Pennsylvanian (coach vs business)?

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Oreius

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I’m looking to take a “spur of the moment” trip on the Pennsylvanian early next month from Pittsburgh to Elizabethtown. Should I opt for Coach or Business Class? I know I get an extra point bonus for Business Class with my AGR World MC, but I’m not sure of the amenities and legroom. Thoughts?
 
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I always opt for BC on the Pennsylvanian. There is a tad more legroom but just 2 x 2 seating. You might get two seats to yourself, or you might not but the odds are better than in coach. You get free soft drinks, but it seems to depend on the attendant whether it's just one or multiple for the entire trip. Is it worth it? Your decision.
 
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Because you're getting on in Pittsburgh, the origin of the train, you should probably be able to snag an Amfleet 2 coach seat. These are physically about the same as the 2x2 business class car that's in the consist. The main possible advantages of business class is that it's usually not quite as crowded as the coaches get, which might increase your chances of not having a seatmate. Also, as mentioned, the smaller crowd might mean that the restrooms stay in better condition during the trip. Oh, yes, and you get more AGR points and TQP due to the higher fare and the 25% business class bonus. And the free non-alcoholic beverages. Also, there are also one or more Amfleet 1 coaches in the consist, so if the Amfleet 2s are filled up, the business class is definitely superior to the Amfleet 1 coaches (more legroom and curtains over the windows.

The last time I rode this train was from Philadelphia, and I rode coach. I was lucky and had a seat to myself, but then, we only got as far as Harrisburg, because Norfolk Southern decided to derail a freight train on the Horseshoe Curve, so the rest of the trip was a bustitution.
 

Mailliw

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I also prefer Business Class for the above reasons and possibly cleaner restrooms.
The OP is taking a last minute trip, but with Business Class you have complete flexibility to make changes or cancel & get a refund anytime prior to departure. If you try to purchase coach tickets with the same options they can cost as much or even more than BC!
 
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And in doing so, do you take an entire table for yourself for the duration or do others sit with you?
I'm usually alone - there are seldom more than five or six people in the entire car and they tend to take the empty tables first (except maybe right when it opens up - I wait until after the rush). If someone wants to join me so much the better.
 

Oreius

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What is the consist of The Pennsy these days? I know it’s got a baggage car now and always has a lounge…
 

Oreius

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Baggage, 1 Amfleet I BC, 1 lounge, 4 Amfleet II coaches.

I’ve just booked a Business Class seat. Now come the questions.

1. I’m boarding at Pittsburgh. What time should I arrive at Penn/Union Station? Departure is at 730 AM. I am staying at a hotel downtown and will be dropped off.

2. How do they board? Is it a mad dash or do they let Business board first, followed by Coach?

3. Where will Business Class be on the consist?
 
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BC is the first car. They'll make everyone wait downstairs in the station and will, most likely, call BC passengers first. I've seen it happen as early as 30 minutes before departure, more likely it'll be about 20 minutes. They do not assign seating; you are on your own.
 

Amtrak25

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I think this and the Palmetto consists are identical, in case 90 comes in very late and they swap sets over night in Sunnyside. There is generally 3 Am-2 coaches, 1 Am-1 dinette, 1 Am-1 72 seat, one Am-1 60-seat (Biz class), not in that order. The 72 seat coach is usually intended for east of Harrisburgh.
 

Stremba

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They will not allow you out on the platform until boarding begins, but if you want, you can wait upstairs inside the doors leading to the platform. BC will board first. Waiting upstairs will get you first crack at a seat selection.

I haven’t seen anyone else mention this, and I am not sure if it matters to you, but once the train departs, BC pax have the firs chance to go to the cafe car. Usually an announcement will be made in BC shortly after departure, and the opening announcement in coach is delayed until BC passengers have had an opportunity to make purchases
 
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They will not allow you out on the platform until boarding begins, but if you want, you can wait upstairs inside the doors leading to the platform. BC will board first. Waiting upstairs will get you first crack at a seat selection.
They have not been allowing pax to wait upstairs for a while now. At east the couple of times recently I have taken the train out of Pittsburgh.
 

Mailliw

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Also when ordering your complimentary beverages the cafe attendants really appreciate if you tell them you're in business class beforeordering.
 

Amtrak25

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They will also hand you back a receipt with a dummy cost of the soft beverage, which is about double retail price for coach passengers. So I assume the food service business line bills the business class accomodation charge to help cover their deficit and say corridor cafe cars break even.
 
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They will also hand you back a receipt with a dummy cost of the soft beverage, which is about double retail price for coach passengers. So I assume the food service business line bills the business class accomodation charge to help cover their deficit and say corridor cafe cars break even.
Actually, the last several times I got a free Biz class drink, they didn't bother with the dummy bill, and back when they did, the price quoted was the same as what was on the menu.
 

Amtrak25

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Jus saying my experience on a Regional train up to New Haven last summer. It was very laborious of the attendant scanning my ticket, signing my name, and handing me a receipt. For a cup of coffee, it was like paying the tab at a restaurant.
 
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