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Seat assignments (Acela pilot Feb 2018)


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#21 seat38a

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 06:02 PM

 

Couple months ago, on Swiss Rail, they offer guaranteed seat assignment for 5 Francs which is about 5 USD. You can select your own seat and when you board, there is a small LCD sign above your seat, same location that Amtrak puts those colored seat checks, that says it is "Reserved." In the UK, there was no extra charge for reserving an assigned seat but what they do is put a "reserved" seat check with starting and ending destination on your seat.

 

I'd love to see something like this on the corridor services as well. It can be a big source of extra revenue per train especially busy ones. The current hurry up and wait system just makes the system less pleasing.

 

While the idea of seat assignments has merit, actually permitting passengers to select their own seats won't work on Amtrak without (perhaps severely) reducing the capacity of the train.  There is far too much traffic to/from intermediate points for this to ever be practical; You would end up with situations where there are plenty of empty seats available, but no one single seat for the entire duration of the passengers' trip.  Of course, you could permit people to make a 'forced choice' of several available seats, taking into consideration already existing reservations

 

Not understanding how it won't work? The majority of the trains already have reserved coach seating. Unless they are overselling, which is Amtrak's problem, in theory your guaranteed a seat, meaning there is a seat already somewhere on the train designated for you. Even if you buy a ticket somewhere intermediate, in theory they are only selling you a ticket for an available seat between where you are getting on and the final destination.



#22 Ryan

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 06:15 PM

Consider an oversimplification and a three seat, three stop train with four potential riders.

Today: Rider AC1 buys a ticket. Rider AB buys a ticket. Rider BC buys a ticket. When AC2 comes along, he is able to buy a ticket.

In an alternate universe:

AC1 buys a ticket for seat 1.
AB buys a ticket for seat 2.
BC buys a ticket for seat 3.
What happens to AC2? There are no seats available for his desired grip from A to C.

Obviously, there are workarounds, like presenting him or her with the seat but forcing them to change seats.

It gets a lot more complicated, but that's the gist of it.
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#23 Bob Dylan

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 07:23 PM

One can always use a quota system to make self-selection seat inventories available. After the quota runs out one would have to go through an agent. This seems to work everywhere else in the world with lots of intermediate traffic. No reason it wouldn't work in the US with relatively low usage of trains.


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#24 PeeweeTM

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 10:15 PM

BC is offered to 'chose' seat 2.
AC2 is offered to pick seat 3.
Full house! ;-)

#25 SarahZ

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 10:23 PM

 

This is always a sore subject. Last week I took the Capitol Limited to Pittsburgh from Chicago. Of course I was hoping for two seats to myself or an attractive friendly woman as a seatmate,but both of these never seem to happen.

 

Good. I thought I was the only one with this fantasy.

 

 

You aren't, and this is one of the reasons why 1) some women prefer to sit next to other women and 2) some car attendants will seat women with other women.

 

I'm not a prude by any means, but I also don't like sleeping hip-to-hip with a strange man; it is outside of my comfort limits. The one time I was seated next to a man, I spent the entire night (awake) in the lounge car because it was a sold out train and I couldn't move to another seat.

 

He was a nice gentleman, and we had a wonderful chat about the southwest states, but I still didn't want to sleep practically snuggled up to him.


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#26 northnorthwest

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 09:12 PM

Amtrak should have it set up so you choose your seat in advance.  End of story.  It would simplify everything.  Even on the NEC it is absurd how everyone gets on and then wanders aimlessly trying to find 2 open seats, etc.  Way too much unnecessary commotion and waste of time.  You should have an assigned car and seat, and then you can wait on the platform by that car in advance and board and go right to your open seat.  The end.  If they can do it in Europe and Korea and other places, there's no reason why they can't do it here.



#27 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 07:19 AM

 

 

This is always a sore subject. Last week I took the Capitol Limited to Pittsburgh from Chicago. Of course I was hoping for two seats to myself or an attractive friendly woman as a seatmate,but both of these never seem to happen.

 

Good. I thought I was the only one with this fantasy.

 

 

You aren't, and this is one of the reasons why 1) some women prefer to sit next to other women and 2) some car attendants will seat women with other women.

 

I'm not a prude by any means, but I also don't like sleeping hip-to-hip with a strange man; it is outside of my comfort limits. The one time I was seated next to a man, I spent the entire night (awake) in the lounge car because it was a sold out train and I couldn't move to another seat.

 

He was a nice gentleman, and we had a wonderful chat about the southwest states, but I still didn't want to sleep practically snuggled up to him.

 

 

You make it sound like men who want to sit next to women are perverts who at best want to cuddle and well I don't even want to think about the worst. Are there people like that? Hopefully not but if Amtrak car attendants have to separate women they probably are. I do not have these intentions and don't think a lot of men who want to sit next to women have these intentions either. I would guess there are also single women who would prefer to sit next to men. I think two people of opposite sexes can enjoy a trip together without physical contact or the fear of such.


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#28 Ryan

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 08:05 AM

If you fantasize about getting next to sit next to a girl, that is in fact pretty creepy. Doubly so when you're talking about Amtrak coach, which is potentially an overnight situation on a tiny loveseat without an armrest.


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#29 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 08:27 AM

Fantasy was a poor choice of words. I apologize.


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#30 jis

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 08:50 AM

Can't you guys get close to women in less confined setting than train seats? Sheesh! :P

 

A special problem in Amtrak LD coach is the total absence of an armrest between the two seats. Who dreamed up that idea I wonder!



#31 Bob Dylan

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 09:31 AM

To paraphrase the late and great Nelson Rockefeller: "I never want to sleep with anyone that I'm not on most intimate terms with!"

Unfortunately Philly the world is full of creepy guys that give the rest of us a bad name! 😬

As men we have to put up with the crap that these pervs inflict on
Women!😢

Pretty much all of us that have ridden overnight in Coach prefer to have two seats to ourselves, but of course Sleepers are the way to roll!😉

Edited by Bob Dylan, 20 November 2015 - 07:56 PM.

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#32 benale

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 07:28 PM

I guess it's a male thing(straight males) that two strange men usually don't want to spend the night in coach in the same seat. Guess it doesn't matter as much with women.. I would prefer sitting next to a woman than a man in coach,but of course, the best is getting two seats to yourself,which rarely happens. Of course sleepers are the obvious option,but a lot of people can't afford them. They have really gone up in price.

 

Several times I have met nice woman on line, struck up a conversation and asked if she wouldn't mind sitting together. Other times I've met women after we boarded and ended up sitting next to them. I've taken many cross country coach trips,so the odds of this happening is not bad. A few relationships also blossomed,but they were short lived.

 

If worst comes to worst and the train is full and you are sitting next to an undesirable person(drunk,smells,etc) there is always the option of the Sightseer Car. A little tougher on the viewliners,where all you have is the cafe car.



#33 R30A

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 07:59 PM

I've slept next to men and women on the train. I've had pleasant and unpleasant neighbors of both genders. My real preference is generally that the person regardless of gender be small. Makes it easier to get around them without disturbing them on a LD coach.


Edited by R30A, 20 November 2015 - 08:01 PM.


#34 BCL

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 08:49 PM

I guess it's a male thing(straight males) that two strange men usually don't want to spend the night in coach in the same seat. Guess it doesn't matter as much with women.. I would prefer sitting next to a woman than a man in coach,but of course, the best is getting two seats to yourself,which rarely happens. Of course sleepers are the obvious option,but a lot of people can't afford them. They have really gone up in price.

 

On a redeye or transoceanic flight you probably have little choice.  Heck - there was a day when staying at a boarding house or dormitory meant two to a bed, with each man sleeping in an opposite direction.  The first time I saw a bed like that I thought it was odd.  It was at an historic US Army installation.  On the CS I was seated next to a guy.  We managed to coexist for the entire ride without saying a single word to each other.  I had the window and he had the aisle.  If I had to come in I would just bob my head in the direction of my seat and he would tuck his feet in.  I was planning on telling him that he forgot his USB power adapter and cable, but he was already at the door when we got to EMY, and I couldn't get through the line of off boarding passengers (and I was getting off there too).

 

I've slept next to men and women on the train. I've had pleasant and unpleasant neighbors of both genders. My real preference is generally that the person regardless of gender be small. Makes it easier to get around them without disturbing them on a LD coach.

 

I'm not sure what Amtrak attendants are thinking.  I suppose each one has a different idea of what someone's comfort level might be.    I have been in a situation where I was about to be seated next to an obese man on a plane, and there were only two seats across.  I took another seat and the flight attendants didn't complain.  Even if someone is small, they might still use the leg and foot rests.  That might get a little bit tricky once they're asleep.



#35 StriderGDM

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 10:16 PM

I've always taken the window seat when taking coach overnight. In part to look out the window, in part to have easier access to the outlet.

 

But I think one of these times I'll try the aisle so I can get up and out easier.



#36 Ryan

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 11:00 PM

Window seat is all about having the wall to lean up against and sleep (in addition to the benefits you mention).
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#37 wdscott

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 11:50 PM

Found this in the version 8 service manual:

 

TAC – Upon Departure and En Route Responsibilities
a)     Receiving Passengers
•     Wipe all hand railings and grab irons.
•     Place the step box securely on the platform
whenever the distance from the lower car step
is 12 inches or more.
•     As passengers approach the car, call out the
destination of the train, and the destinations
assigned to the car.
•     Assist passengers with the boarding process.
•     Assist passengers with luggage.
•     Remain on the ground until the Conductor
signals the train is ready to depart.
•     Late boarding passengers will be allowed to
board at any opening and then escorted to
their car.
REV. No. 1 10-30-14
Service Standards Manual No. 8
6-77•     Ensure that the vestibule doors and outside
windows are properly closed and secured.
•     Continually update seating diagram for
boarding and detraining passengers.
•     Update the seating diagram as the Conductor
makes the ticket lift.
•     Verify this information periodically with the
Conductor.
•     Notify the Conductor of any ticketing problems.
•     Direct the passenger to their seat.
•     Make every effort to seat families and groups
together.
•     Coordinate group seating with the Conductor.

 

The train car attendant (TAC) is the only role I could find with responsibilities specific to seating.  Of course we know many trains don't have a TAC, or better stated, not all cars have a TAC.  I'm sure most us would recognize that (Assitant) Conductors play this role, too.

 

No mention of gender separation or any other such requirements.

 

For whatever that's worth!

 

--Bill



#38 Seaboard92

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 02:18 AM

I'll be honest I prefer to sit next to someone who is older then me. I find them more mature. Or to sit next to a women again my age and older. As I find the women act more mature then the guys do. And if I have to sit with you I prefer someone I can get along with. For whatever reason in life I've done better with female friends then males.
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#39 anumberone

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 03:17 AM

Size matters.

#40 HP_Lovecraft

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 09:49 AM

Amtrak should have it set up so you choose your seat in advance.  End of story.  It would simplify everything. 

 

For me, I like to bring my kids on trips. Sometimes 2 kids. Sometimes even 5 kids.  Its always important to me to make sure we are all sitting together.  Sure, "choosing a seat in advance" may solve that problem, but it also might mean that by the time I go to pick the seats, there will be nothing left but random aisle seats.

 

I don't count on the conductor to "let groups with children board first" since that almost never happens. I try to board at terminal points, and be first in line.






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