Advice on Subletting Bed From Another Passenger? September Trip/ SWC

Discussion in 'Guest Forum for Amtrak Questions' started by Amy, Jul 27, 2016.

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  1. Aug 8, 2016 #26

    Bob Dylan

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    The average Texan? They're all out @ the gun range or in a beer joint complaining about the guvment and the foriegners that have ruined "their" country! "..Poor souls, only a pawn in their game.. " as my namesake said!

    Love Trumps Hate! Hate is not an American Value!
     
  2. Aug 11, 2016 #27

    Long Train Runnin'

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    Come on guys. Let's be serious here for a minute. The world today? The world today where in dozens of countries around the world you simply buy a bunk in shared berth? Yes here in the land of red white and blue sharing a compartment would be a tough sell. But to act like boarding a sleeping car train and sharing the space with strangers is putting your life at risk. There are thousands of people at this very moment in shared sleeping compartments around the world how many will be killed by another passenger while they sleep? Let's put some perspective back into this conversation.
     
  3. Aug 11, 2016 #28

    chakk

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    Yes, european, asian, and australian teains sell shared sleeping car space to strangers. I've done it myself in all 3 regions. But the iriginal post wAs about subletting space in your room to a stranger. And I think the answer to that question is also "no" in europe, asia and australia. Sleeping space must be purchased through the raikroad, and one passenger is not permitted to purchase 4 bunks in a couchette and sell the other 3 to other parties.
     
  4. Aug 11, 2016 #29

    unitedstatesfan

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    chakk, I am Australian: you are correct.

    The railways or authorised agents are the only ones who can sell sleeping berths.

    There are many times that I have shared with strangers: mixed sex in Europe (Spain for one), while in turkey, I had three hefty males in my couchette compartment (the latter was a four berth.

    On the Sydney to Brisbane overnight XPT in Australia, I joined at Nambucca Heads one night at about 2130 hours and found - thankfully - the other male was asleep in the top berth (these are twinettes - two berths per compartment.)

    In Australia strangers of a different sex who book separately cannot share a compartment, so it's sort of a halfway house between the USA puritanical view and the 'stay dressed all night' typical European couchette occupancy.

    In Malaysia I have shared with a male. I don't believe that a spare berth in a cabin occupied by a male would be sold to an unrelated female.
     
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  5. Aug 11, 2016 #30

    norfolkwesternhenry

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    what about taking two or four roomettes and turning them into bunks? Like on Via rail, you can get an upper, lower, or both, and a shared common space during the day with cushy bench seating.
     
  6. Aug 12, 2016 #31

    Seaboard92

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    I want to say DB's old policy was that if you were traveling with a women as a guy she would be in a separate room
     
  7. Aug 14, 2016 #32

    iggy

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    "Agree with others about not seeking to share a sleeping accommodation with a stranger"

    Granted in a closed room this could cause concern. But in coach you can have a seat to yourself when you fall asleep - but wake up to a stranger sleeping next to you in seat that had been empty.

    Years ago an older lady offered to share her roomette with me - at the time I figured this would have to be against policy and while nice - she was a stranger I had just met in boarding lobby. Not sure why she wasn't using lounge that day.

    Roomettes are suppose to cover 2 ticketed passengers - so follow any applicable rules and find someone you feel comfortable taking a long ride with.
     
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  8. Aug 15, 2016 #33

    Steve4031

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    The sca probably would not be pleased with such an arrangement. They are responsible for who is in the car. The only "legal" way to do this is with an open sleeper ticket. I did this for a person I met so she could hang out in my room and eat in the diner on 58. We met on 2 and I knew she was continuing to Memphis.
     
  9. Aug 15, 2016 #34

    Bob Dylan

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    I've shared rooms with AU friends ( of both sexes) on Amtrak LDTrains and Hotels during Gatherings and on joy ride trips. ( of course it was easier and cheaper under AGR1.0)but never with a Stranger I met on a Train.

    As has been said, overseas and in hostels,it's different where up to nine other people may be sharing a room with you.

    Never had any problems with this, but would NOT share a room with a person I met on an Amtrak LD Train until I got to know them! YMMV

    "Hate is Not an American Value!"
     
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  10. Aug 16, 2016 #35

    Lonestar648

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    Personally, I would only share with someone I knew and trusted. If someone I didn't know asked to share my room, I would say no. I have had family ask to ride along, even a friend or two, but that is totally different. I seriously doubt Amtrak would allow this activity since they are expected to keep an accurate listing of the passengers on board at any given time. Liability issues come to mind as well in this sue happy country. You could be held accountable if someone you sold your space to caused a problem and its found that Amtrak didn't sell a ticket for them in your room.
     
  11. Aug 17, 2016 #36

    Devil's Advocate

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    I don't think sharing a bunk on a train is necessarily dangerous in and of itself, but once you broadcast your dates and times and intentions on the internet there is really no telling who you might encounter as a result. The internet casts a very wide net that can reach all sorts of unsavory folks. People have been raped and murdered for the simple mistake of handling an otherwise innocuous Craigslist transaction in a poorly planned location or under poorly conceived circumstances.

    Even here on AU some members have experienced random strangers suddenly showing up to meet them on their journeys without any notice or prior communication. I'm not aware of anything serious happening as a result but this knowledge should serve as a warning to others that whatever you put out on the internet can reach people and places you would have never expected or intended to inform of your personal plans.

    The simple truth is that we live in a culture where some of the most physically aggressive and least mentally stable individuals continue to enjoy easy access to military grade weaponry. Unfortunately these same individuals tend to have very limited access to proper mental health screening and corrective services. That cultural disconnect seems to be unique to the US and can turn seemingly safe and uneventful plans into potentially volatile or even life threatening encounters.
     
  12. Aug 17, 2016 #37

    calwatch

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    On the other hand, for the OP's concern, presumably you would meet these people in advance or at least peruse their social media trail to determine if they were legitimate.

    During low season I might consider getting lower level tickets if you want a better night's sleep (at the risk of getting a snorer in a confined space, but that's what earplugs are for). They are also less likely to sell out so you might get two seats to yourself. The other way to increase your chance of having two seats to yourself, on the Coast Starlight and presumably other trains which will have them, is to buy Business Class.
     
  13. Aug 17, 2016 #38

    Devil's Advocate

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    The OP hasn't been back to comment since the very first post. Lots of sudden oversharing of personal information from a complete stranger followed by complete radio silence. My guess is that it was nothing more than a silly windup and we all fell for it. At least we got some humor out of it.
     
  14. Aug 17, 2016 #39

    ScouseAndy

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    I am at a loss why this is deemed such a social no no, you have air B & B and sofa surfing over in the states don't ya?

    I'm certain this is the case so I cant fathom my head around why staying in total strangers home is socially ok but not sharing a room on a public train?
     
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  15. Aug 17, 2016 #40

    rrdude

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    Agee 100%! This idea of a "Rail Air BnB" is longggggggg overdue. Somebody will create the website, matching "those with" and "those withOUT" rooms, take a $5 fee, and match them up. I'd do it on every trip I have ever taken, if it was Ava
     
  16. Aug 18, 2016 #41

    Long Train Runnin'

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    Yeah I have had AU members join me without letting me know ahead of time after a post in the trip forums. I also tend to post on another site when I will be in airline lounges around the world and am willing to guest members of that board into lounges with me. I have invited seat mates on long haul flights into the lounge with me...I have set up meetings online with perfect strangers in dozens of countries. Joined group trips from websites like these and others. Hell you've even met me personally because you attended a group gathering set up on the internet. Am I total moron who is rapidly heading towards getting slaughtered in a back alley of some 3rd world country? Maybe. Am I going to change what has created some great friendships and some fascinating experiences because oh well this might not go well? I don't think so. Yeah getting on the back of a motor bike with someone I met 5 minutes before in a cafe in Vietnam or getting picked up by stranger on the side of the road in Northern Ireland are all things I won't recommend but those situations have turned out to be amazing days/nights with real local people who had nothing but the best intentions and I was able to get into a culture in a way that would never happen if I was to afraid to talk to strangers. I'm not saying terrible things don't happen everyday, and sure maybe one day my gut will be wrong and I'll miss the sign that this isn't going to end the right way. Then sure I'll deserve whatever happens in that back alley or on that sidewalk. For me though "the risk" far out weighs the rewards. Your traveling so to me the phrase nothing ventured nothing gained holds so true. It's an adventure you're somewhere thousands of miles from home your in this moment to me I'll roll the dice and live outside my comfort zone.

    Especially when it comes to putting plans online if you are going to take the time to read through travel boards and decide wow this guy is going to be in (Insert Place) better load up the AR-15 and wait for him to head out of the station/airport/ferry terminal/subway stop/hotel lobby and I'll show him for calling my proposed trip stupid. If that's how I'm going out well thats how I'm going out. I'm not saying I run around carelessly broadcasting my location live on social media or something, or that when I'm on the ground in a different country I am not careful about having spare credit cards local currency and a second passport locked up in my hotel room. Depending on exactly where I am I'll occasionally slide some money under the padding of my shoe as well. I just don't think the view should be oh wow every person out there is going to plan to kill me when we meet up, or anyone who strikes up a conversation with me is going to cut my kidneys out. That's just not the way I choose to live and at this point I've been to a lot places that the State Department and other groups recommend you stay away from (beyond the DPRK) will I get what's coming to me some day? Maybe. But until then I choose to at least give a stranger the benefit of the doubt.
     
  17. Aug 18, 2016 #42

    Devil's Advocate

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    Interesting position but I'm not sure I follow the reasoning. I've traveled alone in a bedroom many times on Amtrak and never entertained the idea of hosting a random stranger in the other bed. What are the likely benefits to the host? To have a stranger lull you to sleep with their snoring? To accidentally step on you as they climb up or down? To claim the prime real estate below you? To fill your room with their luggage and noises and odors? Just so you can save a few dollars off the cost of the ticket? Yeah, I think I'll pass on that. The way I see it I can either afford the trip or I cannot. I'm not going to host someone trying to couch surf their way across Amtrak's network like a socially connected hobo. As for meeting interesting people I can already do that without inviting them back into my room so nothing gained there. I guess we could go down the path of intimate encounters but unless you're still in college or have reached limp noodle pensioner age there's not likely to be much to work with on today's Amtrak.

    To be fair none of those examples are logically equivalent to hosting a stranger in a bedroom behind closed doors. Oddly enough Charlie and I did end up splitting a hotel room for the Gathering. Even though we had never met in person we had both been on the forum for several years and weren't exactly strangers. I'm not entirely sure why Charlie chose to offer his room but his suggestion was greatly appreciated nonetheless. That being said its not the sort of thing I would have intentionally solicited from my end or suggested to others either. We live in a world that is mostly safe but can also become seriously cruel and suddenly dangerous when things go wrong. Better safe than sorry and all that.

    Although you bring up some interesting counterpoints I do wonder if you're accounting for the fact that security risks for meeting strangers are different for women like the OP than for men like us. For most men the primary dangers of travel involve relatively simple misfortunes such as being involved in a traffic accident, experiencing an active excursion injury, contracting a debilitating disease, suffering a serious infection, or becoming the target of petty theft. Women have all of those risks plus the statistically relevant danger of malicious manipulation and forced sexual encounters. That's a distinction I'm not sure you're factoring into your replies for this particular thread.

    In the end it's your life so live it however you want. So far as I am concerned any liability you choose to accept on your own behalf is entirely your decision. So long as your decision doesn't bring harm to anyone else it's your business and nobody else's.
     
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  18. Aug 18, 2016 #43

    Bob Dylan

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    I see Stephen's points but totally agree with Chris that it's different for women while traveling alone!
     
  19. Aug 18, 2016 #44

    Mystic River Dragon

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    The whole point of a roomette or bedroom on a train for me is privacy. For both security and privacy reasons, I would never share with a stranger. If I want to talk to anyone, I can go to the dining car for meals.

    Also, as a woman traveling alone, I would never go to an Airbnb or take Uber (I'm sure most of them are fine, but they are still strangers). I stay in hotels with good reputations, never go out after the evening rush hour if I am in a city, and if I must take a cab, I ask the hotel to get me one.

    As the little travel gnome says, I try to "wander wisely." :p

    I think Devil's Advocate has a good point about the original poster not coming back. I'm not sure she was trolling, though--it sounds like she was in some kind of travel panic and just throwing out ideas on websites she came across. And thanks to her, we're having a great conversation here, with many different perspectives. :)
     
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  20. Aug 18, 2016 #45

    jis

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    It could be pretty interesting for men too specially if they find themselves the next day with a kidney missing. It is known to have happened in certain parts of Asia. just because you have been lucky a few times does not necessarily make it safe.

    It is very important to be truly aware of the environment you are in and act accordingly when dealing with the environment, including the people around you, and commensurate with your own risk tolerance. There is nothing to be ashamed of for being risk averse. Some people get their kicks by taking more risks for more thrills. Others don't. Know yourself and act within your comfort space. Typically on most Asian intercity trains it is common to share sleeping accommodations though in more of a section like setting more often than in a Couchette like setting. Couchette like setting is not uncommon and they all are pretty safe. It is when you go off the beaten path that things may start getting dicey.

    Interestingly, several women that have made it clear that they will never again travel alone on Amtrak Coach overnight trains, said their reason was the lack of separating armrest in Coach and the fact that they have repeatedly faced what they considered to be some creepy men tried to and insisting on starting up a conversation with them even after they were told in no uncertain terms to get lost. At least two of them commented further upon me digging deeper that in their experience such is very rare on planes and a little more common on buses. I was a bit shocked to learn that Amtrak overnight trains were considered to be almost as creepy as buses, but I can see their point. Some of them like to ride trains but have forsworn traveling on Amtrak alone, which is kind of sad. But such is the world.

    Coming to think of it, I don't like Amtrak Coach on LD trains either, but my reason is different. When I am traveling alone the coach attendant and conductors seem to take a perverse pleasure in shuffling me around to the most undesirable of seats ostensibly to accommodate others more deserving of the better seats for various reasons. So I am pretty much done with i and will not travel by Coach overnight any more.
     
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  21. Aug 18, 2016 #46

    ScouseAndy

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    Roomette between New York & San Francisco via the cardinal is 5 full days and 4 nights on the train (with 6 hours in Chicago if your lucky - for many that is simply to long to go by coach however a single traveller is likely to cough at having to fork around $1000 dollars for that, however if you can share that cost it brings it down to around $700, that more than just a few dollars saved.

    I travelled from Cologne (Germany) to Beijing across Russia sharing a bedroom with numerous total strangers which took 10 days with an over night in Moscow some male some female, I had not had the opportunity to vet them or even talk to them prior to boarding, amazingly nothing happened to me and nothing happens to the 1000's of people across Asia and Europe every night who find them selves in the same position.
     
  22. Aug 18, 2016 #47

    calwatch

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    On the other hand, the roomette is just too close quarters to share with someone who is not at least a pre-existing acquaintance. If they went to a Slumbercoach or hostel-type environment, where multiple beds are in a room, that actually makes it a bit safer. I think two women could make friends on the train and share quarters, but women can be just as crazy as men are.
     
  23. Aug 18, 2016 #48

    Bob Dylan

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    I agree with Patty that this is an Interesting topic to discuss and am enjoying the various perspectives of the posters, some of whom I know and have travelled with. ( but not shared rooms! )

    Would be great to hear from some more members,especially females who seem to value privacy more than males.
     
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  24. Aug 19, 2016 #49

    pennyk

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    Jim, you can probably guess my response. I don't want to share a room with anyone.
     
  25. Aug 19, 2016 #50

    Alice

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    Jim, I have shared with both male and female, some who I didn't know but someone who knew us both provided a reference. Never any problem.
     

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