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Auto Train Business Class?


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#21 FormerOBS

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:06 PM

66/67 used to carry sleepers. There was the Washington to Boston sleeper, and there was the New York Executive Sleeper, which ran north out of Washington and was dropped at Penn Station in the middle of the night. I worked them both on the Washington extra board in early 1987. The Boston job was tolerable, but I hated the New York job because of poor security after the car was dropped and the rest of the train left. The occupied car was left alone and no security personnel ever checked on us until the passengers detrained in the morning.  I was promised a radio in case of trouble, but they NEVER had one for me. The Penn Station folks didn't care. 

 

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#22 Triley

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:14 AM

66/67 used to carry sleepers. There was the Washington to Boston sleeper, and there was the New York Executive Sleeper, which ran north out of Washington and was dropped at Penn Station in the middle of the night. I worked them both on the Washington extra board in early 1987. The Boston job was tolerable, but I hated the New York job because of poor security after the car was dropped and the rest of the train left. The occupied car was left alone and no security personnel ever checked on us until the passengers detrained in the morning.  I was promised a radio in case of trouble, but they NEVER had one for me. The Penn Station folks didn't care. 
 
Tom


I've heard all about them from various attendants, but was wondering how that worked in NYP. What a PITA that must've been.

You know..I asked a high up manager on the corridor about the sleeper returning to 67, and he claimed they have actually been looking in to it, but were waiting for the new sleepers to show up before it'd ever happen. So let's hope!

I've still been pushing for OBS to have some mode of communication with the crew, for safety. Had an extra board attendant who was hit a few months back, and thankfully it was a busyish train so there were many other passengers around who jumped in for -her- safety. But if it happened on a train like 67 where the cafe was empty, and the crew is following the rules for the corridor and not sitting in the car...

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#23 Guest_561Marisa_*

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 10:32 AM

I travelled from Lorton to Sanford on 10/13/17.  I was in a coach seat (a few bedroom accommodations were available to buy at the counter at check in, but were very expensive).  I was lucky and did not have a person next to me on the 2 by 2 coach seating, but even so, sleeping was not as comfortable as I expected.  There is what I'll call a partial reclining unit to support your upper thighs/knees, but it does not go all the way down to the ankles (I'm 5'10" tall).  There is a foot rest and plenty of leg room, the seat generously reclines back, and there are AC outlets along the window railing (BRING your own pillow/blanket for comfort)!.  Vs. driving that distance myself, a coach seat on AutoTrain was very convenient and saved wear and tear on my car (and me), but it was not ideal for sleeping.  I understand that business class is EXACTLY the SAME as coach seating - 2 by 2 seating with partial reclining unit to support upper thighs/knees, however you do get more amenities and a separate dining car.  You will pay more for business class, but the seats are the same as the coach compartment - don't expect a reclining chair (i.e. Lazy Boy) in business class.  A Conductor showed me some of the sleeping accommodations - a roomette is the way I plan to go next month and I will update this blog thereafter to advise.



#24 jis

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 12:44 PM

Oddly enough for the fare paid, one gets more AGR TQPs in Business Class than in Sleeper. Go figure!



#25 Bob Dylan

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 03:35 PM

Oddly enough for the fare paid, one gets more AGR TQPs in Business Class than in Sleeper. Go figure!

One of many concerns of ours during the roll out of the New and Unimproved AGR2.0!


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#26 GBNorman

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:10 AM

Amtrak should really think twice as to how they splash the term Business Class about.

The airline industry term means a product offering First Class service including choice of meals, all the alcohol you can responsibly drink, an Attendant for each 20 passengers, and a "goody bag".

The US flagged carriers are all phasing out traditional First in favor of Delta One, (United) Polaris, and (I don't know what American calls their's).

By contrast Amtrak Business Class can be anything from a 2-1 configured section of an A-I or Horizon, a glorified Coach on the NEC and some LD's, to "just plain old" Coach on the Acela. A passenger who has only experienced airline Business Class could justifiably be after Amtrak for false advertising. Where Amtrak offers an enhanced Coach product, they should find a name for the service reflecting that.

Edited by GBNorman, 22 November 2017 - 09:12 AM.


#27 PVD

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 10:08 AM

I agree that they should do a better job of defining B/C. However, in the airline industry B/C varies widely depending on many factors including whether it is domestic or int'l, a 2 class or 3 class aircraft, and the route involved. Some airlines have eliminated domestic first for a BC/First model, in other situations, it is an intermediate class, a discernible step down from first. 



#28 GBNorman

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 12:25 PM

Without getting into "who knew who", I was upgraded from Business to First on an overseas flight. I found the difference "marginal"; the Entree's were the same, as we're the wines and the Desserts. The only difference was a cheese course and after Dinner liqueurs.

The seat "modules" had more controls that I was not about to figure what they were. Further, annoying to me, was that the seats were all angled inward, making flightseeing difficult.

I rather doubt if there were any paying passengers there. It looked more like a lounge for relieved Officers including one with a companion. It is no wonder that the "big three" are phasing out First in favor of an enhanced Business product.

But "thanks for the memories".

#29 PVD

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:26 PM

That's the point. Overseas B/C bears no resemblance to domestic first except on a few key trancons. A Superliner LD or Am2 blows away most domestic seat room except a few key roures. The problem is length of time in the seat to distance traveled. But even an AM 1 is usually more comfortable than many RJs for a relatively short trip.



#30 GBNorman

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 08:01 AM

.....a Roomette is the way I plan to go next month and I will update this blog thereafter to advise.


As a "veteran" with twenty three AT journeys, including one on the private AT, a very wise choice, Ms. Marisa.

I await your report.

#31 GBNorman

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 08:22 AM

But even an AM 1 is usually more comfortable than many RJs for a relatively short trip.


You can say that again, Mr. PVD. Three of my eight flights this year were on Express Jet (dba United Express) "flying pencils" ERJ-145(HPN to ORD; ORD-RIC-ORD). Hard to believe, but neighbors did ORD-GEG-ORD on one of 'em last month (Columbia River cruise).

Be sure to book a fare level where you select your seat. Get on the single side Left; and if you like flightseeing as do I get Aft. If you don't like being near the "loo", book EconoPlus and aim for the three seats forward of the wing. Annoying was on that one way flight (resulting from a reroute into LGA) my seat was whacked ("Uh, uh Gil; this is a lead up to getting bumped") and they "selected" me a seat on the Right and over the wing - on a good flightseeing day to boot.

And a final word if on one of those RJ's; be sure to "Go before you go".

#32 PVD

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 08:32 AM

There are a few websites (such as Seatguru) that offer pretty good information on what to expect on a particular flight or plane type. The differences, even on one particular airline or route can be staggering. I remember looking at a trip last year to a city where the same carrier had flights on 2 different regional partners (one used Canadair RJ one used an Embraer E-170/175) and one flight was a mainline jet. BC/First on an AA A321 transcon can be outstanding, regular domestic AA A-321 BC/First is not that much better than Prevost or MCI


Edited by PVD, 23 November 2017 - 08:33 AM.


#33 GBNorman

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 09:54 AM

Even if she has no reason to be in this life, my Sister is "thrifty".

However, my Niece emigrated to Australia last year and my Sister has now been "down there" - twice.

At first, she was of the "I'll just go Coach" mindset, but I was out for a visit when this came up. I knew she could have problems with that. So I rang up Seat Guru, took four straight Dining table chairs and set them at the pitch United offers on a 787. I sat down in one and asked her to sit in the other. All this presumed she would have an aisle seat. She said "that's too tight". "Well Barbara, that's what you'll get". "How about Premium Economy?". I reset the chairs. "That's still too tight".

Both her trips have been Business Class, one Qantas, the other Virgin.

#34 PVD

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 10:17 AM

In many cases, it isn't the pitch, it is the width that makes people uncomfortable. United is changing its domestic 777-200 from 9 across to 10 across. The plane is not getting wider.



#35 jis

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 12:45 PM

The seats are merely getting narrowed to what they already are and have been on 737s


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#36 GBNorman

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 08:28 PM

In many cases, it isn't the pitch, it is the width that makes people uncomfortable. United is changing its domestic 777-200 from 9 across to 10 across. The plane is not getting wider.


Indeed the case. Mr. PVD. Going to Munich last August on a brand new 777-300 configured Polaris and Coach, I hoofed back into the Gulag to say hi to an Attendant who knows an Attendant I know. Returning to Polaris, there was some turbulence so I grabbed the first open seat and bolted up. The seating was 3-4-3 and it was a tight fit for me (5'9" 175). I suppose if the trip was non-discretionary, I could survive. But for a pleasure trip. no thanks. If I haven't the dough for Business, then it simply is "no go".



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