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BCL

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About BCL

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    San Francisco Bay Area

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  1. Not really. I remember back when there were double TQPs during a promotional period. They said no multi-ride tickets, but somehow my multi-rides counted. There was a fare minimum though. You're going to need to spend at least $150 to get there now that there aren't any minimum points.
  2. In general I'd think airlines are worries about people possibly trying to blow up aircraft if they knew their bags wouldn't be traveling on the same aircraft. I've certainly heard of people being forced off of planes, but where their bags were specifically located such that they don't remain - just in case. But of course the most likely scenario is late check-in. I suppose the tag is specifically meant to say that it doesn't need to be matched with a passenger on the plane. Maybe to give it priority.
  3. It's possible for luggage to travel on a different aircraft. I suppose that if someone checks in bags really early, it might happen if there's a direct flight that's leaving earlier than the passenger, and they consider it easier than perhaps sending it to two different airports with a transfer. But then I'd worry about it ended up unclaimed on a baggage carousel. These are rife for theft since I haven't seen a check against the baggage claim check in years. But I have had bags where I didn't collect them, airport employees sent them to the airline's baggage office, and I had to claim it there. I've definitely seen late check-in where they specifically noted that the bag might be arriving on a later flight if it doesn't make it to the same plane as the passenger.
  4. It's kind of strange how it works. There are a whole lot of different things they try to balance on any particular long-distance Amtrak train. Reservations will be required, and that gives a pretty good idea of how many cars they need to put in service. As others said, they try to keep people going to the same destination in the same car. But of course some passengers are going short distances. Passengers heading for Miami could board from anywhere on the route, so they're going to adjust where people are seated as needed. They balance a lot of needs this way. You could very well end up with someone next to you going a short distance because they feel they can place passengers going to to intermediate stations in that car. Or you could end up with another passenger going the entire distance. In the former case your next seat could be empty, then filled, again, then empty. It's kind of hard to tell how it's going to end up. It's really like trying to balance available tables in a restaurant as people come and go. This is really the reality of it. I get that you'd like to have some alone time, but you can't really get that. However, these are large seats - around the size of an airline first class seat with massive leg room. You won't be cramped at all.
  5. You can try, but you can imagine other passengers might be thinking the same thing. It might be possible to purchase a second seat, but for the most part it's one passenger, one seat. Now I have traveled with an unpaid infant, and my kid's name was on manifest but not on the ticket. I had an unoccupied seat next to my assigned seat, which I believe was by design from the coach attendant. On a really crowded train I would have likely needed to have my child on my lap or sharing my seat. And one seat was wide enough for both of us. Also - if you don't like being next to someone else, then avoid the dining car. They specifically fill up all the available seats in the dining car. A couple will always get one side of a table, and two more people will likely fill up the other side. I was at a table with four people all traveling separately.
  6. The food is definitely different. For example, I had an "Angus cheeseburger" twice on the same day - at lunch in a dining car and at dinner from a cafe car. In the dining car it was a real burger cooked to order from a raw patty. It also comes with chips. The cafe burger is precooked and refrigerated in a plastic bag. The attendant cuts a slit into the bag and tosses the whole thing in a convection over. As for seat assignments, I believe they're assigned by an attendant - typically before the passenger arrives on the train. At an endpoint some crews might assign passengers to a particular car, and then shuffle seat assignments as needed mid-route. I've certainly heard of seat hogs on trains where the seating is open laying out stuff, including one person who managed to take a table for 4 all to himself using jackets, bags, etc. However, you're not likely to have that option if the seating is assigned. I don't recall ever having an assigned seat where I was by myself.
  7. I remember a time when the Coast Starlight used to cost less than Capitol Corridor for Emeryville (or Richmond) to San Jose. The time was kind of commute times (8:10 AM from Emeryville) but for whatever reason it took about 2 hours (kind of leisurely taking a different route) when Capitol Corridor took about 1. Not sure if it had anything to do with commuters using it, but eventually the price for that trip seemed almost fixed to the same price as Capitol Corridor. I've taken that route a few times, but it was partially to take in the views and to have breakfast in the dining car.
  8. That's been my understanding too. The language that Amtrak gives is more or less CYA. That I used a different style booking shouldn't make a difference if it's about transferring from the westbound CZ to the southbound CS in Emeryville. I have the option to book exactly the same trip using a multi-city booking as I could just entering two stations. I mean - is there even any way the Amtrak employees who take care of missed connections would even know? I've seen comments on this forum of people who used multi-city and still got accommodated when there was a missed connection.
  9. I understand that if it's a train to train connection that can be made with a standard booking, it's still considered a guaranteed connection. For example, imagine going Chicago to LA. One standard booking option is Empire Builder to Portland and then to Los Angeles on the Coast Starlight, where the connection in Portland is "guaranteed". But imagine a multi-city trip where the customer forces it to be Chicago to Portland to San Francisco (by bus). Then San Francisco to LA two days later. There's no particular reason to do it that way, but I was under the impression that even with multi-city it's considered a guaranteed connection as long as there those two trains have a guaranteed connection at the same connection point.
  10. BCL

    Solari Board at PHL

    I don't get the claim that it's one of the last ones of its kind still being used. Solari is still making these types of boards, and there are others such as the company in the Philly suburbs I found. They've got one at the Ferry Building in San Francisco for ferry departures, and that was installed in 2013.
  11. BCL

    Lion Air JT610

    I've heard one of the big issues is counterfeit parts. Maybe 30 years ago I was reading Time Magazine, and they had an article on counterfeit aircraft parts, including a photo showing fake boxes with the United Technologies logo that were pretty close to the real thing. The parts themselves were machined and I'm sure that it's easy to tell the difference, but of course the counterfeit likely doesn't have the strength of the genuine part.
  12. Multi-city can often produce combinations that aren't specifically programmed into the booking engine. I've discussed using multi-city to get certain bus combinations that aren't programmed into the normal system. Sometimes it can be used to create a stopover if the time is less than 24 hours where the price is roughly the same as if it were direct. That can be useful on routes where there are multiple trains per day running the same route.
  13. If an aircraft was stuck on the ground there would probably still be battery power that would allow the toilets to flush. Maybe even power up the rest of the plane. I don't know how long that would last though. I get that they might be loathe to add weight/complexity/volume using batteries. I know that newer electric trolley buses have battery backups that might allow them to move even when disconnected. I understand this might allow a bus to get around a blockage or perhaps a bus yard that isn't equipped with overhead lines., as well as deal with unintended disconnection.
  14. Did you catch my original title? I edited my post a few times, but I didn't modify the title. But for anyone wondering what the issue was. Amtrak employees apparently brought out cardboard boxes, which then became the holding tanks.
  15. Wow. I don't know if you saw it, but the word I used was more clinical/formal than that. Even then, a mod must have thought it was a little too gross for AU consumption. But yeah - they brought out cardboard boxes for people who just had to go.
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