Amtrak to End Business Class on 2 Trains

Amtrak plans to end business class service on two long-distance trains on May 1, the Auto Train and Crescent.

Amtrak said business class did not sell well on those trains and that adding a car to each train to accommodate it reduced the number of available coach seats.

Among the amenities that had been included with business class service were complimentary non-alcoholic beverages in the cafe car, full access to Washington Post and New York Times online content, priority boarding at larger stations, and extra Amtrak Guest Rewards points.

Business class on the Crescent had been provided by a regular coach positioned on the other side of the sleeping and dining cars from the coach section.

A Trains magazine report said that business class on the Auto Train had the effect of raising coach fares to the point where Amtrak was losing business, particularly with larger families.

Amtrak agents had to override the yield management system to lower the price of coach tickets. “Amtrak made the decision to discontinue business class because of insufficient differentiation between coach and business class on these two routes,” said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.

Magliari added that the passenger carrier is seeking to make service more consistent across the network.

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