• 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 Tadman
 
mtuandrew wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:15 am 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.
This is the conference room on Thalys in the first-gen TGV sets they use. When not reserved, it's sold as business class seating. The room is at the locomotive end of the business class car, no pass-through to the power. I liked it and would definitely use it. I could imagine a group of U of Notre Dame scientists board in Niles and ride to Dearborn to present a project to Ford.

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  by Jeff Smith
 
This is what Business Class should be:
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  by exvalley
 
Tadman wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:35 am 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.


It’s not just about comfort for me. It’s about the increased privacy a single seat offers.
  by andegold
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:34 pm This is what Business Class should be:
If you're at all serious about that you might as well completely rethink everything we know about railcars. Put those seats down the middle of the car with aisles down both sides. Not sure there would be enough headroom under side mounted luggage racks but in a Viewliner type car there probably would be. This would even possibly allow access to the racks without blocking the aisle.

You'll need a little extra clearance at the car ends to negotiate around these seats into the new side aisles. Luggage racks could be placed in all four corners (well, maybe two corners as the other two would probably have rest rooms. Put a service cabinet for the attendant at one end lined up with the seats.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Nah I was being facetious. But I do think the seats should be better in BC or FC.
  by mtuandrew
 
exvalley wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:21 pmIt’s not just about comfort for me. It’s about the increased privacy a single seat offers.
That’s an argument for day compartments or parlor first class, not business class. Even with 2+1 business seating you’ll only get a single seat 1/3 of the time.
  by John_Perkowski
 
Here are some traditional parlor seats. Putting a seat table on any of them, or using a modification of a Herman Miller design, will create a comfortable seat in a quiet car.

For those who need to be telephonically busy, dedicate a car to telephone space, and put up partitions every five rows.
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  by exvalley
 
mtuandrew wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:17 pm
exvalley wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:21 pmIt’s not just about comfort for me. It’s about the increased privacy a single seat offers.
That’s an argument for day compartments or parlor first class, not business class. Even with 2+1 business seating you’ll only get a single seat 1/3 of the time.

No, privacy is still an argument for 2-1 seating. 2-1 seating is more private than 2-2 seating, It may not be the most private, but it’s still more private - at least for some people.

And the odds of scoring a single seat are better than 1/3. Pairs seek out the double seats, and lots of pairs travel. Depending on the route I can score a single seat at least 66% of the time.
  by Tadman
 
The seat math above is interesting and leads me to a few points I've quietly pushed in the past:

(1) Business class should have a minimum length travel distance. One can't really realize the benefits for <1 hour rides like NYP-EWR, but that does prevent another rider from paying for NYP-WAS. Now they have to find a fare from TRE to WAS, which is not as easy.

(2) Given the smaller seat count of Biz and the good idea to limit the stations, it should be easier to set up a seat reservation system as a pilot for the rest of corridor trains.
  by Red Wing
 
I disagree. I routinely take a business class seat from Providence to Boston. It is so much easier to find a seat. Make it easier for me to find a seat in coach and I might agree then.
  by Tadman
 
You may disagree, but that's your opinion. The facts indicate that shorthaulers cost the railroad a lot of lost revenue from business class.
  by mtuandrew
 
Tadman wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:34 pm You may disagree, but that's your opinion. The facts indicate that shorthaulers cost the railroad a lot of lost revenue from business class.
Business class commuter trains might be an option there.
  by Tadman
 
I've always been pro-club car. We had some of the last in Chicago. Had I lived in the burbs it would've been job 1 to join. That said it appears there is some real negativity about bar cars and club cars on subsidized trains and I understand why. But more and more, we're seeing bigwigs say "screw it" and move company hq to places like Connecticut, Jersey, O'Hare, Bloomfield Hills, Plano, Irvine, etc... and then it takes all kinds of middle managers with it. That was a 40 year trend that finally turned around maybe 2005 and companies started moving back downtown, like United, Walgreens, Boeing, and McDonalds to downtown Chicago. With recent events, I fear lots of that momentum has been lost.
  by John_Perkowski
 
If the demand for seats exceeds supply, that indicates a need for more seats. Another option is to make the intermediate stop more expensive than a through ticket.

As for quality service, when I last travelled the ICE in Germany, they had attendants who sold food and liquor at your seat. We had them once too ... PORTERS. If an amenity, such as food and beverage, aids the revenue of a train, then provide it.

(Buffet parlor cars had the ability to sell a drink or serve a fresh sandwich with equal aplomb)
  by gokeefe
 
Having actually experienced at seat cart service on Amtrak (Hiawatha) and the similar offerring on the DB in Germany I completely agree. It's a far better alternative to "nothing at all" and for BusinessClass it could be seen as an "upgrade". I would note that at seat service (drinks and food) in BC has been the practice on the Downeaster for a very long time if not always.

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