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A Major Expansion Could Occur if Amtrak only did this.

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It is said that it pays to advertise and that's what Amtrak needs to do right now. We are at a period in air travel where the seats have shrunken to as little as 16" wide and the legroom decreased to as little as 28". There is zero comfort sitting in a seat that small and sitting that tight for an extended period greatly increases the chances of a blood clot. Time for Amtrak to exploit this additional abuse of airlines passengers and advertise that people have comfortable seats on its trains. They should show what it is like for a heavy set person to be squeezed into an airline seat and show the same person sitting at his/her Amtrak seat with plenty of room, looking out the window while the scenery goes by and sipping a pina colada . The airlines has given Amtrak and opening and its time for management to exploit this violation of human rights with an advertising campaign. Slogan- " Don't travel like an animal on the airlines, travel in comfort as ladies and gentlemen do on Amtrak"

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Trains are full as it is. Why waste money advertising more than they already do?

 

Also, any advertisements aren't going to belittle the millions of people that fly by calling them animals. That's reserved for the small minded people that either don't care or don't understand how insulting they're being.

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Right now in real terms it costs less for most people to fly than in history. Most leisure travelers will accept these things as long as the cost is low. Those who travel on business will probably have enough status that they often get upgrades to seats with more legroom or business/first as well as execs who get those always. On top of that Amtrak might even cost more. I get the sentiment, but we live in an era where air travel is still going to be the #1 way to travel longer distances.

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Or, you know, don't make ridiculous claims (violation of human rights?), insult potential passengers (calling them animals?), and generally act like it's the 1950s (ladies and gentlemen?).

 

In the relative handful of markets where Amtrak is a competitor to airlines for a nontrivial number of people, and where either there are empty seats on the train and/or low/weak yields (opportunity increase fares paid) - sure, come up with a clever (not insulting and anachronistic) campaign suggesting Amtrak as an alternative to flying. Elsewhere - airlines are not the competition.

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I agree with what others have said.

 

There may be planes with 16" wide seats and 28" pitch, but I've never seen them. I just booked a cross country flight utilizing 2 planes. The first on has 18.1" width seats and 30-31" pitch (I upgraded so I have 34" pitch, but I would have been ok with the 30-31". The second plane as a little narrower seat - 18" :o and same pitch.

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There may be planes with 16" wide seats and 28" pitch, but I've never seen them.

Likely because they don't exist.

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First and foremost, you have to realize that many people do not have unlimited vacation time. Secondly, many business travelers, not to mention those traveling for funerals and family emergencies, are on a tight schedule.

 

Amtrak's seats may be comfortable, but they can't get people from Chicago to L.A. in under five hours, and Amtrak doesn't offer a choice of approximately 35 different departure times.

 

The key is: convenience.

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Amtrak really needs more passenger cars before I'd worry too much about an extensive advertising campaign.

 

Even with an advertising campaign, there's no need to be that blunt. A few years back, Amtrak did an ad showing kids "playing cars and planes" highlighting the frustrations people have and then showing a kid playing with a model Amtrak train and showing how relaxing it is:

 

For long distance travel on a national scale, Amtrak should focus on comfort and scenery, but there's no need to be explicit about traveling on the airlines - people already know, and Amtrak LD doesn't aim for that same market. The NEC has quite a bit of share already, so people know about it and it's just as much a matter of keeping your brand out there as anything else (when you're doing better than the airlines, no need to dig further at the airlines.)

 

As for small airline seats, Spirit definitely has some small seats, but they're comfortable enough for a short journey of a couple hours. I wouldn't want to do a BOS - LAX flight on one of those, but short flights are fine. The seats are usually narrower so there's more leg room than what the seat pitch sounds like (since seat pitch is measured from a point on the seat to the exact same point on the other seat, not accounting for variance in seat/cushion depth.) For their market and price point, it's expected and not "inhumane." And I'm a 6' 1" guy and...not light.

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I agree with what others have said.

 

There may be planes with 16" wide seats and 28" pitch, but I've never seen them. I just booked a cross country flight utilizing 2 planes. The first on has 18.1" width seats and 30-31" pitch (I upgraded so I have 34" pitch, but I would have been ok with the 30-31". The second plane as a little narrower seat - 18" :o and same pitch.

 

Oh - there are planes with seating like that. They're called fighter jets.

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Oh - there are planes with seating like that. They're called fighter jets.

 

I would give pretty much anything to fly in one of those. Double extra bonus if I get to take off from and land on an aircraft carrier.

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Oh - there are planes with seating like that. They're called fighter jets.

I would give pretty much anything to fly in one of those. Double extra bonus if I get to take off from and land on an aircraft carrier.

A most difficult and dangerous feat!

 

The Late, Great Baseball Star, and Marine Pilot in WWII and Korea,Ted Williams, used to say that the two hardest things to do in the world were landing a plane on a Carrier @ Night and hitting a Major League Slider!

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"...They should show what it is like for a heavy set person to be squeezed into an airline seat and show the same person sitting at his/her Amtrak seat with plenty of room, looking out the window while the scenery goes by and sipping a pina colada ."

 

If only we could get a pina colada on an Amtrak train...

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That is called negative advertising, and it doesn't work very well. Beyond all the other points.

 

Also, can we have a board policy to ban click-bait style thread titles? I ate recently.

Edited by Green Maned Lion

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I much prefer the method of advertising Amtrak uses for its radio spots on Seahawks and Mariners games. In them, they simply tout the Cascades trains as an inexpensive and relaxed way of attending games rather than being stuck in traffic on I-5. Plus the fact the stadiums are a short walk from King St. Station. No need for them to insult those who do drive to games.

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I agree with JayPea--the Phillies station has a good Amtrak ad (not to go to the game, but highlighting how convenient it is to get to so many places and the discount rate if you book 14 days in advance).

 

The best one I've heard lately, and something Amtrak could learn from, is a radio ad for SEPTA--it highlights that the ride is "me-time" to text Mom, nap like a boss, and a couple of other things, points out how relaxing it is, and makes you feel part of a group by saying "This is how we roll...go to [website name] to roll with us."

 

It puts a smile on my face every time I hear it :).

Edited by Mystic River Dragon

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Oh - there are planes with seating like that. They're called fighter jets.

 

I would give pretty much anything to fly in one of those. Double extra bonus if I get to take off from and land on an aircraft carrier.

 

 

http://www.migflug.com/en/jet-fighter-flights.html

 

;)

 

Okay Sarah....here's your chance.... :)

 

Nothing to lose, but about 12-19,000 Euros.....

Go For It! :cool:

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Yay!

 

Now I just have to win the Powerball jackpot.

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With many of the West Superliners trains sold out (Coach and Sleepers) during the summer and holidays why spend money for advertising to get more people being frustrated. Amtrak needs to increase capacity before doing more advertising. If Amtrak had more capacity, they could substantially increase the passenger load.

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Remember that for any LD trip with 10 - 15 or more stops it only takes one leg sold out for the train to be sold out for your originations or arrivals. With more total spaces available the possibility of sell outs decreases. Get more capacity,

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True, but having just made a long trip on several trains, hearing the Conductors repeatedly asking Coach passengers not to spread out even though several people got off, they had every seat sold for departure, I am thinking that many of these trains are sold out for at least 50% of their departure stops, or like Reno there were a lot who got off, but a big crowd was waiting at the next stop.

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The only way Amtrak will get a major expansion done is if it had a lot more equipment. They've gotten creative with expansion, but they really are hitting the limits of what they can do.

Advertising is not a bad idea, but let's get more equipment first.

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