carajul wrote: ↑Tue Jun 14, 2022 8:03 am
My first time on Acela was last weekend with my 2 friends. 3 of us total. We took Acela from PHL to NYP and it was NOT cheap. (Saturday-Sunday June 11-12)
We get to 30th street station 30 mins before departure time and find out the train is delayed 1 hour. After 1 hour it's delayed another 20 mins. Then after 20 mins its delayed yet 40 mins. At this point we could have just drove (but who wants to pay NYC tolls, fight NYC traffic, and pay NYC parking???). Amtrak staff at the station were terrible, rude, no help at all. Just useless.
We finally board and go to the seats we selected (Acela is assigned seating). We selected table seats so we could work. A woman and her 2 kids ages 8-10 are sitting in our seats, sprawled out with food and tablets. She looks up at us and says "oh, yea, about these seats. See these are my kids and for some reason I couldn't select seats online an I need to sit together with my kids. You'll need to sit somewhere else". Ok this is my problem how? She refuses to move and expects the 3 of us to sit all over the sold out train. I had to call the conductor over who 15 mins later finally shows up as we are standing there in the vestibule with the entire coach now watching us. He checks everyone's tickets and tells her she must take her assigned seat, it turns into a screaming match until she finally moves to the first car.
Food in the cafe was overpriced...
We only booked one way tickets as we were not sure of our return date. When our return date was decided, I was half asleep in bed and book our one way return. I screwed up the date as the Amtrak app defaults to todays day when our return was 1 day later. I realize the mistake later in the day and call Amtrak to change. Sorry, it's more than 1 hour after your train time NO REFUNDS and NO CREDIT. Are you kidding me-I just spent $900!!!! Sorry, no refunds. Had to spend another $900 for the correct day. Called Amex who promptly reversed the first (over) charge.
We get on our return train - table seat. Guess what...a couple with their laptops and headphones on is sprawled out in our seats on a sold out train. And they refuse to move.
Throw on top of everything screaming infants, screaming toddlers. OMG. And you wouldn't believe how many idiots bought NJ Transit commuter tickets and "accidentally" got on the Acela. The conductor threw them all off at the next stop...
CJ - I read your rant about the problems that you experienced on your recent PHL-NYP trip...
First - Was it so important to ride Acela services that you and your friends did not consider other Amtrak trains
that would have offered a much-lower fare - Regional or Keystones? With the delay noted I would have opted for
something more reasonable price-wise for the 90 mile 1 hour 15-30 minute one way ride instead of the delayed
Acela train if possible...With the "table" seats was this Acela Business or First Class? Was the woman with the two
children actually supposed to be in that car noting that they had to be moved out of your assigned seat?
Second - You complain about the Cafe Car expenses and the driving to NY City alternatives yet you were willing
to pay $300 one way fares NYP-PHL when there was other Amtrak service alternatives that would have been
probably just about as fast as as an Acela train would have been for much less money...Depending on what
the original three PHL-NYP Acela fares were it might have actually been cheaper to have gone with a for-hire
limousine service or rideshare for the amount of money that you claim to have spent on Amtrak...
Third - You were lucky that you were able to get AMEX to stop payment on the $900 fare charges after the date
mixup and failing to cancel the original NYP-PHL reservations before the scheduled departure time...
This was actually a good move after what could have been a VERY expensive error...
Four - I remember that those boarding Amtrak trains with NJT tickets were once subject to being charged the
Amtrak one-way fare in effect for the service level along with an extra $8 on-board penalty - judging by what
CJ notes this was NYP-NWK - The Train Crew chose to make the NJT passengers get off at Newark...
Everyone - I decided to talk to Julie to see what walk-up fares were available NYP-PHL at the time of my post...
In case anyone is unaware same day "walk-up" Amtrak fares can be the most expensive options...
Fares between New York Penn Station and Philadelphia-30th Street on a mileage basis (90) are some of the
most expensive that Amtrak charges in the entire NEC and Northeastern region as a whole...
Fridays and Sundays are considered "Peak" travel days in the NEC...
Friday June 17 NYP-PHL: (Note how these examples vary...)
2:00 PM Acela - Sold Out
2:02 PM > 3:22 PM Regional
2:11 PM > 3:33 PM Keystone Both trains $114 One Way Coach
2:41 PM > 4:12 PM Keystone $38 One Way Coach
3:00 PM Acela - $212 Business; $315 First Class
3:05 PM Regional - Business $164
3:35 PM Regional - Business $108
4:03 PM Keystone - $128 One Way Coach
In closing Amtrak Regional and Keystone services can be not only cheaper - depending on the schedule
they come close time-wise for a relatively short ride between NYP and PHL...MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS