Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

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

Postby Tadman » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:02 am

I took the Crescent WAS-Charlottesville in Biz and it was pretty full, so perhaps the $75 is good for Amtrak. I transferred into sleeper there for the ride to NOLA and never looked into the Amfleet after so I can't comment after that.
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby east point » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:09 pm

Until Amtrak changes its web site to show Business Class on the original coach prices the demand cannot be accurately determined. Anyone who does not know of BC will not know to click on the sleeper box change arrow 3 times to display BC availability and prices.
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Arlington » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:36 pm

east point wrote:Until Amtrak changes its web site to show Business Class on the original coach prices the demand cannot be accurately determined. Anyone who does not know of BC will not know to click on the sleeper box change arrow 3 times to display BC availability and prices.

This also kind of proves that BC is being marketed mostly only after the coach fares have sold out.

So far, I consider it a smart way of squeezing extra $ out of existing coaches and the website using purely "software" choices. It isn't a failure of rolling stock, it is a success of business rules.

Like the saturday night stayover, it is an arbitrary way to get people to pay more for the same seat when the demonstrate that they really need that seat.
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Greg Moore » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:14 pm

Arlington wrote:^ That coach was sold out (for which segment?) Seems to confirm that the reason for creating business class was to create a higher fare bucket that people would have to buy when coach was sold out.

Basically the conductor started announcing that coach was full when we left NYP and they would not be able to honor any special requests for seating.

The question I have is though... could they have filled the business class coach at coach fares and made more money than less than 50% full with a $75 add-on.
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Morning Zephyr » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:02 am

The flaw with Amtrak's so-called "business class" is not how it is displayed on the website or announced by conductors. The flaw is they contravene the basic principle of marketing by not having a consistent definition of the product and value proposition for the consumer. As long as business class means different things on different trains, and, worse yet, is more often than not just a coach rather than something superior to coach, Amtrak is going to turn off more customers than they attract. And even if they attract them once, when people board and found out they have paid extra for something that is no better than a coach, they won't come back. Marketing 101 is product definition.
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby SouthernRailway » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:16 pm

Maybe Amtrak could make 1/4 of each "business class" car on single-level LD trains into a lounge, for business class and sleeping car passengers only?

That would add value to both classes of service and help make the fares worth paying.
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Mackensen » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:51 pm

I did business class on a westbound Cardinal earlier this month and was pleased with what I got:

  • As mentioned, all the non-alcoholic beverages I wanted. As I was battling a cold at the time this very much appreciated.
  • Reclining leather seat, with leg-rests.
  • Shared table-seating area in the lounge side with the sleeper passengers.
  • Quieter, more exclusive seating as compared to the other 58 people in with you in an A-II coach.

Incidentally, the conductors set up shop in the business class lounge area instead of in cafe/diner. This has the knock-on effect of improving capacity and flow in the latter car. We were sold out at various points in West Virginia, but there wasn't much through traffic to Indiana and Illinois.
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:48 pm

Mackensen wrote:I did business class on a westbound Cardinal earlier this month and was pleased with what I got:

[*] As mentioned, all the non-alcoholic beverages I wanted. As I was battling a cold at the time this very much appreciated.
[*] Reclining leather seat, with leg-rests.
[*] Shared table-seating area in the lounge side with the sleeper passengers.
[*] Quieter, more exclusive seating as compared to the other 58 people in with you in an A-II coach.[/list]
Incidentally, the conductors set up shop in the business class lounge area instead of in cafe/diner.

This sounds like an Amfleet I Cafe/Club, much like on the Empire Corridor, Ethan Allen and Vermonter.
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby hi55us » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:16 pm

Mackensen wrote:I did business class on a westbound Cardinal earlier this month and was pleased with what I got:

  • As mentioned, all the non-alcoholic beverages I wanted. As I was battling a cold at the time this very much appreciated.
  • Reclining leather seat, with leg-rests.
  • Shared table-seating area in the lounge side with the sleeper passengers.
  • Quieter, more exclusive seating as compared to the other 58 people in with you in an A-II coach.

Incidentally, the conductors set up shop in the business class lounge area instead of in cafe/diner. This has the knock-on effect of improving capacity and flow in the latter car. We were sold out at various points in West Virginia, but there wasn't much through traffic to Indiana and Illinois.


So this train operates with 2 lounge cars, both of which are staffed, but one is the BC/Sleeper Lounge and one is the Coach/Diner Lite?
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Mackensen » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:16 pm

hi55us wrote:
Mackensen wrote:I did business class on a westbound Cardinal earlier this month and was pleased with what I got:

  • As mentioned, all the non-alcoholic beverages I wanted. As I was battling a cold at the time this very much appreciated.
  • Reclining leather seat, with leg-rests.
  • Shared table-seating area in the lounge side with the sleeper passengers.
  • Quieter, more exclusive seating as compared to the other 58 people in with you in an A-II coach.

Incidentally, the conductors set up shop in the business class lounge area instead of in cafe/diner. This has the knock-on effect of improving capacity and flow in the latter car. We were sold out at various points in West Virginia, but there wasn't much through traffic to Indiana and Illinois.


So this train operates with 2 lounge cars, both of which are staffed, but one is the BC/Sleeper Lounge and one is the Coach/Diner Lite?


The BC/Sleeper lounge is unstaffed; beverages are available in the cafe-dinette.

R36 Combine Coach wrote:This sounds like an Amfleet I Cafe/Club, much like on the Empire Corridor, Ethan Allen and Vermonter.


It is; 48xxx series just like business class on the Vermonter.
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:16 pm

Believe the BC/Lounge is NOT staffed,might use the the food service space as additional storage for the Diner lite car.
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby David Benton » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:13 am

Backshophoss wrote:Believe the BC/Lounge is NOT staffed,might use the the food service space as additional storage for the Diner lite car.

When I rode, there was more than one LSA in the cafe, though one could have been the sleeper attendant helping out , I guess. (hard to believe that was 5 years ago ).
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby DanK » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:15 pm

Ok, I will be taking the Crescent to NOLA from Baltimore. Now I have seen a few videos online that showed leather seats and the 2-1 configuration in business class. Then I saw a video of the business class and the person claimed that it was the Crescent, but it had the blue cloth seats and the 2-2 configuration. Does anyone know if the Crescent has the 2-1 configuration and the leather seats or is it the 2-2 and cloth seats. All the videos I saw were on Youtube.
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Rockingham Racer » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:27 pm

2-2 cloth seats.
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Re: Business class on LD trains: how are ticket sales?

Postby Morning Zephyr » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:57 pm

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?
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