Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, gprimr1, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman

Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Rockingham Racer » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:08 pm

Totally agree, and inconsistency at Amtrak is not limited solely to business class. Try the dining cars, among other services, that suffer the same way. You never know what you're going to get.
User avatar
Rockingham Racer
 
Posts: 3204
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:25 pm

Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Tadman » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:47 pm

Morning Zephyr wrote:These past two posts demonstrate Amtrak's ignorance of the basics of customer service. How in the world do they expect to sell a product when the product name is totally inconsistent? Sometimes it is 2+1 ("real" business class) and sometimes it is 2+2 (which is really coach). And the passenger doesn't know until he gets on, or has to query a railfan board like this? What amateur hour at Amtrak. How many business class seats would Delta Airlines sell if half the time you board you get real business class, but half the time you board with a business class ticket you get coach?


I used to agree with this logic, but I've since changed my mind.

With regard to Delta: the biz class product varies widely across the spectrometer of regional jet to MD80 to A321 to international widebody. Throw in the other 10+ airlines of sky team and you have even more variance.

Also, business class is much more than seat size. A big thing for me is how much noise and business is in the biz car. The Crescent 2+2 biz car is back by the sleepers and relatively quiet. The "real biz" 2+1 found on Detroit trains is right by the cafe and you hear every Tom, Dick, and Harry buying a coffee.

Another thing is lounge/boarding experience. Who cares if you have a big seat waiting if you arrive at a dump like Detroit station (looks like a DMV in a run down town), get hassled by the security guard, herded up a stairway with everybody else, etc... Gimme a break. I pay for a business class seat, I want a clean and quiet lounge, polite service, and priority boarding. Regardless of seat size, Delta gives you that every day.
Tadman
 
Posts: 8866
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am

Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby mohawkrailfan » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:57 am

Yeah, when they board the Maple Leaf at NYP, they split people into two lines - one for people going very far AND people going short distances, and one for everyone going to the middle destinations. That sort of makes sense since they want to board the first two groups from opposite ends. But they insist that Business passengers be split up the same way, even though they're all going to the same place. So a business passenger for Rhinecliff gets priority over a business passenger for Schenectady.
Make a little noise at the flag location.
User avatar
mohawkrailfan
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:13 am

Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:35 pm

Tadman wrote:
Morning Zephyr wrote:These past two posts demonstrate Amtrak's ignorance of the basics of customer service. How in the world do they expect to sell a product when the product name is totally inconsistent? Sometimes it is 2+1 ("real" business class) and sometimes it is 2+2 (which is really coach). And the passenger doesn't know until he gets on, or has to query a railfan board like this? What amateur hour at Amtrak. How many business class seats would Delta Airlines sell if half the time you board you get real business class, but half the time you board with a business class ticket you get coach?


I used to agree with this logic, but I've since changed my mind.

With regard to Delta: the biz class product varies widely across the spectrometer of regional jet to MD80 to A321 to international widebody. Throw in the other 10+ airlines of sky team and you have even more variance.

Also, business class is much more than seat size. A big thing for me is how much noise and business is in the biz car. The Crescent 2+2 biz car is back by the sleepers and relatively quiet. The "real biz" 2+1 found on Detroit trains is right by the cafe and you hear every Tom, Dick, and Harry buying a coffee.

Another thing is lounge/boarding experience. Who cares if you have a big seat waiting if you arrive at a dump like Detroit station (looks like a DMV in a run down town), get hassled by the security guard, herded up a stairway with everybody else, etc... Gimme a break. I pay for a business class seat, I want a clean and quiet lounge, polite service, and priority boarding. Regardless of seat size, Delta gives you that every day.


The problem with that theory Tadman is that the range of equipment Delta has is pretty wide compared to Amtrak but, is as far as I understand it, consistent within a particular class of equipment (i.e. an MD80 will always get you the same business class). Whereas with even just the Amfleet trains BC can vary widely.
Check out QuiCR, Quick, Crowdsourced Responses for businesses.
Greg Moore
 
Posts: 5168
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:15 am
Location: IT Consultant

Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Tadman » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:59 pm

Greg, I think you are right with regard to the MD80 concept having the same biz seating across the fleet.

With regard to the amfleets, it seems the corridor trains are getting the cafe/biz cars with 2+1 while the coach day trains and LD trains are getting the full-length biz cars with 2+2 seating. That's not been my 100% observation, but 4/5 times maybe. I will say I've only seen the full-length cars out of NY, mostly on NPN trains and Crescent. Perhaps on LSL but I can't remember, it's been over a year since my last ride. No midwestern corridor trains with the full-length cars, which is a shame because the Detroit trains frequently sell out in biz class.

In the past I have made a practice of reserving coach when BC is full, and checking repeatedly the two days before for cancellations. I'm batting 1.000 on that one. Of course for the 90 minute ride Chicago-New Buffalo, I roll coach. It's a short ride and I don't want to shorthaul someone else who wants that big seat for the long ride to Detroit.
Tadman
 
Posts: 8866
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am

Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby jp1822 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:03 pm

I have no doubt that business class sales for long distance trains, corridor trains, and NEC trains would be much greater if Amtrak adopted a uniform brand that included consistent equipment (style or type) with specific amenities (2-1 seating, leg rests, voucher for food/drink). Instead it's random, with some business class just offering regular coach seating with free non-alcoholic drinks.

The most premium single level coach car Amtrak has is the 1/2 cafe and 1/2 business Amfleet car with 2-1 seating. These were all made standard under Gunn's administration, with the hope that they would lead to a premium product. If there are my "extra" cafe cars, they should be made into the 1/2 business and 1/2 cafe car in my opinion as then you'd have more to disperse and have as a premium car.

Perfect for the single level "long distance day trains." Perhaps it's Amtrak's version of a Touring Class, as opposed to "Business Class" on some of the trains.....I only mention the "touring class" name as it may evoke a certain characterization to bring in additional $$$ but also offer a better food experience with the middle cafe section. Adirondack, Vermonter, Maple Leaf, Pennsylvanian, Carolinian, etc.

The Bi-level business class cars on the California corridors and Talgos up in the Cascade service, already offer a superior car and experience.
jp1822
 
Posts: 3765
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 10:03 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Morning Zephyr » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:11 pm

Amen. Consistency in product is marketing 101. The notion that leaving Penn Station on the Empire Service in Business Class means one thing and leaving Penn Station on the Pennsylvanian or Carolinian in Business Class really means coach is such bad marketing.
Good idea about "Touring Class," too, considering how few Amtrak passengers outside the NE Corridor are actually on business trips. If you did a survey, you might find the term "business" to be off-putting, since it implies formality and expense. Touring implies pleasure and leisure.
Morning Zephyr
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:21 pm

Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby David Benton » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:17 pm

How about Leisure class for L.D ? Touring might be taken as for Tourists or people on longer Vacations, rather than going to visit Aunt Dolly.
Moderator worldwide railfan , Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.
User avatar
David Benton
 
Posts: 8230
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Previous

Return to Amtrak

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dick H, Tadman and 13 guests