Train trick

Say I’m traveling on an Amtrak train. I buy a sleeper room for myself. I buy a coach seat for my traveling companion. Then while the train is underway, my traveling companion comes into my room, and stays there for the duration of the trip.

Would any of the train staff object to this?

Couldn’t I just tell them I happened to meet this person on the train, we happened to hit it off, and now we’d like to share the room, wink wink, nudge nudge, you were young once too?

I doubt you would be the first to try this.

That said I suspect you’d get away with it.

Dunno…never tried (I might but never taken a train with sleeper cars).

What’s the worst that could happen? They charge you the ticket price for the other person in that room you would have had to pay for anyway?

Except you wouldn’t really be getting away with anything. The way the pricing works is basically everybody gets charged the coach rate and then you buy a sleeper room. Adding extra people to your sleeper costs exactly the same as buying a coach ticket, so I don’t imagine they’d care if you let another paying passenger shack up in your sleeper.

On every sleeper train I’ve been on, you either buy a single space in a shared sleeper compartment, or you pay for the whole compartment regardless of how many people are in it.

So, unless you fancy sharing a bed with your friend in a compartment with strangers, I don’t see how you’d profit from the deal. Just pay for the whole compartment, share it with your friend, and you’ll save money as you won’t be buying a separate coach seat for the friend.

Edit: or, basically, what GreasyJack said.

The one time I recently considered buying train tickets, the sleeper car only gave me the option of buying a two-berth compartment. Might just be that was the only option available online though.

You can tell the car attendant whatever you want, but I imagine that the attendant would then tell the conductor, who would be happy to sell your friend an upcharge at the going (i.e., exorbitant) rate.

OTOH, while I can’t locate the source, I do recall reading that on Amtrak you’re buying the compartment, not a berth in the compartment. So you might be able to get away with not telling anyone, though the attendant is almost certain to notice — I imagine that’s the sort of thing they’re supposed to look for — and notify the conductor, leading to the scenario above.

Where this might get sticky is at meals, since they’re included in the sleeper charge. First-class passengers sign for their meals by car and room number, so your friend either a) goes hungry, b) signs as a first-class passenger (which is bound to raise an eyebrow when someone notices that two people signed for a room with one occupant), or c) pays cash (which might raise an eyebrow if anyone notices that s/he came from the sleeper end of the dining car).

Not that the OP is really suggesting it, but there isn’t likely to be much if any “wink wink, nudge nudge” in a roomette, unless both parties are configured like Jack Sprat — those berths are small.

Not sure if this is what you’re talking about, but the sleeper cars I’ve traveled in have really only been for one person, with a bed that pulls down horizontally from the ceiling of the room that you have to climb into when you want to hit the rack. Kind of like a low-ish top bunk on a set of bunk beds. Any…activities taking place in a single sleeper might get you a dubious eye brow raise from the porter/inspector since you’d both have to be pretty creative to pull it off. But since there is a bar car on Amtrak, I’d say that late night hook-ups in a single sleeper probably aren’t unheard of.

And yes, I did have someone come and knock on my door to check my ticket on most of the rides I’ve taken. I’d say it was usually around 10pm.

As has already been hinted at above, Amtrak fares have two components, rail fare and an accomodation charge. Both components go up in “buckets” like the airlines, with the cheapest buckets sold first.

For coach, there is no accomodation fare, just the rail fare.

For business class on corridor trains and first class on Acela, there’s an accomodation charge in addition to the rail fare.

For sleepers, there is an accomodation charge for the sleeping compartment and a rail fare for each passenger. Amtrak does not sell single beds, only small two-bed rooms, large two-bed rooms, and on some trains family rooms. A lone sleeper passenger pays the same accomodation charge for his room as two passengers together, though each is paying his own rail fare.

The key point regarding the OP’s “trick” is that Amtrak automatically charges the lowest-bucket rail fare for sleeper passengers, even if that bucket is sold out in coach. So if you really did meet someone on the train, or your companion already has paid rail fare and happened to get the lowest bucket, then no harm no foul. But if your companion hasn’t bought their rail fare already, you’re actually better off to put them on the reservation from the get-go.

In sum, the “trick” doesn’t work: at best its a wash if the companion got lowest bucket as a lone coach passenger, but its more likely that your companion will have paid a higher-bucket fare as a coach passenger than if reserved as a sleeper passenger.