BC gone on the LSL after July 2?

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Sidney

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Was trying to book BC in September on the Lake Shore from Chicago to Utica. There are no options for Business Class. I noticed they are gone after July 3rd.

Why? Any insight? BC is a nice option with 2 to 1 seating. Amtrak should be increasing,not decreasing BC. Another idiotic move for people who can't afford the outrageous sleeper fare and would like to get a single seat in a nicer car.
 
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I will try to be optimistic and positive and say that this is a sure sign that Amtrak is bringing back a full-length cafe car to better serve coach passengers. Maybe even a full-length diner serving traditional dining.

On the other hand, since the business class car on the Lake Shore operates in the Boston section (which gets no respect), there is probably no reason for optimism.
 
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I got a wonderful 'love letter' from Amtrak an hour ago indicating that BC was no longer available on my July 17 trip ALB-SPG. So I did some checking. It's no longer available on 448 as of July 3 from Chicago. BUT...it's moved to the NYP section after that date.

So, what will they put in its place? A full cafe added/subtracted at ALB? That would make sense. Or else a full cafe all the way from CHI? It will be interesting to find out.
 
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I tried some hypothetical bookings for dates after July but I did not find any business Class on the Lake Shore either in the New York section or the Boston section. Am I mistaken over its disappearance?
 
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I was booked in 449 SPG-ALB in business "connecting" to 49 in a sleeperette in September. Other than a red dot showing up on the app when I look at the rez, I have yet to be contacted by Amtrak. I don't call it an involuntary downgrade yet, because I don't know if I have even been rebooked for that segment.

At least I still have my sleeperette on 49. The refurbished sleeper cars are very nice.
 
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I was booked in 449 SPG-ALB in business "connecting" to 49 in a sleeperette in September. Other than a red dot showing up on the app when I look at the rez, I have yet to be contacted by Amtrak. I don't call it an involuntary downgrade yet, because I don't know if I have even been rebooked for that segment.

At least I still have my sleeperette on 49. The refurbished sleeper cars are very nice.
It will take a while for them to contact and fix everyone who may be affected by this (and they'll contact the people with the soonest reservations first.) You'll get rebooked on that segment in coach and a refund for any fare difference. If you want to fix it sooner you can call or go to station agent. (Unless you booked with AGR points - then you have to call.)
 
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It will take a while for them to contact and fix everyone who may be affected by this (and they'll contact the people with the soonest reservations first.) You'll get rebooked on that segment in coach and a refund for any fare difference. If you want to fix it sooner you can call or go to station agent. (Unless you booked with AGR points - then you have to call.)
I am well aware of my options to take care of the issue. (It's a revenue ticket.) This is not the first time that this issue has happened to me. In the past, it has been my experience that Amtrak has taken care of irregular operations and downgrades long before I knew what was happening. I don't find this to be the case right now.

Case in point. I was on the Vermonter in business class coming back from NHV on 05Mar. I tried to locate the business class car and there was none. I asked the maintenance guys, the cafe car attendant and conductor where the business class car was and all had zero clue. Everyone just shrugged their shoulders and said talk to someone else. Come to find out, there was a derailment which pretty much shut down the NE corridor south of NYP and an equipment substitution to a regular NE corridor consist, but without a business class car.

I understand stuff happens. I should have walked off the train, cancelled my ticket, and taken the next train. But when staff is clueless, Amtrak was still selling a business class ticket on this segment up until we departed, and I send an email to customer service and don't get a response, I think that is pretty bad. I had to phone a friend at headquarters to rectify the issue a month later.

Kind of funny, the conductor on that train recognized me a few weeks later boarding the Vermonter and said hey, we have a business class car today.
 

fdaley

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Personally I would rather see a full dinette or lounge with more space for eating. In the current car, with tables only in one end, there typically are only a couple of tables that aren't occupied by the crew or cafe supplies. Putting the half-BC car onto the New York leg would allow Amtrak to offer cafe service NYP-ALB, where currently there is no food at all for coach passengers. So this could represent a net upgrade. Of course, we don't know for sure that this is the plan.
 

jis

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It is not clear that anything is getting added to the New York section. So far it appears that the Club-Dinette is being replaced by a Amfleet II Lounge in the Boston section.

It would certainly be interesting and good if the Club-Dinette showed up in the NY section. It would be even more interesting if it is actually staffed in these times of staff shortage. At present there are various ghosts appearing in the often untrustworthy reservation system, none of which is bookable in any BC accommodation on the LSL. We'll see what happens finally come 3rd of July.
 
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I am well aware of my options to take care of the issue. (It's a revenue ticket.) This is not the first time that this issue has happened to me. In the past, it has been my experience that Amtrak has taken care of irregular operations and downgrades long before I knew what was happening. I don't find this to be the case right now.

Case in point. I was on the Vermonter in business class coming back from NHV on 05Mar. I tried to locate the business class car and there was none. I asked the maintenance guys, the cafe car attendant and conductor where the business class car was and all had zero clue. Everyone just shrugged their shoulders and said talk to someone else. Come to find out, there was a derailment which pretty much shut down the NE corridor south of NYP and an equipment substitution to a regular NE corridor consist, but without a business class car.

I understand stuff happens. I should have walked off the train, cancelled my ticket, and taken the next train. But when staff is clueless, Amtrak was still selling a business class ticket on this segment up until we departed, and I send an email to customer service and don't get a response, I think that is pretty bad. I had to phone a friend at headquarters to rectify the issue a month later.

Kind of funny, the conductor on that train recognized me a few weeks later boarding the Vermonter and said hey, we have a business class car today.
My apologies - just wanted to make sure you weren't a newer rider - shouldn't have assumed!
 

daybeers

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Lol hilarious. More downgrades for 448's sleeper passengers and no business class for anyone. BC on it was one of the few trains where the hard product is different enough to warrant the higher fare, especially for a LD train.
 

jis

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Lol hilarious. More downgrades for 448's sleeper passengers and no business class for anyone. BC on it was one of the few trains where the hard product is different enough to warrant the higher fare, especially for a LD train.
You don’t know for sure that there is any downgrade for Sleeper passengers. You are just making an assumption on that one I am afraid 🤷🏻
 

daybeers

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You don’t know for sure that there is any downgrade for Sleeper passengers. You are just making an assumption on that one I am afraid 🤷🏻
They'll now get the worst class of meals for the prices they're asking: boxed snacks, basically.
 

jis

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They'll now get the worst class of meals for the prices they're asking: boxed snacks, basically.
Only if the Bc/Cafe is not replaced by a full Amfleet Ii Dinette as has been planned. As I said you are basing your indignation on an assumption. Let us see what actually happens.
 

Sidney

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You don’t know for sure that there is any downgrade for Sleeper passengers. You are just making an assumption on that one I am afraid 🤷🏻
You don’t know for sure that there is any downgrade for Sleeper passengers. You are just making an assumption on that one I am afraid 🤷🏻
BC on the LSL was perfect. A single seat,a few amenities and a step up from Coach. Cannot justify the outrageous roomette prices. Too late for dinner and lame flex food. BC cars would be great on all LD trains.Instead,one is going away.
 

jis

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BC on the LSL was perfect. A single seat,a few amenities and a step up from Coach. Cannot justify the outrageous roomette prices. Too late for dinner and lame flex food. BC cars would be great on all LD trains.Instead,one is going away.
It would be nice to have the BC/Cafe on the NY section perhaps.

Actually there have been numerous complaints about inadequate food service for Coach passengers on the LSL, and the cause of that is the BC/Cafe rather than a full Cafe on the train. If there is going to be a single Cafe on the LSL it needs to be a full Cafe and not a half one as the BC/Cafe is. It is patently inadequate to serve 4-5 Coaches worth of customers. I think under the circumstances the choice should be to provide more adequate food service to a larger number of customers than to provide for a marginal convenience for a few.

Ideally of course there should be a BC/Cafe and a full Cafe, even if the BC/Cafe is not staffed all the way west of Albany.
 
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Rambling Robert

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I’m sold on “upgrading” to BC on my 6/11 trip on the LSL. But I’m not sure what to expect, Is it a half car or a whole car? What amenities are available?

General question - is each consist cast in concrete. Say tomorrow if LDs are bombarded with sleeper request. It is what it is??? No adds?
 

zephyr17

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I’m sold on “upgrading” to BC on my 6/11 trip on the LSL. But I’m not sure what to expect, Is it a half car or a whole car? What amenities are available?

General question - is each consist cast in concrete. Say tomorrow if LDs are bombarded with sleeper request. It is what it is??? No adds?
No, Amtrak runs fixed consists. They vary some by season, but that is all.

It is one of the pet peeves of many people here. Although I do have to say that Amtrak does not have much in the way of reserve or protection cars, unlike the railroads back in the day.
 

Sidney

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I’m sold on “upgrading” to BC on my 6/11 trip on the LSL. But I’m not sure what to expect, Is it a half car or a whole car? What amenities are available?

General question - is each consist cast in concrete. Say tomorrow if LDs are bombarded with sleeper request. It is what it is??? No adds?
5 Single seats in BC. Unlimited non alcholic beverages and one alcholoic beverage. Car is behind the cafe car seperated by a curtain. To get that single seat out of Chicago is worth the upgrade. I am usually the first to board from the Metropolitan lounge and I always grab one.
 

west point

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IMO Amtrak is so screwed up that planning consists is impossible. It goes back unfortunately to Amtrak cutting back on maintenance personnel. Amtrak is claiming for example that it will not enough trained personnel to maintain equipment in the Pacific NW. When there is an disruption anywhere there is no backup equipment anywhere. Let us hope there is not any derailment between now and probably spring 2023.
 
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