Quantcast

Superliner Roomette- upper or lower?

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

M

Malawijay

Guest
I just booked my first long distance Amtrak trip on the California Zephyr!

My ticket shows that I'm in Roomette 013, which apparently is on the lower level.

Are there big differences between riding in a lower level versus upper level Roomette? Is it worth calling and trying to get an upper level instead?
 

VentureForth

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
5,857
Location
Richmond Hill, GA
I would prefer the upper level for the better view. I'm sure you were booked downstairs because the upper levels were full. Call back and ask if that's the case. Otherwise, unless your dates are flexible, you may be out of luck.

Now, there is an advantage of being on the lower level - much less traffic past your room and you're closer to the center of gravity of the train car, so you won't get as much swaying motion as you would upstairs. On the other hand, you're closer to the suspension and may feel every defect in the rails... Then again, you are also closer to the restrooms and shower.

Folks with mobility issues tend to stay downstairs to avoid navigating the narrow, steep staircases. They'll spend the whole ride downstairs and have the meals brought to them.

So, yes, for me I would prefer to be upstairs, but I would be plenty happy downstairs and moving over to the lounge for my scenic appreciation.
 

Ringfinder

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Messages
20
Location
Lima Ohio
I like the lower level better than the upper level because very view people are walking by your roomette. Number 13 is a good one, my wife in I were in #12 the last time and I didn't like it that much. Some folks on the upper level think they have to take there suitcases up and down the stair way 5 times a day. I can't figure out why they can't put there stuff in a small carryon or a backpack and leave there stuff in the room. Our big luggage is in the baggage car.

Numbers 11, 13 & 14 are great rooms also. The nice thing about the lower level also is there are 3 restrooms on the lower level and a nice size shower. Lots of folks who have the bigger rooms on the upper level, use the lower level shower. In there expensive room, they have a shower, sink and toilet, trouble is to take a shower you have to set on the toilet, sort of sh*t, shower and shave LOL. Oh, best time to take a shower is when the train slows down for a stop, best time is a smoke break stop, they are around 5 minutes or even when they change crews, little more time to take a shower.

If you have a iPad, be sure to take it. Put your iPad on the window to take the best pictures or videos. Oh and be sure to take along a power strip, there is only one outlet in the room, so with a power strip you can run or charge many items at once.

You picked a good trip to go on, the California Zephyr is a great trip!! Have your camera or iPad ready at all times. Have a Great Trip!
 

VentureForth

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
5,857
Location
Richmond Hill, GA
No - best time to take a shower is going 135 MPH in a Viewliner on the NEC! But I've settled for 90 MPH on the SWC.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

amtkstn

OBS Chief
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
721
Location
OK
My trips I have rode the upper level. The few times I rode the lower was ok, but I much prefer the upper. The only good things about the lower is closer to the doors, luggage area and the shower. On the upper level there is only one restroom with the other four on the lower. Number five and six roomette are my favorites. They are right in the middle of the car right next to the stairs.
 
M

Malawijay

Guest
Thanks for the input. I would like the best visibility - is visibility that much reduced on the lower level? How often are you passing trains and bushes that visibility is limited?

I did call Amtrak and I was told that if I wanted to change to the upper level it would cost an additional $110 because of availability. Does that sound right?

If that's the case, I'll stick with the lower level.
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
11,848
Location
Delaware
Thanks for the input. I would like the best visibility - is visibility that much reduced on the lower level? How often are you passing trains and bushes that visibility is limited?

I did call Amtrak and I was told that if I wanted to change to the upper level it would cost an additional $110 because of availability. Does that sound right?

If that's the case, I'll stick with the lower level.
You should be able to get the upper level roomette w/o any additonal cost. Call back and make sure you say you want to MODIFY your reservation, not cancel/rebook. If the agent does not know how to do this without increasing your cost, ask to speak to a supervisor.
 
C

Cali

Guest
Thanks for the input. I would like the best visibility - is visibility that much reduced on the lower level? How often are you passing trains and bushes that visibility is limited?

I did call Amtrak and I was told that if I wanted to change to the upper level it would cost an additional $110 because of availability. Does that sound right?

If that's the case, I'll stick with the lower level.
So, I have to wonder about this as well. Of the times I've called to switch roomettes, three or four times I've gotten call agents (some who were clearly experienced) who tell me that to switch roomettes, they'd need to "release" the lower fare rate (otherwise, if the rate were equal to other available rooms, swapping out roomettes would be a non-issue) and that doing so would incur a higher fee.

I got tired of hearing this line as an excuse not to change the reservation, so the last time it happened I said, "that's fine, please release the fare," which seemed a bit of a shock to the agent and, after a bit of work on her end, I was able to get the exact roomette I wanted. There was no change in fare.
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
11,848
Location
Delaware
I recently changed my paid coach to the roomette I was already booked in on an AGR reward and knew what the low bucket was at that time. When I called, I was told in order to get the room I was already booked in it would be a higher fare. I told the agen I believed that she could make the change w/o the increase and she talked to her supervisor and came back and said something to the effect "you learn something new everyday". Thanks to AU, I saved some moola and another agent now knows how to do it.
 

VentureForth

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
5,857
Location
Richmond Hill, GA
That's right - so long as you get the same category room - Roomette to Roomette or Bedroom to Bedroom, the fare DOES NOT HAVE TO CHANGE when you change rooms!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
M

Malawijay

Guest
Just got off the phone with Amtrak again. I told the first agent I wanted to modify my reservation, and she said that because my booked fair was no longer available, I would have to pay an increase.

I responded by saying that I was told that as long as I'm just switching to a different roomette and not upgrading, that it could be done without a change in fare. She put me on hold while she called customer service, and came back with the explanation that because I booked it online, they could only modify it by cancelling and rebooking. She offered to let me speak to customer service, and I said yes.

Instead of customer service, I was transferred to complaints, who then explained that they couldn't do it either. She put me on hold again to call customer service, and came back with the same answer. I asked to speak to a supervisor, and was told that supervisors don't take calls. She said that because it's computerized, they can't modify it.

Hmph. I was pretty excited about this trip - and I still am - but it's frustrating that Amtrak can't accommodate a simple modification like this. Pretty silly.

Since I was already on the phone with complaints, I went ahead and filed one.

:wacko:
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,852
Location
Ithaca, NY
I asked to speak to a supervisor, and was told that supervisors don't take calls.
She was lying. Did you get her name? You can report her to her supervisor for that lie...
(No points for guessing why she was lying about that.)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,178
This has become a very interesting topic.

Several months ago when I book my Crescent-Sunset Limited-Southwest Chief journey for October, starting in New York and ending in Chicago, the agent with whom I made the rservation was most helpful, and I thought, knowledgable.

I do not recall which of the 3 trains I requested a particular Roomette number after I had determined what the pricing was from the Amtrak web site for that particular train/date for a Roomette. The price he quoted me was the price I saw on the web site--which he said was a really good price (and I 100% agreed), but said that to reserve the Roomette just across the corridor from that low priced one would be more expensive.

What? Hello? Why would that be? This nice gentleman had no answer other than that Roomette was in a different price category. (To be perfectly honest with this post: the Amtrak web site showed a Roomette at that price point to be the only one available.)

Should I have asked to speak to a supervisor at this point? To be perfectly honest, the price I am paying for Sleeping Car Accommodations during the entire journey is really most acceptable to me.
 

NYP2NFL01

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 8, 2014
Messages
22
I

Try speaking to a ticket rep at a staffed station. Often the really dilligent ones will do things the phones reps won't do. Case in point: on my recent trip from Detroit (via Toledo), I called Amtrak to try and switch my reservation from train 30 (Capitol Ltd) to train 48 (Lake Shore Ltd), travelling in coach. The phone rep was gonna charge me $318 to do the change. I hung up the phone and asked the agent at the ticket office to do the same thing. It took her about 20 minutes, but, she did it, at no additional cost. Maybe a station agent can do the same for your situation. Definitely worth a try!
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
11,848
Location
Delaware
I believe the rooms are released in a certain order and if the next one to be released is in a higher bracket they can override it to give it to you at the bracket you already paid (or the current bracket if you're in the process of booking). Apparently they are either not trained on how to do this or they forget because they get so few requests.
 

SCbogey

Train Attendant
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
25
Location
SC
My experience calling Amtrak was different. I found a large price drop on existing #7 segment using on Amsnag. Called Amtrak immediately and easily modified to a lower bucket. No problem. When I checked the modified res,roomette was changed to lower level. I recalled Amtrak and requested previously assigned upper level roomette. No problem making the second change, and the reduced cost allowed me to book roomette on another segment. Very pleasant, very easy conversation. YMMV.

BTW, the lower bucket lasted only 3 days and is back to original bucket.
 
Top