Pacific Surfliner BC will not have complimentary access to Metropolitan Lounge as of 7/15/22

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pennyk

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Surfliner BC pax will no longer have access to LAX lounge per pacificsurfliner.com


Effective Friday, July 15, 2022, Pacific Surfliner Business Class customers will no longer have complimentary access to the Los Angeles Union Station Metropolitan Lounge. Pacific Surfliner customers interested in accessing the Amtrak Lounge can do so by purchasing a $25 day pass from the onsite attendant. All Pacific Surfliner customers will continue to have free access to Wi-Fi and seating in the Waiting Room on the west side of the station with a valid ticket.
 

zephyr17

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Surfliner BC pax will no longer have access to LAX lounge per pacificsurfliner.com

Unfortunate, but it makes sense. That lounge is really too small to support all that traffic. It becomes a standing room only mob scene.
 

Cal

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Unfortunate, but it makes sense. That lounge is really too small to support all that traffic. It becomes a standing room only mob scene.
It needs expanding and upgrading, something more in line with Boston or Portland. It handles three (technically four) LD trains. Hopefully if they upgrade it PS BC pax will be allowed back in
 
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The LAUS lounge is the only one in the system I've used, but I do see (as others have pointed out) why that decision was made.

Just for fun, I took a look - you can buy a one way from Union Station, to Glendale, in Biz, for $15 (before any discounts). If I worked in the area, I might be tempted to buy that $15 ticket, enter the lounge, consume way more than $15 of snacks and soft drinks, use the wifi, and get the work done in comfy AC, and simply never take the trip. That alone would be a money loser for them, and reduce the attractiveness of the lounge to those who had a genuine use.

While that's an extreme example, there are plenty of biz tickets in the $30-40 range, useful distances, originating at LAUS. To offer both the train and lounge amenities for that price can't be profitable.

It's just too many people, for too small a space, and the (potentially) small ticket price. I was on the Surfliner yesterday, passed through LAUS, where over 200 people boarded, and biz went from roughly 40% full to nearly 100% full.
 

TC_NYC

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If I worked in the area, I might be tempted to buy that $15 ticket, enter the lounge, consume way more than $15 of snacks and soft drinks, use the wifi, and get the work done in comfy AC, and simply never take the trip. That alone would be a money loser for them, and reduce the attractiveness of the lounge to those who had a genuine use.

While that's an extreme example, there are plenty of biz tickets in the $30-40 range, useful distances, originating at LAUS. To offer both the train and lounge amenities for that price can't be profitable.

The food in the lounge isn't that expensive, last time I was there it was cans of coke and pretzels. Nothing compared to say the Delta Skyclub at LAX which serves hot food and free alcohol.

Amtrak definitely needs more space at their LAX lounge, even now that they're eliminating access for business class passengers. The last time I was (during the morning, pre-pandemic) there it seemed 99% of the passengers where sleeping car passengers and not Surfliner passengers taking $15 business class trips to Anaheim.
 
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As large of a station as Los Angeles Union Station is, isn't there some larger unused space to develop a new lounge? An asset for the present lounge is the easy access to the platforms for the Red Caps and the guests using their services.
As far as I know, the station is owned by LACMTA, Amtrak is a tenant. Not sure what is available to rent out, and for how much.
 
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The food in the lounge isn't that expensive, last time I was there it was cans of coke and pretzels.
Oh yeah, for sure.. I'd be hard pressed to eat $15 of coke and pretzels at supermarket prices. But in Downtown LA, if I wanted a couple snacks and two soft drinks? The local convenience store prices would easily cost more than the cheap ticket.

EDIT: Speaking of, been to the new LAX DL SkyClub yet? It's not bad at all. From "meh" to "among the best in the system"
 
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We spent a couple of hours there last week waiting to board the SWC. It did get very busy. People declined to wear masks despite the request of the attendant, while the TV news was going on about the high level of transmissibility of the new COVID variants. People were grabbing giant cookies and multiple bags of chips and stuffing them in their bags…I have no idea which trains everyone was on, but for the attendants’ sake, I hope the new policy makes it more manageable. 🤷‍♀️
 
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The food in the lounge isn't that expensive, last time I was there it was cans of coke and pretzels. Nothing compared to say the Delta Skyclub at LAX which serves hot food and free alcohol.
Of course a day pass for a DL Skyclub is a bit more than $25. Basically priced for business travelers who can expense it.
 

merkelman06

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Currently sitting in the lounge connecting to Pacific Surfliner train off of the Sunset Limited this morning. Definitely needs training on the rules. Had an arrival sleeping ticket as well as a Select Executive card and the lady still said we need to pay $25 for a day pass despite having 2 ways to access the lounge. She finally gave in and I’m sitting in the lounge, but not worth the hassle. Others were given the same speech. Hopefully others will share their experiences.
 

daybeers

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It sounds like @Cal has had an issue with lounge access as well; they said their guest needed Select Plus as well. Maybe it's a certain employee.
 
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Currently sitting in the lounge connecting to Pacific Surfliner train off of the Sunset Limited this morning. Definitely needs training on the rules. Had an arrival sleeping ticket as well as a Select Executive card and the lady still said we need to pay $25 for a day pass despite having 2 ways to access the lounge. She finally gave in and I’m sitting in the lounge, but not worth the hassle. Others were given the same speech. Hopefully others will share their experiences.
Please send a note to Amtrak Customer Relations. They won't know unless you tell them, and letting them know is helpful to the rest of us.
 

Cal

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It sounds like @Cal has had an issue with lounge access as well; they said their guest needed Select Plus as well. Maybe it's a certain employee.
It was back in December of 2021, it was an African American female. Don't really remember her name, I was tired after 36 hours of business class on the Starlight.
 

Chris I

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We took the Starlight north back in March. The lounge was crammed and there were issues with our checked baggage due to short staffing. Honestly, I would have preferred to just check in my baggage downstairs and board the train with the coach passengers next time. The meager drink/food options weren't worth it.

I suppose it might be different if the lounge is less crowded in the future.
 

merkelman06

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It was back in December of 2021, it was an African American female. Don't really remember her name, I was tired after 36 hours of business class on the Starlight.
It was probably the same woman. When I showed her my arrival Sunset Limited sleeper ticket she said this was not valid since I was arriving and not departing and I would have to pay $25 for a day pass since I was connecting to the Pacific Surfliner. Totally not familiar of the policy. Basically, unless you were holding a sleeper ticket leaving on the Coast Starlight she didn’t want you in there. Others had the same problem as well while we were in there. Hopefully the employees will receive better training on the policy.
 

jis

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It was probably the same woman. When I showed her my arrival Sunset Limited sleeper ticket she said this was not valid since I was arriving and not departing and I would have to pay $25 for a day pass since I was connecting to the Pacific Surfliner. Totally not familiar of the policy. Basically, unless you were holding a sleeper ticket leaving on the Coast Starlight she didn’t want you in there. Others had the same problem as well while we were in there. Hopefully the employees will receive better training on the policy.
LAX Met Lounge has had this problem for quite a while. It is not new, and somehow there are specimens of customer facing personnel at Amtrak who are surprisingly resistant to reading, understanding and executing according to their own policy and just carry on with whatever else please them instead.
 
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