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john h

Texas Eagle vs Sunset Limited

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31 minutes ago, john h said:

Thanks no problem there I have a Texas drivers license 

That's fine. Depending on the passenger load, they may board you one of two ways: Either scan your ticket as you board and direct you to a seat, or else get everyone on board (with or without a seat assignment; if no seat is assigned to you you may take any open seat without a paper "seat check" above it), close the doors, and then after the train is under way again the conductor will come down the aisle and scan tickets. No real rhyme or reason to it; it can be done either way.

9 minutes ago, the_traveler said:

Many (most:huh:) times you don’t even need ID. The Conductor has just asked me my name and “lifted my ticket” on his/her scanner. Be sure to stay at your seat until they do, so you get a seat check. Also, if you are not checked in, your future reservations may be cancelled!

As the man said, upon boarding stay in your original seat until the conductor has come by your seat and posted a seat check above it (and scanned your ticket, if that wasn't done when you boarded). Once you have your seat check, you are free to move about the train. You may want to go straight to the diner for lunch.

If the train crew forgets to scan your ticket, you officially go into the system as a no-show. You're not eligible for a refund and all following reservations under that same reservation number will be canceled. One reason why it's good to break up trips with stopovers into separate reservations. (If you don't have a stopover, though, don't break up your trip. If a connecting leg is on a separate reservation Amtrak won't help you if you miss the connection, even if you're connecting from a late Amtrak train. If your connection is on the same reservation as a "guaranteed connection", they will.

Edited by ehbowen
Adding quotes and reply to The Traveler

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12 minutes ago, the_traveler said:

Many (most:huh:) times you don’t even need ID. The Conductor has just asked me my name and “lifted my ticket” on his/her scanner. Be sure to stay at your seat until they do, so you get a seat check. Also, if you are not checked in, your future reservations may be cancelled!

Wow even if I did 2 one ways?

So I'm getting on at a small station in New Mexico  what is a seat check?

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6 minutes ago, john h said:

Wow even if I did 2 one ways?

So I'm getting on at a small station in New Mexico  what is a seat check?

A seat check is a small slip of paper, about 1" by 3", which is placed in a holder at, above, or near your coach seat. Your destination code is written on it so that the crew knows where you're supposed to get off. It's color coded by date to discourage people from trying to sneak it off with them and re-use it instead of buying a legitimate ticket (some people are sneaky that way). It also marks your seat as taken if you leave to go to the cafe, lounge, diner or restroom. If the train has plenty of space and the crew hasn't assigned seats, you may move to any open seat by just taking your seat check to the new seat. Don't change cars, though...you may wake up on the way to New Orleans!

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A seat check is a paper that is placed above your seat. It does 2 things:

  • It indicates your destination 
  • It says that seat is occupied so you can walk around.

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15 minutes ago, john h said:

Wow even if I did 2 one ways?

If your two one-ways are on the same reservation number (which would make it a round trip) then, yes, if your ticket is not scanned going east then your westbound trip would be canceled as a no-show. (Yes, if the crew messes up you can call and complain and get this reversed, but it's not pleasant...and if the train is full they may have already sold your space to someone else.) If they are on separate reservation numbers then if you are not scanned on the first train then your return ticket is not affected. (Of course, if it's not scanned because you actually did miss the train then you're on your own in getting to Dallas to take the train back!) Since Amtrak, unlike the airlines, generally doesn't give a discount for round trips there's really no reason to put them both on one reservation number.

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2 hours ago, ehbowen said:

If your two one-ways are on the same reservation number (which would make it a round trip) then, yes, if your ticket is not scanned going east then your westbound trip would be canceled as a no-show. (Yes, if the crew messes up you can call and complain and get this reversed, but it's not pleasant...and if the train is full they may have already sold your space to someone else.) If they are on separate reservation numbers then if you are not scanned on the first train then your return ticket is not affected. (Of course, if it's not scanned because you actually did miss the train then you're on your own in getting to Dallas to take the train back!) Since Amtrak, unlike the airlines, generally doesn't give a discount for round trips there's really no reason to put them both on one reservation number.

Booked and paid for each way a put 45 min from each other yesterday so 2 different reservations but I understand what your saying

 

I usually fly somewhat and they dont discount round trips either so always book 2 different PNR

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3 minutes ago, john h said:

So wifi is not available on TE according to this page

https://m.amtrak.com/h5/r/www.amtrak.com/onboard/journey-with-wi-fi-train-station.html

 

Is that correct?

Yes! No WIFI on the Eagle.

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I use a smartphone with unlimited data and tethering (T-Mobile), but be advised that cellular data coverage on this route is very, very spotty.

Also...IMPORTANT! Be sure to disable your international roaming while on this route! Otherwise, when you pass through El Paso and are less than 20 yards from the border, you could well get hit with a stiff roaming charge!

 

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12 hours ago, ehbowen said:

I use a smartphone with unlimited data and tethering (T-Mobile), but be advised that cellular data coverage on this route is very, very spotty.

Also...IMPORTANT! Be sure to disable your international roaming while on this route! Otherwise, when you pass through El Paso and are less than 20 yards from the border, you could well get hit with a stiff roaming charge!

Yep, T-Mobile definitely thought we were in Mexico when rolling through El Paso on the TE/SL. However our plan apparently doesn't incur any roaming charges in Mexico, according to the text they sent me:

Quote

"Welcome to Mexico! You may continue to use unlimited data, phone, and text at no extra charge! Enjoy your stay!"

 

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12 hours ago, ehbowen said:

IMPORTANT! Be sure to disable your international roaming while on this route! Otherwise, when you pass through El Paso and are less than 20 yards from the border, you could well get hit with a stiff roaming charge.

I can vouch for that!

Once I was on the SL just east of El Paso and wanted to check the temperature. My cell signal was picked up by a tower in Mexico. So it cost me $9 to see what the temperature was!:angry2:

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14 hours ago, ehbowen said:

I use a smartphone with unlimited data and tethering (T-Mobile), but be advised that cellular data coverage on this route is very, very spotty.

Also...IMPORTANT! Be sure to disable your international roaming while on this route! Otherwise, when you pass through El Paso and are less than 20 yards from the border, you could well get hit with a stiff roaming charge!

 

Thanks for the heads up I have AT&T unlimited plan but do not think it cover roaming south of the boarder so I will be sure have podcast downloaded before then

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1 minute ago, the_traveler said:

At that time, I had AT&T also.

I know they now offer roaming in Mexico but I rather not have another fee 

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Just a follow up that everything went great thank you everyone who commented

I do have a follow up question I'd it unusual for conductor to rescan everyone ticket at shift change?

 

 

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11 hours ago, john h said:

Just a follow up that everything went great thank you everyone who commented

I do have a follow up question I'd it unusual for conductor to rescan everyone ticket at shift change?

Not at all unusual. It's happened to us on multiple trains, including the Eagle, a few hours after we departed San Antonio.

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That regularly happens on the NEC at NYP. Also, seat checks are also used in the NEC but conductors rarely write destinations on them or check one of the boxes next to the station codes. Occasionally they will rip part of it to inform them you're going part way or something.

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That regularly happens on the NEC at NYP. Also, seat checks are also used in the NEC but conductors rarely write destinations on them or check one of the boxes next to the station codes. Occasionally they will rip part of it to inform them you're going part way or something.
Rips and folds in a certain way all mean a specific station stop.

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9 hours ago, Triley said:
9 hours ago, daybeers said:
That regularly happens on the NEC at NYP. Also, seat checks are also used in the NEC but conductors rarely write destinations on them or check one of the boxes next to the station codes. Occasionally they will rip part of it to inform them you're going part way or something.

Rips and folds in a certain way all mean a specific station stop

Is it difficult to remember that stuff? And why is that preferable to just writing the station code?

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On 12/3/2018 at 7:06 PM, cpotisch said:

Yep, all gone. :( They used to have a turkey dinner with cranberry sauce and I think stuffing (maybe it was mashed potatoes?) on Thanksgivings, and on Christmas (my memory is getting foggy here), I think they had roast beef. But I could be hallucinating about that second one. :)

All the turkeys have been promoted to management so none available for customers.

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