Jump to content




Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

pacific surfliner--coach or business class


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_MontanaJim74_*

Guest_MontanaJim74_*
  • Guests

Posted 07 August 2007 - 04:16 PM

Im going roundtrip from LA to SD next week and am taking the surfliner. Im using guestrewards points. Is it worth it go upgrade to business class?

Saw a note on amtraks website that said "standing room only" conditions in coach on some runs during the summer. So if i buy a coach ticket i am not guaranteed a seat?

#2 MrFSS

MrFSS

    Engineer

  • Honored Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,777 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Kentucky

Posted 07 August 2007 - 04:50 PM

Im going roundtrip from LA to SD next week and am taking the surfliner. Im using guestrewards points. Is it worth it go upgrade to business class?

Saw a note on amtraks website that said "standing room only" conditions in coach on some runs during the summer. So if i buy a coach ticket i am not guaranteed a seat?

That's right - they can sell more tickets than they have seats. I was on one back to San Diego last November and it was packed in coach. I was only on an hour and a half so I didn't consider the upgrade. I think business class only sells as many tickets as they have seats.

#3 dan72

dan72

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 418 posts

Posted 07 August 2007 - 05:14 PM

My wife and I took the PS last July from SAN to LAX roundtrip using points and we upgraded to Business Class. We both liked it. You get a snack and beverage. We also found that our car was not full (not even close heading back to SAN) while coach was quite full. Also, as MrFSS pointed out, you are will for sure have a seat both ways, however if is only for a short time such as a hour and a half, it may not be worth it.

Be sure to sit on the Left side heading North/Right side heading South as you will go along the ocean for a good part of your trip.

Dan
Amtrak trains ridden: The North Star, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Pacific Surfliner, Lake Shore Limited, Empire Service, Lincoln Service, The Downeaster, Acela Express, Northeast Regional, Capitol Limited, Cascades, Coast Starlight, California Zephyr, & City of New Orleans

#4 Guest_Guest_*

Guest_Guest_*
  • Guests

Posted 07 August 2007 - 05:53 PM

Check and see if BC is even available on your dates and times - with the sudden removal from service of a couple of sets, the available seats may have been sold out weeks ago (and some with reservations might even be getting refunds!)

#5 had8ley

had8ley

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,111 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Interests:"There's nothin' nicer than "dinner In the diner." After 30 plus years of pulling cabooses and pax trains around it's time for someone else to pull me around...

Posted 07 August 2007 - 07:20 PM

Im going roundtrip from LA to SD next week and am taking the surfliner. Im using guestrewards points. Is it worth it go upgrade to business class?

Saw a note on amtraks website that said "standing room only" conditions in coach on some runs during the summer. So if i buy a coach ticket i am not guaranteed a seat?


Business class hands down. The amenities and the guarantee of a seat alone are worth the few extra dollars.

#6 Guest_Guest_MontanaJim_*_*

Guest_Guest_MontanaJim_*_*
  • Guests

Posted 07 August 2007 - 07:43 PM

Ok thank for the info everyone. Im leaning on business class. hopefully there wont be a lot of business people in there yapping loudly on cell phones so i am unable to enjoy the scenery!

#7 rtabern

rtabern

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,538 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Suburban Chicago

Posted 08 August 2007 - 12:05 AM

Hi,

My best friend from high school moved to LA about 5 years ago and I like to ride the Surfliners when I'm out there to visit him (usually 2-3 times a year).

My experience is that if the train number starts with a 5 (as in, 500 or 502 or whatever) it's not as crowded as the trains that start with a 7 (as in, 798 or 790 or whatever). I guess that's because the 700 series run further up and down the coast than the 500 series trains.

So, on a 500-series train you MIGHT be okay in coach, but I'd recommend Business Class for sure if you are going to be on a 700-series train.

Everytime I've taken a 700-series train it has been standing room only in coach!!! So just a warning there.

And hey, in California, in Business Class you get FREE wine.

Oh hey, I dont know what your schedule is like, but if you have time, take an early train from San Diego to the Solana Beach stop... get off and explore (a beautiful beach is just a few blocks west of the station)... and then get on the next Surfliner. If I fly into LA on a Friday morning and my buddy doesn't get off work until later that evening, I'll hop a Surfliner and head to Solana Beach... awesome spot... great beach... and there's some nice art gallaries just south of the station.

RTT

#8 WhoozOn1st

WhoozOn1st

    Engineer

  • Honored Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,331 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 09 August 2007 - 03:10 AM

Im going roundtrip from LA to SD next week and am taking the surfliner. Im using guestrewards points. Is it worth it go upgrade to business class?

Saw a note on amtraks website that said "standing room only" conditions in coach on some runs during the summer. So if i buy a coach ticket i am not guaranteed a seat?


Forget business class. It's a waste of points for such a short trip, and there's no free wine. That's for First Class on the Starlight. If it's SRO, make the best of it. Walk the train, talk to your fellow passengers. Out of L.A. the train will likely be pulled. Out of San Diego it will probably be pushed.

Photography northbound can be kinda rough. Southbound, forget it, except for side shots. Before 9/11, and when the train was in push mode, you could stand up front and look forward. The engineer in the control cab was usually happy to talk, and you could yap your way north. No need for a scanner, cuz you could hear everything that was going on. And if you didn't quite understand, the guy would tell you. Way fun! Some guys even let children hit the horn. Everybody crowded the front in those days.

The good old days.

WhoozOn1st
 


#9 RailBirder

RailBirder

    Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 88 posts
  • Location:Bellevue (Omaha), NE
  • Interests:Trains, birding, camping, hiking, gardening, travel

Posted 09 August 2007 - 08:06 AM

I took the Pacific Surliner last month, business class, LA to San Juan Capistano (#582) on Wed, ~4:00pm. Had lots of room, free newspaper and a snack pack-crackers, cheese, cookie, dried fruit. We didn't have a business car attendant leaving the station at LA, so the conductor did double duty for a while until our car attendant got on somewhere down the line...can't remember exactly where he got on at. The conductor told us to take our ticket stub to the club car for our free drinks, we were given the choice of beer, wine, or soft drinks. Going to the club car for my free wine, was the only time I went through coach and it was pretty full.

We came back later, Oceanside to LA, business class on #763 on Sunday. It was ~7:00am, we weren't offered wine, and didn't ask about it. But we did have an unlimited bagels/cream cheese, 3-4 kinds of muffins, coffee, a couple of kinds of juice, and newspaper. Didn't get to coach on the northbound trip, but by the time we got to LA, business class was almost full.

There were four of us on the northbound trip and we had facing seats with a table between us which was pretty nice. There were maybe 4-6 facing seats table arrangements in business class, I didn't notice any/many in coach, but I wasn't paying that close attention.

On the southbound trip the consist had engine first, business class, then coaches. Northbound was cab forward, business class was at the rear of the consist next to the engine. Nice ocean views on the trip. We had been camping at San Clemente State beach, and the train goes right by the beach.

#10 rtabern

rtabern

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,538 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Suburban Chicago

Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:42 PM


Im going roundtrip from LA to SD next week and am taking the surfliner. Im using guestrewards points. Is it worth it go upgrade to business class?

Saw a note on amtraks website that said "standing room only" conditions in coach on some runs during the summer. So if i buy a coach ticket i am not guaranteed a seat?


Forget business class. It's a waste of points for such a short trip, and there's no free wine. That's for First Class on the Starlight. If it's SRO, make the best of it. Walk the train, talk to your fellow passengers. Out of L.A. the train will likely be pulled. Out of San Diego it will probably be pushed.

Photography northbound can be kinda rough. Southbound, forget it, except for side shots. Before 9/11, and when the train was in push mode, you could stand up front and look forward. The engineer in the control cab was usually happy to talk, and you could yap your way north. No need for a scanner, cuz you could hear everything that was going on. And if you didn't quite understand, the guy would tell you. Way fun! Some guys even let children hit the horn. Everybody crowded the front in those days.

The good old days.


Ummmm... you are wrong about the wine. I have been on the Surfliner Business Class atleast 6 times over since August 2005 (and as recent as April 2007) and you get 1 free beverage --- which can be soda, coffee, water, or a small bottle of wine (contains about as much as a glass of wine maybe). The other business class services (like in the Midwest here) the complimentary drink can't be alcoholic, but it can be on the Surfliner Business Class.

I probably wouldn't use my AGR points for the upgrade to business ---I'd probably just pay for the ticket and use the points for something else.

I'd still go business class if I were you... unless you mind standing for a couple of hours.

One other photography tip I'd share --- if you get on and there are no window seats and you want to get some shots of the ocean --- you can usually ask someone to switch seats with you. Most of the people on there, atleast I've noted are commuters. And most of them don't think much of the nice ocean views are are often pretty willing to switch seats with you so you can have the ocean view if you ask nice.

Hey, and it's a nice conversation started sometimes too.

RTT

#11 WhoozOn1st

WhoozOn1st

    Engineer

  • Honored Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,331 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 10 August 2007 - 12:38 AM

I stand corrected on the wine thing. For photography, the best views - if you don't have a starboard (right) window seat southbound - are from the lower level, around the vestibule. Some personnel will allow you to take pics with the door open at low speed. You didn't hear it from me.

WhoozOn1st
 





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users