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Chicago Legacy Club Possible Closure - June 2019 or sooner

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This would be a pity. I hoped to be able to try it end of February. Is there a day pass for the Metropolitan Lounge for connecting Coach Passengers?  

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This would be a pity. I hoped to be able to try it end of February. Is there a day pass for the Metropolitan Lounge for connecting Coach Passengers?  

I think you can get a day pass for $50.

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$50 really is just ridiculous for a day pass to a lounge. You can literally get a “dummy” Business Class ticket on the Lincoln Service to Joliet for $21.50, which will gain you entrance to the ML, so why on earth would someone spend well over twice that on a lounge pass?

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15 minutes ago, cpotisch said:

$50 really is just ridiculous for a day pass to a lounge. You can literally get a “dummy” Business Class ticket on the Lincoln Service to Joliet for $21.50, which will gain you entrance to the ML, so why on earth would someone spend well over twice that on a lounge pass?

Most people aren't savvy enough to do that.  On a busy day you are denying a real passenger the use of that seat, which is a rather selfish thing to do.  And if too many people do this they will take away the privilege for actual travelers on the Lincoln Service.  As much as I appreciate getting a deal, this isn't the way to go about it.

Keep in mind that the Metropolitan Lounge is not a lemonade stand.  They don't want too many people buying day passes because they don't want the lounge to be overcrowded.  The value of the lounge is the fact that it isn't too crowded.  For this reason it makes sense to keep the price of a day pass high.

Edited by VTTrain

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15 minutes ago, cpotisch said:

$50 really is just ridiculous for a day pass to a lounge.

Depends on the lounge in question.  There are some well appointed examples located at intercontinental gateways that would be worth twice or even triple that price for an extended layover (IMO).  Unfortunately those particular lounges rarely sell or accept day passes.

 

2 minutes ago, VTTrain said:

On a busy day you are denying a real passenger the use of that seat, which is a rather selfish thing to do.  Keep in mind that the Metropolitan Lounge is not a lemonade stand.  They don't want too many people buying day passes because they don't want the lounge to be overcrowded.  The value of the lounge is the fact that it isn't too crowded.  For this reason it makes sense to keep the price of a day pass high.

Most lounges that sell day passes reserve the right to refuse further sales when the lounge is busy.

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2 minutes ago, VTTrain said:

Most people aren't savvy enough to do that.  On a busy day you are denying a real passenger the use of that seat, which is a rather selfish thing to do.

Keep in mind that the Metropolitan Lounge is not a lemonade stand.  They don't want too many people buying day passes because they don't want the lounge to be overcrowded.  The value of the lounge is the fact that it isn't too crowded.  For this reason it makes sense to keep the price of a day pass high.

The Metropolitan Lounge can get very crowded after lunch and in the afternoons during the busy season. I see the $50 fee for a day pass being instituted to not make the lounge more crowded during those busy times. The purpose of the Legacy club might have been  to offer coach passengers a waiting area but a $20 pass for a few hours of connection time didn't attract a wide audience.  The Legacy Club was also not heavily promoted and its location far from the gates is also not ideal. What they should have done is to give all frequent coach passengers a one time/single use Legacy Club guess pass and then promoted memberships.

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13 minutes ago, Devil's Advocate said:

Most lounges that sell day passes reserve the right to refuse further sales when the lounge is busy.

Understood.  My point is that they set the price high so they don't often have to do that.  They are better off selling only 25 passes at $50 than selling 25 passes at $10 and having to shut off further sales.  The 25 number is arbitrary, but you get my point.  The goal is to set the price to so that demand matches the actual amount of the limited space that is available.  They can't just buy more lemons and sugar when demand increases.

Edited by VTTrain

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I'd laugh pretty hard if a person with tickets on a long trip out of Chicago had their reservation cancelled by the computer under the clearly stated "duplicate/impossible booking" prohibition, got gigged with a cancellation penalty, and had to rebook at a higher bucket when they found out their ticket was no longer valid, in order to save a few bucks....

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30 minutes ago, VTTrain said:

Most people aren't savvy enough to do that.  On a busy day you are denying a real passenger the use of that seat, which is a rather selfish thing to do.  And if too many people do this they will take away the privilege for actual travelers on the Lincoln Service.  As much as I appreciate getting a deal, this isn't the way to go about it.

Keep in mind that the Metropolitan Lounge is not a lemonade stand.  They don't want too many people buying day passes because they don't want the lounge to be overcrowded.  The value of the lounge is the fact that it isn't too crowded.  For this reason it makes sense to keep the price of a day pass high.

It is Amtrak’s choice to allow all Business Class ticket holders into the Lounge, and since Business Class on the Lincoln Service rarely sells out anyway, I really don’t see any moral issues with it. Remember that up until recently, BC tickets offered full refunds to no-shows, which was basically an endorsement by Amtrak of people booking tickets, tying up seats, not riding, and still getting all their money back. And the current policy still offers BC passengers full refunds so long as they officially cancel the ticket before departure.

So I just don’t see why it’s at all problematic or selfish to book (and pay for) a short Business Class ticket to get access to the ML.

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28 minutes ago, VTTrain said:

The goal is to set the price to so that demand matches the actual amount of the limited space that is available.

I'm not terribly familiar with the situation in Chicago but the ML in Los Angeles seems to suffer from excessive Business Class usage.  Prior to allowing BC the ML was fit for the task (other than lack of showers).  Now it's packed to the walls and rafters with local commuters.

 

3 minutes ago, PVD said:

I'd laugh pretty hard if a person with tickets on a long trip out of Chicago had their reservation cancelled by the computer under the clearly stated "duplicate/impossible booking" prohibition, got gigged with a cancellation penalty, and had to rebook at a higher bucket when they found out their ticket was no longer valid, in order to save a few bucks....

IIRC the duplicate/impossible scanning process is an after hours task that probably wouldn't catch same-day purchases and refunds.  So long as the Business Class ticket has some variation in the name and is not linked to the same account number it would probably survive an overnight scan as well.  In Amtrak's own words they will attempt to contact the customer first and will only cancel bookings if they are unable to reach the passenger in question.

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It was a nice idea I guess. But not surprised to see it close.  I suppose there may have been a few LD coach passengers that would be willing to pay the $20 fee now and then, but for the most part most passengers who think $20 to sit in a lounge is a good idea will be the type of people who pay for Business Class / Sleeper. 

The difference between the ML and LL are not worth $20 to me. 

I had always wondered if there was a plan for Amtrak to create some sort of "Legacy Service" with more of a 1st class vacationer approach. Kind of what Ed Ellis was trying to do with Pullman but have Amtrak operate the service themselves. When the Legacy Lounge opened it a more positive time and such a plan seemed like it could be realistic, and would explain why money would have been invested into an even more upscale lounge than the ML.   

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A nice compromise would have been to have the Legacy Club for business travelers and those willing to pay $20 while keeping the Metropolitan Lounge solely for sleeper car passengers.  But of course this is would not be as cost efficient.

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I'd be curious as to the original marketing plan. They may have anticipated a higher number of METRA commuter customers, and that never materialized.

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2 minutes ago, PVD said:

I'd be curious as to the original marketing plan. They may have anticipated a higher number of METRA commuter customers, and that never materialized.

Agree...

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It seems odd (not impossible though) that the entire project would be based on Metra passengers.  I feel like this project had to have been part of something else that never happened. Like a Legacy service or something.  Maybe even a re-branding of business class cars out of Chicago (all those corridor trains really add up, throw in some free drinks on the train, a fancy lounge at CHI and a slick logo and charge triple the current business class price?).  Who knows.. I just feel it was part of a bigger project that opened when it did because of construction reasons. 

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I think they opened up the Legacy Lounge for a variety of reasons happening at the same time: the Met Lounge opened for sleeper PAX, the old coach waiting room was to be closed for renovations, and the Great Hall was being revived for general waiting purposes. In that context, putting a NICER waiting area just off the (now crowded) Great Hall (it used to be empty) and making some money by charging for entry, made sense. On paper.

Unfortunately, it fizzled.

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I believe the Chicago facilities director who spearheaded the Legacy Lounge project is no longer with Amtrak.  I have no idea if there is a relationship.

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