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Coach passengers allowed in Sleeper?

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MODERATOR NOTE:  This discussion was split from a discussion in the Guest Forum about a woman with a coach ticket inquiring whether she would be able to sleep in her husband's sleeper room.  The Guest's question was answered by members and ancillary conversations were had by members regarding the general question about coach passengers visiting sleepers.  Those general comments were split off here.

Hi Folks,

I replied to this topic yesterday, as a guest, with a borrowed device, but those posts have disappeared, is it not permitted to contribute as a guest to existing posts in this forum? : (This forum allows posting by non-members )

Moving on... Is there a specific rule about not inviting guests with coach tickets to share one's Amtrak sleeper accommodation,  provided no overcrowding takes place? If one notifies the Conductor, I am puzzled as to what the problem would be. food would not be included for the coach ticket holder of course.

 

Ed

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I’m not certain about “a specific rule” but that’s the reason you see signs on the door saying “Sleeping Car Passengers Beyond This Point”.

If the sign was not there, could you imagine 300-400 coach passengers walking around the car? Where do you draw the line - they all have coach tickets!

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Of course one understands that sign on the door, and the reason for it. I would say one can happily "draw the line" between a person invited iand with knowledge of the Conductor, and anybody else.

Because some of the above posts are quite stern " A separate coach ticket will not get you into your husband’s room " I am interested in the reality of this perception?

I was on the Zephyr a good few years back in the heady days of being able to afford roomettes, and a young lady opposite invited a dude from coach to have a drink with her, and he was still there next morning.;)  I can see the sense in notifying the Conductor, in case of a train accident, but other than that I can't make a case for not allowing it, especially in the husband and wife situation we are discussing here.?

Ed

Edited by caravanman

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In my experience, depending on the Conductor's mood, a brief visit may be OK, but spending the night will usually not be allowed. But that is just based on my admittedly limited experience that one can get while doing 15K to 20K miles a year. And this being Amtrak, there always are exceptions. :D

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1 hour ago, caravanman said:

Of course one understands that sign on the door, and the reason for it. I would say one can happily "draw the line" between a person invited iand with knowledge of the Conductor, and anybody else.

Because some of the above posts are quite stern " A separate coach ticket will not get you into your husband’s room " I am interested in the reality of this perception?

I was on the Zephyr a good few years back in the heady days of being able to afford roomettes, and a young lady opposite invited a dude from coach to have a drink with her, and he was still there next morning.;)  I can see the sense in notifying the Conductor, in case of a train accident, but other than that I can't make a case for not allowing it, especially in the husband and wife situation we are discussing here.?

Ed

38 minutes ago, jis said:

In my experience, depending on the Conductor's mood, a brief visit may be OK, but spending the night will usually not be allowed. But that is just based on my admittedly limited experience that one can get while doing 15K to 20K miles a year. And this being Amtrak, there always are exceptions. :D

I think that this really is a bit of a fuzzy line depending on the situation, but I really feel that it’s best for the rule to just be that if you are not ticketed in a sleeper, you can not be in a sleeper.

Remember that one of the main ways the dining car staff figure out who has to be charged for their meal is by seeing what car they came from. You let a coach passenger chill in a sleeper and now they can possibly dine for free. Remember that showering facilities are exclusive to sleeper passengers. Maybe while one of these “visitors” from coach is hanging out, they decide that they might as well take a shower while they are there. Remember the complimentary coffee, juice, or bottled water in the sleepers. It would be so easy for a visiting coach passenger to just have a refreshment before heading back to their seat.

My point is, letting coach passengers hang out in the sleepers opens up the floodgates for abuse of the system, and I really don’t see any benefits to balance that out.

Edited by cpotisch

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Surely a coach passenger who is allowed to join a passenger in a sleeper is not taking anything away from other passengers or Amtrak if they useed the shower, in comparrison to two original passengers in a sleeper?

Anyway I am sure I am never going to be invited from coach to share a young ladies accomodation, but if I am I will report back!. :D

 

Ed.

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12 minutes ago, caravanman said:

Surely a coach passenger who is allowed to join a passenger in a sleeper is not taking anything away from other passengers or Amtrak if they useed the shower, in comparrison to two original passengers in a sleeper?

Okay, let’s say there are two adults ticketed in a Roomette (maximum occupancy), and they want to let a coach passenger into the sleepers as their guest. Should they be able to do so? Their Roomette is full, so for that coach passenger to actually have been ticketed in a sleeper, he/she would have had to purchase a own room for themself, not just the Rail Fare. Therefore Amtrak is missing out on revenue from someone who is enjoying some of the perks of sleeper travel, but not paying for it.

So Ed, should a coach passenger be allowed into the sleepers as a guest of two people already fully occupying a Roomette? Or are you saying that coach passengers only be allowed into the sleepers as a “guest” if there is space left in their “host’s” room, such that they paid the same amount for their coach ticket as they would have for that room?

Edited by cpotisch

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5 minutes ago, caravanman said:

Surely a coach passenger who is allowed to join a passenger in a sleeper is not taking anything away from other passengers or Amtrak if they useed the shower, in comparrison to two original passengers in a sleeper?

Anyway I am sure I am never going to be invited from coach to share a young ladies accomodation, but if I am I will report back!. :D

 

Ed.

The problem, though, is, if you allow one coach traveler to do it, you must allow them all, or there will be all kinds of "Hades" to pay... :D I think they are justified in restricting access to those who paid to ride in those cars. 

 

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This is a tough call for me, but I fall on the side of not letting coach passengers into the sleeper section.  What tips the scale for me is that it is easy for a sleeper passenger to visit a coach passenger in the lounge.  So there just isn't a need for the coach passenger to enter into the sleeper section.

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I think if people look back and READ what I have said, I don't think I am advocating a "free for all" access to the sleepers for coach passengers!

I simply think that if you have a sleeper, you meet an old friend on the train who is in coach, what harm is there in allowing that passenger to sleep in your room PROVIDED IT IS NOT OVERCAPACITY. (Doh...)

The friend promises not to eat the amtrak meals, but has a shower, what is the actual harm, when you can do the mate a good turn with no loss of revenue to Amtrak? it even frees up a coach seat...

I am just off to have a lie down in a darkened room for a few hours... :D

Ed.

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How about if “your old friend” goes to breakfast or lunch the following day, says “I’m in 0531, room 5”, signs the check and leaves. Then you come and have your meal and also sign the check. When the LSA verifies the checks (yes they do check) and sees that 0531 room 5 has only 1 passenger, who are they going to go to? 0531 room 5 or somebody in coach to collect the $16.00?

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13 minutes ago, caravanman said:

I think if people look back and READ what I have said, I don't think I am advocating a "free for all" access to the sleepers for coach passengers! I simply think that if you have a sleeper, you meet an old friend on the train who is in coach, what harm is there in allowing that passenger to sleep in your room PROVIDED IT IS NOT OVERCAPACITY. (Doh...) The friend promises not to eat the amtrak meals, but has a shower, what is the actual harm, when you can do the mate a good turn with no loss of revenue to Amtrak? it even frees up a coach seat...I am just off to have a lie down in a darkened room for a few hours... Ed.

 

Here's a thought experiment you might want to consider.  If Amtrak were to adopt your suggestions as their actual policy how would you word such rules for the employee handbook.  Would your handbook include definitions for fundamentally vague terms like "friend" and "promise" along with a chart for determining when a sleeper was at/over/under "capacity" for additional coach travelers?  How would your policy handle events from your second post that seem to revel in vaguely sentimental descriptions of casual relations between coach and sleeper passengers?  Sometimes what may at first seem obvious to you isn't so easily defined once you try to pin it down with actual rules and guidelines. 

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56 minutes ago, caravanman said:

The friend promises not to eat the amtrak meals, but has a shower, what is the actual harm, when you can do the mate a good turn with no loss of revenue to Amtrak? it even frees up a coach seat...

I know what you mean, but I just think that it’s a slippery slope that makes it very easy for people to abuse the system. It means that the SCA now needs to keep track of who is letting in who and what the capacity is in each room. And just because this hypothetical person in your post “promises not to eat the amtrak meals”, how can you say that real life people will act the same way?

I don’t want to get further off topic, but I just completely disagree with the idea that it’s harmless or risk-free for coach passengers to be let into the sleepers at the whim of any sleeper passenger.

 

[EDIT] 

12 minutes ago, Devil's Advocate said:

 

Here's a thought experiment you might want to consider. If Amtrak were to adopt your suggestions as their actual policy how would you word such rules for the employee handbook. Would your handbook include definitions for fundamentally vague terms like "friend" and "promise" along with a chart for determining when a sleeper was at/over/under "capacity" for additional coach travelers? How would your policy handle events from your second post that seem to revel in vaguely sentimental descriptions of casual relations between coach and sleeper passengers? Sometimes what may at first seem obvious to you isn't so easily defined once you try to pin it down with actual rules and guidelines. 

Oh my god. This!

Edited by cpotisch

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Indeed, being suspicious of everybody, expecting them to try to get something for nothing I guess is the American Way? Always best to have strict rules and regulations.?

I am starting to "get" the way Amtrak treats passengers as children rather than responsible adults now...

The bottom line in my book is that if two people pay to use a roomette, and get meals, showers, etc included, it does not hurt Amtrak's revenue if a single person in a roomette offers the second berth to another, they will have already paid the coach fare, an equal amount to the overall total roomette  cost for two, so why all the fuss?

Are these coach seat folk going to contaminate the sleepers, or what?

I don't think it is rocket science to decide if a sleeper is over capacity, just stick with the current bookable limits. The person in the roomette decides who to ask, the staff don't need to regulate this. Inform the Conductor, no need for endless what if, maybe this might happen, etc.

We have more than enough actual rules and guidlines just getting aboard an Amtrak train, no need for more.

Lighten up folks, think outside the rules and regulations, people can behave well without being forced to follow every last rule!

No worries, I don't think I am backing a winner with my point of view. :D

 

Ed.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, caravanman said:

Indeed, being suspicious of everybody, expecting them to try to get something for nothing I guess is the American Way? Always best to have strict rules and regulations.?

One word: Yes. 

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You would be quite amazed at how creative Americans can be at zipping down a slippery slope of some obscure reasoning that will allow them to justify in their own minds why it is OK to invite 18 people to their roomette. Hence the rules I think. :lol:

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Originally I just wanted to know if there were any Amtrak regulations to cover these issues, and then we got into opinions why it was bad, rather than proven facts.

Lets call a truce and draw a veil over it now... ?

I will ask a Conductor about it myself if I ever get to travel on Amtrak again.

 

Ed.

 

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Well we tried to present what the Amtrak regulations are (no Coach passengers in Sleeper unless they convert to an Open Sleeper ticket), which is when you said but they should be different and Americans are treated like children (which may be true) and what not :lol: Seems like there is no way left to win this one, is there? :unsure:

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5 minutes ago, jis said:

Well we tried to present what the Amtrak regulations are (no Coach passengers in Sleeper unless they convert to an Open Sleeper ticket), which is when you said but they should be different and Americans are treated like children (which may be true) and what not :lol: Seems like there is no way left to win this one, is there? :unsure:

Agreed.  The sign isn’t there just because it’s pretty.  

Short answer: Coach passengers are to stay out of the sleepers, but a friendly conductor may make an exception to the rule.   

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48 minutes ago, jis said:

You would be quite amazed at how creative Americans can be at zipping down a slippery slope of some obscure reasoning that will allow them to justify in their own minds why it is OK to invite 18 people to their roomette. Hence the rules I think. :lol:

Jis nailed it. I doubt the car attendants want to argue with every Chad, Madison, and Jayden about why they can't invite their super-awesome BFFs from Cabo to join them in their bedroom. Multiply that by the number of rooms in the car, and it isn't worth the headache.

Plus, it's much easier to keep track of who belongs in each room when they're on the official manifest.

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1 hour ago, caravanman said:

Originally I just wanted to know if there were any Amtrak regulations to cover these issues, and then we got into opinions why it was bad, rather than proven facts.

The regulation is that coach passengers stay in coach; sleeper passengers have the run of the train.

Being realistic: If the OP were to show up with her coach ticket as the train boarded and speak with the conductor, I think that the chances are at least 50/50 that he would let her share the room with her husband. However, her chance at getting comped meals I would put at 20% or less.

However, if she spends a few minutes on the phone with Amtrak and either modifies the original reservation to 2 adult passengers or else converts her coach ticket to an "open sleeper" ticket and links it to his reservation, then the regulations say that she gets use of the room plus all meals en route. No persuasion or odds-making needed.

Any surprise as to why we are urging her to so proceed?

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2 hours ago, jis said:

You would be quite amazed at how creative Americans can be at zipping down a slippery slope of some obscure reasoning that will allow them to justify in their own minds why it is OK to invite 18 people to their roomette. Hence the rules I think. :lol:

Very true. About 12 years back, a dining car LSA related a story to me about a party of 6 who booked four coach seats and a single Roomette. They slept in shifts, parading back and forth to and from coach all night long. At meal times, they all tried to claim the free meals (and I'll bet they all wanted steak, too...). When questioned, every single one of them said that they were the sleeper passenger.

If you want to know when common sense took a hike on the American railroads, that might be a plausible Point Of Departure....

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3 hours ago, SarahZ said:

Jis nailed it. I doubt the car attendants want to argue with every Chad, Madison, and Jayden about why they can't invite their super-awesome BFFs from Cabo to join them in their bedroom. Multiply that by the number of rooms in the car, and it isn't worth the headache.

Plus, it's much easier to keep track of who belongs in each room when they're on the official manifest.

 

Yeah, if you aren't where you're expected to be, then the conductors might start to worry about "security" issues, no matter how innocent the issue may be.

 

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6 hours ago, caravanman said:

I think if people look back and READ what I have said, I don't think I am advocating a "free for all" access to the sleepers for coach passengers!

I simply think that if you have a sleeper, you meet an old friend on the train who is in coach, what harm is there in allowing that passenger to sleep in your room PROVIDED IT IS NOT OVERCAPACITY. (Doh...)

The friend promises not to eat the amtrak meals, but has a shower, what is the actual harm, when you can do the mate a good turn with no loss of revenue to Amtrak? it even frees up a coach seat...

I am just off to have a lie down in a darkened room for a few hours... :D

Ed.

 

And that might seem very innocent to you and us.  But if other coach passengers see that happening, they could start a war with the conductor and be justified, in it, saying, "well you let him/her do it!"   Not worth the trouble to them, i think.

 

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5 hours ago, VTTrain said:

Agreed.  The sign isn’t there just because it’s pretty.  

Short answer: Coach passengers are to stay out of the sleepers, but a friendly conductor may make an exception to the rule.   

Some years ago Mrs SP&S and I were on the CS from LAX to PDX.  This is before I'd ever heard of open sleeper tickets.  My daughter got on the train in EUG and the conductor and SCA were gracious enough to let her travel up the valley in our bedroom.  We asked before we got to Eugene and were extra respectful and were ready to be told no but they let it happen.  No meals were available while she was on so that wasn't a problem.  As usual with Amtrak, YMMV.  And, to be sure, the SCA got an extra nice tip too.

Do the open ticket if you can.

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