Looking to right of staircase you will see another seating room. This features glass windows were doors use to be ( doors or sealed off I’d have to look at older video to confirm). You can look out into Great Hall and watch people walk by – watch passengers entering Legacy Club.
Heading up staircase you will enter another passenger waiting area. Here you will find comfortable seating – just like lower level – a small snack area – more TV’s and status boards – along with another set of restrooms. Having multiple larger restrooms definitely is long overdue.
Two best features of upstairs seating area are being at street level looking out large windows and being able to look at World Famous Chicago Union Station staircase – featured in motion picture “The Untouchables”.
During my visit – upstairs check-in was unavailable. There is a street level entrance with check-in desk.
Snack and drink options have greatly improved – this should please many complainers of years past. There are even “fancy” water dispensers on both floors of lounge.
From what I was told outside food and drink can be consumed in seating area near desk only. Los Angeles and Washington DC Metropolitan Lounges do not allow outside food to be consumed. Passengers seem to break this rule often.
I’m a bit confused if priority boarding is available for all trains. Some long time train passenger “snobs” use derogatory term kindergarten walk for this process. Red Cap service was offered each time I was in lounge. But as far as I could tell no walk to boarding took place. On day I recorded video I was asked if I wanted assistance – I took this to mean Red Cap so I said no and headed to gate.
I’ve stated many times I’m a fan of “kindergarten walk” because I think it offers better quality service. It helps people who might not know station. And it helps with receiving priority boarding. If I have to handle going to gate myself – I then have to fight with crowd to get up front to be given access to priority boarding area. This creates hassle, aggravation and stress. When you get “kindergarten walk” – you are taken to this area or directly to numbered gate for boarding. Rarely a hassle. While this does create more work for lounge staff – it provides best level of service for customers. If I have to handle on my own – relaxation in lounge becomes mute when I have stress of battling other passengers. I prefer to leave limited Red Cap services for those who truly need assistance. Although some days it would be less stressful if I was lazy and rode to train with Red Cap.
If priority boarding / “kindergarten walk” isn’t available for ALL trains from Metropolitan Lounge – this lessens value for me. Makes me more interested in giving Legacy Club a try – $20 cost would be worth it – if true priority boarding given.
Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge and Legacy Club are part of the long term modernization – customer service improvements planned for Chicago Union Station. I’ve linked below my previous videos and photos that offer more details on future plans for this transportation hub.