Amtrak Cascades Business Class Seattle to Vancouver

With Vancouver so close to Seattle, how could I pass up the opportunity to visit Canada?

From Seattle to Vancouver, there are three realistic options:  Planes, trains, and automobiles.  (Sadly, “boat” is unlikely to be very timely.)  As a truck had recently caused a bridge carrying I-5 to collapse, driving seemed potentially out of the question, so I looked at my options for Amtrak and Alaska Airlines.

Amtrak has a fantastically generous award chart on its “special routes,” 1.5k points for a coach one-way and 2k points for a business class one-way.  Amtrak was selling seats for $81 each the night before, so I was happy booking two with points instead.  With the low marginal cost of 500 points per ticket, I splurged on business class.  I’m glad I did:

  • Business Class has its own check-in line at Seattle King Street Station.  In contrast, the coach line was still a sea of humanity minutes before boarding.
  • Business Class is allowed first off the train and consequently, first through Canadian immigration.
  • These tickets come with a $5 voucher for the cafe car.  While prices aren’t terrific, we didn’t have the luxury of time on our way from the hotel to the station.

Seattle King Street StationUnlike the Amfleet cars that I see all too often on the NEC, the Cascades train has a unique livery.

Amtrak CascadesThe seats can’t rival p.s. Business Class, but they’re far better than coach on an airplane.

Amtrak CascadesThe route is scenic, spending a considerable amount of time along the coast.

Amtrak Cascades Amtrak Cascades Amtrak CascadesAlong the way, we were treated to a glimpse of the collapsed I-5 bridge.

Collapsed I-5 BridgeOverall, the train took 4 hours; it’s agonizingly slow compared to New York-Washington on the NEC.  I slept on the train, just as I was going to if I had stayed at the hotel.

This entry was posted in Awards, Journeys and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *