Coast Starlight Business Class

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seat38a

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It looks like the Business Class for Coast Starlight is bookable. Its the last option in premium. Anyone seen it yet?
 

CHamilton

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Thanks for noticing that! I just booked BC on the Starlight SEA-OLW on August 8 for the All Aboard Washington picnic. Looks like they are charging the same price as Cascades BC.
 

CHamilton

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From Facebook:

Already found a glitch -- can't book with associated Thruway. LAX-OKJ prices out; LAX-SFC does not.
I guess they haven't added all the needed city pairs yet.
 

seat38a

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Thanks for noticing that! I just booked BC on the Starlight SEA-OLW on August 8 for the All Aboard Washington picnic. Looks like they are charging the same price as Cascades BC.
Glad I could help. They really need to change the user interface because, people will not know that its the last option after all the sleepers. Its going to be a failed experiment if nothing changes with the booking system.
 

zepherdude

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Very reasonable price, plus not one but 2 bottles of water and a 6 buck meal coupon. Access to Parlor Car! What a treat! I would try this option for sure.
 

winterskigirl

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I hope this isn't going to pack em into the Parlour Car :angry: They really should have stripped the seats out of the lower level "movie theatre" which is rarely used and installed bench seats or swivel chairs. The PPC needs more seating.
 
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seat38a

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I hope this isn't going to pack em into the Parlour Car :angry: They really should have stripped the seats out of the lower level "movie theatre" which is rarely used and installed bench seats or swivel chairs. The PPC needs more seating.
From what I understand PPC is for Wine Tasting only. Not to hangout.
 

seat38a

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If they had a shower facility for business class on the CS, I'm sure that would help sell those seats! Lets face it, coach tends to develop an interesting stench towards the end of the trip, with most of it from not bathing.
 

fairviewroad

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Thanks for noticing that! I just booked BC on the Starlight SEA-OLW on August 8 for the All Aboard Washington picnic. Looks like they are charging the same price as Cascades BC.
Glad I could help. They really need to change the user interface because, people will not know that its the last option after all the sleepers. Its going to be a failed experiment if nothing changes with the booking system.
They might be planning some sort of marketing push for this, which would help raise the visibility. But yes, the current set-up does make it awfully subtle.
 

Anderson

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I'm figuring this is a soft, low-profile launch to work out the bugs before they throw the book at it with marketing.

Edit: And I'm seeing that BC is $30 on top of the coach fare LAX-OKJ. Not a bad deal, particularly if the downstairs seating is 2-1 and you can keep a good wifi connection where relevant. Point to be had, though, is that the wifi on the Starlight has been extremely spotty in the last few years (a few of their routers died).
 
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fairviewroad

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I'm figuring this is a soft, low-profile launch to work out the bugs before they throw the book at it with marketing.
Yes, it will be interesting to see where/how this is marketed. That said, unless Amtrak.com overhauls its booking engine, the BC option on the CS will continue to be relatively hard to find, as it will require clicking through the sleeping accommodations on the "premium" column. That will not deter folks who are committed to booking BC, but it will certainly not produce many impulsive upsells to people who aren't traveling overnight and wouldn't think to click on the "premium" column.

As of now, this is a unique choice, but it Amtrak wants to spread this model to other LD trains, they really need to come up with a fifth column in the booking engine.
 

rms492

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is the seating standard 2-2, or the much preferred 2-1?

If it is 2-1, would it be possible to be guaranteed the "single" aisle seat option?
 

Rail Freak

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is the seating standard 2-2, or the much preferred 2-1?

If it is 2-1, would it be possible to be guaranteed the "single" aisle seat option?
Possibly at a higher price, but it would be nice to get a newspaper, flowers on the fold down tray, toiletry bag, ice & water & coffee & juice,etc.!

Please excuse my sarcasim!
 
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saxman

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Is there an official start date for this?
 

seat38a

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Is there an official start date for this?
Amtrak itself didn't announce anything. (I don't think) I asked the lounge agent this past weekend if it was coming which she confirmed it was. I only found out it was bookable by going online and finding it after flipping through all the sleeper options.
 

surfgeek

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Service started 6/22/15, and was bookable on that date. Extra tariff is (for one example) $28 over coach for LAX-SJC, $51 additional SJC-SEA, $57 LAX-SEA (for travel July 2, one-way.) Oddly, I can't find the fares online but *can* find them on the mobile app. As observed and discussed with a crew member last Saturday 6/20, the coaches were not refurbished and seating is 2+2 standard lower-level Superliner coach seating -- but weren't there some Amfleet/Horizon business-class 2+1 seats sent out west about a year ago? Maybe someone remembers.

Also, the initial Amtrak employee memo stated Parlour Car access for Business Class passengers was only for the 9extra cost) wine tasting, but now there's a more ambiguously-worded version out that says "access to the Parlour Car" without the "...only for the wine tasting" note and saying the $6 voucher is good in the PC as well as the diner and Sightseer Lounge.

Early days yet, I suppose, and some details to clarify and work out.

2+ 1 upgraded seats and unrestricted PC access might make it worth the money, but two bottles of water and a $6 voucher, plus unreliable wi-fi, don't make enough difference for me -- I guess we'll see how the public respond.
 

surfgeek

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(Fairviewroad posted the press release with the "access to Parlour Car" text. If I recall the original memo correctly, it was made clear that access was *only* for the wine tasting -- so that's changed and for the better.)
 

Anderson

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(Fairviewroad posted the press release with the "access to Parlour Car" text. If I recall the original memo correctly, it was made clear that access was *only* for the wine tasting -- so that's changed and for the better.)
That is probably in reaction to the fact that when the original idea was put out there, the wine tasting was free/included...and you'd have howls of indignation if BC folks got the wine tasting free while sleeper pax had to shell out for it. Also, there's the fact that there are plenty of valid city pairs which wouldn't get the wine tasting due to timing (SEA-PDX comes to mind...IIRC the wine tasting is post-departure from PDX SB and pre-arrival NB).

Edit: The only issue I have with it is the fact that they probably ought to scale the voucher with distance/number of meal periods covered (e.g. SEA-PDX would be $6 but LAX-OKJ might be $12-15) and adjust the price accordingly. Such scaling was also in the original concept.
 
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SteveSTX

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Another way Amtrak is diminishing the perks of sleeper travel. Every time I've been on CS the good seats (swivel chairs) in the PPC have been full most of the trip. Now add all the business class passengers and it will really be crowded.

So I guess I'm happy it's hard to find in the booking system.
 
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surfgeek

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"That is probably in reaction to the fact that when the original idea was put out there, the wine tasting was free/included." The wine tasting was always an extra cost for BC, same cost as for sleeper passengers.
 

surfgeek

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Original memo -- some adjustments have been made and hopefully passed on to crews:

:The Coach Train Attendant will be issued a book of coupons.

The $6.00 Food and Beverage Coupon can be redeemed in the Dining Car, Lounge or Parlour Car. Valid on the day of travel only.
Wi Fi access for checking e-mail and intranet access ( no movie streaming).
Business Class (BC) travelers will have access to the Parlour Car for wine tasting.
The TA will give each BC passenger (2) bottles of water from the Diner.
BC seating is reserved exclusively for ticketed BC travelers.
BC Customers will have access to the Metropolitan Lounges along the route.
 
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