Business class vs.coach

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Kaffy

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I am planning on taking Amtrak from NYC to Old Orchard Beach Maine with two children, switching trains in Boston. Trying to decide it if business class is worth the extra cost. Does anyone know what the advantages of business class are.
 

spacecadet

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I am planning on taking Amtrak from NYC to Old Orchard Beach Maine with two children, switching trains in Boston. Trying to decide it if business class is worth the extra cost. Does anyone know what the advantages of business class are.
More legroom... not sure if they do free drinks anymore. One word of warning: other passengers might not appreciate two children in business class. (It is called business class for a reason.) One of the "implied" advantages of business class is that it's generally (no, not always) quieter than a coach car, and most of the people in business class will spend at least part of the trip doing work.

That said, I don't believe there is anything preventing you from taking kids into business class. I personally have not seen it done but I'm sure some people do it.

Some trains run with business class cars in coach class (the last regional train I took from BOS-NYP had about 4 coach cars and 8 business class cars, only one of which was "the" business class car), in which case the *only* real advantage to actually purchasing a business class ticket is the peace and quiet. But that's kind of a crap shoot. Some days you might get lucky, other days not.
 
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G

guest

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I am planning on taking Amtrak from NYC to Old Orchard Beach Maine with two children, switching trains in Boston. Trying to decide it if business class is worth the extra cost. Does anyone know what the advantages of business class are.
I don't find the business class in the NEC trains--i.e. NYC to Boston--to be worth the additional cost. The seating is still 2 plus 2, albeit with a little more legroom than regular coach, and the free bottle of water or can of soda is hardly worth the higher price. For the time required, you as an adult can tolerate easily the regular coach seats, and the kids wouldn't notice extra legroom anyways.

On the Downeaster from Boston up to Maine, the BC is in the snack car and much classier, with 2 and 1 seating in really nice leather seats. But again, I don't know how much that would mean for kids. You as an adult would very much enjoy it, though.

As far as children riding in BC, I rode BC three times on the Missouri River Runner and there were children, along with parents, all three instances.
 
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the_traveler

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One of the "implied" advantages of business class is that it's generally (no, not always) quieter than a coach car, and most of the people in business class will spend at least part of the trip doing work.
Quieter?


I was on an AGR sleeper award, so I was entitled to BC on a Regional from WAS to KIN. When the passengers boarded, at least 5 people in BC started talking (not quietly either
) on their cell phones! And this was ALL BEFORE the train left WAS!
And the run began in WAS!


I was almost tempted to move 1 car back - to the Quiet Car (aka coach)!
 

caravanman

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Mar 22, 2004
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Hi,

I would question the lable of Amtrak's "business class" as being a description for business travel.. After all, they need to call it something, so is it called upper class, 1st class, slightly roomier than regular class? My impression of it is that business class is pretty much like regular class, children welcome, but a slightly more affluent clientel?

Ed :cool:
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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Quieter?


I was on an AGR sleeper award, so I was entitled to BC on a Regional from WAS to KIN. When the passengers boarded, at least 5 people in BC started talking (not quietly either
) on their cell phones! And this was ALL BEFORE the train left WAS!
And the run began in WAS!


I was almost tempted to move 1 car back - to the Quiet Car (aka coach)!
I have to agree. The "businessmen" are not exactly quiet in the NEC BC cars, yakking it up quite loudly on their cell phones (arguing during their conference calls?).

BTW, I have to also agree that BC on the NE Regionals isn't really worth it. The only advantage, is priority boarding at some stations, and with that, an increased likelihood you will find multiple seats all together.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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I would question the lable of Amtrak's "business class" as being a description for business travel.. After all, they need to call it something, so is it called upper class, 1st class, slightly roomier than regular class? My impression of it is that business class is pretty much like regular class, children welcome, but a slightly more affluent clientel?
Well, on airlines, Business Class is for the most part, is simply more leg room. Amtrak's Business Class on the NE Regionals is basically just that.

However, there are indeed other Amtrak routes, outside of the NE Regionals, where Business Class is certainly a step up. It is when the 2-1 seating, using those La-z-boy style reclining seats in leather (or is it faux leather?) is really, really comfy.
 
R

Ray Cooney

Guest
Downeaster business class is worth it. Not only the 2/1 seats with leg rests, but they serve the BC folks BEFORE the coach people.
 
G

guest

Guest
One of the "implied" advantages of business class is that it's generally (no, not always) quieter than a coach car, and most of the people in business class will spend at least part of the trip doing work.
Quieter?


I was on an AGR sleeper award, so I was entitled to BC on a Regional from WAS to KIN. When the passengers boarded, at least 5 people in BC started talking (not quietly either
) on their cell phones! And this was ALL BEFORE the train left WAS!
And the run began in WAS!


I was almost tempted to move 1 car back - to the Quiet Car (aka coach)!
You're not kidding about the cell phone use in BC, esp. on the NEC!

But I find it interesting in a slightly perverse way. In less than an hour, I can learn significant details about practically everyone using a phone, since conversations on cell phones always seem to be louder.

If I were so inclined, I could use a lot of the info gleaned for mischievous activities into their affairs. People should be much more careful about what and how they say things on cell phones in public!!

After about an hour or so, however, I am inclined to take a hammer to each cell phone--and each cell phone user!! :eek:
 

amamba

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Just took the downeaster last week, and it was very nice in BC. It is indeed the 2-1 seating in the second half of the cafe car. Not only that, but the very nice cafe car attendent came by while we were parked at BON and got everyone their free drinks and served them to the pax in their seats. A very nice service flourish.

BC on the NEC isn't really worth it, but for the extra $8 on the downeaster I found it to be a very, very good value.
 
G

Guest

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Well, on airlines, Business Class is for the most part, is simply more leg room. Amtrak's Business Class on the NE Regionals is basically just that.
Show me an airline that sells a coach seat with extra legroom as BC. On every airline I have seen BC has a wider seat as well. Some airlines do sell a economy with more legroom but they usually call it something like Economy Plus, not BC.
 

buck1108

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Has anyone here experienced the Maple Leaf Business Class? Is it better than the NE Regionals?

Thanks
 

amamba

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On every airline I have seen BC has a wider seat as well.
Every airline I have seen, their BC seats are narrower than Amtrak's seats.
A quick visit to seatguru.com will easily debunk this statement. For example, most United and US airways planes have a seat width of 17 - 18" in Economy/coach class. On those same airlines, business/first class seats in the same planes have a seat width of 19-21". One finds that the seats of 17" width tend to have the 19" width in business class - probably because the planes aren't as wide to fit in wider seats.

Is there a specific airline, choo choo Charlie, that you are thinking of? Perhaps I didn't look at that one.

Now if your statement is that Amtrak's seats are still wider than the business class seats on planes, that might be possible. But you will find that the airplanes are selling extra leg room AND the extra width in the upgrade to business class.
 
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frugalist

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What about coach vs. business class on the Amtrak Cascades? What are the benefits of BC on those trains? Do you find it worth it?
 

PRR 60

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Airline Business Class also includes free meals and drinks. Travelers used to airline Business Class are in for a disappointment if they think Amtrak's version is comparable.
 

Ryan

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What about coach vs. business class on the Amtrak Cascades? What are the benefits of BC on those trains? Do you find it worth it?
Priority boarding (at least at PDX), a voucher for a few bucks of stuff in the bistro car. Don't recall what a coach seat looked like, but BC was nice and comfy.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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A quick visit to seatguru.com will easily debunk this statement.
A quick visit to seatguru.com will easily prove you are once again wrong.

I find on that website, the typically airline BC seat is still narrower than an Amtrak coach seat.
 

AlanB

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What about coach vs. business class on the Amtrak Cascades? What are the benefits of BC on those trains? Do you find it worth it?
You'll get a much shorter checkin line, and in fact in Portland you check in at a special ticket window. You do get to board ahead of the coach passengers and in Vancouver you get to go through US Customs first, before the coach passengers. You'll get a $3 coupon to use in the cafe car towards whatever you buy. And finally the BC cars are 2&1 seating. They are cloth, not the faux leather found on many other routes. But still there are fewer people per car, which comes in handy if people have lots of luggage.
 
G

guest

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Airline Business Class also includes free meals and drinks. Travelers used to airline Business Class are in for a disappointment if they think Amtrak's version is comparable.
Airline business class is certainly nicer than the NEC BC class but IMHO not as nice as the luxurious 2 plus 1 seating on most other single-level Amtrak trains, ESPECIALLY when the typical airline sells its business class for double or triple the coach economy fare. (The 2 plus 1 seats are the old Metroliner first class seats and truly comfortable, a bit better than the Superliner LC coach seats.

And economy=first or economy=first or whatever an airline calls its economy class seats in the front of the economy cabin with an inch or two more legroom is certainly less desirable than Amtrak BC.

All in all, Amtrak BC, with the exception of the NEC trains, is a much better VALUE than an airline business class seat considering the extra charge is only a small percentage extra of the train coach fare.

The only time I would ever consider an airline business class is on an overseas flight where you get a bed, for all practical purposes, and not just a seat. And you get nonstop free food.
 

AlanB

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Has anyone here experienced the Maple Leaf Business Class? Is it better than the NE Regionals?

Thanks
Just came off the Leaf this past Thursday, riding from Toronto to NY. The Leaf operates with the Club-Dinette car, which is the special car with the 2&1 faux leather seating. If you're going any distance on this train, I highly recommend BC for the better seats. And you will get free non-alcoholic drinks.

One word of caution, if you're coming east/south on the Leaf, get to the cafe car early. Amtrak has no way to restock things either in Toronto or Niagara Falls, NY on the way back to NY. Therefore the train runs with what it carried out of NY the day before. Once it sells out, and typically most things do sell out (certainly the most popular things), it's gone.
 

caravanman

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Hi,

I think the original poster was probably looking for general info and enlightenment rather than a squabble about seat sizes..

I have seen some MASSIVE Americans waddling to their Amtrak seats in coach, they don't seem to get stuck in them.. the seats are like armchairs, just huge. Anyone who needs more legroom or seating area would probably be too big to get on the train!

I am 6' 2" tall myself, although I only weigh a modest amount by US standards!

Eddie :cool:
 
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the_traveler

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The BIG difference between seats on Amtrak and seats on a plane is that there is no armrest in between the two seats! Thus you don't have to "squeeze into your seat"!
But I think the seats are bigger anyway.
 

PRR 60

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The BIG difference between seats on Amtrak and seats on a plane is that there is no armrest in between the two seats! Thus you don't have to "squeeze into your seat"!
But I think the seats are bigger anyway.
Except for Acela, which has armrests. I like the armrests. It establishes the property line and prevents encroachments by land-grabbing seat-mates.
 
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