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Guest kendoggbyrd

Coach Seat or Business Class Seat?

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Guest kendoggbyrd

Which is better? Business or Coach on an Amtrak train like the Northeast Regional? Is business Class worth the added ticket price? Does it depend on train? Does it really matter?

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I guess each train service is different... I rode Boston to Chicago in business class to try it out. The main issue there was that the business class shares half the cafe car coach, so you have constant noise and folk coming through to reach the cafe. I gather that cafe car coach usually travels with the "cafe car" end towards the coaches, but on my trip all the coach folk had to walk through the business class end to get their coffee, etc. I rode coach on the return trip, and enjoyed it more.

 

Ed.

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Most of the NER trains use a full AM1 BC car and full cafe/lounge not a split car so that would not be in play. The LSL is an odd duck in that it uses the split to provide BC, but since it is in the Boston section and "joins" the NY section in Albany, what you experienced can occur. On regular Empire Service trains I ride, BC end is always first or last, so it's a non issue

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I haven't yet ridden in BC on any of the NER's, but I would say if you want to do it, make sure it's in a full BC car. Like PVD said above, most NER train consists are set up that way.

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My BC use has been limited to the Pacific Surfliner in Southern CA for day trips or as part of a LD trip. I choose BC over coach solely to be sure I'll have a seat and a clean bathroom. The snack pack, beverage, and wine (in afternoons and evenings) is just an added bonus.

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On the Surfliners, it is very advantageous to go BC. (I think except for Acela First, it's the best value for upgrades!) Personally on the NEC, I almost never go BC - only coach. The few times I've gone BC was under AGR 1.0, when a sleeper award included BC.

 

In coach, you also have the option for the Quiet Car. I've found that in BC many people use their phones. Once, I boarded in WAS in BC. Many people started talking on their phones. That train began in WAS - and it had not even left the platform in WAS!

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On the Northeast Regional it really depends on your tolerance level for certain annoyances, particularly over time. As the_traveler noted, Business Class isn't all that special if everyone else's business becomes your business via their use of cell phones. For a relatively short haul, this could be tolerable. But I would hate to experience that type of situation all the way from Washington to Boston. In that case, I've found the Quiet Car to be one of the most enjoyable of rides, but that would be less of an option when traveling with a companion (unless both of you were monks or similar).

 

As stated, when occupancy is high, Business Class is preferable, simply for the space it affords. This is especially true if there are no available single seats in Coach Class and you have the misfortune of choosing a seatmate who really wishes you'd sit somewhere--anywhere--else. Business Class usually allows the ability to have an extra seat to yourself. If I were doing a longer trip on a train outside the Northeast Corridor, I would choose Business Class where available (say on The Pennsylvanian). But I'm also an introvert so being able to spread out (emotionally, if not physically) is important.

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I travelled train 174 business class yesterday RVR to WAS, the car had 2 + 2 seating, there was no difference, no additional service, that I could notice as I had travelled same train to NY in coach 2 weeks earlier. Waste of money.

 

Sent from my SM-G955F using Amtrak Forum mobile app

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I travelled train 174 business class yesterday RVR to WAS, the car had 2 + 2 seating, there was no difference, no additional service, that I could notice as I had travelled same train to NY in coach 2 weeks earlier. Waste of money.

 

Sent from my SM-G955F using Amtrak Forum mobile app

 

The only perks that one sees in Biz Class on the Regional Service trains these days is Online newspapers and free soda, water, or coffee/tea. The beverages these days are the size you'd get if you purchased it, all you have to do is sign the receipt which isn't a bad deal IMO.

 

The only trains that have 2x1 on the Corridor these days are 65/66/67 as well as The Vermonter.

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Not sure if I asked this question on another thread, but if I were booking a multi-leg trip (based on my origin and destination) would I be able to ride coach on one segment and business class on the other?

 

For example, if I were to go from NPN to NOL, I would take the NER to WAS and then take the Crescent to NOL. Based on how the fares are structured on the Amtrak site, would I be able to choose coach for the NER and business for the Crescent? I would be able to choose from "Saver", "Value", "Flexible" or "Premium" on one train without being locked into that level on the other one, right?

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Yes. And it actually is possible to construct a multi-city fare so that on the Crescent, you can go business class from WAS to ATL and then coach from ATL to NOL. I have never found something like this to be economical but if business class were sold out for a portion of the trip or if it were unduly expensive (almost sold out), you could do business class (or sleeper) in the cheap portions and coach in the full/nearly full section.

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