Do you have to request in advance that the wall be opened when getting the two-room combination?

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For the first time in our lives, we are getting two attached bedrooms. We're doing it on both directions on the Chief. After I had to change dates because our March train was cancelled, the agent asked me if we wanted to have the wall opened. I told her "Of course". She said that was not requested on the original reservation and I told her I didn't know we had to ask. After the call, I realized that it might be the same issue on our other train but I hate to wait hours on the phone just to ask that question.

Does anyone know that it must be requested in advance? If not and you want it that way, will the conductor (or SCA) remedy that?
 

pennyk

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I have done this a few times and never requested in advance. The SCA either has a key or has to get a key to open the door. I tell the SCA upon boarding that I want the door opened. On one occasion, much to my disappointment the SCA was unable to open the door. Then on another occasion, when not wanting the door opened, it opened unexpectedly when the train hit a rough switch. Fortunately the passengers in the next room and I were all dressed and decent. We had a laugh before asking the SCA to lock the door.
 
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I had adjoining rooms with a family member back in June (though not officially bought as a suite.) We did have them open the door during the day though we asked them if they opened it was it possible to close it at night when putting the beds down which the attendant nicely agreed to.
 
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In answer to those that asked, yes, I insured we have the proper rooms and the very-competent agents also knew. One direction is B-C and the other is D-E.

To be sure it's in the record, I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and call once more.
 

PRR 60

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If you have B-C and D-E you have the correct rooms. The only remaining issue is whether the door works, and in those old cars, maybe yes, maybe no. The sliding doors (called pocket doors) have a habit of either not staying closed and locked to prevent undesired opening, or not staying open and latched to prevent the opened door from slamming shut when going around a curve. I've had both issues happen. A good attendant can try to remedy either issue with a generous application of duct tape - which seems to be a standard item carried by all attendants.
 

willem

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[...] On one occasion, much to my disappointment the SCA was unable to open the door. [...]
Was that because the door was stuck?
If requested in advance it is put in a SSR (special service request) to notify the attendant. Otherwise you can just ask the attendant when/after you board. [...]
On a recent trip, the attendant did not have a key and apparently no other employee on board had one either (although I wouldn't be surprised if that particular attendant didn't check with anyone). The attendant told me I should have requested the door be opened when I made the reservation. I had not had adjoining bedrooms often, but I had never been asked how I wanted the door (and every time I had adjoining bedrooms, I spoke with an agent to be sure we got rooms with the door between them).
 

Chatter163

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Haven't had the pocket door opened in a few years, but when I did, I never requested until I got on board. Good to know for future reference. I suspect that the keys have become few and far between, as compared to past decades.
 

Ryan

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On a recent trip, the attendant did not have a key and apparently no other employee on board had one either (although I wouldn't be surprised if that particular attendant didn't check with anyone). The attendant told me I should have requested the door be opened when I made the reservation. I had not had adjoining bedrooms often, but I had never been asked how I wanted the door (and every time I had adjoining bedrooms, I spoke with an agent to be sure we got rooms with the door between them).
That sounds like a load of "I lost/forgot my key and need to find a way to make it not my fault" to me.
 

jpakala

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Until today's sleeping cars the rooms could be en suite with never such crazy problems as those mentioned (slamming shut; hard to get opened; issues with keys or their lack). And between drawing rooms and compartments (in a 4 bedroom, 4 compartment, 2 drawing room car) there was a single door. I recall on the Santa Fe a woman from MI using the drawing room with 2 young sons and her teen daughter having the compartment.
 

Amtrak709

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I have done this a few times and never requested in advance. The SCA either has a key or has to get a key to open the door. I tell the SCA upon boarding that I want the door opened. On one occasion, much to my disappointment the SCA was unable to open the door. Then on another occasion, when not wanting the door opened, it opened unexpectedly when the train hit a rough switch. Fortunately the passengers in the next room and I were all dressed and decent. We had a laugh before asking the SCA to lock the door.
Thanks pennyk. If you have an opportunity read my post in "Craziest Drama on Amtrak you've seen" dated 04 August 2021 regarding the pocket door between Superliner sleeper E and D.
 

Amtrak709

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I might also add this: With the extreme high cost of a bedroom these days and, especially a bedroom suite, you darn well better believe that pocket connecting door better work and be positioned as I, the passenger, want it.
 
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