Heading to the San Diego Comic-Con this year but don’t want to spend the time waiting in traffic to get to your hotel or wait for your badge? Well, then the Amtrak train service is a great alternative. Not only do you get to sit back and relax, but you can stretch and roam around without having to stare back at another car.
And if you are extra worried about not having a seat, well, Amtrak has prepared for this by providing extra equipment and staff, adding approximately 9,500 additional seats to Pacific Surfliner trains over the five days from July 17 to July 21, 2019. To accommodate projected passenger demand, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner will be putting 14 additional cars into service to expand capacity on peak days (Wednesday and Sunday).
The announcement comes days before the festivities start. More than 160,000 people visit San Diego every year for Comic-Con International. The four-day convention has grown to be the largest of its kind, with a 460,000 square foot exhibit hall and more than 700 events, including workshops, panels, film screenings, and competitions.
Comic-Con is typically one of the busiest weeks on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, as fans of comic books and pop culture, industry professionals and even cosplayers fill the trains to and from the convention. Many who reside in California use the Pacific Surfliner as an alternate means of transportation. Not only do you save gas, but you also save on the cost of parking. These savings will, of course, give you more money to spend on exclusives and other swag that you want from SDCC.
The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner travels between San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo. Tickets sell out quickly, so customers are encouraged to plan and book early. Extra seating is being added to select trains to increase capacity, and an additional roundtrip will be added between Los Angeles and San Diego, but peak trains will still be extremely crowded.
Last year, the Pacific Surfliner carried over 44,000 passengers to destinations between San Diego and San Luis Obispo during Comic-Con, a 40 percent increase on average daily ridership. Similar passenger counts are anticipated this year.
And here are some tips from Amtrak if you do decide to use their services.
1. Enjoy flexibility with unreserved coach tickets: Unreserved coach tickets allow customers to ride any Pacific Surfliner train from the origin station to the destination station listed on the ticket. This gives provides flexibility to take a different train than the one selected in the booking process. Because Unreserved Coach seats are available to boarding passengers on a first-come, first-served basis, trains can occasionally become crowded, especially in the summer and during peak travel periods. On the busiest trains, it may become difficult to find a seat on certain sections of the route.
2. Follow @PacSurfliners on Twitter for train status alerts: Including notifications regarding which trains we expect to be particularly busy. With an Unreserved Coach ticket, customers can choose to take an earlier or later train at no charge if the one they were planning to take is expected to be crowded.
3. Upgrade the experience with business class: Customers receive a guaranteed seat and extra space to stretch out, receive a complimentary snack and drink, priority boarding in San Diego, access to the Metropolitan Lounge at Los Angeles Union Station, and bonus Amtrak Guest Rewards points. The number of Business Class seats on each train is limited, so it’s best to book early before they sell out.