Amtrak Crescent Discussion

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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Jehochman » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:09 am

On short haul European flights you can buy business class, and you will get seated in a standard coach seat. The only difference is that you're at the front of the cabin and maybe get a free drink. This info may be slightly outdated because it's been years since I took such a flight from Frankfurt to Prague on Lufthansa. You can get the same deal today on Southwest. They will sell business class. Board in position 1-15, free drink, and extra miles. Same seat as coach.

Experienced travelers, especially business travelers, know to check what amenities are provided at each level.

Generally I go coach on Amtrak, or take a sleeper. Once in a while on a longer trip (such as Richmond to New York), I may take business class to get a more peaceful travel experience, and free soft drinks, if not a bigger seat.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby lstone19 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:10 pm

Jehochman wrote:On short haul European flights you can buy business class, and you will get seated in a standard coach seat. The only difference is that you're at the front of the cabin and maybe get a free drink. This info may be slightly outdated because it's been years since I took such a flight from Frankfurt to Prague on Lufthansa.


Also the middle seat stays empty (at least on some planes, there's a fold out table that goes there). Better meal. At least on some, there's free drinks in coach as well but there may be better quality beverages (on a Paris-London flight on Air France some 20+ years ago, only Business Class could get champagne).

But a better comparison is to European rail first class. Depending on the train, it may be nothing more than a more exclusive seating area (because only people willing to pay more are there). Or a capacity controlled seating area while second class is open seating. Back in September, a business trip had me taking an ICE train from Frankfurt to Brussels. Nothing in the service description made me think that First Class on that train made it worth the extra fare. By my limited experience in Europe, I'd say Amtrak's Business Class on most trains is in line with European First Class. It's only when you start trying to compare it to U.S. and intercontinental air First or Business class that the comparison falls apart.

But, a trip we have planned for September will have me flying Lufthansa in Business Class from Frankfurt to Stockholm (about a 2 hour flight) and then a few days later we'll go train Stockholm to Oslo (about 5 hours). It's too early to purchase but the current advance purchase fares I see have First Class only $11.50 more than Second Class so I'll probably splurge on it ($34.00 vs. $22.50 - in Swedish Krona, 295 SEK vs. 195 SEK). I'll let you know how it was come September.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby SouthernRailway » Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:11 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:
Call it Enhanced Coach and we're all done with the issue.


Agreed, just like airlines now have Economy Plus or the like.

I find the Crescent's. business class sort of insulting, since the only benefit seeems to be free nonalcoholic drinks plus the option to pay $20 for lounge access at Philadelphia. That's another inconsistency: Amtrak has slews of different types of lounges that have different names and different access policies. They should all be consistent.
Last edited by SouthernRailway on Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:06 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:
Call it Enhanced Coach and we're all done with the issue.

Sounds too much like "Enhanced Interrogation" for me!

At least Amtrak should package in a food voucher and, I dunno, use of a blanket or power strip or something for the trip in business class.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:08 pm

SouthernRailway wrote:
Rockingham Racer wrote:
Call it Enhanced Coach and we're all done with the issue.


Agreed, just like airlines now have Economy Plus or the like.

I find the Crescent's. business class sort of insulting, since the only benefit seeems to be free nonalcoholic drinks.


That's because it's not business. It's really coach, enhanced. :wink: And only slightly enhanced, at that. Ridiculous.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:11 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
Rockingham Racer wrote:
Call it Enhanced Coach and we're all done with the issue.

Sounds too much like "Enhanced Interrogation" for me!

At least Amtrak should package in a food voucher and, I dunno, use of a blanket or power strip or something for the trip in business class.


There's already power, so no enhancement there.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Jehochman » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:13 pm

For my money the best splurge is redcap service. The wife was very impressed last time I had the whole family loaded (all six of us plus a friend) before everybody else boarded the train, and the bags were all stowed neatly.

Business class is mainly an amenity that lets you be seated with other business travelers, rather than random travelers. I'm usually the weirdo on the train, so I don't worry too much who my seatmate is.

I've got some coupons for business class upgrades, but haven't been able to use them because business is always full when I ask. Apparently there is a strong market for those seats.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:27 pm

Crescent Alert: Service Alert

It's usually the case when the train terminates in Atlanta that it's stored on the old Atlantic Steel siding, fairly visible from the downtown connection and the Peachtree Road overpass.

Crescent Trains 19 and 20: Bus Service Provided between Atlanta and New Orleans
Effective on Select Dates Starting January 8 - February 23, 2017
Track work being performed by Norfolk Southern Railway will affect Trains 19 and 20 between New Orleans and Atlanta, on the following dates:

Southbound Train 19: Sunday through Wednesday
January 8 - 11, 2017
January 15 - 18, 2017
January 22 - 25, 2017
January 29 - February 1, 2017
February 5 - 8, 2017
February 12 - 15, 2017
February 19 - 22, 2017
Northbound Train 20: Monday through Thursday
January 9 - 12, 2017
January 16 - 19, 2017
January 23 - 26, 2017
January 30 - February 2, 2017
February 6 - 9, 2017
February 13 - 16, 2017
February 20 - 23, 2017
Southbound Train 19: Service Suspended Atlanta to New Orleans Only
On the dates shown above, Train 19 will terminate in Atlanta. Passengers will be provided bus service from Atlanta to Anniston, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Meridian, Laurel, Hattiesburg, Picayune, Slidell and New Orleans.
On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Train 19 will operate normally, serving all stations on the route.
Northbound Train 20: Service Suspended New Orleans to Atlanta Only
On the dates shown above, Train 20 will originate in Atlanta. Passengers will be provided bus service from New Orleans to Slidell, Picayune, Hattiesburg, Laurel, Meridian, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Anniston and Atlanta.
On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Train 20 will operate normally, serving all stations on the route.
We appreciate your patronage and apologize for any inconvenience you may experience. Reservation and train status information is available on Amtrak.com, our free mobile apps and at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Thank you for traveling with Amtrak.

PSN 1216-37
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Greg Moore » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:50 pm

BTW, I'll warn folks travelling SB on these days... the dining car closes early.

I found out the hardway when I almost missed breakfast on my way into Atlanta a few years back.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:19 am

Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Tadman » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:32 am

I have my beef with the coach-as-business switch as well, but here are some recent thoughts.

This month I've been Chicago-Detroit on the Wolverine 3x in business. I've also had 3-5 "coach-as-business" trips recently out east, Crescent and NPN trains mostly. While I really like the 2-1 seating allowing me my own seat, it's not a wider seat and there is no extra storage, which would be nice. The wider arm rest between the 2 seats on the other side is a nice feature. The 2-2 "coach-as-business", however, is usually much quieter than the 2-1 "true biz" product, at least on Crescent, because they stick it behind the sleepers and diner. The 2-1 true business product is the other half of the lounge/snack bar and usually is full party to all the transactions in the snack bar and goofiness in the lounge, as well as the T&E personnel that set up shop there. It's also behind the engine half the time, which isn't that great.

Both products have their ups and downs.

I just wish they'd get consistent with the station lounges.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:07 pm

Tadman wrote:<SNIP>
I just wish they'd get consistent with the station lounges.


Not to drag us too far astray, and the only lounge I'm familiar with is the NYP Acela lounge, but I think they need a simple bar (or bar cart) in there, even if it's "pay as you go".
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby east point » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:49 am

Jeff. Crescent OTP for May miserable. Just 6.5% + 10 trains apparently all 10 arrivals at NYP.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby GirlOnTheTrain » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:38 pm

I took it May 27th, was looking beautiful until it hit Anniston, AL - where it then hit freight interference and had a sick customer...was almost 3 hours down when it got to Spartanburg, SC. I think we made it back to NYP an hour and half late, which I suppose isn't awful.
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Re: Amtrak Crescent Discussion

Postby chuchubob » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:11 am

I rode 19 from Philly to Atlanta last Fri and Sat. We lost 30 minutes in Washington during the engine change because of congestion in the tunnel with two trains coming in and two going out. Later we sat on a passing siding for 45 minutes waiting for a northbound NS freight to come off the single track.
Today's 19 arrived Atlanta sixteen minutes early.
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