Chicago Union Station Metropolitan Lounge

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Rambling Robert

Service Attendant
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May 30, 2021
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172
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Boston
In Chicago I’ve been to the old Coach lounge with three TVs blasting and chips in big bowls and cans of soda. There was a bathroom needing updating. That was 11/17. I think the cost was $20. Bag check, no shower.

The coach lounge and metropolitan were later. combined and updated. 12/19 $25 and 6/21 $30.

In 2019 there was a Happy Half Hour and plenty of snacks and soft drinks. 2021 when I arrived at 10:30AM there were a few cans of Coke. Despite the early hour I took one - there were no more offered. Tap water.

The best part of the upgrade are the two shower rooms - two on the men’s side. Assume same on ladies. Towels are provided and you set a deadbolt for privacy. Body wash, shampoo and conditioner was in large bottles.

As far as desk employees - there’s one to go to. Like everywhere.
 

tim49424

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Dec 20, 2010
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Holland, MI
In Chicago I’ve been to the old Coach lounge with three TVs blasting and chips in big bowls and cans of soda. There was a bathroom needing updating. That was 11/17. I think the cost was $20. Bag check, no shower.

The coach lounge and metropolitan were later. combined and updated. 12/19 $25 and 6/21 $30.

In 2019 there was a Happy Half Hour and plenty of snacks and soft drinks. 2021 when I arrived at 10:30AM there were a few cans of Coke. Despite the early hour I took one - there were no more offered. Tap water.

The best part of the upgrade are the two shower rooms - two on the men’s side. Assume same on ladies. Towels are provided and you set a deadbolt for privacy. Body wash, shampoo and conditioner was in large bottles.

As far as desk employees - there’s one to go to. Like everywhere.

The “old coach lounge“ you are referring to was the Legacy Club. It was located across the Great Hall from the Metropolitan Lounge. The only combination that happened after the Legacy closed was that outside food restrictions were lifted in the Metropolitan Lounge. I started a thread about it when I discovered the change in 2019.

 
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Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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Austin Texas
The “old coach lounge“ you are referring to was the Legacy Club. It was located across the Great Hall from the Metropolitan Lounge. The only combination that happened after the Legacy closed was that outside food restrictions were lifted in the Metropolitan Lounge. I started a thread about it when I discovered the change in 2019.

I never got to see that Lounge since I wasn't in Chicago while it was open.

Several years ago while they were "updating " the Old Metro Lounge, Amtrak moved the Lounge to the Great Hall. Ithink that's where the Legacy Lounge was Located, but not sure???
 

pennyk

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I never got to see that Lounge since I wasn't in Chicago while it was open.

Several years ago while they were "updating " the Old Metro Lounge, Amtrak moved the Lounge to the Great Hall. Ithink that's where the Legacy Lounge was Located, but not sure???
It was off the Great Hall. Kevin and I were walking around Union Station right after it first opened and we looked inside and asked if we could look around. Just so happens that the facility director was there and gave us a tour of the Legacy Lounge and the other spaces they were renovating. At that time I was a member of the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee and we ran into the committee liaison during the tour. After that, our tour was even more extensive. A couple of months later, an ACAC subcommittee met in Chicago and we met in the conference room in the Legacy Lounge. At that time, the new Metropolitan Lounge was under construction and we were given a tour of that facility.
Although I never paid to enjoy the Legacy Lounge, I had the privilege of visiting and enjoying it a few times. I thought it was lovely. (FYI, I miss being a member of the ACAC and was very disappointed when Amtrak terminated the committee in 2019.)
 

Bob Dylan

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It was off the Great Hall. Kevin and I were walking around Union Station right after it first opened and we looked inside and asked if we could look around. Just so happens that the facility director was there and gave us a tour of the Legacy Lounge and the other spaces they were renovating. At that time I was a member of the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee and we ran into the committee liaison during the tour. After that, our tour was even more extensive. A couple of months later, an ACAC subcommittee met in Chicago and we met in the conference room in the Legacy Lounge. At that time, the new Metropolitan Lounge was under construction and we were given a tour of that facility.
Although I never paid to enjoy the Legacy Lounge, I had the privilege of visiting and enjoying it a few times. I thought it was lovely. (FYI, I miss being a member of the ACAC and was very disappointed when Amtrak terminated the committee in 2019.)
Another dumb decision by the Flyboys!😉
 

Rambling Robert

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Boston
In December 2017 I read about the lounge for coach passengers onlline. I was prepared to sit it out on the main hall benchers but $20 was. Worth it. Showers weren’t available. There was an open area for leaving your bags - a bit iffy. I booked an hour in the conference room which was helpful.

I joined the kindergarteners and got escorted to the track but with 20 minutes to spare I realized my winter jacket was back at the lounge. Whoops it was locked. The Amtrak employees didn’t know or care to know who could unlock the lounge for me. A security guy said maybe. It was unlocked by security and I told him it would be worth $10 - $$$ talks
 

tim49424

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In December 2017 I read about the lounge for coach passengers onlline. I was prepared to sit it out on the main hall benchers but $20 was. Worth it. Showers weren’t available. There was an open area for leaving your bags - a bit iffy. I booked an hour in the conference room which was helpful.

I joined the kindergarteners and got escorted to the track but with 20 minutes to spare I realized my winter jacket was back at the lounge. Whoops it was locked. The Amtrak employees didn’t know or care to know who could unlock the lounge for me. A security guy said maybe. It was unlocked by security and I told him it would be worth $10 - $$$ talks

Again, you are describing the Legacy Club.
 
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I used the Legacy Lounge once and enjoyed it. Found it "cozier" and more comfortable and I thought the snacks were far better than the Metropoitan Lounge. But, even when I was there it was poorly patronized and wasn't shocked when I heard it had been closed.
 

tim49424

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But, even when I was there it was poorly patronized and wasn't shocked when I heard it had been closed.

Did you ever hear an announcement on the PA or seen signage advertising it? Would you have ever heard of it unless someone mentioned it online? My personal answers to both questions would be a resounding no and I'd been at CUS many times during it's small window of existence.
 

Sidney

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The Legacy lounge had a better snack and drink selection than the current lounge. I recall they had a happy hour and you got three or four full drinks. It was included.
 

tim49424

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I recall they had a happy hour and you got three or four full drinks. It was included.

I had never experienced it, but heard about it. The concept would've been crazy because if I'd been in there at the right time, I'd had happy hour with me, myself and I. There rarely was anyone else in the Legacy Club when I was there.
 

Rambling Robert

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Boston
I was there for Happy Half Hour. It was the week after TDay 2017 - about half full. But going from $20 then for coach to $30 now for coach in the Meropolitan Club is worth it for the new showers. The new upper deck is nice too.
 

Eric S

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I used the Legacy Club a few times and recall decent, even fairly large, numbers of passengers using it. I specifically remember the large "collection" of baggage off to the left (south?) as one entered. (Although it could have been peak holiday travel season? I really don't remember exactly when it was that I used it.)
 
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suburban Chicago (Deerfield)
Did you ever hear an announcement on the PA or seen signage advertising it? Would you have ever heard of it unless someone mentioned it online? My personal answers to both questions would be a resounding no and I'd been at CUS many times during it's small window of existence.
I commute through Union Station, and there were really frequent announcements advertising the Legacy Lounge when it was open.
 

Manny T

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Chicago IL
Did you ever hear an announcement on the PA or seen signage advertising it? Would you have ever heard of it unless someone mentioned it online?

Yes. And yes. I remember the Legacy Club well and used it once. More to the point, I remember the signage and the announcements. The club itself had signage near the entrance, which faced the Great Hall, and was the illuminated type that changes with different messages about the club on a loop. There were additional signs at other points in CUS, I remember them as well. As for public announcements, they were frequent, every 10-15 minutes; I'm paraphrasing, they went, "Try our new Legacy Club, for a daily fee of $20 you will get snacks and be entitled to priority boarding."

The decor was beautiful and restful in the context of Union station. Here is the review page from Yelp, giving the club 4 stars out of 5 -- a very nice high rating. How many Amtrak services are worthy of 4 stars out of 5? Legacy Club - Chicago, IL Note the photos.

The club failed because the clientele wasn't there -- neither commuters nor Amtrak passengers. Commuters who need "refreshment" (a drink) can go to the Junction Bar in the station; and Amtrak PAX who want that type of accommodation will generally be sleeper PAX with access to the Metropolitan Lounge. So there was not enough of a client base to maintain this concept. Unlike some Amtrak innovations ("flex dining'), this was a worthwhile concept but people didn't buy in.
 

jpakala

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 13, 2014
Messages
136
That's interesting. In the corresponding space (the other direction along that long wall) we attended a meeting in a similar fine room that hosts receptions, private meetings, etc. and years ago it was the ladies' room with a huge lounge and so on.
 

zephyr17

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Jul 23, 2009
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Washington State
In metro lounge how far is the red cap and how far is elevator from canal st
Note the 2nd floor entrance directly from west side of Canal Street into the Pennsylvania Room of the Lounge is not open.

From the elevators at the main entrance on the east side Canal, you go west through the arch and the entrance to the Metropolitan Lounge is immediately to your right after pass through the arch. It isn't far, 50 yards or so from the elevator?

Red Caps will meet you in the foyer of the lounge going out to the train. I imagine you could have them meet you in the seating area if you are disabled and ask at the desk, but I don't know that for certain. In terms of getting to the lounge from the entrance upon arriving, I don't know about Red Cap availability at the main entrance, as I never use them there.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
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Location
Joliet Illinois
Note the 2nd floor entrance directly from west side of Canal Street into the Pennsylvania Room of the Lounge is not open.

From the elevators at the main entrance on the east side Canal, you go west through the arch and the entrance to the Metropolitan Lounge is immediately to your right after pass through the arch. It isn't far, 50 yards or so from the elevator?

Red Caps will meet you in the foyer of the lounge going out to the train. I imagine you could have them meet you in the seating area if you are disabled and ask at the desk, but I don't know that for certain. In terms of getting to the lounge from the entrance upon arriving, I don't know about Red Cap availability at the main entrance, as I never use them there.
👍
 

MccfamschoolMom

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Feb 28, 2020
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Dwight, IL
Note the 2nd floor entrance directly from west side of Canal Street into the Pennsylvania Room of the Lounge is not open.

From the elevators at the main entrance on the east side Canal, you go west through the arch and the entrance to the Metropolitan Lounge is immediately to your right after pass through the arch. It isn't far, 50 yards or so from the elevator?

Red Caps will meet you in the foyer of the lounge going out to the train. I imagine you could have them meet you in the seating area if you are disabled and ask at the desk, but I don't know that for certain. In terms of getting to the lounge from the entrance upon arriving, I don't know about Red Cap availability at the main entrance, as I never use them there.
I appreciate the details on where Red Caps meet passengers in the Metropolitan Lounge, as I anticipate that my husband and I will want Red Cap assistance in getting to the California Zephyr next year. We will probably be taking a Lincoln Service train from our hometown into Chicago, and I wonder how we might get to the Metropolitan Lounge (and get Red Cap assistance to the Metropolitan Lounge if needed) from the Lincoln Service platform? We aren't disabled, but we are "seasoned citizens" who tire easily on long walks.
 
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