After finishing dinner at Traxx Restaurant, we decided to walk around Union Station for a bit before heading up to Amtrak’s new Metropolitan Lounge which opened late last year. While all three of use have been through the Union Station before, this was the first time we actually took some time to admire the historic building. We even took couple minutes to sit in the iconic arm chairs in the waiting area of the station building.
After I was finished with taking pictures, I asked one of the red jacket station information employee how to get to Amtrak’s Metropolitan Lounge. The employee directed me to the elevators near the rental car desks and told me to go up to the second floor. We thanked the gentleman and proceeded to the elevators and to the second floor as we were instructed. As soon as the elevator doors opened on the second floor, there was a sign directing people to the Metropolitan Lounge.
Amtrak’s Los Angeles Union Station Metropolitan Lounge opened late last year. The Metropolitan Lounge is for long distance train Sleeping Car passengers and Pacific Surfliner Business Class passengers as well as passengers who have Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Plus Level or higher. Before the Metropolitan Lounge opened late last year, except for the Coast Starlight which used Traxx Bar as a waiting area for sleeping car passengers, Sleeping Car passengers on other Amtrak long distance trains serving Los Angeles did not have any exclusive place to wait for their train.
Once we were past the double doors of the Metropolitan Lounge, we checked in with the Amtrak Agent at the front desk of the Metropolitan Lounge. He checked the E-Ticket document that I handed him and asked us if we were going to check any luggage. I told him no to the checked luggage and after the agent finished writing down our information on his register, we found a place to sit until it was boarding time for our train.
Inside of the Metropolitan Lounge, there is a fridge with drinks, coffee machine, cold and hot water dispenser and snack items to munch on. Password protected WiFi with fast speed is available in the Metropolitan Lounge which my mom streamed her favorite show with no problem while waiting in the lounge. Plenty of plush armchair seats with built in power sockets and a swing out tray tables are spread out throughout the lounge. Two bathrooms, one men and one women are available for lounge patrons to use. The bathroom inside of the lounge is 1000% cleaner than the bathroom for the general public downstairs in the main station. The new Metropolitan Lounge is a nice oasis away from the busy chaos downstairs in the main station for Amtrak’s Sleeper or Business Class passengers.
When boarding time came, the Metropolitan Lounge agent called for Redcaps to the lounge. While I thought the Redcaps were called for mobility impaired passengers, all sleeping car passengers in the lounge are being taken to the Sunset Limited Train via electric carts by the Redcaps. The Los Angeles Metropolitan Lounge has a rear door leading to a parking lot which is connected to Union Station’s boarding platform via protected electronic gate which is accessible by the Redcaps.
Once our turn to board the electric cart came, we gathered our belongings and headed outside to the waiting cart. The Redcap helped us getting our belongings into the cargo area of the cart at which point he saw that one of our bags was full of beer and wine. The Redcap joked that our booze bag was his favorite bag he has seen all day.
Once everyone was aboard the electric cart, the Redcap drove to the boarding platform where our train, the Sunset Limited was just finishing backing into the platform. It is amazing how the Redcaps can so easily maneuver through the tight spaces of the platform with people, luggages and fixed object obstacles every inch of the way to the sleeping car. Once the electric cart arrived at our sleeping car, my dad tipped the Redcap for his help as everyone was disembarking. The Redcap, who was all smiles after receiving the $10.00 tip from my dad, told us not to touch the luggage and that we would take them off he cart and put them on the train. We said our final goodbyes to the Redcap before boarding the Sunset Limited.
The Sleeping Car Attendant was busy helping other passengers so we grabbed our bags and headed up the stairs to where our deluxe bedroom is located. The stairwell was full of passengers going upstairs and the elderly lady in front of me lost her balance and started to fall backwards but I blocked her fall and helped her regain her balance. Her husband was going up ahead of her but due to the narrow stairwell, he could not help his wife. While continuing up, the lady fell back a second time and again, I blocked her backwards tumble and helped her regain her balance. Once the couple got to the top, the lady’s husband thanked me for blocking his wife’s backwards fall before both headed to their room.
My parents and I found our deluxe bedroom E, which was already setup for sleeping. Having the seats converted into bed really made it difficult for the three of us to get into the deluxe bedroom and stow our belongings. After snapping the picture above of our bedroom, I went inside first to stow our suitcases up on the storage rack and below the armchair. Then I came out of the room for my parents to get inside and settle in without me getting in the way. While I was outside, I hung our jackets up inside of the small closet near the sliding door to the bedroom. Once they were settled and seated, I went inside the room and went up onto the upper bunk so there would be more room for my parents below.
The Sunset Limited pulled out of the station exactly on time. About 30 minutes after we began moving, the conductor came by our room to scan our ticket. Shortly afterwards, Darlene came by our deluxe bedroom to introduce herself. Originally, I had planned on staying up until after we left Palm Springs, but after Pomona Station, I was getting too sleepy to stay awake. Before going to bed, I went to find Darlene for some extra pillows since our room only had enough for two people. Darlene brought the extra pillows over to our room and after changing into our sleeping clothes, we shut off the lights, locked the door and called it a day.