Regional Business Class Seat Assignments Rolling Out 10/14/19

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NTL1991

Train Attendant
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
57
Here comes phase 2 of the seat assignment initiative. Assignments will be activated in ARROW starting October 14 through 25 for travel on/after January 11th.

Seat will be automatically assignment at the time of payment. This can be modified through the website, mobile app, ticket agent or through the call center.

Here's a quote of interest from the advisory:

"There is no additional charge for an assignment seat or for changing seats at this time."
 

VentureForth

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
5,847
What we've done as a community (Not just AU, but customers in general) is that there is a demand for people to be able to have assigned seats and to choose their own seat. As most know, that demand can generate revenue - as Amtrak becomes more and more like flying.

Still like that Japanese Shinkansen model - they have first class (all seats reserved), reserved seating and unreserved seating which technically can be oversold to standing room only.

Of course, they have 16 coaches carrying nearly 1500 people every twenty minutes. Acela's what? 6 passenger coaches with one first class, one diner and 4 business? It's a tighter squeeze and we don't allow standing room only here on Amtrak (with exceptions, of course).
 

wwchi

Lead Service Attendant
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Apr 14, 2009
Messages
264
is this for all regional trains? Also why an END date of Oct 25? weird no?
 

Anderson

Conductor
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is this for all regional trains? Also why an END date of Oct 25? weird no?
I think that's the end of the rollout period (e.g. "We can't get all of the trains to have seat assignments on a single day/there may be issues loading this into the system, so this will be rolled out over the course of about two weeks.").

At this point...well, I'm just going to say that my opinion of the people coming up with this is flat-out unprintable, especially with respect to 66/67.
 

NTL1991

Train Attendant
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May 7, 2011
Messages
57
This is for all Northeast Regionals. Incidentally 65/67 are the last trains to be activated.

They rolled out the Acela FC assignments in stages like this, and from the front lines it seemed to work as smoothly as it could, so it seems they’re doing it exactly the same way.

I would not be surprised to see the Quiet cars on both Acela and Regional assigned as well, with a price premium, of course.
 

bratkinson

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
811
Here comes phase 2 of the seat assignment initiative. Assignments will be activated in ARROW starting October 14 through 25 for travel on/after January 11th.

Seat will be automatically assignment at the time of payment. This can be modified through the website, mobile app, ticket agent or through the call center.

Here's a quote of interest from the advisory:

"There is no additional charge for an assignment seat or for changing seats at this time."
Given that I have previously booked business class trips on 4 NEC regional trains in the next 30 days, and, as of this writing, have received NO information from Amtrak regarding the change, nor is there anything on the Amtrak web site regarding same, I must consider your information to be hear say with no documentary evidence.
 
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NTL1991

Train Attendant
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May 7, 2011
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That is certainly your right; this is the Internet after all. I’m not interested in risking my employment by posting the October 9th Employee Advisory titled “NER Business Class Seat Assignment Rollout- October 14, 2019” here. The PSN will be released in coming days.

This is simply a heads-up to those who are interested.

When you realize that front line employees were given less than one week’s notice, it shouldn’t surprise you that you didn’t receive anything from Amtrak. That’s how things are around here...
 

pennyk

Conductor
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for travel on/after January 11th.
I have previously booked business class trips on 4 NEC regional trains in the next 30 days
Based on the OP's post, the seat assignment phase in is for travel on or after January 11th. Based on your post, it appears you will be traveling prior to January 11th.
 

seat38a

Conductor
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Jan 26, 2014
Messages
2,025
Well one of the state goals for the Surfliner was to be able to allow the pre selection of seats in Business Class. I wonder if this change to the reservation system will eventually allow it on the Surfliner as well.
 

KnightRail

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
473
Based on the OP's post, the seat assignment phase in is for travel on or after January 11th. Based on your post, it appears you will be traveling prior to January 11th.
Bingo. While bookings can be made starting soon, the actual physical rollout onboard trains isn’t until well after the busy holiday season. Pretty smart actually as January and February are two of the quietest months and are a perfect time to roll out changes with the least amount of disruption if bugs are found that need correcting.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
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I actually like this.

Because I often board in New Jersey (between PHL and NYP), it is not always easy to find a seat I want, even in business, and I am always anxious until I actually find one, especially as everyone else is also rushing to find a seat.

This will also allow me (if I book early enough) to choose a seat on the side with the view (like the water side going up through CT).
 

bratkinson

OBS Chief
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Aug 7, 2004
Messages
811
That is certainly your right; this is the Internet after all. I’m not interested in risking my employment by posting the October 9th Employee Advisory titled “NER Business Class Seat Assignment Rollout- October 14, 2019” here. The PSN will be released in coming days.

This is simply a heads-up to those who are interested.

When you realize that front line employees were given less than one week’s notice, it shouldn’t surprise you that you didn’t receive anything from Amtrak. That’s how things are around here...
One of the troubles I'm encountering in my 'senior' years is not fully comprehending what I am reading. Your original post among them. I completely missed the 'on or after Jan 11' part of your post. My humble apologies. I know I've been missing or mis-reading individual written words on occasion as well as not fully hearing/comprehending what I hear much more frequently, hearing aids and all. Now it seems I"m missing entire phrases! This getting old is for the birds!

And to think I used to write and modify business contracts between my company and IBM, the federal government, and various Fortune 500 companies! This seems more like my senile years instead of senior years!
 

Acela150

Conductor
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Jan 11, 2008
Messages
8,737
Oh for pete's sake... (I would use a not nice word but I'm better then that) I can't stand this choice. It's not like Acela where you can take a gander on the orientation of the car. I could want a seat on the right side of the train and get the left. I am not a happy camper.
 

PVD

Conductor
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Jul 8, 2015
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It says they can be modified after assignment via app, web or call center....wouldn't that allow that....
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
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When I took Acela in F earlier this year, the seat assignment worked great. There is information on the website on which seats are always facing forward (and never been not been facing forward on an NE Regional train in coach or biz). And you could change your seat up until the last moment on the app. Looking forward to this in biz on the NE Regionals when I am boarding any place else other than SPG. Thanks for the advance information.
 
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Acela150

Conductor
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Jan 11, 2008
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8,737
It says they can be modified after assignment via app, web or call center....wouldn't that allow that....
I don't know if you can change your seat assignment during travel. Hypothetically if you get on the train and find out your seat is on the "wrong side" before your ticket is lifted I don't see an issue.

But I'm curious to know if one can change their seat AFTER the ticket lift.
 

NTL1991

Train Attendant
Joined
May 7, 2011
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57
I’ve heard from conductors that they can change seat assignments after the fact. I am not sure if passengers themselves can through the various touchpoints.

The seat assignment itself is actually just an SSR (special service request) field in the PNR, which is separate from the travel segment itself, just like a MAAS (Meet and Assist) or WCHR (Station Wheelchair), or Special Meal request. All of these SSRs can be added, removed or modified before or after the travel segment is lifted.

I’ll ask around and try to get a definite answer.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
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From amtrak.com https://www.amtrak.com/first-class-seat

I prefer sitting forward. How do I predict which direction my seat is facing?
The Acela First class car is always either the first or the last car on the six-car train and is configured with both forward- and rear-facing seats. Some of the single seats are rotated by the train crew and are always forward facing.

We will do our best to predict and display your direction of travel when you view your train's seat diagram on Amtrak.com or the app. A schedule change, equipment change or other unforeseen circumstance may cause the planned location of the First class car to change before departure. You can change your seat at any time after booking, even while you are en route after your train has departed. The Conductor can also assist you with changing your seat onboard, subject to availability.

I didn't bother looking at the seat map after I boarded since I had the seat I wanted. And the attendant was too busy looking after me.
 
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NTL1991

Train Attendant
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
57
Thank you.

I can also confirm that seat changes in Arrow can in fact be made by call center agents after the travel segment is lifted.
 

mfastx

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
184
But... but.. I thought Amtrak couldn't do seat assignments?!

Good news, hopefully this continues to be rolled out on all trains/classes eventually.
 

Skyline

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 19, 2016
Messages
689
It says they can be modified after assignment via app, web or call center....wouldn't that allow that....

They also seem to be keeping the door open for future upcharges if you want to make changes. Boo!
 

PVD

Conductor
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There is already a higher fare (upcharge) for B/C. While I wouldn't want to pay extra, selling preferred seating and/or reserved seating makes money for many airlines.
 

Bex

Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
215
I would not be surprised to see the Quiet cars on both Acela and Regional assigned as well, with a price premium, of course.
Oh dear God, I hope so. I would absolutely pay more to guarantee everyone in the quiet car knows where they are and what's expected.

Edited to add: just thought of a downside if this does end up happening, for me anyway... it means no more QC when I have a ten trip ticket which I do once or twice a year. Oh well.
 
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