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Business vs Coach Class


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#1 Guest_Steve_*

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 11:24 AM

My wife and I have a segment of an upcoming trip on the Palmetto from Savannah GA to DC. This is an all-day ride, and there is about an $80 difference between the Business Class and Coach Class fares. We've never ridden this train or in "Business Class" on any other train. We usually ride in sleepers as much as possible on other trains. We just want to know if someone with experience on the Palmetto, perhaps, thinks the comfort and the amenities afforded in Business Class vs Coach Class is worth the extra dollars, especially since it doesn't involve the inclusion of meals as with First Class on trains with sleepers. Thanks for any input.

Steve

#2 Amtrak Watcher

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 01:43 PM

It depends on the train and even more on you. I've taken the exact same train (but with another name) between both points you specify, and consider Business Class, in this instance, worth it. But I only travel with Amtrak on business trips, and appreciate the increased likelihood that Business Class affords of empty seats. I often need the space to accommodate my laptop and books. I'm confused over the name of the train. Someone else on this forum can be more reassuring for you.

#3 Amfleet

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 03:01 PM

B-51 an active member on the boards has said the Palmetto Business Class usually runs a light load. It is a referbished Amfleet II Coach which means 60 seats per car, 2 on each side, foot and calf rests, overhead luggage racks, reading lights, and 2 restrooms at one end of the car. The "extras" included in Business Class are complemtry non-alcoholic beverages, evening movies on the overhead televisions, pillow, and blanket. The Palmetto does have a Cafe Lounge with a choice of meal selections plus snacks and other beverages.

This is one of the only trains I would recomend taking Business Class as the ones on short-distance trains are nothing more than Coach with free drinks. Hope this helps. B)
Jon
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#4 Guest_Steve_*

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 03:04 PM

Thanks for your comments. I believe the Palmetto used to be called the Silver Palm -- at least that's how it looks if you read the timetable book.

Steve

#5 Amfleet

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 03:08 PM

It was only the Silver Palm for a short while (1997-2002??). Before the Palmetto I believe was a daylight train between New York and Savanah, GA.
Jon
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#6 Amtrak Watcher

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 03:36 PM

Amfleet said it well. This particular train has an especially nice business class service. As one who has selected business class on just about all the routes available (Cascades, Surfliner, etc.), this one is the most likely to seem worth the extra money.

As an asside, I generally buy business class on any route where its available (even the ones where there doesn't seem to be much of a reason to), just to get the AC power outlet for my laptop and the increased possibility of an empty seat nearby.

#7 Amfleet

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 04:37 PM

Some other routes I suggest Business Class would be the Vermonter and Downeaster. Mainly becasue they use the ex-Metroliner/Northeast Direct First Class cars. I aslo beleive the Pennsylvanian will have these cars which should enhance the Business Class "experience". Trains to avoid Business Class would be any Acela Regional or Midwest trian. Can't speak for the West though.
Jon
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#8 Guest_Steve Relei_*

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 08:30 PM

I have used both regular and Business class here in the Northwest on the Talgo trains to and from Portland. For me, the cast is about $10 more--it is usually quieter (not as many children running around, for one) and I get a $3 voucher off of meals and/or snacks in the bistro car. As a single traveler, I also like that I get a seat to myself (one side of the train is for single travelers; The other side has double seating). Yes, I like business class.

#9 Amtrak Watcher

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 05:51 AM

I like the GPS maps on the Cascade. The Cascade can get very crowded when the folks from Portland go to Seattle for certain sports events.

There are two seats on each side of the isle on the Surfliner in business class, but many are empty and all have an AC power outlet. There are free goodies to eat at one end of the car, free newspapers, and somebody brings a box lunch or supper (with free wine if you like) to your seat at meal time. There are some "entertainment centers" in the seat backs, but I've never seen them working. the Surfliner business class can get a bit crowded on weekends. It's an especially nice ride, and lots better than driving from Los Angeles to San Diego and back on a nice weekend.

I'm a sucker for business class. If it's available, I'm buying it.

#10 battalion51

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 04:23 PM

As Amfleet alluded to I have ridden the Palmetto a couple of times before (the last being at the end of July). Nonetheless here is what can be expected from Palmetto Business Class, the car is located towards the front of the train, ahead of the lounge, but behind the baggage car. The cars are all refurbished up to Concept 2000 Standards (the blue and grey style). The car features movies on TV screens (the TVs are up in the baggage racks) which are kept silent. You can access the audio for the TVs (or the limited music library) by connecting headphones to an outlet in the arm rest (similar to the style used on Boeing 757's, 767's, and 777's but these take regular headphones). Despite the music being offered I would still recommend bringing a CD player (or something along those lines). Towards the rear of the car (by the restrooms) is a cooler which has complimentary beverages and coffee, you may recieve a copy of USA Today, but I'm not sure if this is still offered. Business Class also offers one main adavantage over Coach, not as many people. Because so few people use Business Class there are plenty of empty seats (which is more of a key if you are travelling solo overnight). Also be advised that until Febuary 19 this schedule change is in effect for the NB Palmetto. Enjoy the trip!

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#11 Guest_DonnaS_*

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 04:41 PM

S Trains to avoid Business Class would be any Acela Regional or Midwest trian. Can't speak for the West though.


Hi - I read this in your quote...why do you say to avoid business class on any Acela Regional? I'm traveling Newark,NJ to Baltimore, MD. Is that what you're referring to?

#12 Long Train Runnin'

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 04:45 PM


S Trains to avoid Business Class would be any Acela Regional or Midwest trian. Can't speak for the West though.


Hi - I read this in your quote...why do you say to avoid business class on any Acela Regional? I'm traveling Newark,NJ to Baltimore, MD. Is that what you're referring to?


This thread is 7 years old.
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#13 the_traveler

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 05:57 PM

And now the "regular" trains are called "Northeast Regionals" (although many including myself just say Regionals). The "fast" trains are "Acela Express".
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#14 caravanman

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 06:00 PM

I was a bit confused too, by the reference to B-51 as fairly active.. all now clear given the age of the posts. Guess that is something to check first every time, the date!

Ed. :cool:

#15 Guest_Gord_*

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:11 AM

Some other routes I suggest Business Class would be the Vermonter and Downeaster. Mainly becasue they use the ex-Metroliner/Northeast Direct First Class cars. I aslo beleive the Pennsylvanian will have these cars which should enhance the Business Class "experience". Trains to avoid Business Class would be any Acela Regional or Midwest trian. Can't speak for the West though.


Maple Leaf, too.

More space, 2 & 1 seating. Makes a long trip for Toronto to NY much more pleasant and comfortable.

Gord

#16 Guest_jimhudson_*

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:18 AM

I would say based on personal experience that the BC 2X1 cars on the Wolverine from Detroit-Chicago and the MORR BC 2X1s from Chicago/St.Louis-Kansas City are worth the few extra dollars. You only get a drink and a newspaper but your seat is in the cafe car, its the faux-leather seats that used to be on the old metroliners, only like 18 pax in the car and you get early boarding, much quieter also. The California trains probably arent worth the extra money but Ive only been on the Surfliners, not positive about about the others??

#17 the_traveler

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:27 AM

The California trains probably arent worth the extra money but Ive only been on the Surfliners, not positive about about the others??

That's the only CA trains that have BC! There is no BC on the SJ or CC trains - or on the Thruway buses!Posted Image

I personally would say the Cascades in the northwest are worth the extra $ for BC!Posted Image
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#18 Guest_LA Resident_*

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:38 AM


The California trains probably arent worth the extra money but Ive only been on the Surfliners, not positive about about the others??

That's the only CA trains that have BC! There is no BC on the SJ or CC trains - or on the Thruway buses!Posted Image

I personally would say the Cascades in the northwest are worth the extra $ for BC!Posted Image

Actually, there is an exception to the otherwise true statement that Surfliner BC is not worth a penny extra.
The 798 and 799 Surfliners between LA and San Luis Obispo are Amfleet equipment, not the two-levels, and BC is in the refurbished cafe car,in the front, and has the wonderful, leather seats with full recline and leg and as well as footrests, from the old Metroliner first class. With no one walking through the section, and with it curtained off from the cafe counter, it is definitely worth the extra $15 as you ply the most beautiful section of the CS between Santa Barbara and Guadelupe along the blue Pacific.

The regular Surfliner BC is barely different from the regular coach and the USA Today and pedestrian snack pack is worth about a quarter, IMHO.
Also, a majority of the time, a Superliner coach runs as part of the surfliner consist, due to shortages of coaches, and it's open to everyone for the regular coach price! You'll never have to wait for a bathroom, either!

#19 Guest_jimhudson_*

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:58 AM

:hi: Thanks for the info on the Surfliners, I rode from SBA-SAN on BC tickets and you are correct, the snack-pack/drink and paper were worth about 50 cents, however the Big Dome was in the consist so I was FORCED to ride in it all the way to SAN. (Hope the women and kids I elbowed out of the way rushing upstairs werent hurt too much! :lol: )

And to the_traveler, you are correct sir!, the Talgos are a pretty nice ride in any car from Chez-Traveler West up the Coast but BC is just a little nicer for not much more! :wub: At my age you tend to forget sometimes, even cool stuff like that! :giggle:

#20 uptheirons29

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 12:06 PM

I'm all for business class travel too here in the West, and you all are right, the Surfliner biz class arent all that and a bag of chips, except for that old Amfleet one which I did rode back from Santa Barbara back to LA in 2004. I got to meet the starting goalie of the UCLA women's team in that ride, along with her roommate, one of the midfielders, and that was pretty neat. I like the leather seats and serene, old school feeling of the single level car. I've also been on the Cascades Biz class, and that was very nice....love that Talgo. I'll be on the Wolverine business class next month from K-Zoo to Chicago....is that train's business class worth the extra money, as opposed to the Surfliners?



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