Boarding Pere Marquette in Chicago -BC cancelled

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Neeco, Apr 12, 2019.

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  1. Apr 12, 2019 #1

    Neeco

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    My family (with 2 small kids) will be arriving in Chicago (on a sleeper) on Sun in July and are connecting to the Pere Marquette. I just got a message stating that our Business Class was cancelled and we will be in coach now for that segment...which is fine...however does that mean there is no longer Priority Boarding for us? Just nervous we may not find seats together! From other posts it looks like we might be able to go to the special boarding area as we have kids. If that is our only option would one of you amazing seasoned travelers be able to tell me if that’s the south boarding area? 1st time to this station...and hoping not to get lost with kids and baggage and all :)
     
  2. Apr 12, 2019 #2

    Bob Dylan

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    Not to worry!( and they should receive a Full Refund for the Biz Class part of their Fares)

    They can go to the Nice New Metro Lounge to wait since they're arriving in a Sleeper and then use a Red Cap to assist them in boarding the Train.

    They load right outside the Lounge, just tell the Staffer @ the desk when checking in that they want a Redcap to catch the Pere Marquette.( tipping is optional but a Fiver or so would be much appreciated and well spent!)
     
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  3. Apr 12, 2019 #3

    tim49424

    tim49424

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    Since you arrive in a sleeper and connect the same day, you get access to the Metropolitan Lounge and priority boarding.
     
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  4. Apr 13, 2019 #4

    Neeco

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    Thanks for the info! It’s also likely that our incoming train might be late. If there’s no time to go to the Met Lounge, should we just head over to the boarding area? I know the Empire Builder is notorious for delays
     
  5. Apr 13, 2019 #5

    SarahZ

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    There are monitors around the station that tell you where to hang out for boarding. You'll board from either the "South Concourse" or the "Great Hall". I believe all of the Michigan trains board from the Great Hall now, but I'm not sure about the Pere Marquette. @tim49424 ? Help?

    Regardless, they do board families with children first. You'll be in the group with seniors, military, and those who need assistance.

    That is a pretty tight connection, considering the Empire Builder's on-time performance. If you haven't made up time by the time you get to Milwaukee, contact Amtrak ASAP to see if they have a backup plan in place. If they don't, you'll want to go to Passenger Services in Union Station the second you get off the train. Often times, they will bus you to Michigan (they're nice coaches). If they aren't doing a bus or van, they'll put you up in a hotel and give you a voucher for food and a cab.

    If the line at Passenger Services is long, have a couple family members check into the Metropolitan Lounge with the kids. The lounge has a nice play area with chairs, tables, benches, and a large TV that plays the Disney Channel. :)
     
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  6. Apr 13, 2019 #6

    tim49424

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    South concourse would be the correct answer for the Pere Marquette. The Metropolitan Lounge attendant will give you directions on how to find the track you're to board. Board time is shortly after 6 PM for a 6:30 Departure. When arriving to your track number, an Amtrak employee will be there to direct you to the waiting area for boarding. The wait is usually 5-15 minutes. Just as a side note, the coach passengers without access board at the same location they have for years. The PM does not utilize the Great Hall at all.
     
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  7. Apr 13, 2019 #7

    OBS

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    The real question here is why no Business class?
     
  8. Apr 13, 2019 #8

    wwchi

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    Yes I got a call for that change as well for the Tuesday after Memorial Day - going from St Joe INTO Chicago...not sure why no Business Class either! I meant to call them back but never did. But that is a REAL drag for those that are just going from CHI to somewhere on the Pere Marquette to now have to have no priority boarding :-(
     
  9. Apr 13, 2019 #9

    wwchi

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    Just got on the app and apparently there seems to be NO Business class at all available this summer on the Pere Marquette. Fortunately for me I take other Michigan trains that DO have Bus Class but I also take the Pere Marquette inbound often on Monday mornings. I am on the phone with Amtrak right now to find out what is going on. OK they just told me CHANGE OF EQUIPMENT which means a tight squeeze on the trains. The current Superliner has great space in coach and business but w/o Business on the single decker trains it is cramped. For those of us who want to WORK on the train it is difficult in that cramped space and loud particularly in summer w/all the kids out of school. Looks like more Wolverine trains for me!
     
  10. Apr 13, 2019 #10

    thully

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    I wonder if the lack of BC on the Pere Marquette is due to Superliner equipment being used (from past memory, it seems Superliners are subbed frequently on that route and result in no BC). Either that, or there’s something wrong with the car used for BC and they don’t have a spare. Annoying to lose that priority boarding/lounge access, though - you could purchase a pass to the Metropolitan Lounge, but that would cost $50...
     
  11. Apr 13, 2019 #11

    tim49424

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    Actually the cost is $25 after the closing of the Legacy Club.
     
  12. Apr 13, 2019 #12

    wwchi

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    I still don't want to pay that as a Select Plus rider. I don't mind paying the additional cost for Business Class but I don't think as frequently as I ride (and have since 2005) that I should pay for use of the lounge/priority boarding. That's an easy giveaway for them but they don't do it. :-(
     
  13. Apr 13, 2019 #13

    tim49424

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    I didn't think you had to pay for usage of the Metro Lounge as a Select Plus rider. I know as a Select (which I am) we get two daily passes to the Lounge. I personally don't care to shell out the $25 myself either which may limit my day trips to Chicago while the PM isn't offering BC....I did try the Legacy Club a couple of times and really didn't believe it was worth the extra $20, although I did feel in many ways the LC was better than the ML.
     
  14. Apr 13, 2019 #14

    wwchi

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    Perhaps you are right..I'll have to check!
     
  15. Apr 13, 2019 #15

    tim49424

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    As much as I know you ride, it would benefit you greatly w/o BC.
     
  16. Apr 13, 2019 #16

    wwchi

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    Yes indeed!
     
  17. Apr 13, 2019 #17

    tim49424

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    I just looked it up....yep you’re entitled to unlimited access to the ML.....and that’s any ML or Acela Club in the Amtrak system.
     
  18. Apr 13, 2019 #18

    wwchi

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    Lol I just did too but also just saw I'm only select at the moment!
     
  19. Apr 13, 2019 #19

    tim49424

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    I would’ve thought you’d be Select Plus by now as much as you ride. I’ve been Select for the last couple of years and you ride far more frequently than I do....however, that being said, my rides are mostly long distance.
     
  20. Apr 13, 2019 #20

    wwchi

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    That's why I assumed I still was but must not have gone as much...oh well
     
  21. Apr 14, 2019 #21

    Pere Flyer

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    BC on the Pere Marquette was nothing to write home about. The hard product was identical to coach, and sometimes the attendant forgot to take drink orders.
     
  22. Apr 14, 2019 #22

    tim49424

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    This is very very true. I’ve not seen the leather seats in maybe a couple of years. Also recently, maybe the last two or three times I’ve ridden in BC, I had gone downstairs and played my drink order myself. The only reason I utilize BC is for the access to the ML on day trips. On long distance trips I save a few bucks and book coach.
     
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  23. Apr 14, 2019 #23

    Navy 118

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    Rumor mill says 370/371 will be loosing superliners this summer so that is what prompted the end of business class (i'm sure food service as well after the change)
     
  24. Apr 14, 2019 #24

    tim49424

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    Why would food service change if the end of business class were to come? There still will be a cafe car. (Also, it's l-o-s-i-n-g not l-o-o-s-i-n-g.)
     
  25. Apr 15, 2019 #25

    Michigan Mom

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    Could they be taking cars out of service for refurbishment? The Wolverines and PM were supposed to be re-done by now with new interiors, have not seen one yet so maybe that's in process and resulting in fewer available cars so suspended BC in the interim? I have no idea. Wild guess.
     

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