Unless you frequently use Amtrak rail service you may not be aware that they offer first-class transportation. There's a significant difference in comfort and amenities between the various classes when riding with Amtrak. They offer coach and business on all of their trains and you can only select first-class on select trains, but they do offer it on some and it's well worth checking into if you plan on using their services. Here is what it's like to go first class on Amtrak.
Available through the Amtrak app
You can use your mobile phone or computer to purchase your Amtrak tickets. This site will inform you about the classes of transportation available in your area. This is a convenient way to book your seat and you can print out the information if you prefer to have the paper vs digital ticket.
The costs of booking first-class on Amtrak
When compared to coach class, there is a $30 increase to get bumped to business class. There is an additional $78 to go from business to first-class. It's more expensive for certain, but after you hear about the amenities, you may find that it's worth the splurge.
First-class privileges prior to boarding
First-class passengers have access to the exclusive Club lounge that is reserved for its first-class passengers. This is a lot like what airline carriers provide. This is a place where you can relax before boarding or catch up on any work that you may need to complete. Here you can grab a cocktail or other beverage or a snack if you're feeling hungry.
What it's like in the first-class cabin
The seats in the first-class cabin are more comfortable than those that are in coach or business classes. The ride is far more comfortable and there's a little more leg room. The cabin is laid out in a one-by-two seating configuration and each seat is fully equipped with movable footrests and armrests along with adjustable headrests and lumbar support. You can take a nap if you'd like because the seats are that comfortable. There are tray tables which are extra large in size that you can use for meals or to place y our electronics on. AC outlets are also supplied in each seating area in case you need to power up your devices. Seats are automatically assigned upon registration. If there is a reason why you need to change the seat assignment, you can change to a different seat with no additional fees.
The menu that is supplied for first-class passengers is nothing short of amazing. They offer a breakfast section that gives you several options including hearty dishes, fruit, yogurt, and gluten-free selections. A variety of juices and other beverages are also included along with complimentary tea and coffee if desired.
The menu also includes a range of entrees and desserts to choose from. If you're hungry, you can easily satisfy your appetite with the food offerings. They also offer a snack if you have a lighter appetite. It's hard to beat the food that is served in first class and in addition to all of these wonderful amenities, you're treated like a VIP when you're in the first-class cabin. The food and beverages are all complimentary in first-class and won't cost anything more than the price of the ticket.
Amtrak only offers the option for first class on its Acela Express. They've opened up the club lounges in several locations where the train makes its arrival and departure stations. Although the service is extremely limited, it's a wonderful option for travelers who need a break from the standard coach or business mode of travel. It's expensive, but the amenities offer a luxury that makes the trip go by very quickly. Although Amtrak has not yet indicated that they are expanding their first class offering to other service areas, if their current experiment proves efficient and profitable, there may be a possibility that this will happen. Hopefully in time, more of the carrier's trains will be modified to include a first-class cabin so the option will become open in more areas.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker