Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Different Class

It should not come as a surprise that there are different classes of service on the Surfliner. At the ticket counter they offer fares for Coach and, if you are willing to shell out an extra $11, Business - where you get "free" coffee in the morning or a small bottle of wine in the evening. But beyond the published fare categories for seats, there are also different classes of riders.

The Regular always sits in the same seat, usually surrounded by a group of similar Regulars. I would compare it to a blend of a school bus and Cheers. We look out for each other (and each other's seats). If you forget something, call your buddy who rides a bit further and he'll pick it up and hold it for you. Train is late? You will get a text message from up the line letting you know the situation. You will find many of these Regulars enshrined in the Commuter Hall of Fame page on this blog.

In contrast to the Regular is the Casual Rider. It is easy to poke fun at them, but we have to remember that each of us was a Fu-New-Gy at one point in our commuting lives. They are young, old, rich, poor... but most of all, they are clueless. You will find many of these Casual Riders enshrined on the People of Amtrak page on this blog.

Regardless of your class: Regular, Casual Rider, or Business, please let us know the strange and entertaining things you witness on the train. We are happy to share our stories, and to listen to yours.


  1. Nice post MJG. I personally have never seen the inside of Business Class. Can only dream about that life....

  2. When I rode Amtrak only occasionally, i splurged on business class. The seats are bigger, and they give you wine in the afternoon, and a cellophane "Snack pack" that was probably packaged in 2003.

  3. @ IT - Glad to see you on the blog. We noticed yours shortly after setting this up last year. i hope you dont mind it if we keep the name.

    I have only sat upstairs twice, and never in business class, so I can't judge seat size myself. Every now and then we are gifted an extra snack pack from a LSA though. I agree, they seem a bit stale. Perhaps with the new "fresh" menu they have improved...

  4. Ok...now I have to turn around and get back on the train so I can try business class!