Strange Upgrade on Cardinal

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

saxpower

Train Attendant
Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
39
Location
Wilmington, DE
I'm booked on the Cardinal from Wilmington, DE to Chicago 7/10, returning 7/16. I had reserved a roomette.

This morning I recieved an e-mail with a modified ticket. I was a bit concerned because of the reports of downgrades to coach I've read here. Instead it said that I had been switched to "Room H", which I know is the accessible bedroom. I still have a roomette for the way back.

A few questions:

1. Can they assign the accessible bedroom to a non-handicapped individual? I know anyone can reserve it two weeks pre-trip, but its almost exactly 30 days. (Well obviously they can since they did, but can they do so without running afoul of the ADA).

2. Any idea why this would happen? My thought was perhaps they were short a roomette for the attendant due to the switch from VL I to VL II and did this to free one up. Second question is why I was the person switched (My roomette was #3, so not where the attendant's used to be) I booked on December 31- could I have been the first booking and they figured early bird gets the upgrade? I'm travelling by myself, so its not an issue of figuring giving a two-traveller in one roomette reservation more room.

3. Given the oddity of it, I have a somewhat paranoid concern about (a) it being an error and (b) by the time Amtrak realizes the error, my original roomette being sold and no other ones being available. Am I better to call Amtrak or to keep my mouth shut and take the free upgrade (I also don't want any grief when I get on the train and am not disabled. When the attendant asks what "special assistance" I need I intend to be honest (ie, nothing other than other passengers).

Thoughts?
 

Amtrak709

Service Attendant
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
163
Location
Columbus, GA
I'm booked on the Cardinal from Wilmington, DE to Chicago 7/10, returning 7/16. I had reserved a roomette.

This morning I recieved an e-mail with a modified ticket. I was a bit concerned because of the reports of downgrades to coach I've read here. Instead it said that I had been switched to "Room H", which I know is the accessible bedroom. I still have a roomette for the way back.

A few questions:

1. Can they assign the accessible bedroom to a non-handicapped individual? I know anyone can reserve it two weeks pre-trip, but its almost exactly 30 days. (Well obviously they can since they did, but can they do so without running afoul of the ADA).

2. Any idea why this would happen? My thought was perhaps they were short a roomette for the attendant due to the switch from VL I to VL II and did this to free one up. Second question is why I was the person switched (My roomette was #3, so not where the attendant's used to be) I booked on December 31- could I have been the first booking and they figured early bird gets the upgrade? I'm travelling by myself, so its not an issue of figuring giving a two-traveller in one roomette reservation more room.

3. Given the oddity of it, I have a somewhat paranoid concern about (a) it being an error and (b) by the time Amtrak realizes the error, my original roomette being sold and no other ones being available. Am I better to call Amtrak or to keep my mouth shut and take the free upgrade (I also don't want any grief when I get on the train and am not disabled. When the attendant asks what "special assistance" I need I intend to be honest (ie, nothing other than other passengers).

Thoughts?
Saxpower: I do NOT know the answer to any of the issues raised in your post but someone more knowledgeable than me hopefully will help you. I will express my opinion on the H bedroom. I, too, am a non ADA traveler and for dozens of times over thirty years have upgraded to this space from a Viewliner roomette or regular when it was released to non ADA passengers. In my opinion--because of the enclosed toilet-lavatory-shower it is (or was) the best sleeping car space on the train, i.e. with the Viewliner I. Note, however, that the Viewliner II have changed configuration--and the toilet is now right in the room and not enclosed (not exactly in the middle but in a significant location). This, in my opinion, has made it a far less desirable space for a non ADA passenger. Again, my opinion. Maybe those knowledgeable can direct you to a diagram, as I am unaware of any exiting photos that will show the difference.
Otherwise to be upgraded from a roomette would be a real plus.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
3,419
If you can get to the Wilmington station easily, you might want to show the email and modified ticket to an agent at the ticket window and ask them to pull it up on their system and see if it matches.

That way you’ll know if it’s for real or an Amtrak IT error sent to you by mistake.

I think talking to a real person at a station—even with the travel time to get there— is easier than trying to get through to an agent on a phone call.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
6,292
Location
Washington State
They used to open the H room for saie to non-disabled passengers at bedroom prices two weeks before departure (do not know of that is still the practice) so if it wasn't booked, yeah. They don't have to let it go out empty.
 

saxpower

Train Attendant
Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
39
Location
Wilmington, DE
Thanks for the responses everyone. Luckily, Wilmington is not that big and we are still using the pre-Amtrak station near the business district. Less than a mile from my office. I'll walk over during lunch tomorrow.

Amtrak709, I was able to get an idea of the layout from a few pictures and YouTube videos. I agree the Viewliner II toilet placement is less than ideal for a non-disabled passenger-but it may be what's really needed for a disabled passenger. It also provides for a bigger shower. (Plus if I am being given a free upgrade, the other benefits outweigh any problems).
 

Amtrak709

Service Attendant
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
163
Location
Columbus, GA
Thanks for the responses everyone. Luckily, Wilmington is not that big and we are still using the pre-Amtrak station near the business district. Less than a mile from my office. I'll walk over during lunch tomorrow.

Amtrak709, I was able to get an idea of the layout from a few pictures and YouTube videos. I agree the Viewliner II toilet placement is less than ideal for a non-disabled passenger-but it may be what's really needed for a disabled passenger. It also provides for a bigger shower. (Plus if I am being given a free upgrade, the other benefits outweigh any problems).
Saxpower: Thanks! for your response. As I have noted in all my previous post on several forums here, the "H" bedroom should clearly, without a doubt, be designed for the ADA passengers' needs and comfort. My love of the space came in the early 2000's on the Crescent when my wife and I were moved after boarding in Anniston AL from Viewliner I traditional Bedroom B to the H Bedroom (for reasons I think the Bedroom we were assigned was bad order for some reason). I have chosen to change to the H Bedroom since when it may be available. Since my travels in the past 4 years or so have been on the Crescent, I have not yet seen a Viewliner II car in real time--but only been advised and viewed diagrams provided by other passengers--and making that personal assessment that the Viewline II space be less desirable for a non-ADA passenger. With the high cost of the differences in roomettes and bedrooms these days, your "no cost" upgrade is probably worth it.
 

Barb Stout

Conductor
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
1,090
Location
Albuquerque, NM
This happened to my sister and me the first time we traveled on Amtrak back in 2016 or 2017. Purchased a roomette and Amtrak moved us to the H room with no change in the cost. We hadn't requested the change; Amtrak did it. I don't remember exactly when it was when we got the notification about the room change, although I am thinking it was longer out than 2 weeks. We never found out why and since it was our first time on Amtrak, we didn't do a whole lot of wondering about it. I liked it because it was rather isolated, so I could play my flute (which I had brought along for our destination) without bothering anyone. At least no one complained to us about it. It was a superliner from ABQ to Chi.

So maybe bring your saxophone!
 

saxpower

Train Attendant
Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
39
Location
Wilmington, DE
I went over to the train station. Person said if the ticket they sent me says its Room H, then thats how the system has it and I'm all set. Her comment was something like "Somewhere along the way, you must have done something nice for someone and now the universe is paying you back." I also signed into my account ahd had the system forward me another copy of the ticket (which has the room #/letter on it) and it still said the same thing- that's how its in the system. Bedroom H has my name on it for my trip :)

If this happened due to my theory (needed a roomette due to switch to VL II, Bedroom H was available, I had the earliest reservation and got the upgrade to free up a roomette), it will be interesting to see if the same thing happens next week (30 days from my return trip) for the way back home. Not trying to be greedy, just curious.


So maybe bring your saxophone!
Tenor sax is just a little harder to fit into the carryon than a flute. Plus, sax players simply will not play quietly voluntarily.
 

joelkfla

Engineer
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
2,205
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
If this happened due to my theory (needed a roomette due to switch to VL II, Bedroom H was available, I had the earliest reservation and got the upgrade to free up a roomette), it will be interesting to see if the same thing happens next week (30 days from my return trip) for the way back home. Not trying to be greedy, just curious.
Roomettes are not sold out on the 7/16 eastbound.
 
Top