Review: Amtrak Pacific Business Class San Diego Old Town to Santa Ana

Booking the Trip: Amtrak Ride to San Diego and back
Review: Amtrak Coach Class Santa Ana to San Diego Old Town
Review: Amtrak Pacific Business Class San Diego Old Town to Santa Ana


After a spending a day in San Diego, we returned to Santa Ana Train Station in business class on Amtrak, which actually pleasantly surprised me, and I’m sure you will see why in this report.

After arriving at our platform at Old Town San Diego Train Station, I took some shots of the station and then checked the status of our train.

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San Diego Old Town Train Station
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San Diego Old Town Train Station
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San Diego Old Town Train Station

Well looks like there was a huge delay.

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Amtrak Train Status

After waiting on the platform for a while, our train finally arrived. And the platform was packed! I ensured to get on board as quickly as possible to find a seat for my cousin and me.

The photo got a little cut-off but here is the “Pacific Business Class” signage on the outside of the carriage.

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Amtrak business class sign

After boarding we found seats, and here are some pictures.

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business class seat legroom

This was a very very comfortable seat. I mean that very sincerely. Firstly, check out the legroom in the photo above. There was plenty of it and I could easily stretch out all the way and I’m 5′ 10″. My much taller cousin at 6′ 6″ did the same and he also stretched out all the way. so the legroom was very plentiful.

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business class footrest

There was also a footrest for passengers here as well. To activate it, Simply push that shiny metal lever to the right and pull the foot rest down.

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Power ports

There are also power ports to the right for use during the train ride. Power ports are always appreciated and I’m glad coach also had power ports.

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Footrest

Here is what the footrest looks like when it is fully extended.

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Tray Table

There is also a tray table that can be extended all the way to you.

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Legroom

Here is just another look at the seat and its legroom. However, I did forget to talk about the seat itself. The padding was very thick and therefore comfortable. You basically sink into the seat a little and your back does the same. It is very comfortable to sit in.

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Seat Recline and leg rest control

These ancient looking knobs above control the recline and the leg rest for the seat. And yes, there is indeed a leg rest. The knob on the right controls the recline and if you slide it to the right, you can push the seat back into the recline and to lock the seat wherever you want, simply bring the knob back to the original position. The same goes for the left knob which controls the leg rest. Slide it to the right to unlock the leg rest and pull it out from under your seat. Position it where you would like, and lock it in place by bringing the knob back to the original position. Here is what the recline with leg rest looks like. The leg rest combined with the foot rest and seat recline makes for a pretty comfortable lounging seat.

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Business class seat reclined

Meanwhile, on the way back, I was enjoying the views outside, and they got better on the side with the ocean on it.

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views

At this point, one of the crew came around the carriage the first round bringing snack boxes to everyone.

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Amtrak Snack box

I did not consume all of it since I did not want unnecessary somewhat unhealthy snacks for no reason. But here are the contents of the snack box:

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Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Pita Chips
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Hummus
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Minty taffy
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Moist Towel

The crew also came around with drinks.

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Water
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White Wine

 

All drinks were complimentary, even the alcoholic ones. My cousin took the wine here, but they also had Moet and Chandon champagne which is very impressive for a train business class, as it is the same champagne that many airlines serve in business class and first class. But you could ask multiple times and the crew would not have a problem.

 

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Snack service

So here is what my tray table looked like after getting all the food and water.

For the rest of the ride, it was mostly all about the views.

 

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wetlands
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Wetlands
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Amtrak train tracking

There is free wifi available to all passengers, but I found the speed to be fairly slow. I think that’s a function of the large number of people trying to use it. Perhaps Amtrak would be better off and profitable if they allowed it complimentary to business class, and offered it to coach at a slight premium.

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riding alongside the 5 freeway

 

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Views
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Views

Now I decided to check out the bathroom to see if it was any different from coach class’s bathroom. I reached an interesting area labeled “lounge” and completely missed the “female gender sign” and walked in.

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lounge sign

I walked in and came to see this. I’m not sure what kind of “lounge” the sign was referring to but this was a pretty sad one.

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lounge

Inside the lounge there was another door leading to restrooms. What was interesting this time around was that even though thr lounge sign had the female only icon on it, the restrooms were unisex.

 

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restroom sign

But the inside was fairly basic. It had all the basic thing a restroom should have like toilet paper, sink, soap, and toilet seat covers. However one additional, and potentially useful, feature is that above the tissues sign, there was a charging port. It looks like a black square in this photo.

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Toilet

By this time, we were coming pretty close to the end of our journey which was very much enjoyable. The lower deck of the business class carriage had a sink and coffee maker as seen here in this photo.

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Business class “gallery”

We were passing by the beaches near Dana point and this photo was taken much before the galley photo but forgot to add it. The views were lovely as we went on.

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Beach View
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Irvine

Finally, close to around 7:10 PM, we arrived back at Santa Ana train station and got off. Here’s a final look at the train as it goes onwards towards Los Angeles.

 

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Amtrak from Santa Ana station

 

Overall, this was a great train ride. Early in the intro, I had said I would be comparing the two products, coach class, and business class. Business class was around $20 more and I will say that it is absolutely worth the premium. From the extra comfortable seats to the snacks (not that important), to the beverages available to the travelers for free, I would not hesitate to travel on this product again. Just a quick thing to note, for those that travel on Amtrak into or out of Newark Liberty International Airport, you can actually earn United MileagePlus Miles for your trip.

On the airline side of things, I know this was a bit of a tangent but some extra traveling perspectives is always good. I have slightly over 3 weeks left (from 7/5/2017) until my next bundle of air travels begins so everything will be back to normal from that point forward. Thanks for reading, and hope to see you back here in a few weeks. Cheers!

 

 

 

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