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Trogdor

ClubAcela rebranding back to Metropolitan Lounge

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https://media.amtrak.com/2018/12/amtrak-metropolitan-lounge-in-boston-recieves-modern-makeover-and-new-moniker/

 

Basically, all of the NEC lounges are being refreshed or replaced over the next couple of years, and will be returning to the Metropolitan Lounge branding that was replaced with ClubAcela back in the 2000-2003 era.

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The press release says the Philadelphia ClubAcela is undergoing upgrades. Is this lounge still open? I'll be travelling out of PHL next month in a sleeper and so it'd be nice to have the lounge available.

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The DC location finally has new furniture, but otherwise the club is still the same. They really need to upgrade the food and beverage options. 

Edited by William W.

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I know the NEC gets all the love but the lounge at LA Union Station sucks.  Tucked away in a corner upstairs doesn’t even have a capacino latte machine like Chicago does. Its a pot of black coffee. (  The lounge is horrible to the point of what’s the point.

Last time I was there the Coast Starlight passengers pre departure lounge was the Trax Bar, I’m assuming it still is. That was decent.  Amtrak needs to figure out a permanent lounge location in LA. The stations and passenger loads are both big enough to support one.    

Maybe it’s just me. Yelp gives it 4.5 stars? Just saw that site.

https://m.yelp.com/biz/amtrak-metropolitan-lounge-los-angeles

Edited by Amtrakfflyer

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Considering they rebranded from "Metropolitan Lounge' to 'ClubAcela' when the Acela was new, I wonder if they will rebrand them again to 'ClubAvelia' when the Acela replacements, the Avelia (I think that's what they're going to call them) starts arriving.  Somehow 'Metropolitan Lounge' doesn't convey the sense of exclusiveness or snob appeal as 'ClubAcela' or 'ClubAvelia'.  Maybe it's a generational thing and the millennials don't care one way or another how it's named.

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21 minutes ago, bratkinson said:

  Somehow 'Metropolitan Lounge' doesn't convey the sense of exclusiveness or snob appeal as 'ClubAcela' or 'ClubAvelia'. .

I don't know if I can agree with that...

If this place was the inspiration for the "Metropolitan Lounge" name....

http://www.metropolitanclubnyc.org/

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38 minutes ago, bratkinson said:

Considering they rebranded from "Metropolitan Lounge' to 'ClubAcela' when the Acela was new, I wonder if they will rebrand them again to 'ClubAvelia' when the Acela replacements, the Avelia (I think that's what they're going to call them) starts arriving.

Avelia is Alstom's name for the equipment, not an Amtrak trademark.  I very much doubt that Amtrak will call the service anything but Acela, they have built up too much brand recognition to walk away from the name (although I am surprised that they would drop the branding in the lounges, so who knows).

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1 hour ago, Amtrakfflyer said:

 

Last time I was there the Coast Starlight passengers pre departure lounge was the Trax Bar, I’m assuming it still is. That was decent. 

AFAIK the Trax Bar usage ended when the Met Lounge opened. I've used both the Trax Bar and the Met Lounge for Coast Starlight departures out of LAX. I did find the Met Lounge to be a superior experience, albeit nothing to write home about. The Trax Bar situation just felt like we were roped off in a corner of the main station hall...that really felt like a "what's the point" situation.

As to the premise of the thread, if they are truly re-adopting the Met Lounge brand, then it hopefully is part of a recognition that Amtrak is a national rail service, as opposed to a separate product in the NEC.

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2 hours ago, Amtrakfflyer said:

I know the NEC gets all the love but the lounge at LA Union Station sucks.  Tucked away in a corner upstairs doesn’t even have a capacino latte machine like Chicago does. Its a pot of black coffee. (  The lounge is horrible to the point of what’s the point. Last time I was there the Coast Starlight passengers pre departure lounge was the Trax Bar, I’m assuming it still is. That was decent.  Amtrak needs to figure out a permanent lounge location in LA. The stations and passenger loads are both big enough to support one.    

Maybe it’s just me. Yelp gives it 4.5 stars? Just saw that site.

https://m.yelp.com/biz/amtrak-metropolitan-lounge-los-angeles

In my view there is nothing fundamentally wrong with LA's Metropolitan Lounge.  It's tucked away from primary walking areas like most travel lounges and has more amenities than the poorly marked and largely invisible Traxx "lounge" did.  In my view the primary problem is that it's not nearly big enough to hold a bunch of business class commuters on top of the original sleeper traveler traffic but that's an operational management issue more than a lounge suitability problem.  It would be great if they had cappuccinos, showers, and changing rooms but I don't think that's in the cards.

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3 hours ago, bratkinson said:

Considering they rebranded from "Metropolitan Lounge' to 'ClubAcela' when the Acela was new, I wonder if they will rebrand them again to 'ClubAvelia' when the Acela replacements, the Avelia (I think that's what they're going to call them) starts arriving.  Somehow 'Metropolitan Lounge' doesn't convey the sense of exclusiveness or snob appeal as 'ClubAcela' or 'ClubAvelia'.  Maybe it's a generational thing and the millennials don't care one way or another how it's named.

Avelia Liberty is just the name of the physical trainsets. Sort of like how the current Acela trainsets originally had the name “American Flyer”. As far as I can tell, the route itself is keeping the name Acela Express, so I doubt that there will be any “ClubAvelia” anytime soon. 

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3 hours ago, Amtrakfflyer said:

I know the NEC gets all the love but the lounge at LA Union Station sucks.  Tucked away in a corner upstairs doesn’t even have a capacino latte machine like Chicago does. Its a pot of black coffee. (  The lounge is horrible to the point of what’s the point.

Last time I was there the Coast Starlight passengers pre departure lounge was the Trax Bar, I’m assuming it still is. That was decent.  Amtrak needs to figure out a permanent lounge location in LA. The stations and passenger loads are both big enough to support one.    

Maybe it’s just me. Yelp gives it 4.5 stars? Just saw that site.

https://m.yelp.com/biz/amtrak-metropolitan-lounge-los-angeles

You think that's bad?  Your should see the Magnolia room at New Orleans Union Station. It's a small room tucked in the corner of the station and if your lucky you'll get a cup of coffee with some caustic chemical substance that I refer to as "Coffee Lightner".

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5 hours ago, Trogdor said:

https://media.amtrak.com/2018/12/amtrak-metropolitan-lounge-in-boston-recieves-modern-makeover-and-new-moniker/

 

Basically, all of the NEC lounges are being refreshed or replaced over the next couple of years, and will be returning to the Metropolitan Lounge branding that was replaced with ClubAcela back in the 2000-2003 era.

I thought we already talked about this.   :D

 

 

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You think that's bad?  Your should see the Magnolia room at New Orleans Union Station. It's a small room tucked in the corner of the station and if your lucky you'll get a cup of coffee with some caustic chemical substance that I refer to as "Coffee Lightner".


I was there yesterday to board the CONO. I couldn’t agree more about your assessment. The only true perk of that “lounge” is that it’s quieter than the main boarding area. Otherwise it’s quite the sorry excuse for a “first class lounge” I must say!

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The only lounge with a fancy cappuccino latte machine is the Met Lounge in Chicago.  All of the NEC lounges, however they're branded, only have a device that dispenses semi-instant coffee, and a limited selection of cold soft drinks and packaged snacks.

Anyway, the point of the lounges isn't a gourmet dining or snacking experience, it's supposed be a quiet place where you can wait in more comfort than the main waiting room.

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45 minutes ago, dlagrua said:

You think that's bad?  Your should see the Magnolia room at New Orleans Union Station. It's a small room tucked in the corner of the station and if your lucky you'll get a cup of coffee with some caustic chemical substance that I refer to as "Coffee Lightner".

Once when I was riding business class on the Carolinian, the agent at the old Raleigh station let we wait in the sleeper class waiting room.  Nothing special to speak of, but the padded seats beat the hard wooden benches in the main waiting area.

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5 hours ago, Amtrakfflyer said:

I know the NEC gets all the love but the lounge at LA Union Station sucks.  Tucked away in a corner upstairs doesn’t even have a capacino latte machine like Chicago does. Its a pot of black coffee. (  The lounge is horrible to the point of what’s the point.

Last time I was there the Coast Starlight passengers pre departure lounge was the Trax Bar, I’m assuming it still is. That was decent.  Amtrak needs to figure out a permanent lounge location in LA. The stations and passenger loads are both big enough to support one.    

Maybe it’s just me. Yelp gives it 4.5 stars? Just saw that site.

https://m.yelp.com/biz/amtrak-metropolitan-lounge-los-angeles

Huh? The LAX is the replacement of the horrible Traxx Lounge. It's pretty nice and is one of the newer lounges for Amtrak. I've always thought it was quite nice up there. Sure, Chicago now is nicer now, but nothing will be done to the LAX lounge any time soon. It is the permanent replacement of the Traxx Lounge.

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I agree with others. New Orleans and LA lounges are both not very good.

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1 hour ago, dlagrua said:

the Magnolia room at New Orleans Union Station

I agree that the Magnolia Room is lacking in some respects.  But, its seating is more comfortable than the rest of the station, it is quieter, and I appreciated an Amtrak agent informing us as to when and where to line-up to board and avoid the general rush to get onto the Sunset Limited.

Didn't try the coffee, but refreshments surely were limited in availability.

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Huh? The LAX is the replacement of the horrible Traxx Lounge. It's pretty nice and is one of the newer lounges for Amtrak. I've always thought it was quite nice up there. Sure, Chicago now is nicer now, but nothing will be done to the LAX lounge any time soon. It is the permanent replacement of the Traxx Lounge.


I agree that the LA lounge is pretty nice but has a ways to go to equal the CUS metropolitan lounge. I never was in the aforementioned Traxx lounge, however. LAX should have a separate room for luggage as the bags lined up along the wall looks somewhat non first classish but I did feel the seating was comfortable and the snacks sufficient (loved the chocolate chunk cookies!).

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9 minutes ago, Sauve850 said:

LA lounges are both not very good.

 

Personally, the Los Angles Lounge met my needs.  A long wait between the arriving Sunset Limited and the departing Southwest Chief was what I experienced.  The staff were helpful/friendly, allowed me to "store" my carry-on luggage which permitted me to wander around the Station and the area, beverage choices and snacks were good and plentiful (was able to find Sara Lee pastries, coffee, and juice which were enough for my breakfast), and the seating was comfortable.  Having the Red Cap to meet us there and directly take us across tracks to the correct platform was a plus.

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10 minutes ago, Dakota 400 said:

 

Personally, the Los Angles Lounge met my needs.  A long wait between the arriving Sunset Limited and the departing Southwest Chief was what I experienced.  The staff were helpful/friendly, allowed me to "store" my carry-on luggage which permitted me to wander around the Station and the area, beverage choices and snacks were good and plentiful (was able to find Sara Lee pastries, coffee, and juice which were enough for my breakfast), and the seating was comfortable.  Having the Red Cap to meet us there and directly take us across tracks to the correct platform was a plus.

Yes it does meet needs but is just too small imo.

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Just now, Sauve850 said:

Yes it does meet needs but is just too small imo.

At peak times, yes, it is.  When one arrives on the Sunset Limited and leaves on the Southwest Chief, one sees a great difference in the numbers of passengers in the lounge.  Being there for the time that I was, there was always sufficient seating for those who wanted to use the facility/

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