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Using the LAX Metropolitan Lounge


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#1 choochoodood

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 10:06 PM

I will be taking the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle into LA later this year, with Sleeping Car accommodations.

 

The scheduled arrival time is 5:35 am (IF we are on time of course). However, the rental car agency does not open until 8:00 am (they will be picking us up at the station).

 

I believe I read somewhere that Sleeping Car passengers can use the Metropolitan Lounge to wait, but I'd like to find out if this is indeed true. It would certainly be better than waiting in the "common areas" of the station.

 

Anybody know the facts?


Amtrak trains ridden: Lake Shore Limited (11); Pennsylvanian (9); Capitol Limited (6); Texas Eagle (1); Sunset Limited (1); Empire Builder (2); California Zephyr (1); City Of New Orleans (1); Northeast Direct (2); Cascades (2)


#2 the_traveler

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 10:22 PM

Yes, you can use the Metropolitan Lounge. However, it does not open until (I believe) 6 am. So if you arrive on time at 5:35, it will not yet be open. (I have arrived before 5 am before.)

My recommendation is if you have checked baggage, DO NOT claim it right when you arrive (it will be held and locked up) and walk the 2 short blocks to Philipe’s for breakfast. When you return, you can claim your baggage and then wait in the Metropolitan Lounge.
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 Bob Dylan

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 01:40 AM

the traveler has given you excellent advice for your arrival and time @ LAX.

As Nike says: "JUST DO IT!"
"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

#4 Lonestar648

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 10:28 AM

You can wait in the ML since it opens very early to accommodate the 1/421 arriving passengers.  They have minimal continental breakfast items, so if you want a good breakfast (none served on the SL arriving LAX) follow the above suggestion.  If you prefer items you can purchase from the Union Station stores like Starbucks, you can eat outside in the courtyard.  I like the outside, so I will at least take a cup of coffee and sit outside for a while (weather permitting).



#5 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 02:35 PM

The Sunset can be early into LA so be ready for a very early arrival. I sleep-walked  into Starbucks (which is right in the station) and just hung out there until it was time for the first Surfliner train to board. 

 

Have you checked surfliner schedules? I don't drive at all (never have) but renting a car in LA seems like a very stressful idea to me.... maybe you could catch an early surfliner and get part way to your destination and then rent a car from there?  Just an idea that may or may not work. 


Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#6 seat38a

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 03:26 PM

I will be taking the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle into LA later this year, with Sleeping Car accommodations.

 

The scheduled arrival time is 5:35 am (IF we are on time of course). However, the rental car agency does not open until 8:00 am (they will be picking us up at the station).

 

I believe I read somewhere that Sleeping Car passengers can use the Metropolitan Lounge to wait, but I'd like to find out if this is indeed true. It would certainly be better than waiting in the "common areas" of the station.

 

Anybody know the facts?

Yes you can. You can use the lounge on arrival. The rental car desks are right next to the elevator to the lounge. Are you not renting from the station location?



#7 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 07:47 PM

I believe Amtrak is supposed to open the Metro Lounge around the time that the Sunset Limited is scheduled to arrive.  However, this is a relatively unique situation that may or may not always go according to plan.  For instance, the lounge may be closed when you arrive or it may be managed by a surrogate attendant for the first hour or two.  The original solution was to allow (sleeper) passengers to simply remain on the train until the Metro Lounge was open.  In my view that was the best resolution outside of adjusting the unnaturally early arrival times.  Unfortunately that is no longer the case and you may have to wait in the lobby until the lounge is ready for you.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 12 February 2018 - 08:18 PM.

.


#8 Bob Dylan

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 07:51 PM

When I last rode the Sunset into LAX on the way to the Portland Gathering last fall, we arrived @ 5: 00am and had to wait upstairs by the Lounge Doors by the Elevator till 530am when the Lounge attendant opened up.

Checked in,dropped my stuff and headed to Philippe for the Combo Breakfast!
"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

#9 choochoodood

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:29 PM

 

I will be taking the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle into LA later this year, with Sleeping Car accommodations.

 

The scheduled arrival time is 5:35 am (IF we are on time of course). However, the rental car agency does not open until 8:00 am (they will be picking us up at the station).

 

I believe I read somewhere that Sleeping Car passengers can use the Metropolitan Lounge to wait, but I'd like to find out if this is indeed true. It would certainly be better than waiting in the "common areas" of the station.

 

Anybody know the facts?

Yes you can. You can use the lounge on arrival. The rental car desks are right next to the elevator to the lounge. Are you not renting from the station location?

 

No, we're not renting from the station's rental locations. The nearest location for us is on Figueroa, but they will pick us up at the station. We need to have a car because we're working our way gradually up the coast to many different locations, and the Surfliner just didn't work for our itinerary. But that would have been the ideal option for a railfan such as myself.


Amtrak trains ridden: Lake Shore Limited (11); Pennsylvanian (9); Capitol Limited (6); Texas Eagle (1); Sunset Limited (1); Empire Builder (2); California Zephyr (1); City Of New Orleans (1); Northeast Direct (2); Cascades (2)


#10 seat38a

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:41 PM

 

 

I will be taking the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle into LA later this year, with Sleeping Car accommodations.

 

The scheduled arrival time is 5:35 am (IF we are on time of course). However, the rental car agency does not open until 8:00 am (they will be picking us up at the station).

 

I believe I read somewhere that Sleeping Car passengers can use the Metropolitan Lounge to wait, but I'd like to find out if this is indeed true. It would certainly be better than waiting in the "common areas" of the station.

 

Anybody know the facts?

Yes you can. You can use the lounge on arrival. The rental car desks are right next to the elevator to the lounge. Are you not renting from the station location?

 

No, we're not renting from the station's rental locations. The nearest location for us is on Figueroa, but they will pick us up at the station. We need to have a car because we're working our way gradually up the coast to many different locations, and the Surfliner just didn't work for our itinerary. But that would have been the ideal option for a railfan such as myself.

 

Got it. I'm not sure what your itinerary is but just an FYI, Oxnard is another good place to rent a car. Pretty much the whole of Oxnard Airport's passenger terminal is now a rental car building. I've taken the Surfliner up to Oxnard and was picked up and dropped off at the station by Hertz. I've noticed that the rental rate in Oxnard seems to be way cheaper. First train to Oxnard leaves at 7:35 and arrives at 9:19. All of the major rental agencies are in Oxnard in or around the airport so just check to see if its a better value.

 

Just an idea if your itinerary and schedule works.



#11 Lonestar648

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 10:41 PM

Renting a car downtown LA is expensive, the hours difficult, and the traffic is impossible.  I did it at AVIS at LAUS.  Took a while for the agent to complete the agreement even though I am a Preferred Member, later the return had to be after hours so had a problems handling the keys and the contract.  The procedure of course did not work so I was charged a penalty. I had an appointment where I needed a car, but another time I used the Red Line then a short Uber ride.  My daughter drives in LA with no issues ever, but for me it is extremely stressful with the traffic and the unknown arrival times, when you can't be late. All I can say is pad your schedule.  Oh! I also remember this summer people complaining that there were no cars brought over in time from LAX for renters to leave when the desks opened.



#12 tricia

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:59 AM

 

 

 

I will be taking the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle into LA later this year, with Sleeping Car accommodations.

 

The scheduled arrival time is 5:35 am (IF we are on time of course). However, the rental car agency does not open until 8:00 am (they will be picking us up at the station).

 

I believe I read somewhere that Sleeping Car passengers can use the Metropolitan Lounge to wait, but I'd like to find out if this is indeed true. It would certainly be better than waiting in the "common areas" of the station.

 

Anybody know the facts?

Yes you can. You can use the lounge on arrival. The rental car desks are right next to the elevator to the lounge. Are you not renting from the station location?

 

No, we're not renting from the station's rental locations. The nearest location for us is on Figueroa, but they will pick us up at the station. We need to have a car because we're working our way gradually up the coast to many different locations, and the Surfliner just didn't work for our itinerary. But that would have been the ideal option for a railfan such as myself.

 

Got it. I'm not sure what your itinerary is but just an FYI, Oxnard is another good place to rent a car. Pretty much the whole of Oxnard Airport's passenger terminal is now a rental car building. I've taken the Surfliner up to Oxnard and was picked up and dropped off at the station by Hertz. I've noticed that the rental rate in Oxnard seems to be way cheaper. First train to Oxnard leaves at 7:35 and arrives at 9:19. All of the major rental agencies are in Oxnard in or around the airport so just check to see if its a better value.

 

Just an idea if your itinerary and schedule works.

 

 

Likewise, the Burbank station is a stone's throw from Burbank airport's car rental options.



#13 seat38a

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:11 AM

 

 

 

 

I will be taking the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle into LA later this year, with Sleeping Car accommodations.

 

The scheduled arrival time is 5:35 am (IF we are on time of course). However, the rental car agency does not open until 8:00 am (they will be picking us up at the station).

 

I believe I read somewhere that Sleeping Car passengers can use the Metropolitan Lounge to wait, but I'd like to find out if this is indeed true. It would certainly be better than waiting in the "common areas" of the station.

 

Anybody know the facts?

Yes you can. You can use the lounge on arrival. The rental car desks are right next to the elevator to the lounge. Are you not renting from the station location?

 

No, we're not renting from the station's rental locations. The nearest location for us is on Figueroa, but they will pick us up at the station. We need to have a car because we're working our way gradually up the coast to many different locations, and the Surfliner just didn't work for our itinerary. But that would have been the ideal option for a railfan such as myself.

 

Got it. I'm not sure what your itinerary is but just an FYI, Oxnard is another good place to rent a car. Pretty much the whole of Oxnard Airport's passenger terminal is now a rental car building. I've taken the Surfliner up to Oxnard and was picked up and dropped off at the station by Hertz. I've noticed that the rental rate in Oxnard seems to be way cheaper. First train to Oxnard leaves at 7:35 and arrives at 9:19. All of the major rental agencies are in Oxnard in or around the airport so just check to see if its a better value.

 

Just an idea if your itinerary and schedule works.

 

 

Likewise, the Burbank station is a stone's throw from Burbank airport's car rental options.

 

Got to be careful of airports. They are usually priced higher and have much more taxes and fee's. Oxnard Airport is different since they don't have any regional air flights anymore. They price their rentals at a much lower cost than busy SoCal Airports.

 

Oxnard $228.27 

Burbank $488.51

 

Price above is the total price for each location. July 04 - July 11 Compact.



#14 KleShreen

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 01:56 PM

I'm heading in to LA Union Station in mid-August and not getting there until after rental car options at the station are closed, so I was going to get a hotel close to the station that night and then head back to the station in the morning to rent a car that I can return to LAX Airport a few days later before we fly out. I think the pricing from Budget was something like 150 dollars for four days which isn't bad, with no mileage restrictions. I just wish the rental car option at the station was open until after the Coast Starlight gets in. We're pretty much going to lose an entire night of doing things in LA because we'll get there around 9 p.m. and have to get an uber/taxi to a nearby hotel and no transportation until the morning.


First train trips in the books!

 

August 19, 2018: Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids to Chicago

August 19-21, 2018: California Zephyr from Chicago to Emeryville

August 23, 2018: Coast Stralight from Oakland to Los Angeles


#15 JRR

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 02:23 PM

The Doubletree is within walking distance without significant luggage and has car rental in the hotel.


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#16 trainman74

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 05:45 PM

We need to have a car because we're working our way gradually up the coast to many different locations, and the Surfliner just didn't work for our itinerary.


Just wanted to make sure you're aware that Highway 1 is closed in the Big Sur area due to a mudslide last year and expected to stay that way until at least this fall. (It doesn't show up on Google Maps if you're just viewing the area, but if you try to get driving directions for a trip that would ordinarily include that stretch, you'll see the closed portion.)

Official Caltrans site

#17 KleShreen

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:49 PM

The Doubletree is within walking distance without significant luggage and has car rental in the hotel.


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That's pretty convenient. Just looked it up, hoping it was 24 hours but it isn't. Boo. Would still be closed by the time I got there and have to wait til morning. Considering the pricing, it would probably still be better to just go back to the train station and use Budget in the morning. If that Hertz inside the hotel was open 24 hours though, that would be awesome.


First train trips in the books!

 

August 19, 2018: Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids to Chicago

August 19-21, 2018: California Zephyr from Chicago to Emeryville

August 23, 2018: Coast Stralight from Oakland to Los Angeles


#18 Lonestar648

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:19 AM

There is the Airport Express Bus from Union Station that you could use to get a car at LAX that night since you are returning it to LAX and would still pay the LAX taxes and fees on the return.



#19 choochoodood

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:15 PM

 

We need to have a car because we're working our way gradually up the coast to many different locations, and the Surfliner just didn't work for our itinerary.


Just wanted to make sure you're aware that Highway 1 is closed in the Big Sur area due to a mudslide last year and expected to stay that way until at least this fall. (It doesn't show up on Google Maps if you're just viewing the area, but if you try to get driving directions for a trip that would ordinarily include that stretch, you'll see the closed portion.)

Official Caltrans site

 

Yes. I'm aware of that. (But thanks for the "heads up.") I've driven that route before and had intended to do so again on this trip because it is one of the most spectacular drives in the world. However, through the CalTrans website, I found an alternate route from US 101 to CA 1 that avoids the landslide reconstruction work. That route is through the village of Jolon and then over the coastal mountains to the CA Route 1. This should make for an interesting drive as well.


Edited by choochoodood, 14 February 2018 - 05:17 PM.

Amtrak trains ridden: Lake Shore Limited (11); Pennsylvanian (9); Capitol Limited (6); Texas Eagle (1); Sunset Limited (1); Empire Builder (2); California Zephyr (1); City Of New Orleans (1); Northeast Direct (2); Cascades (2)


#20 caravanman

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 01:20 PM

I had fun renting my car at LAX a few years back. It seems you guys drive on the wrong side of the road, your cars don't have gear sticks, and your roads are super wide! I also found that the car rental street maps don't show every street. I must have been braver back in those days!  :D

 

Ed.






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