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Lounge Access-without same day ticket

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J-1 3235

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 6, 2004
Messages
466
Location
BOS
My last few attempts to visit a Metropolitan Lounge have been rebuffed, as I was not traveling on Amtrak. I see this language now in the "benefits" of Select+:

Access to Amtrak clubs and lounges with your member card and same-day Amtrak ticket.

When was that language added, as in years past one could visit at any time. I can understand being denied if the lounge is filled to "Covid" capacity, but considering how many are traveling, some on three day a week trains, how often is the lounge in Chicago or Boston full?

Thanks!
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
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Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Each time I have been to the Chicago Lounge it has been pretty full, though there is much more space to stretch out in the new one, specially upstairs.

Boston is seldom crowded. The Moynihan Train Hall Met lounge in NY will probably be much less crowded than the previous one used to get, often SRO.Washington DC can get hopelessly crowded in the afternoon.

Of course everything is pretty empty in the COVID era I am sure.
 

WWW

Service Attendant
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Nov 18, 2018
Messages
139
Location
MSP
Have used the Lounge in Chicago many times and not on a revenue ticket -
The 261 org adding private cars to the EB and usually having less than 25 riders of which only
5 or 6 actually show up a few hours prior to boarding.
Waiting for the EB and our cars to make up in the yard I would go to the desk and inquire if we
could use the lounge while we wait.
Amtrak has been very generous in extending complimentary hospitality.

The old dive adjacent to the Track 19 bypass was never much of place but the Metropolitan Lounge
is great with plenty of room although I have only been in there three times pre-pandemic since our
clients use of the cars is of course very limited. Opening the upper level would be a great way to
allow more usage and distance spacing - but then with reduced passenger loads maybe Amtrak
has the right formula with keeping the lower lounge open only and factor in reduced daily trains
from 7 to 3. This should change in a few months.

Looking forward to a visit in late October and maybe something in August/September in conjunction
with a Rocky Mountaineer Colorado trip (EB CZ RM and the return).
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
331
Location
Cleveland
I have a Select Plus card, and I always show that along with my same-day ticket. Never had a problem getting in the lounge in Chicago.

The Chicago lounge is nice, but does not compare to the First Class Lounge in Philadelphia which is downright spectacular.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,577
Location
Baltimore. MD
I've used my Select Plus card for years at the DC lounge, even when I rode in on MARC, with no problem. Occasionally, I'll get asked what train I'm taking. Never been asked to show my ticket. Sometimes I don't even buy my ticket until I get into the lounge. Same for New York, Philly and Boston. I used my Select Plus card to get into the Lounge in Chicago last year rather than try to find my sleeper ticket. I was let right in, and nobody asked me what train I was riding.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
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Aug 24, 2003
Messages
26,897
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Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
When I used to be Select+ I used it to use the NY Club Acela mostly to wait for NJTransit trains, or just as a pit stop.

I am not Select+ any more and unlikely to be one in the near future, so all that is beyond my universe now. Now the only way I get in there is by traveling by Sleeper or Acela First Class.
 

SubwayNut

Conductor
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
1,420
I was Select Plus from 2013 to 2016 when I lived in New York City and went into the New York Club Acela all the time when I wasn't taking Amtrak, whether it was to stop and use a clean restroom when I was in Midtown already or a couple times was seeing friends off I remember once it was someone taking the Lake Shore in coach and I got them priority boarding with the sleeping car passengers, and other time a friend who had just taken NJ Transit up from South Jersey, it was never questioned. You are a member we let you in.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,577
Location
Baltimore. MD
whether it was to stop and use a clean restroom
This is generally true, but there was a trip I took in 2019 when the plumbing in the Club Acela restroom went haywire, and the floor was a lake. I was actually rather impressed by the cleanliness and order in the general public restroom in NYP. Now if only Baltimore and Washington were as nice.
 
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