Chicago Ticket Counter Relocated

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neroden

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Interesting. I wonder what's going on with baggage. I presume they'll move it over to be with ticketing "at the end of the year"? Have to do some behind-the-scenes work to hook into the baggage system, probably?
 

Tennessee Traveler

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I was at Chicago Union Station today and only thing in Great Hall was automated ticketing machines. Guy told me I did not need to change my Hiawatha ticket to ride and earlier train than I had booked so I never found the ticketing people. I'll be back tomorrow and Wednesday to check out the Metropolitan Lounge.
 

rtabern

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The plan is to move ticketing into the area that the OP posted photos of... next to the Metropolitan Lounge. When I was down there on Sunday they were using both the new area and the old area. But the plans are to get ride of the old ticketing area soon -- as they will be moving the escalator over there in 2017. This is to have one large boarding area instead of a north boarding area and a south boarding area that is separated by the escalator and old Met Lounge. I think Amtrak is relying too much on people will be doing ticketing themselves though. The new area only has 2-3 windows -- the only area had over 10+ windows. Should be interesting to see the long lines form when everything is moved over to the new area.
 

KnightRail

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This new ticketing space is directly to the right of the Met Lounge. The lounge entrance is just out of frame to the left. Remember, this space is in addition to the large kiosk in the center of the great hall. Both spaces are staffed with customer service representatives who can assist with ticketing. There were no long lines or understaffed issues yesterday. The old ticket counter has multiple banners hanging up now stating that the space handles checked baggage only.
 

SarahZ

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The new area only has 2-3 windows -- the only area had over 10+ windows. Should be interesting to see the long lines form when everything is moved over to the new area.
The old area rarely ever had more than three windows open at a time, though, even during holidays, so that's rather moot.
 

PVD

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Like it or not, the world is moving towards e-ticketing/fare apps and TVMs in rapid transit, airlines and Amtrak. But the current system of handling missed connections has customer service issue vouchers for cab/meal money, you need a ticket agent to turn that into cash. I've seen the counter overwhelmed more than once.
 

neroden

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The plan is to move ticketing into the area that the OP posted photos of... next to the Metropolitan Lounge. When I was down there on Sunday they were using both the new area and the old area. But the plans are to get ride of the old ticketing area soon -- as they will be moving the escalator over there in 2017.
Well that's all well and good but where do you check your luggage?!? People still have to check luggage! That's not going away!

Last time I was at the "old" ticket counter in Chicago, literally everyone in the line was checking luggage. No exceptions. And it was a long line, too.
 

SarahZ

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Until the end of the year.

Then that moves up there too.
Right, sorry. I was pointing out that checked baggage hasn't gone away. If people took the time to read your original post and the one I'd quoted, they'd realize that.
 

Tennessee Traveler

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Was back at Union Station today and did see that the new ticket counter location is actually just to the right of the entrance to the new Metropolitan Lounge
 

neroden

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Until the end of the year.

Then that moves up there too.
That's what I was wondering about. So they do have some sort of scheme to move the checked baggage to the new location, they just haven't implemented it yet.

Amtrak seems to have decided on an *extremely* incremental approach to improvements in Chicago Union Station -- probably more incremental than I would have considered doing.
 
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tim49424

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When I took that, it wasn't busy at all but I'd imagine they'd open other lines during peak times like early afternoon when the Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief and Texas Eagle board.
 

railbuck

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Amtrak seems to have decided on an *extremely* incremental approach to improvements in Chicago Union Station -- probably more incremental than I would have considered doing.
Phased construction, awkward as it may appear at times, is still preferable to shutting down the whole place (and most of Amtrak with it) for 6 months or so to get everything done at once. From what I've seen, they have been doing a decent job of sequencing the work to minimize impact on customers.
 

SarahZ

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Phased construction, awkward as it may appear at times, is still preferable to shutting down the whole place (and most of Amtrak with it) for 6 months or so to get everything done at once. From what I've seen, they have been doing a decent job of sequencing the work to minimize impact on customers.
Agreed.

Also, I like that there are new, shiny things for me to notice every 3-4 weeks.
 

dogbert617

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These plans sound very interesting for Amtrak to be doing, hope the renovations work out for them! Did check out the new Metropolitan Lounge myself, when Amtrak last year had it open along with other usually closed off parts of the Great Hall(i.e. the Harvey House(I think) cafeteria that burned down in the 70s or 80s), during Open House Chicago 2015.
 
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