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Auto Train Business Class?

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Amtrak should really think twice as to how they splash the term Business Class about.

 

The airline industry term means a product offering First Class service including choice of meals, all the alcohol you can responsibly drink, an Attendant for each 20 passengers, and a "goody bag".

 

The US flagged carriers are all phasing out traditional First in favor of Delta One, (United) Polaris, and (I don't know what American calls their's).

 

By contrast Amtrak Business Class can be anything from a 2-1 configured section of an A-I or Horizon, a glorified Coach on the NEC and some LD's, to "just plain old" Coach on the Acela. A passenger who has only experienced airline Business Class could justifiably be after Amtrak for false advertising. Where Amtrak offers an enhanced Coach product, they should find a name for the service reflecting that.

Edited by GBNorman

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I agree that they should do a better job of defining B/C. However, in the airline industry B/C varies widely depending on many factors including whether it is domestic or int'l, a 2 class or 3 class aircraft, and the route involved. Some airlines have eliminated domestic first for a BC/First model, in other situations, it is an intermediate class, a discernible step down from first.

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Without getting into "who knew who", I was upgraded from Business to First on an overseas flight. I found the difference "marginal"; the Entree's were the same, as we're the wines and the Desserts. The only difference was a cheese course and after Dinner liqueurs.

 

The seat "modules" had more controls that I was not about to figure what they were. Further, annoying to me, was that the seats were all angled inward, making flightseeing difficult.

 

I rather doubt if there were any paying passengers there. It looked more like a lounge for relieved Officers including one with a companion. It is no wonder that the "big three" are phasing out First in favor of an enhanced Business product.

 

But "thanks for the memories".

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That's the point. Overseas B/C bears no resemblance to domestic first except on a few key trancons. A Superliner LD or Am2 blows away most domestic seat room except a few key roures. The problem is length of time in the seat to distance traveled. But even an AM 1 is usually more comfortable than many RJs for a relatively short trip.

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.....a Roomette is the way I plan to go next month and I will update this blog thereafter to advise.

As a "veteran" with twenty three AT journeys, including one on the private AT, a very wise choice, Ms. Marisa.

 

I await your report.

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But even an AM 1 is usually more comfortable than many RJs for a relatively short trip.

You can say that again, Mr. PVD. Three of my eight flights this year were on Express Jet (dba United Express) "flying pencils" ERJ-145(HPN to ORD; ORD-RIC-ORD). Hard to believe, but neighbors did ORD-GEG-ORD on one of 'em last month (Columbia River cruise).

 

Be sure to book a fare level where you select your seat. Get on the single side Left; and if you like flightseeing as do I get Aft. If you don't like being near the "loo", book EconoPlus and aim for the three seats forward of the wing. Annoying was on that one way flight (resulting from a reroute into LGA) my seat was whacked ("Uh, uh Gil; this is a lead up to getting bumped") and they "selected" me a seat on the Right and over the wing - on a good flightseeing day to boot.

 

And a final word if on one of those RJ's; be sure to "Go before you go".

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There are a few websites (such as Seatguru) that offer pretty good information on what to expect on a particular flight or plane type. The differences, even on one particular airline or route can be staggering. I remember looking at a trip last year to a city where the same carrier had flights on 2 different regional partners (one used Canadair RJ one used an Embraer E-170/175) and one flight was a mainline jet. BC/First on an AA A321 transcon can be outstanding, regular domestic AA A-321 BC/First is not that much better than Prevost or MCI

Edited by PVD

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Even if she has no reason to be in this life, my Sister is "thrifty".

 

However, my Niece emigrated to Australia last year and my Sister has now been "down there" - twice.

 

At first, she was of the "I'll just go Coach" mindset, but I was out for a visit when this came up. I knew she could have problems with that. So I rang up Seat Guru, took four straight Dining table chairs and set them at the pitch United offers on a 787. I sat down in one and asked her to sit in the other. All this presumed she would have an aisle seat. She said "that's too tight". "Well Barbara, that's what you'll get". "How about Premium Economy?". I reset the chairs. "That's still too tight".

 

Both her trips have been Business Class, one Qantas, the other Virgin.

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In many cases, it isn't the pitch, it is the width that makes people uncomfortable. United is changing its domestic 777-200 from 9 across to 10 across. The plane is not getting wider.

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The seats are merely getting narrowed to what they already are and have been on 737s

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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In many cases, it isn't the pitch, it is the width that makes people uncomfortable. United is changing its domestic 777-200 from 9 across to 10 across. The plane is not getting wider.

Indeed the case. Mr. PVD. Going to Munich last August on a brand new 777-300 configured Polaris and Coach, I hoofed back into the Gulag to say hi to an Attendant who knows an Attendant I know. Returning to Polaris, there was some turbulence so I grabbed the first open seat and bolted up. The seating was 3-4-3 and it was a tight fit for me (5'9" 175). I suppose if the trip was non-discretionary, I could survive. But for a pleasure trip. no thanks. If I haven't the dough for Business, then it simply is "no go".

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I slept in top bunk on top level and rocked and rolled all night especially after eating at 7:30, not a good combination. I agree with previous reviewer stating that it is easier to sleep in the chairs then the roomettes or bedrooms, I have done both. The train goes at a substantially higher rate of speed through the night. Someone had a gps on our trip and we were not going 75 miles per hour as stated but much much faster.

 

All in all the meal was good, company was good, and all Amtrak staff are topnotch. Anything is better than driving 900 miles. Its one night you can pretty much put up with anything to get to the sunny south. It was minus 40 where we come from.

 

I prefer the coach experience you kind of get rocked to sleep in a lazyboy.

 

 

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