Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by chrsjrcj, Jul 18, 2019.
You pretty much explained why they don't open the 4th car.
When I was on the Coast Starlight a couple of years ago, the business class car was merely a superliner coach which was designated as business class and it had an attendant. The consist was arranged as follows to the best of my memory (front to back): sleepers, Pacific Parlour car, dining car, business class car, sightseer lounge car, coaches. I assume it is being arranged the same except that the Pacific Parlour car is deleted.
Business class seemed to be doing a good business and that was confirmed in my conversations with the business class attendant. It would be interesting to see if the actual statistics confirm this. At that time, business class passengers on the starlight received a discount coupon for $6 off, or something like that, in the dining car. I ate with one of the business class passengers at dinner and he seemed pleased with the service.
At least one of the Coaches used for Buisiness Class on the Starlight had Leather Seating, and in addition to the $6 Voucher you got Bottled Water from the Attendant and Priority over Coach Pax on Meal Reservation Times in the Diner.
A guest/points program is designed to make money for a company, not us. Marketing analysts have likely determined that a points bonus for sleepers would not benefit the company since it would probably not influence enough additional passengers to choose sleeper to offset the cost, and they likely believe that the opposite is true for BC and Acela FC.
For day trips it might make a difference for Long distance ridership revenue on routes that overlap with corridors.
For example I always get a roomette even if it’s just Galesburg to Chicago on the SWC 1208pm to 315. Coming back 230pm to 524pm. Granted a meal is included each way (they always accommodate us right at 5pm with dinner in our room coming home since if the trains on time it’s 5:24 arrival). The accommodations charge is roughly 90 bucks. I’ve done LAX to SBA on the Coast Starlight that’s a 60 dollar upcharge. Both are basically quiet legs at the end of the trip or beginning before the sleepers sell out or have already started to clear out. It’s just extra $$$ for Amtrak. Offering the same point formula as the corridor trains would just be smart marketing for the network.
My point I guess is they need to market the sleepers to day travelers more than they do. I’m sure there’s a computer algorithm that can show how many rooms would be available to day trippers without shutting out someone traveling 900 miles or endpoint to endpoint. The point bonus would be an amenity to market with the possible free meal whatever that may be.
Recently, NYP-WAS sleeper space has been opened up on a couple of trains. Pricing is very close to BC and well below Acela FC. If the extra few minutes isn't a factor, a roomette might be a better place to get some work done than in a coach...
Your anger on this one is misplaced on Anderson. The new AGR happened before Anderson and a whole host of people at that time promised they will never ride Amtrak again, and astonishingly, none of them carried through on their promise. The name calling on one of the founders of AU who was then involved with the AGR program, and had nothing to do with these decision made above his pay grade, was downright abhorrent.
Actually, the Dining Car serves two roles in the new Contemporary Dining regime.
1. Serve as a place for eating the Contemporary Dining menu food, such as it is. Of course the food could also be eaten in ones own room and have it delivered there, thus completely avoiding this car if one so desires. That (avoiding the Dining Car completely) is no different from when they were used as conventional Dining Cars.
2. Is open throughout the journey to serve as a lounge for Sleeper passengers. This IMHO is a definite improvement, and I did use this feature extensively when I traveled on the LSL.
IMHO, the role 2 is a definite improvement. The role 1, well, the menu and delivery method could do with some significant improvement.
While I haven't personally experienced this yet, I do agree the idea of having a sleeper lounge / table space is a nice thing. I think there are ways the contemporary dining experience could turn in to a positive... but I don't think we are there yet. But again... I'm not able to speak from personal experience.
I continue to say they should keep the entrees separate from sides, salads, and desserts... let people mix and match a little bit. Stock the same items in the cafe car and you don't have to worry as much about over-stocking.
On my recent CL round-trip, the Diner (actually CCC) as a Lounge worked great. As a Diner, not so much.
To make it work even BETTER as a Lounge, some premium choices at an extra charge would be OK by me. Some high-end desserts, wine & cheese packages, etc.
Yes, we pay a lot for sleepers, but there’s nothing wrong with paying a little extra for something nice.
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