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Tip: The Best Place to Sit in Amtrak’s Business Class Car

Jamie Larounis - The Forward Cabin July 17, 2018, 11:29 p.m.

I’ve written before on the all-around best Amtrak Business Class seat, though you won’t be able to find that type of seating on a majority of Amtrak equipped Business Class trains. In fact, even trains that are supposed to have that style of train are sometimes equipped with a replacement coach class car instead.

The most common Business Class car you’ll find is the Amfleet II design, with the exception of those on the Acela Express, the high-speed train in the Northeast corridor. These Amfleet II cars consist of 59 business class seats, with 2 seats on one side, and 2 seats on the other. These sites might all look the same, but there’s a favorite location of mine in this car that you’ll want to look out for.


When you board the Business Class car, walk all the way to the opposite end of where you’re at until you see 4 seats surrounding a table on both sides of the car. These are the secret seats that not may people know about.

Some Great Pros to These Seats

  • If they’re not taken and you’re alone, you’ve got some great legroom since you can stretch your feet under the seat in front of you.
  • You have a table to stretch out on and work on, which isn’t the rickety pull-down table like the other traditional coach seats.
  • They’re usually not occupied. For whatever reason, most people seem to gravitate to the traditional Business Class seats, or don’t know about them.

Some Negatives to These Seats

  • On many trains, you’ll see a sign on these seats reserving them for 4 or more people. Ask the conductor nicely and you may be able to sit here, or, if you’re with more people, you may be able to sit here without any ask. I’ve never found a conductor that didn’t allow me to sit at this table, which, by the way, is not available in the coach class car.
  • These seats have a slight limited recline as two of the seats are against the wall, and the other two recline into the backs of the seats in front of them. Personally, I find the fixed table so much better than a recline, especially on a shorter Northeast type route.
  • If there’s someone sitting across from you, you may have limited legroom.

If you find yourself in an Amtrak Business Class car, grab the seats with the fixed table – you’ll love the fact that the table is a great place to work, and if there’s no one with you, the legroom is fantastic.