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About Maglev

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  • Location
    Orcas Island, Washington
  • Interests
    Trains, environmental science, planetary volcanism.

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  1. Maglev

    Another dining car/SSL cutback

    On the Empire Builder which departed Chicago on January 14, I noticed missing train art posters. In my sleeper, one of the frames had a poster with tips for traveling safely by train, while the other frame was empty. In the SSL, one of the frames had a cafe menu and the other had a picture of items offered for sale in the cafe. The dining car had no posters nor frames.
  2. Maglev

    Another dining car/SSL cutback

    I did not notice any lack of framed posters on the Texas Eagle, Coast Starlight, or Empire Builder last week. edit: On the Empire Builder a couple days later, I saw missing posters (see new post in this thread)
  3. Maglev

    US Airline Roundup for 2018

    My only flights this year, as last year, were a roundtrip to Hawaii on Delta Airlines. I prefer Delta's 757's over Alaska's 737's, and although Hawaiian has lie-flat seats for the same price, I avoid them on advice of an air-traffic controller from Maui. We bought first-class tickets, and found the comfort and service to be good (the food was acceptable). I guess I should add my Kenmore Airlines Cessna Caravan flights from Eastsound to Boeing field to connect to our Hawaii flights. Sometimes, I wonder how they make ends meet flying (often) only a few passengers at $150 each. Even a full plane is only worth $1500. They have to pay pilots, ground crew, facility fees, equipment, etc. I'm not aware of any subsidies, beyond the government's providing airports.
  4. Maglev

    Coach passengers allowed in Sleeper?

    Long before I knew about Open Sleeper tickets (February, 2004), my sister and nephew (traveling on coach tickets) joined my wife and me in our Bedroom. We were traveling Seattle to Los Angeles, and they were going to Portland. The SCA even opened up the adjoining room for us so we had a suite. We had lunch in the Dining Car, and they paid for theirs while my wife and I charged ours to our room. We were prepared to sit with them in the Lounge Car, but it was much more comfortable to have a private space.
  5. Hi Sandgk! I think the best thing to do is to read around on this forum about travel experiences on Amtrak. While service quality varies, most of us have good travel experiences on Amtrak. About the "MRE's," I have read on this forum about Amtrak serving Dinty Moore Beef Stew in emergency situations, and I was served beans and rice once on a severely delayed Capitol Limited. These are very rare occurrences, and in general you can count on hot food as per Amtrak's menus available on-line. The scenery is fantastic, and nothing compares with sleeping in a sleeper, dining in a dining car, and relaxing in a Sightseer lounge car. I hope you tell us how your trip goes!
  6. Thank you for the report, Jis! It is surprising how ubiquitous "trains on planes" are here in the Northwest--I saw one last week when we were walking along the Seattle waterfront, and three of them passed us at King Street Station as we were waiting aboard the Coast Starlight to depart in May.
  7. Maglev

    How early should I purchase an Amtrak Bedroom?

    I'm not sure what you mean by a "test booking." Merely making inquiries on Amtrak.com does not affect pricing in any way I have seen by checking three trains daily for the last several months. I'll add that being flexible helps to finding the best fare. If Bedrooms are too expensive, maybe book a Roomette and hope to be able to upgrade later if the Bedroom price falls. If you can, use Amsnag to find the cheapest travel dates or just search different dates.
  8. Maglev

    How early should I purchase an Amtrak Bedroom?

    There's a lot of discussion of this topic here. These are two related threads that are current: I don't travel by train very often, so I am able to make a big deal out of the trips I take. I book as early as possible, and watch for the fares to change by checking every day on Amtrak.com. But I happen to have a financial situation where I can afford to buy tickets early or at higher fares than the lowest bucket. Your situation may be different.
  9. Maglev

    Klamath Falls to Seattle, Summer 2018

    This is a very well-written trip report! It has plenty of detail but is not too long. I look forward to reading more, and pictures would be great too!
  10. I just want to make one minor clarification. The agent did not tell me there would be a "25%" penalty to modify to a lower fare, but rather quoted a dollar amount that was exactly 25% of the fare difference. Maybe my "one-time" modification is the ONLY time ANYONE will ever get a full refund now! I imagine most people just buy their tickets (or decide to fly) at the price they see when they plan their trip, and that's that. I did not learn about modifying to a lower fare until I became a member of this forum. I am very interested in hearing of any other experiences modifying fares. What do the frequent Amtrak travelers here do?
  11. Have you modified a sleeper reservation to a lower price since the policy changes? I was led to believe the system now automatically charges 25%. "Amtrak does not charge a ticket change fee, but please note that other fees may apply. Policies regarding ticket changes vary; limitations and exclusions apply." https://www.amtrak.com/planning-booking/changes-refunds/changing-a-reservation.html
  12. That's probably three left AT THAT PRICE. There may be more Roomettes at a higher price.
  13. When I called to have a sleeper fare modified to a lower fare, I was at first told there would be a 25% penalty. The agent then went to speak to a supervisor, and came back and told me I would be given a "one-time" adjustment with no penalty. I have not tried to adjust a sleeper fare more than once.
  14. ...then watch the fares between now and your trip. As I understand, you are allowed a one-time adjustment if the fares go down for a full refund of the difference. After the first adjustment, there might be a 25% penalty of the difference if the fares go down again and you try to modify your reservation.
  15. Does this involve new tunnels under the Hudson River?