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Busy Chicago Departure! Luggage / Legacy Club Questions


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#1 Guest_BethChicago_*

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 09:49 AM

So yeehaw, our train leaving Chicago is SOLD OUT.  So I'm guessing that between this and the regular commuter traffic, all on Good Friday before a holiday weekend, Union Station is going to be more than a bit nutty.

 

A few questions here:  

 

We do live IN the city, but want to get down to Union Station in time to get us checked in with plenty of time to spare, especially since it will be so busy.  Can we check in via the kiosk if we are checking a bag?  

 

I guess we can just spend 30-40 minutes after we check our bag just hanging out until boarding is called.  

 

BUT was also wondering about the Legacy Club, which I've heard about but never been in.  I keep finding conflicting costs - $10 / $20 per visit or $50/month?  And is that per person (we are a family of 4 w/ two kids under 10).  Did I read that it might give us "priority boarding"?  We are in coach, so no "sleeper" early boarding.  

 

I'm guessing we'd have an hour to kill, at most, before boarding, so it may not be worth it to pay just for that short time.  

 

Thanks!



#2 the_traveler

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 10:40 AM

There is no "check in" on Amtrak like at an airport. If you are checking a bag, you check the bad at the ticket counter. (Note that you MUST have the bag(s) in their hand at least 45 minutes before departure, not just be in line.) If you are not checking any bags, you can just proceed to the waiting room to board. If you are in a same day sleeper, you can use the Metropolitan Lounge free of charge. (You can also day check hand carried bag(s) there. Any bags to be carried in the baggage car must be checked at least he ticket counter.)

As far as the Legacy Club, I am not really familiar with it, but those prices are per person.

Note that not all stations and not all trains offer checked baggage service. If BOTH of your stations and/or trains do not offer it, you can not check your baggage.

Edited by the_traveler, 24 March 2016 - 10:45 AM.

Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#3 Lonestar648

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 12:27 PM

I would be in line at the ticket counter at least one hour before departure to check your bags (bags received after 45 minutes before departure may not make your train).  It will be crowded but you can walk around, get something to drink, with the kids walk near the trains to point out the different types (I find their excitement at seeing the trains uses up the minutes easily).  Plan to be near the boarding gate a good bit before if you want to have a better seat selection in your car. Hope you have a great trip!!



#4 Bob Dylan

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 04:07 PM

You can use a Red Cap to board your train, they are usually around the doors to the Metro Lounge next to the Ticket Counters ( they use Carts to Train side).

Highly recommended as Union Station will be a Zoo! They will take you to train side and you won't have to wait in the crazy long lines. Tips are appropriate and appreciated.😉
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#5 Guest_BethChicago_*

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 04:14 PM

Thanks all.

 

And Bob Dylan, maybe $5 for a tip, is that enough or $10?  We have one bag (with wheels) to check, but 4 of us (we have backpacks to keep with us.)  If we get there an hour in advance, I'm guessing they don't board until maybe 30 min prior to 2pm departure?



#6 Bob Dylan

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 04:18 PM



Thanks all.
 
And Bob Dylan, maybe $5 for a tip, is that enough or $10?  We have one bag (with wheels) to check, but 4 of us (we have backpacks to keep with us.)  If we get there an hour in advance, I'm guessing they don't board until maybe 30 min prior to 2pm departure?


Honestly Union Station will be a Zoo so I say be there at least an Hour and a Half early, check the bags you want checked and Line up the Red Caps ASAP.

As for boarding, you will be taken to the Train before the other Coach passengers come out of the cattle pens, er waiting rooms, probably 30 mins before Train time.

With the four of y'all I would suggest that $10 should be just about right for the Redcap when you reach trainside. If they carry your Bags onto the Train for you $15 wouldn't be too much!


Edited by PRR 60, 25 March 2016 - 01:09 PM.
Quote code correction

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#7 Lonestar648

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 10:15 PM

Red Caps will be busy so schedule early.  The Met Lounge uses all or most of those not committed already.  Many will take your bag to your seat or the luggage area, a couple even help you up the stairs, so be prepared to tip accordingly, that's what they are working to earn.



#8 Guest_BethChicago_*

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 10:31 PM

So I can check the bag at the ticket counter or with a Red Cap directly?  Or do they just handle any bags that we want to keep with us in coach.  We just have ONE bag to check.  Don't need much help with the rest of the stuff, but checking a bag w/ a Red Cap (if possible) might be the most expeditious way to get things done and get on board.  Worth the tip!



#9 the_traveler

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 11:23 PM

If you have any bags you want to check to your destination, those must be checked ar the ticket counter. A Red Cap only carries any hand carried bags (those that you want to keep with you and access during your trip) to your car. They do not check bags for you to be carried in the baggage car.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!



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