrak trains.
Then just maybe they can get a Regional train through in 10 minutes rather than 15 - 20.



Date: 10/22/17 10:04
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: abyler

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> We'll see if Amtrak stops wasting police man hours
> guarding lower level stairs at NYPS from people
> boarding Amtrak trains.
> Then just maybe they can get a Regional train
> through in 10 minutes rather than 15 - 20.

I and many other board at the lower level stairs or from the new Moynihan or NJT stairs every day. i've never seen police guarding lower level stairs. What are you even talking about?



Date: 10/22/17 10:05
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: joemvcnj

I am talking about just as what I said. If you never saw them, lucky you.



Date: 10/22/17 11:29
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: Jishnu

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am talking about just as what I said. If you
> never saw them, lucky you.

Yeah, there have been times when security was posted at random lower level stairs. But it is not an usual occurrence AFAICT.



Date: 10/22/17 23:04
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: GenePoon

I've been away from home for the past eleven days. The longhauls
were by air...but several NEC short-distance rides were involved.

As if to illustrate the point about Amtrak "Gate Dragons," I encountered
several at major Amtrak stations on the East Coast. They were shouting,
abusive, threatening passengers who didn't have tickets out ready to
inspect, that they would be denied boarding...and that was the ones
I could understand. Others mumbled or were so indistinct or
dialect-laden in their speech, you could hardly tell what they were
saying.

It wasn't all of them. But it was too many (ONE is too many).

Contrast this with the airline and even TSA security people (and the
private contractor security that have replaced TSA at San Francisco
International). Clear speech, no doubt as to what was being said,
and precise instructions. Spoken, not shouted. No abuse, but quiet
and courteous respect for customers with the appropriate firmness.

Amtrak has a lot to learn. Amtrak has a long way to go.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/17 23:05 by GenePoon.



Date: 10/23/17 03:01
Re: Are Gate Dragons History?
Author: ctillnc

Some U.S. airlines have already captured photos of their most frequent flyers; that's now they police admission to the lounges without asking for a photo ID.

Having a boarding pass does make facial recognition unnecessary, but there's a move to eliminate boarding passes.



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