Does Amtrak Business Class Fill Up?

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By an edhat reader

I'm traveling to LA on Sunday and I have to arrive by a specific time. I'm not an avid train rider, but I've seen the platforms full of people who can't get a ride or a seat. Is it worth it to upgrade to Business Class to guarantee a seat or are those just as full?

Thanks for your help edhat community!

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Yeti Jan 19, 2018 12:33 PM
Does Amtrak Business Class Fill Up?

I have taken multiple rides on Amtrak since the floods. The capacity has exceeded supply and it has been standing room only with ONE Exception: Business Class.
I encourage you to confirm this, but from what I have been told by Amtrak, Business Class is by reservation only and they have NOT been allowing standing room only overflow into business class cars.
I believe that if you are ticketed for business class, then you are fine.

passing-by Jan 19, 2018 06:52 PM
Does Amtrak Business Class Fill Up?

Book business class ASAP. Amtrak is adding capacity but recent business class tickets from SB have been sold our early.

tagdes Jan 20, 2018 08:40 AM
Does Amtrak Business Class Fill Up?

The poster is going to LA and business is the only way to get a guaranteed seat. But glad you got to voice your totally unrealted thoughts.

pii Jan 20, 2018 08:58 AM
Does Amtrak Business Class Fill Up?

Long before the disaster, I bought a business class ticket. That train car was almost full. I went into coach class and had plenty of room to stretch out.

bookman Jan 20, 2018 09:51 AM
Does Amtrak Business Class Fill Up?

My wife attempted to book a business class seat for this weekend and said the service was not offered on weekends.

ljmdance Jan 20, 2018 10:10 AM
Does Amtrak Business Class Fill Up?

I'm also a long time "frequent flyer" on Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner & sometimes Coast Starlight routes. My experience confirms YETI's comments. I have never known them to oversell Business Class; they sell only as many tickets as there are seats in that car (or those cars, if they add additional). Standing room is only permitted in coach, which during off-peak trips is often minimally occupied & therefore more comfortable but other times more boisterous. The Business Class car is not a "special" or different car than the others, and some of the other cars have seats that are more spacious, recline, etc. A ticket in Business Class entitles the rider to a little snack box and a drink option of water, soft drink (I think), or a tiny bottle of very inexpensive wine. If it's not a peak hour (or community crisis like it is now) I often don't bother with Business class if I'm heading south on the trains that originate in Goleta/SB, because the train can't possibly be very full yet. On the other hand, for returning to SB area from LA or OC it's likely to be more full since it returns from SD, so I usually DO use Business Class. Personally, the snack pack & drink are not worth the added expense, but the seat/atmosphere (generally subdued) are. Indeed, the train sometimes runs late, & I haven't used it during this catastrophe. The corollary is that sometimes a traffic accident makes us run late, too, and I end up spending a lot of energy on stress at such times. Happy trails!

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