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crescent-zephyr

Current Amtrak Business Class Offerings

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I do business class on the Michigan trains all the time. However don't assume that it's kid-free - on the Wolverine which is a smaller area and has the 2-1 seating I have seen families let their children play in the whole business class section on the floor, not just at their seats. I don't mind if they are there, but please behave. Many of us are in there working, in fact MOST people in there are working. At least on the trains I'm on.

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I do business class on the Michigan trains all the time. However don't assume that it's kid-free - on the Wolverine which is a smaller area and has the 2-1 seating I have seen families let their children play in the whole business class section on the floor, not just at their seats. I don't mind if they are there, but please behave. Many of us are in there working, in fact MOST people in there are working. At least on the trains I'm on.

 

Maybe not as often as you, but I also do business class on the Wolverines. I, too, appreciate the quietness of Business Class, but my past two trips may tip the scales in favor of choosing coach in the future. The positive is that attendants have been uniformly wonderful, with plentiful and attentive service. But a couple of negatives may offset that positive and convince me to downgrade to coach class. On one trip from JXN to CHI, the train crew was apparently unaware that I was getting on, and I ended up walking thru all coaches to get to Business Class; what convinced me that the crew never knew I was onboard was the fact that my ticket was never checked. On the very next trip just a couple of weeks ago, the Business Class car was, as is often the case, the lead car in the consist; the front end of the car leaked outside air so badly, that the first two or three rows were almost unbearably cold.

 

Wolverine Service is generally wonderful, and seems to be getting better! But, Wolverine Business Class doesn't seem to be keeping up.

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I rode BC on the Pere Marquette in May 2017 as the last leg of a roomette/BC trip FTW-GRR. (I need to get around to finishing that trip report…)

BC on the Pere Marquette is simply half an upper level of a Superliner. I think we had early boarding in CHI. The only distinction on the train is creased laminated signs attached with Velcro to the luggage rack above the BC seats. I don’t remember if there was a separating curtain. I wasn’t given a voucher for a complimentary drink, so I made no effort. At the time, I thought I had no proof but my honor to claim my beverage—now I realize I could’ve shown my ticket.

Bottom line, BC on the Pere Marquette is only worth the 25% points bonus to me—and I don’t necessarily want the bonus every time I take the route.

 

 

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I rode BC on the Pere Marquette in May 2017 as the last leg of a roomette/BC trip FTW-GRR. (I need to get around to finishing that trip report…)

BC on the Pere Marquette is simply half an upper level of a Superliner. I think we had early boarding in CHI. The only distinction on the train is creased laminated signs attached with Velcro to the luggage rack above the BC seats. I don’t remember if there was a separating curtain. I wasn’t given a voucher for a complimentary drink, so I made no effort. At the time, I thought I had no proof but my honor to claim my beverage—now I realize I could’ve shown my ticket.

Bottom line, BC on the Pere Marquette is only worth the 25% points bonus to me—and I don’t necessarily want the bonus every time I take the route.

 

 

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I don’t recall any problems I had receiving my complimentary drink in the many times I’ve ridden BC on the PM, but I don’t really see anything all that special about the service. On the day trips I take to Chicago, I’d prefer to ride coach and then pay the $20 fee for the Legacy Club and save a few bucks. The snacks are better than the Metropolitan Lounge and stocked well IMO and I prefer the canned soft drinks to the soda fountain drinks any day. Also you can bring in food from the outside in the LC where you’re not allowed to in the ML. Also, most times, the seating in the BC is the same as coach, not the leather 1 X 2 that other trains offer. I’ve only seen that setup on the PM about five or six times out of the about a dozen that I’ve done BC.

 

 

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Edited by tim49424

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As for the Pennsylvanian. If the Palmetto has Leather seats so does the Pennsylvanian.. They equipment share between the two trains.

As far as I know, the Pennsylvanian still uses a full-length Amfleet I BC car.
As does the Palmetto... The two trains share equipment.
Ah, yes, sorry, I thought you were saying they normally use the leather seats.

In the OP it’s stated that the Palmetto uses Leather seats. Hence my original comment.

 

 

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BC on the Wolverine and Blue Water have the faux leather seats fairly often, but there are a couple cars that still have the cloth. I like that the lighting tends to be more subdued, as well.

 

Every so often, I get the BC car that has the horrible bright lights and no luggage racks. I hate that car. :P

 

Other posters were correct about a free non-alcoholic beverage in addition to unlimited coffee, tea, and water. The newspapers used to be left on the seats, but all of the attendants I've had over the past couple of years walk through the car and offer one in person instead. They also use that time to greet us and explain the drink system.

 

I notice this happens more often on the trip out of Chicago, though, when we're sitting there waiting for Coach to finish boarding. When I board in Kalamazoo, the attendant is usually busy serving customers. Sometimes they pop into the car to greet anyone who just boarded, but more often than not, they have a long line and can't leave.

 

I checked prices for a weekend round-trip between Kalamazoo and Chicago (approximately 2:15 trip). I chose a weekend one month in the future and used the regular Adult fare.

 

The lowest cost is $112.

 

If I choose other times, the cost creeps up to $160.

 

I used to ride in BC exclusively because 1) I always had enough points and 2) I hated the mass hysteria style boarding process they used to use for coach. Now that they have the Legacy Lounge and a somewhat respectable boarding procedure, I'll probably go back to riding coach. It doesn't make any sense to me to pay $112-160 for a two-hour trip.

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