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Booking Two Bedrooms for a 2 Hour Train

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LinPhil

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
24
I'm thinking about booking a Bedroom Suite on the City of New Orleans from Chicago to Champaign. Since I have two adults and two children and the Roomette is only $20 less, I think it is worth it? Although, I'm worried the attendant and conductors will be annoyed at me for taking up availability for such a short trip and then making them clean both rooms after I got off. Would it be ok or is it frowned upon? I've booked two roomettes before for a two hour trip and they seemed fine, but never Two Bedrooms, but this time it's only $20 more total.

Thanks
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,395
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Palm Beach County
I personally don’t think it’s “worth it”, but if that’s what you desire, and Amtrak sells it to you, there is nothing wrong with booking it.
Amtrak will make plenty on it, if they sell it from Champaign onward. The accommodation charge from Chicago to Champaign is probably the same as to a point much further down the line, so they may in effect be earning double for a portion of the way, if it does sell beyond Champaign.
On the other hand, if the sleeper is sold out, and someone will only make a later booking if they can get the bedrooms for the entire trip, or else hold off for a later date, then in that case, Amtrak could lose money... but that is not likely...
 

pennyk

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From what I understand, more passengers are booking rooms on long distance trains than in the past. I would not be worried about taking up availability. I personally think it would be worth it to be safer and more comfortable - even for such a short trip.
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
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May 24, 2010
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I agree that the best solution is to simply stop worrying about what the attendants think and book whichever room you prefer for whatever reason you like. That being said I can only assume people ask these sorts of questions because Amtrak staff have already complained about them in the past or they felt they were penalized for doing something "wrong" on a previous trip. Nobody has ever asked me how Delta staff might react if they booked this or that seat, what Marriott staff might think if they stayed in this or that room, or how Denny's staff might treat them if they chose a booth versus a table. In some ways questions like these say more about Amtrak service than the answers.
 
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Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
Joined
May 24, 2010
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I say go for the suite and enjoy the party! Tip early, tip often, and tip well!
Doesn't this simply reward bad behavior? If a bigger room starts out cheap but we have to tip more money just to keep the staff off our back where are the savings? Posts like this make wonder if we should tip later and less often instead.
 

anumberone

Conductor
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Aug 8, 2015
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Los Angeles
What time does this trip depart, is there bed preparation involved. If not, I don’t see much wear and tear on the attendant besides saying welcome aboard and hanging around for gratuities an hour later.
 

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,390
Location
Gator Country Florida
Back in 2011 my oldest daughter and I took Amtrak to NWK. When we got there a Red Cap had us toss our bags on the cart he had some bags on and told us to follow him - guess he could tell we looked lost. When we retrieved our bags he refused a tip saying the other person had tipped him well and then he took the time to explain to us how to get to the next place we needed to go to get to the airport rental car places.

That is service!

I would use whatever service you are paying for and not worry if a paid employee doesn't like having to do their job - they are not so busy they can't clean the room behind you ... after all, that IS their job.
 

LinPhil

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
24
What time does this trip depart, is there bed preparation involved. If not, I don’t see much wear and tear on the attendant besides saying welcome aboard and hanging around for gratuities an hour later.
Train departs Chicago at 8 PM and arrives at 10:30 PM, so they wouldn't have to do beds.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,365
I say go for the suite and enjoy the party! Tip early, tip often, and tip well!
No.

Tip AFTER receiving the service because sometimes you tip and you don't get the service you pay for the train or room.

Tip often? On a two hour trip?

Tip well? YES if the service is very good. NO, if you get no service (which might be the case on a short trip).
 

Maglev

OBS Chief
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Sep 4, 2016
Messages
980
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Orcas Island, Washington
Specifically for this traveler, I recommend to tip the SCA after boarding luggage assistance or when the section divider is moved. If the section divider is already moved, I would tip the SCA and thank him or her. Then tip every time ice is delivered or when other services are rendered (the kids might want the beds down, then want them up again over the course of 2.5 hours), and tip as you get off.

I do not recommend tipping before services are rendered.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,764
Location
South Carolina
I regularly get short sleepers. I remember once for a three hour ride from Columbia to Cary on No. 92 when my girlfriend at the time and I were going to visit her mother. I am a firm believer in the sleeper and the privacy they bring.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,718
Location
Austin Texas
It was the 2018 July OTOL fest on the Sunset Limited from NOL to Houston, days after Alan's passing 😥 and a few days before we saw Chris in SAS and then you in Austin.
Thanks for the correction Penny, and I sure remember yalls trip, including the sad News of Alan's passing.
 

Larry H.

OBS Chief
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
966
We have often taken that 8pm train from Chicago for a 5 hour trip south, and often in a bedroom. However as so many things with Amtrak the money seems to be a driver. The cost used to be rather reasonable, cost far more now than it used to be. My feeling is they don't want to sell a bedroom and tie it up for a short trip customer. Also from Chicago to KC at one time the cost was reasonable, but the last time I checked it was several times the charge it used to be.

On the tip situation, it seems that the same sort of smug tipping pressure exist even though the Union Attendants are making significant salaries. I don't mind tipping if the service is good but if we haven't seen the attendant for most of the trip I have refused to tip which I think is how it ought to be.
 

gwolfdog

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
170
I'm thinking about booking a Bedroom Suite on the City of New Orleans from Chicago to Champaign. Since I have two adults and two children and the Roomette is only $20 less, I think it is worth it? Although, I'm worried the attendant and conductors will be annoyed at me for taking up availability for such a short trip and then making them clean both rooms after I got off. Would it be ok or is it frowned upon? I've booked two roomettes before for a two hour trip and they seemed fine, but never Two Bedrooms, but this time it's only $20 more total.

Thanks
If you feel safer and it gives you peace of mind. it's well worth it. The Attendants concerns mean nothing. Tips heal attitudes. 😷
 
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