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First time on Acela, what can I expect? (meals in BC?)


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#1 Allypet

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 01:01 PM

This weekend my wife and I have to run down to Baltimore for a family function. Since we have pet issues we have to do the trip same day. Instead of driving we decided to try the Acela for the first time. I booked business class because of the NARP (RPA) discount but was not sure if first class was worth the over 500.00 for the upgrade. Also do they sell anything resembling a meal like first class gets, or should we pack something to eat?

Edited by Allypet, 10 May 2018 - 01:03 PM.


#2 seat38a

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 01:18 PM

Business Class on Acela does not get any free food and beverages. It's called BC but in reality it is coach. Business Class on Acela is the lowest service class.



#3 jis

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 01:22 PM

You do have access to the Food Service Car (Cafe Acela) which sells some reasonable food (at least for me). YMMV. Here is a link to the menu:

 

https://www.amtrak.c...e-Menu-0617.pdf


Edited by jis, 10 May 2018 - 01:23 PM.

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#4 Allypet

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 05:34 PM

You do have access to the Food Service Car (Cafe Acela) which sells some reasonable food (at least for me). YMMV. Here is a link to the menu:
 
https://www.amtrak.c...e-Menu-0617.pdf

Thanks for the menu. I just noticed I had enough AGR points that I used for 4 upgrade coupons. We should be now traveling first class both ways.

#5 Acela150

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 09:08 PM

I can't remember off the top of my head if you are allowed to use the Coupons with a Discount code. I don't think you can. But I didn't learn that much about coupon use. 


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#6 Allypet

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 09:35 PM

I can't remember off the top of my head if you are allowed to use the Coupons with a Discount code. I don't think you can. But I didn't learn that much about coupon use. 

I thought the same thing so I called AGR and the agent said that paying the fare with a discount doesn’t apply and it’s only meant for the actual upgrade itself. I can’t upgrade until 12 hours before departure. Hope that’s true, I will find out soon enough.

Edited by Allypet, 10 May 2018 - 09:35 PM.


#7 cpotisch

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 12:30 PM

Business Class (which as was mentioned, is 100% just coach) does not get any complimentary meals or beverages. However, I've found that the snacks available in the "Bistro" car are very good, and definitely preferable to the selection found on the NER and other similar trains. For $500, I definitely would not say that First Class is not worth it. You get complimentary meals and booze, access to the ClubAcela lounges, and a bit more space, but that up charge is completely ridiculous. Spend that money on an overnight sleeper, not Acela First.


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#8 jis

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 12:49 PM

If food is your thing, just imagine how many dinners you could have at Morton's or the Chart House for $500! ;)


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#9 cpotisch

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 01:05 PM

If food is your thing, just imagine how many dinners you could have at Morton's or the Chart House for $500! ;)

For $500, one person could EASILY enjoy dinner at a three star restaurant.


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#10 Ryan

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 01:16 PM

Depending on where you start and your interest level, unlimited free booze for 13 hours (on top of 8 meals) can tip the scales on "is it worth it".
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#11 cpotisch

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 01:23 PM

Depending on where you start and your interest level, unlimited free booze for 13 hours (on top of 8 meals) can tip the scales on "is it worth it".

13 hours? 8 meals? Where'd you get that from?


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#12 jis

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 01:27 PM

Round trip on Acela First Class BOS - WAS - BOS two people, is my somewhat educated guess.


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#13 Ryan

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 01:32 PM

Close, BOS-BAL. Don't know where the OP lives, but he said he was going to BAL.

6.5 hours one way. 2 people X two meals X 2 directions.

Edited by Ryan, 11 May 2018 - 01:32 PM.

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#14 Allypet

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 02:28 PM

Close, BOS-BAL. Don't know where the OP lives, but he said he was going to BAL.

6.5 hours one way. 2 people X two meals X 2 directions.

I’m going from NYP to Baltimore and back. Only 5 hours total.

#15 jis

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 02:40 PM

 

Close, BOS-BAL. Don't know where the OP lives, but he said he was going to BAL.

6.5 hours one way. 2 people X two meals X 2 directions.

I’m going from NYP to Baltimore and back. Only 5 hours total.

 

That also cuts it down to just 4 meals from the hypothetical 8 that Ryan was thinking of.



#16 Ryan

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 02:48 PM

Indeed. That $500 looks a lot less worth it. Good use of an upgrade if you get it, though. It also gives you Club Acela access in New York.
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#17 Walt

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 04:28 PM

You do have access to the Food Service Car (Cafe Acela) which sells some reasonable food (at least for me). YMMV. Here is a link to the menu:
 
https://www.amtrak.c...e-Menu-0617.pdf


Is there some rule or pattern, to figure out a head of time, if your on "cycle 1" or "cycle 2" of the rotating menus choices?

#18 jis

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 05:49 PM

If there is I have not figured it out. Maybe someone else has.



#19 cpotisch

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 05:53 PM

Go to the "Member Trips" thread. Look for any upcoming trips on Acela. Ask he/she to check the "cycle number" when they're onboard. That's the best method I can come up with.


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#20 Allypet

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 11:10 PM

I can't remember off the top of my head if you are allowed to use the Coupons with a Discount code. I don't think you can. But I didn't learn that much about coupon use. 

I thought the same thing so I called AGR and the agent said that paying the fare with a discount doesn’t apply and it’s only meant for the actual upgrade itself. I can’t upgrade until 12 hours before departure. Hope that’s true, I will find out soon enough.
FYI, I was able to use my upgrade coupons, so it’s first class for me!




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