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JoshP

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I was browsing and learned that Flixbus bought Greyhound so I gave a test and was surprised they DO offer you either buy one seat or two seats online, yourself which was a plus for me. But does Amtrak has that option?

if not, they should offer that so that way passengers could have purchase both seats themselves, more revenue for Amtrak and less-hassle rather than call the 800 number people.
 

Sidney

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I was browsing and learned that Flixbus bought Greyhound so I gave a test and was surprised they DO offer you either buy one seat or two seats online, yourself which was a plus for me. But does Amtrak has that option?

if not, they should offer that so that way passengers could have purchase both seats themselves, more revenue for Amtrak and less-hassle rather than call the 800 number people.
I wish Amtrak would let you buy the seat next to you,but they don't. Another option is a Business class car on every overnight train where you are guaranteed both seats. Seems a logical solution for single travelers who do not want a seatmate.
 

joelkfla

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I wish Amtrak would let you buy the seat next to you,but they don't. Another option is a Business class car on every overnight train where you are guaranteed both seats. Seems a logical solution for single travelers who do not want a seatmate.
The problem is that Amtrak doesn't reserve specific seats. If you bought 2 seats, there would be no guarantee that there would be 2 seats together at the time you boarded. Even couples are sometimes unable to sit together.

Conductors sometimes ask singles to move to make room for a couple. They would not be happy to ask a single to move so another single could have 2 seats to themself, nor would the person being asked to move.
 

Sidney

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Understandable. My other option was a dedicated car on every overnight train where you would pay more,but you would be guaranteed both seats,akin to Business class but a guarantee of both seats to yourself.

Yeh,I know equipment shortage,etc but those roomettes are sky high on the one night overnight trains. Just looking for a happy medium where having both seats is a sembelence of privacy without breaking the bank.

Only positive during the pandemic was the 50% occupancy in Coach.
 

Devil's Advocate

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The problem is that Amtrak doesn't reserve specific seats.
Unless I'm mistaken even on trains with assigned seating the one-seat rule remains.

If you bought 2 seats, there would be no guarantee that there would be 2 seats together at the time you boarded. Even couples are sometimes unable to sit together.
Translation: "Because we might end up disappointing a few two-seat passengers some of the time we chose to solve the problem by refusing to sell two seats to anyone all of the time." Gee, thanks Amtrak.

Conductors sometimes ask singles to move to make room for a couple. They would not be happy to ask a single to move so another single could have 2 seats to themself, nor would the person being asked to move.
In order for this to be a problem Amtrak staff first have to seat passengers in the wrong order. Instead of refusing to sell two seats to anyone maybe fix the method and order in which passengers are seated.
 
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BCL

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Unless I'm mistaken even on trains with assigned seating the one-seat rule remains.


Translation: "Because we might end up disappointing a few two-seat passengers some of the time we chose to solve the problem by refusing to sell two seats to anyone all of the time." Gee, thanks Amtrak.


In order for this to be a problem Amtrak staff first have to seat passengers in the wrong order. Instead of refusing to sell two seats to anyone maybe fix the method and order in which passengers are seated.

Amtrak mentions buying another seat for oversized musical instruments. I'm not sure how that's identified. Even the accounting procedures don't say exactly how it's done. I've heard of airline tickets that identify the "passenger" as "musical instrument". I can't find any way that Amtrak ticket agents or phone customer service would do it. I suppose someone could just use an obvious reference to an oversized item for the name of the "additional passenger" by just entering that.

Oversized instruments (cellos, tubas) which do not fit in luggage racks may be carried on with the purchase of an additional full revenue seat.​
6. Musical Instruments​
Musical instruments will be accepted on-board trains to occupy a seat at the applicable rail fare of the accompanying paying customer, provided the instrument does not present a safety hazard.​
 

rs9

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With business class fares on the Lake Shore Limited approximately a 60% fare premium at the low bucket, an Amfleet II coach car designated as business with 1x2 seating would perform better financially than a 100% full coach car.

Why Amtrak doesn't do this on all LD routes is mystifying.
 

Sidney

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With business class fares on the Lake Shore Limited approximately a 60% fare premium at the low bucket, an Amfleet II coach car designated as business with 1x2 seating would perform better financially than a 100% full coach car.

Why Amtrak doesn't do this on all LD routes is mystifying.
The Lake Shore does not have business class anymore. Really,a BC car with a guarantee of two seats to yourself should be on every overnight train.
 

jebr

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If you want guaranteed two seats to yourself over night, get a roomette.
Or I'll just fly first class (often cheaper,) buy two seats on an airline (which is allowed especially for passengers of size,) or take Flixbus which explicitly has an option to buy two seats. I've also had luck buying two seats on Megabus and keeping them for myself even on a full bus.

Considering that almost every other transportation company has figured out a reasonable way to buy two seats (even Southwest which doesn't have assigned seating!) Amtrak certainly should be able to figure it out.
 

rs9

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I know most folks on this board use sleeper services, but as someone who does not, it is tiresome to see the automatic defaults to sleepers when any sort of coach upgrade is discussed.

My most frequent trip is CHI-ROC on the Lake Shore Limited. Low bucket coach is $62, business was $99, roomette is $283.

I traveled business until service ended. I would do two coach seats for $124. But to presume that any passenger out there can drop another $160 for one way strikes me as really flippant.
 

Sidney

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If you want guaranteed two seats to yourself over night, get a roomette.
Obviously. At $500 more to get a roomette on the Cardinal and Lake Shore,for example, is a bit pricey. I was looking for a happy medium without breaking the bank. Having two seats to yourself gives you some sembelence of privacy. As I mentioned, a dedicated car that will gurantee you both seats at maybe $50 to $100 more than Coach would be ideal.
 

joelkfla

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Amtrak mentions buying another seat for oversized musical instruments. I'm not sure how that's identified. Even the accounting procedures don't say exactly how it's done. I've heard of airline tickets that identify the "passenger" as "musical instrument". I can't find any way that Amtrak ticket agents or phone customer service would do it. I suppose someone could just use an obvious reference to an oversized item for the name of the "additional passenger" by just entering that.

Oversized instruments (cellos, tubas) which do not fit in luggage racks may be carried on with the purchase of an additional full revenue seat.​
6. Musical Instruments​
Musical instruments will be accepted on-board trains to occupy a seat at the applicable rail fare of the accompanying paying customer, provided the instrument does not present a safety hazard.​
Well, there's the solution! Cellos can be had for around $200, giving a lifetime pass to buy a 2nd seat. 🤪
 
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The problem is that Amtrak doesn't reserve specific seats. If you bought 2 seats, there would be no guarantee that there would be 2 seats together at the time you boarded. Even couples are sometimes unable to sit together.

Conductors sometimes ask singles to move to make room for a couple. They would not be happy to ask a single to move so another single could have 2 seats to themself, nor would the person being asked to move.
The two seat thing just doesn't work on Amtrak especially if the seats are not preassigned. I often hear "There is going to be a full load and you may not use the seat next to you for your luggage. Even if you purchased two seats, the conductor could just shrug it off and demand the seat be left unoccupied.

The only thing that has worked for me in the past is BC where there is two and one seating... sitting on the one seat side. Once on a California train, I was asked to move several times as a single so a couple could sit together. The bigger the group traveling together the more priority they get.

On LD trains the cars are often divided into sections as per car attendant style... male singles are designated into a specific area; female singles another area... which is logical but can be very restrictive. You may or may not get a window seat; you may or may not get a pleasant seat mate. Very rarely have I seen open seating on LD.

Another problem is that single traveler who leaves the seat once the destination card is placed overhead and occupies an entire table in the SSL for the duration of the trip... placing their bags on the other three seats; and when several folks do this and many tables get taken, the SSL becomes unavailable to others unless the conductor enforces the 'temporary occupancy' rule of two hours.
 

Devil's Advocate

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If they allowed everyone to buy 2 seats for themselves, you’d all be complaining about the train being sold out….even though 50% of the seats are unoccupied.
I'm struggling to imagine a completely full coach class with nothing but single coach travelers who all buy two seats each, but if that ever happens I'll be happy that Amtrak managed to reach 100% of their coach revenue target and hope they use some of that money to buy more rolling stock.

If you want guaranteed two seats to yourself over night, get a roomette.
In my experience Roomettes sell out regularly while coach rarely does. Instead of selling me two coach seats Amtrak sells me nothing because of this policy.
 

Sidney

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The two seat thing just doesn't work on Amtrak especially if the seats are not preassigned. I often hear "There is going to be a full load and you may not use the seat next to you for your luggage. Even if you purchased two seats, the conductor could just shrug it off and demand the seat be left unoccupied.

The only thing that has worked for me in the past is BC where there is two and one seating... sitting on the one seat side. Once on a California train, I was asked to move several times as a single so a couple could sit together. The bigger the group traveling together the more priority they get.

On LD trains the cars are often divided into sections as per car attendant style... male singles are designated into a specific area; female singles another area... which is logical but can be very restrictive. You may or may not get a window seat; you may or may not get a pleasant seat mate. Very rarely have I seen open seating on LD.

Another problem is that single traveler who leaves the seat once the destination card is placed overhead and occupies an entire table in the SSL for the duration of the trip... placing their bags on the other three seats; and when several folks do this and many tables get taken, the SSL becomes unavailable to others unless the conductor enforces the 'temporary occupancy' rule of two hours.
One single seat should be occupied in the SSL,not an entire table. I have spent many an overnight in the SSL because of an undesireable seatmate(overweight,body odor,obnoxious..one hit me up for money,loud snoring,touchy feely if your'e a woman,etc.)Please Amtrak change your policy on buying both seats for yourself!
 
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Amtrak mentions buying another seat for oversized musical instruments. I'm not sure how that's identified. Even the accounting procedures don't say exactly how it's done. I've heard of airline tickets that identify the "passenger" as "musical instrument". I can't find any way that Amtrak ticket agents or phone customer service would do it. I suppose someone could just use an obvious reference to an oversized item for the name of the "additional passenger" by just entering that.

Oversized instruments (cellos, tubas) which do not fit in luggage racks may be carried on with the purchase of an additional full revenue seat.​
6. Musical Instruments​
Musical instruments will be accepted on-board trains to occupy a seat at the applicable rail fare of the accompanying paying customer, provided the instrument does not present a safety hazard.​
When you check in at the station... or at time of reservation of yourself and your instrument, be sure to note on the record that the purchased seat for yourself and your instrument are together; and with that on your res record, ask the onboard conductor to accommodate your reservation. Although nothing is foolproof... especially with all the Amtrak 'foolishness' one should expect to the entitlement of sitting with that instrument for which an additional seat was purchased.
Simple. The game of Musical Chairs ensues! :)
Indeed!
 
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One single seat should be occupied in the SSL,not an entire table. I have spent many an overnight in the SSL because of an undesireable seatmate(overweight,body odor,obnoxious..one hit me up for money,loud snoring,touchy feely if your'e a woman,etc.)Please Amtrak change your policy on buying both seats for yourself!
I so agree with the randomness of a seat mate... especially when traveling long distances!

BTW... by the time you have paid for two seats in coach you are that much closer to the ultimate privacy of your own roomette... that is... if those prices ever again become reasonable!
 
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If you want guaranteed two seats to yourself over night, get a roomette.
If sharing a seat is really a problem for someone, then they should plan to travel on a long-distance train during the slow times of the year, when there is more likelihood of the train not being full. The whole point of a government subsidized train service is to have as many people using it as possible, which means minimizing empty seats.
 
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If sharing a seat is really a problem for someone, then they should plan to travel on a long-distance train during the slow times of the year, when there is more likelihood of the train not being full. The whole point of a government subsidized train service is to have as many people using it as possible, which means minimizing empty seats.
Well, then maybe they should maximize privacy in those seats. Even airplanes have armrests separating passengers. Lack of that on an overnight train is a deal killer for many travelers, especially women.

I don't see the option of allowing passengers to buy two seats as being incompatible with "a government subsidized train service."
 
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Well, then maybe they should maximize privacy in those seats. Even airplanes have armrests separating passengers. Lack of that on an overnight train is a deal killer for many travelers, especially women.

I don't see the option of allowing passengers to buy two seats as being incompatible with "a government subsidized train service."
Most train services worldwide are government subsidized and do sell different classes of seating allowing more personal space; so a passenger should be allowed to purchase two adjoining seats for greater comfort as well. In fact the airlines do just that to allow customers to stretch out on overnight flights. There is also an ethical responsibility of carriers to allow the option for passenger to have enough comfort to get sleep at night... I strongly agree with your comment for the two seat option.
 
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