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The Official Onboard Sleeper Upgrade Thread


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#81 yarrow

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 03:19 PM

i heard from a conductor on the cs a couple weeks ago that onboard upgrades are no longer sold at low bucket but at whatever price the room was selling at through the ticket agent. he said this was effective sometime in early january. anyone else hear this?

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#82 inspiration100

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 01:23 AM

eeek, I sure hope not! That ruins all the fun of the anticipation of waiting!
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#83 printman2000

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 09:17 AM

i heard from a conductor on the cs a couple weeks ago that onboard upgrades are no longer sold at low bucket but at whatever price the room was selling at through the ticket agent. he said this was effective sometime in early january. anyone else hear this?


So, anyone able to confirm this?

#84 ScottC4746

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:51 AM

So I am going from NOL-LAX in June leaving on the 5th...YEAH!!! I am so excited my first overnight train trip. I have a roomette and not sure what to expect. A side of me is hoping for the old fashion classy rail road days of yore but know that it is going to be a tiny closet with a even smaller bathroom down the hall and terrible food (last long haul was HOU-NOL in early 1990's and food was terrible and served on plastic foam plates and plastic glasses.
Any comments?

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#85 AAARGH!

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:01 AM

So I am going from NOL-LAX in June leaving on the 5th...YEAH!!! I am so excited my first overnight train trip. I have a roomette and not sure what to expect. A side of me is hoping for the old fashion classy rail road days of yore but know that it is going to be a tiny closet with a even smaller bathroom down the hall and terrible food (last long haul was HOU-NOL in early 1990's and food was terrible and served on plastic foam plates and plastic glasses.
Any comments?

The food has gotten better. It's not gourmet, but it is not bad at all.

Yes the roomette is small, but I found it very nice. The bathrooms are small, but certainly not too small.

And I recommend you take a GPS! (just kidding :P ).
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#86 ALC Rail Writer

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:06 PM

i heard from a conductor on the cs a couple weeks ago that onboard upgrades are no longer sold at low bucket but at whatever price the room was selling at through the ticket agent. he said this was effective sometime in early january. anyone else hear this?


So, anyone able to confirm this?


That would be the stupidest policy if Amtrak actually wants to sell the ruddy rooms. The rooms are empty because nobody wants to buy them, usually because of the high cost-- why would selling them at the most recent bucket make sense?

Amtrak Routes Travelled: Capitol Limited (x12s), Northeast Regional (x10), Pennsylvanian (x10), Empire Builder (x6), Cascades (x4), Empire Service (2), Acela Express (3), New Haven Shuttle (2), Vermonter (1), Lake Shore Limited (x3), Lincoln Service (3), Coast Starlight (x2), California Zephyr(1), Capitol Corridor(1), Southwest Chief (1), Missouri River Runner (1), Downeaster (2), Crescent (2)
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#87 amtrakwolverine

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 08:44 PM

i wouldn't be surprised if the conductors had something to do with it if it was true. they don't like to do the extra paper work to sell empty rooms on the trains and will often pass the buck to the next shift.

#88 Rail Freak

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 08:51 PM

So I am going from NOL-LAX in June leaving on the 5th...YEAH!!! I am so excited my first overnight train trip. I have a roomette and not sure what to expect. A side of me is hoping for the old fashion classy rail road days of yore but know that it is going to be a tiny closet with a even smaller bathroom down the hall and terrible food (last long haul was HOU-NOL in early 1990's and food was terrible and served on plastic foam plates and plastic glasses.
Any comments?


It will be what you make it!!! :)
Just make damn sure you have fun!!! :)
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#89 AlanB

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:37 PM

i wouldn't be surprised if the conductors had something to do with it if it was true. they don't like to do the extra paper work to sell empty rooms on the trains and will often pass the buck to the next shift.


I don't think that's a very fair statement. Yes, there are conductors who do exactly what you've stated. But I don't believe for one minute that all conductors do that, and I rather doubt that the union would ever support such a position, since reducing paperwork might just be the excuse that Amtrak needs to reduce the number of conductors needed.

But my big problem here is that you've dumped all the conductors into one big lazy group of people. We know that this isn't true just from the many posts by members here on the forums who did meet up with a conductor that was more than happy to do an upgrade, or do something else that someone requested of them. There are conductors who will help someone with luggage if they see a problem. There are conductors who take great pride in doing their jobs properly. And there are conductors who even come to post here on our forums. That is definately above and beyond the call of duty.

I can't begin to imagine how hurtful it would be for our member BlueJeanGirl to find this post and read that she's a lazy conductor not interested in doing her job.

That is the problem with broad sweeping statements that lump everyone into the same category; it hurts those who really are trying to do a good job. I'm not saying that if someone does a bad job that they shouldn't get some criticism here or on any site. But just because there are a few bad apples in every bunch, let's not come to the conclusion that everyone in that position is a bad apple. Please! :)
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#90 ALC Rail Writer

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:18 AM

To be fair Alan, or fairer really, Conductors have the biggest job on the whole damn train and selling a room could be the last thing on their minds.

However...

You haven't yet weighed in. Can you confirm that an on board upgrade is no longer low bucket?

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#91 AlanB

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:23 AM

To be fair Alan, or fairer really, Conductors have the biggest job on the whole damn train and selling a room could be the last thing on their minds.


Also true, but that doesn't make them lazy either.

You haven't yet weighed in. Can you confirm that an on board upgrade is no longer low bucket?


I haven't weighed in, since I haven't heard anything one way or the other. Therefore I can neither confirm nor deny the rumor. However, I will say that the last time Amtrak did change the onboard upgrade process it was well publicized, so I suspect that the rumor is not true.
Alan,

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#92 ALC Rail Writer

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:28 AM

To be fair Alan, or fairer really, Conductors have the biggest job on the whole damn train and selling a room could be the last thing on their minds.


Also true, but that doesn't make them lazy either.

You haven't yet weighed in. Can you confirm that an on board upgrade is no longer low bucket?


I haven't weighed in, since I haven't heard anything one way or the other. Therefore I can neither confirm nor deny the rumor. However, I will say that the last time Amtrak did change the onboard upgrade process it was well publicized, so I suspect that the rumor is not true.


Wasn't saying they were lazy, just adding to what you said. The fact that they actually manage a train full of people proves they are not lazy-- that takes cajones. Don't think I ever ran into a conductor who didn't do their job...

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#93 Bill631

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 10:58 AM

I have travelled in coach a few times years ago. On each trip I attempted to upgrade to a roomette, and was never able to do it. Usually the conductor says he will check for me, and then he never returns with an answer.
So now I just book a roomett to make sure I get it.
I don't think you would necessarily get big a discount by upgrading on board.
Why not just book a roomette to start with?
If you plan it right and are flexible with your travel dates, you can usually get a roomette at the lowest price.
Me-I wouldn't risk the chance of having to take a 27 hours or so in coach.




Bill

:P

#94 ALC Rail Writer

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:34 AM

I have travelled in coach a few times years ago. On each trip I attempted to upgrade to a roomette, and was never able to do it. Usually the conductor says he will check for me, and then he never returns with an answer.
So now I just book a roomett to make sure I get it.
I don't think you would necessarily get big a discount by upgrading on board.
Why not just book a roomette to start with?
If you plan it right and are flexible with your travel dates, you can usually get a roomette at the lowest price.
Me-I wouldn't risk the chance of having to take a 27 hours or so in coach.




Bill

:P


It's quite simple. When you book a roomette it could be in a high bucket, 600-700 on some trains. If you upgrade on board you get it for the lowest price which for a train like the EB would be around $200. Of course if the rooms are selling for $200 then go for it! You won't get a discount UNLESS the rooms are selling at the higher buckets at time of booking.

Amtrak Routes Travelled: Capitol Limited (x12s), Northeast Regional (x10), Pennsylvanian (x10), Empire Builder (x6), Cascades (x4), Empire Service (2), Acela Express (3), New Haven Shuttle (2), Vermonter (1), Lake Shore Limited (x3), Lincoln Service (3), Coast Starlight (x2), California Zephyr(1), Capitol Corridor(1), Southwest Chief (1), Missouri River Runner (1), Downeaster (2), Crescent (2)
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#95 Sam31452

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 06:19 PM

Question: Wouldn't offering a tip to the conductor if he get's you a roomette (and announcing that when asking for it) be helpful?

#96 yarrow

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 07:05 PM

Question: Wouldn't offering a tip to the conductor if he get's you a roomette (and announcing that when asking for it) be helpful?


i don't believe the operating crew of the train is allowed to accept tips.

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#97 ALC Rail Writer

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 10:36 PM

Question: Wouldn't offering a tip to the conductor if he get's you a roomette (and announcing that when asking for it) be helpful?


i don't believe the operating crew of the train is allowed to accept tips.


No they are not. And some would consider it insulting-- The Conductor is NOT your SCA or SA, s/he is not there to do what you want s/he is there to ensure your safety and such.

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#98 VentureForth

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 09:51 AM

I'll experiment with the onboard upgrade next month. I'm taking the Silver Star to Richmond for my parents retirement and returning the same evening on the Silver Meteor. The current rate for a sleeper going to RVR from SAV is $130, and that I believe is the absolute lowest bucket. Current rate on the return (without meals!) is $178. I'm not going to book the sleeper in advance either way, but I'll ask onboard if its available and for what price.

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#99 PaulM

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 01:12 PM

i heard from a conductor on the cs a couple weeks ago that onboard upgrades are no longer sold at low bucket but at whatever price the room was selling at through the ticket agent. he said this was effective sometime in early january. anyone else hear this?

After the last AU flare-up of this topic, I called Amtrack and asked about the upgrade policy. The answer was that it is still policy to sell upgrades; but she agreed with the conductor regarding the price.

I also repeated the scuttle butt that upgrades are too much trouble for the conductor. The reply was that's b... s....

I forget whether it was a reservation agent or Customer Service.

#100 PaulM

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 01:16 PM

The Conductor is NOT your SCA or SA, s/he is not there to do what you want s/he is there to ensure your safety and such.

"and such" includes selling upgrade when available..




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