I live just a flew blocks from Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station when I am in Philadelphia and conveniently for me, United Airlines has codeshare service with Amtrak out of ZVF to Newark Airport, allowing me to easily make my connections west. Even better, when adding on a ZFV-EWR to just about any itinerary ex-EWR, prices tend to drop, sometimes dramatically. But today I learned something new…
Today is actually my last trip–I’ll be leaving Philadelphia for good in a couple weeks and for the third week in a row my trip today commenced on Amtrak. Typically I leave my house or office (also a short walk away) about 20 minutes before my train departs, arrive 10 minutes before, collect my ticket, and board the train. Today I neglected to check the train status and arrived at 3:45p to find my 3:57p train delayed 20 minutes.
I took a seat on one of the wooden benches in the main concourse, pulled out my laptop, and sent a couple e-mails. Having done that, I decided to take a walk around before departing–after all, it may be several years before I set foot in the station again.
I walked past the entrance to Amtrak’s ClubAcela lounge and noticed a sign listing the entrance requirements. I was surprised to see that Continental President’s Club members had access and wondered if the lounge agreement was still intact with post-merger United.
I pulled up Amtrak’s lounge page and indeed it is–
ClubAcela, Metropolitan Lounge and First Class Lounge
Amtrak offers several types of private lounges for Acela Express First Class passengers, sleeping car passengers, Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Plus, Select Executive members, United Club Members and private car owners.
Who is eligible for access?
- Amtrak Guest Rewards members with a valid Select Plus or Select Executive member card.
- Amtrak passengers with a same-day ticket (departing) or ticket receipt (arriving) in First Class or sleeping car accommodations.
- United Club Members with a valid United Club Card may bring in two guests or their spouses and children under the age of 21. Additionally, United Global First or United BusinessFirst passengers with a flight coupon or boarding pass with a segment in United Global First or United BusinessFirst.
- Complimentary ClubAcela Single-Day Pass holders. Same-day travel ticket not needed.
- Private car owners/lessee and party between time of arrival and departure specified in the PNR. PNR number to be given to Club representative upon entry.
Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Plus members will continue to enjoy access to the United Clubs through February 2012. Present your valid Select Plus card at the United Club to enjoy complimentary beverages and snacks, free Wi-Fi and more.
Leaving Philly for good? Where are you heading off to next Matthew?
“Turned around & head back downstairs”??;
Why were you not escorted to the Club elevators that take you directly to your track?
@Thom: Stay tuned!
@bk3day: Good question–it was my first time in there and I did not know there was an elevator to the tracks. The agent never mentioned it.
Is it possible to skip the ZVF leg at the start of a journey? Or will Amtrak communicate to UA resulting in cancellation of the whole itinerary?
ClubAcela has taunted me every time I walk into – or even just through – 30th Street Station. I’m glad to hear that they’re relatively liberal with their entrance policy. The waiting hall is gorgeous, but there’s always something depressing about seeing the long, snaking lines for the Northeast Regional.
Congratulations on your upcoming escape. I hope you find someplace without trash bags in the trees, angry people on the streets, and broken bathrooms at the United Club.
Scott, probably not a good idea to skip this segment–easy to do back when Amtrak had paper tickets, but now that they have gone electronic, tickets will be cancelled. That said, if you book it as a one-way you can get away with it. Plus, you don’t have to check in at ZFV–you can check in at NYP or even at EWR (before your train departs, of course). That doesn’t mean your ticket will be scanned as used, but at least you could flash your boarding pass if any trouble arose.