Amtrak Metropolitan and Acela Lounges Thread

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Re: Amtrak Metropolitan and Acela Lounges Thread

Postby Plate C » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:28 am

Interesting thread. I took the Lakeshore back around beginning of November which gave me access to the lounge in CHI. Lounge was spacious enough, nice/comfortable furniture, an assortment of snacks randomly scattered about 2 floors along with a drink station on the 1st floor. Decorated w/ large historical photos nice enough that I took some pics to share. Still, I felt it left a bit to be desired, which seems par for the overall Amtrak course these days.

If you are one of those travelers who dares to shower or sleep in a public area... these areas are limited in capacity/availability and I felt some uncertainty about cleanliness factors, seemed like places to be avoided if at all possible. I came prepared with my own liquor but for those wanting something beyond coffee/soda/water it looked like you could only get that at limited times for a price. I was amused to see they offer a free champagne toast in the lounge every day, think it's at about noon? It's a nice feature to dangle out there for the few people who happen to be there at the time, wish I knew the history on that. Some of the food items definitely needed to be replenished and were not. If you're just getting in you probably don't want to pick through what everyone else has left behind to get a bite to eat. Since Amtrak knows when their trains come/go, really not hard for them to have fresh offerings out for people. Re: what has been said about boarding, I appreciate that you can sit there on either lounge level relaxing and they'll call the trains on the overhead so you don't miss yours. True, it's not that hard to know your train time and check your watch, but still good to have that. They did call passengers together in the lounge and we were then led downstairs to another waiting area where several employees were attempting to assemble people without quite knowing what the other employees were doing. That part did seem pointless and disorganized, they should call you down and board you when the train is ready.
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Re: Amtrak Metropolitan and Acela Lounges Thread

Postby dumpster.penguin » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:48 pm

Chicago's Metropolitan Lounge is enormous, big enough for the swell of long-distance passengers transferring from one delay to another. Quite pleasant, overall. There are places near TVs, places near snacks, places on the main level, places upstairs (with elevator), places near great big plate-glass windows. Times I've been there, all surfaces that can be cleaned have been very clean indeed. Unfortunately, the armchair upholstery is not washable. The armchairs were beginning to get grubby the last time I was there. Also, you mustn't bring your own food or drink, an indirect consequence of Amtrak's decisions about how to manage the space and defray its costs.

In Los Angeles, the first-class lounge is a bit out-of-the-way, but once you find it, it is sun-lit. The comfy chairs are wipe-clean. Some have foldable tray tables.

New York's Club Acela is dim, infested with mice, and disquieted by a loud TV. But it has a feature that outweighs all defects, at least for a short visit.
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Re: Amtrak Metropolitan and Acela Lounges Thread

Postby Tadman » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:26 am

For what it's worth, most airline premium lounges don't allow outside food, either. I got a serious talking to at Delta once. I think it has to do with mess making. If people set up a big picnic, it could irk other travelers looking to relax.

Also, agreed on NYP. It's gross. If that lounge were anywhere but NYP, I'd just walk the terminal or have a beer somewhere. There's a decent Turkish place across the road, too. DC is not far behind. It's my understanding that both are scheduled for replacement in the next year or so.

Chicago's old Met lounge was similar to the current DC and NYP lounges in size and quality. Perhaps they let them go to seed a bit before building a new one as it's not worth spending lots on a room about to be closed.
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Re: Amtrak Metropolitan and Acela Lounges Thread

Postby ryanov » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:05 am

My favorite things about the Metropolitan lounge in Chicago are the water dispensers on both floors, which provide sparking and still (and room temperature might be the third one? I forget) water, and the soda machine that provides some flavor shots that you could put into that seltzer, or the other sodas, if desired (I'm quite fond of vanilla seltzer).

I've also used the shower, before and after renovations. The line wasn't too long, and the shower is as nice as an accessible shower in a nice hotel. I'm quite happy to have folks think it's dirty and to not be in the line with them. :)
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Re: Amtrak Metropolitan and Acela Lounges Thread

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:05 am

I've never been much of a Lounge fan. Definitely not on-board (auto Train; don't know why they have 'em), and not really a fan of Amtrak or Airline lounges. They simply do not offer "my space".

I confess, I have never set foot in the present CUS Met Lounge, but those I have set foot in, namely former CUS, Wash, NY, New Orleans, have all landed on me as a "glorified waiting room" with announcements, people coming and going, empty drink dispensers, and not really that clean. In fact, the last time I was eligible to use one, CUS during '10, I just sat out in the Head
House - just as I often did when I was with the MILW during Lunch.

But that's just me.

Overseas rail; OBB in Salzburg, Vienna, and Graz. A little nicer, but not really "my space". I must say at Graz last August, the Attendant did me a great favor when he said, "be sure to sit on the right side going over Semmering". I did, and even had the company of a very nice English speaking Polish gal (she was with FedEx in Warsaw) to share it with.

Airline Lounges; not really better than Amtrak, but that is based on United at O'Hare and Lufthansa at Munich. Nothing to call "my space". Showers at Lufthansa?, off limits outbound. Inbound only if connecting to another flight.
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Re: Amtrak Metropolitan and Acela Lounges Thread

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:53 pm

I would suggest, if you get a chance, check out the CUS lounge. Of all I've been in, it's the best, by far.

I've been in 4 and I'd rate them as:

CUS - Clearly the best. My wife STILL raves about the showers there.
PHL - Nice and ornate, quite, direct access to the tracks. This is what all Acela lounges should strive to be
WAS - Quiter, less crowded than the corrals, and you get first boarding, but... yeah, it's a glorified waiting room with some snacks.
NYP - Has a clean bathroom unlike the public ones. This alone makes it worth it. But, overall it's a bit dark and outdated. Definitely needs a rework.
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Re: Amtrak Metropolitan and Acela Lounges Thread

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:36 pm

NYP is being replaced... and I agree, cramped, dark, unwelcoming.
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Re: Amtrak Metropolitan and Acela Lounges Thread

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:36 am

Boston just got a refurb.
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Re: Amtrak Metropolitan and Acela Lounges Thread

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:20 pm

Greg Moore wrote:NYP - Has a clean bathroom unlike the public ones. This alone makes it worth it. But, overall it's a bit dark and outdated. Definitely needs a rework.

Cramped and hidden in the SW corner. Blink and miss it.
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