Frequent travelers in the Northeast corridor are most likely familiar with Amtrak’s Acela service between Boston and Washington, DC. Long a favorite for its faster travel speeds and newer equipment, there is the added perk of access to ClubAcela for First Class Passengers as well as those ticked in sleeper cars. Amtrak has recently introduced an option for Business Class passengers to purchase access to these lounges in the Philadelphia and Boston stations. Purchase price for ClubAcela access (again, now only available to those traveling in Business class) is $20 for a day pass.
Those utilizing the day pass have the option to grant access to immediate family members or one non-family guest with their pass. Please be aware that during heavy travel times, Amtrak reserves the right to restrict access to the pass holder only and those under the age of eighteen will need to be accompanied by an adult. All lounges are non-smoking.
Club access provides travelers with a designated lounge area away from the bustle and activity of the main station. In addition to a calmer and more refined waiting area, ClubAcela provides free snacks and soft beverages (non-alcoholic), internet access, newspapers and other reading material, and televisions. For road warrior types on business travel, photocopy and fax services are available, as is access to the Club’s conference rooms.
Do you have United Club access? Get into Amtrak’s lounges for free!
Is it worth it?
Not in my opinion. I reviewed the ClubAcela lounge in Washington DC, and the lounge was mediocre at best.
For $20, you’re essentially getting:
- Free wifi which you can otherwise get provided in the station itself
- Flat soda and stale coffee.
- Small, snack-size bags of pretzels and chips.
- A semi clean restroom.
The lounges can be overcrowded at many peak times, so if Amtrak does restrict access, don’t bother trying to continue to get in — the seats are probably all taken and it isn’t worth it, in my experience. If you’ve got to hang out in the train station for a few hours, I guess it can be worth it…
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