• What is business class?

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by gprimr1
 
I'm going to respectfully disagree on the Kindles. I think they would be a nightmare in terms of keeping charged and getting broken. I would think the vast, vast majority of those traveling in business class would have at least a smartphone.

I would suggest Amtrak use their IT department to create a "business class portal" that you can enter your ticket number into and access some premium content like regional or local newspapers, maybe access to some Ebooks or other content.
  by eolesen
 
Most people who would pay for business class already carry their own personal electronics like a tablet or large smartphone. Don't add something like a Kindle or tablet that's likely to cause service failures.

Some airlines already provide free access to certain media outlets via their onboard wifi portals. Fairly easy to do.

If Amtrak wanted to catch up to the airlines, they'd offer a media server onboard to stream newer release movies. That takes pressure off the internet connection.
  by NS VIA FAN
 
The first time I travelled in Amtrak Business Class......I was expecting a Hot Meal along with complementary Beer, Wine or Liquor just like I get in VIA Business Class but all I got was a free pop!

To get a similar service to what I get on VIA.....I would need to be in Amtrak First Class.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Oh I guess the days of when I took my one Acela First Class ride in this life, WAS-STM, during May '03, where the Attendant circulated through the car offering print editions of The Times, Post, and Journal, are in the past.

Even though web access is part and parcel of my Times and Journal home delivery subscriptions, I'll be darned if I'm about to learn how to read a paper on the web. But the web is great for "clipping" and sharing articles.
  by exvalley
 
IMHO, here is what business class should be:

2-1 seating
Increased seat pitch compared to coach class
Free soft drinks
  by Tadman
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Wed May 27, 2020 6:07 pm That's one deal Amtrak could do with the Acela: a locked-down Kindle in every seat, pre-loaded with the latest Washington Post, NY Times, Philly Inquirer, and Boston Globe (aka the major regional newspapers along the route).
Alaska airlines does just this. They do it in lieu of onboard built-in screens and entertainment. The theory is that it's easier to just swap out a bad tablet than it is to restart the entire system a few times per flight. I really liked it, because I could work on my laptop and let something entertaining play on the tablet.
  by Red Wing
 
I remember you used to be able to read the Wa-Po online for free while in Business Class.
  by gokeefe
 
I think the priority parking and blazing fast premium WiFi are by far the two best suggestions. Both are relatively easy to implement and could yield real increases in revenues. Priority parking could very easily be handled electronically through a web portal matching a unique parking space number (station alpha code plus three digits) and a reservation confirmation number.

Amtrak doesn't own parking at every station but they could get spaces designated at most stations where this would matter.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by palmland
 
Just three things:
1. 1/1 seating with swivel chairs as the PPC on the CS (and long ago on almost all parlor cars). Also good for social distancing.
2. An attendant who gives a damn and serves you at your seat.
3. Pick your own seat assignment and always have the door open at stops with an attendant to greet and assist.
  by wigwagfan
 
exvalley wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 10:49 am IMHO, here is what business class should be:

2-1 seating
Increased seat pitch compared to coach class
Free soft drinks
That's precisely what Business Class is on the Cascades. However, you can get the 2x1 seating and increased seat pitch for absolutely free just by asking the Conductor for a seat assignment in cars 3 and 4.

Essentially, you're paying a lot of money for a $3 bistro coupon, and you don't have to stand in the obnoxiously long boarding lines at Seattle or Portland.
  by Tadman
 
palmland wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 8:28 pm Just three things:
1. 1/1 seating with swivel chairs as the PPC on the CS (and long ago on almost all parlor cars). Also good for social distancing.
2. An attendant who gives a damn and serves you at your seat.
3. Pick your own seat assignment and always have the door open at stops with an attendant to greet and assist.
Love #2 and #3. Why they don't open the door at Detroit is beyond me. Sure, I'd love to drag my suitcase through six cars. It's also fun to go up that stairway with 100 other people, all with suitcases, then out the door and quickly up a trap stair way when it's icy and cold out. One of these days one guy is going to trip and hundreds will get knocked over. Morris Bart is going to buy a new boat from that one.
  by markhb
 
exvalley wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 10:49 am IMHO, here is what business class should be:

2-1 seating
Increased seat pitch compared to coach class
Free soft drinks
That's about what it is on the Downeaster (the only business class I've tried), but it's a 2.5 hour trip and only a $5 premium over Flexible. So a lot of what's been spoken about here, I think depends both on trip duration and incremental price.
  by mtuandrew
 
I get that Amtrak wants to maximize business class seating with 2x2. That’s fine. If so though, the seats must be better, cushier, have more adjustments, and have partitions like suggested earlier here. Also free soft drinks, a free snack, and discount hard drinks where allowed by law.
  by Tadman
 
I'm not against the 2+2 seating either. At some point there is a margin of diminishing returns on how big the seat is. That's why I advocate for a holistic approach to the service. Better parking, better station facilities, better boarding procedures, better wifi, better at-seat service, better food, better post-trip offerings.

Once the seats are big enough to be very comfortable, let's move on to a different aspect of the service and improve it. At that point it's a good idea to ask things like "what makes a frequent traveler more comfortable?" and "how can these travelers get more work done while at stations or in-transit?". If we are to bring back the business traveler, allowing for work to be done is a big selling point.
  by mtuandrew
 
A dedicated business car attendant would be a very good amenity too. Someone who’s going to be there to run a drink cart, reset the wireless as needed, enforce quiet car rules, wrangle luggage, and act as a “mini-Redcap” to ensure passengers get to the right place with some priority.

Also, some number of tables (4? For 16 passengers?) that can be specifically reserved, separated by individual curtains to keep noise down for enroute meetings.