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Best way to get to Seattle

Gurugram (Gurgaon...
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Best way to get to Seattle

I had my mind made up about taking the Amtrak to Seattle on 13th September 2014 in the morning but now I am having serious doubts as the train leaves at 6:20 and not sure how much earlier would I have to report as one needs to go through Immigration and customs etc. Can some one please advice on this...

But my sense is I shall have to wake up at 4 or may be even earlier to get there in time (I shall be staying at Four Seasons Vancouver) and shall reach by 12pm at Seattle. Seems like an uncomfortable process....

But the alternative isn't good either as all the flights are really small aircrafts, I have never had a good experience with small aircrafts. But I have read a lot of praise for Alaska Air.

Can you guys advice the best way to handle this...

Port Moody, Canada
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1. Re: Best way to get to Seattle

Alaska Air flights are great..used to do it monthly. Not what I'd call a small plane lol.

You need to be at Amtrak 1 hour ahead to clear customs etc. it's a lovely train ride.

Time wise flying is about the same as train by the time you factor in getting to airport 2 hrs ahead ( you clear US Customs at YVR) and then getting from Seatac into Seattle (1/2hr minimum) Only convenience with flying is no need to get up as early:).

Bolt Bus is another option. Goes often, one stop. Do not use Quick Shuttle as it's not quick.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Best way to get to Seattle

I would be at the Pacific Central Station no later than 530am, that gives you just about an hour to get your seat and clear US Customs and Immigration. I did notice a sign last time I was there, something about Customs and Immigration closes at around 630am. Also take into consideration that there are still a lot of tourists coming from cruise ships that use Amtrak and so the line might be fairly long, one suggestions is to buy a business class seat, there is a special line for those passengers and you will more than likely clear US customs quicker, no special line for customs but you will be ahead of the general line in getting into the customs area. There is one other suggestion, there is a Bolt Bus that departs at 0630, you don't need to get to the station until around 6am, you board in groups and you are guaranteed a seat, bus only makes a stop at the border for US Customs and a quick stop in Bellingham. The trip on the 630am schedule takes 3h 45m, much faster than the train. Here is a link to the Bolt Bus web site, right now the 630am schedule has tickets for $27.00 this is more than it usually costs but that is because as seats are sold prices go up. It's a great service, free wifi, clean washroom, comfortable seats with leg room, I and many others use it all the time. As the poster above has stated don't use Quick Shuttle, expensive, and way too many stops.

https://www.boltbus.com/

Edited: 02 September 2014, 14:46
Gurugram (Gurgaon...
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3. Re: Best way to get to Seattle

Thanks guys for your input...

hmm... well bus is not an option for me as I get sick in bus...

Just a couple more questions how long would it take me to get from Four Seasons to the Pacific Train Station at 5'o clock in the morning and will I be able to get a cab at that hour or will I have to depend on the Hotel Car? Also provided I am at the station by 5:30 and have a business class ticket but for some reason the lines are long can I miss my train as in will they wait for everyone to finish their immigration or will just go as per schedule...

And with regards to the flight... I think Delta flies Regional Jets instead of TurboProps flown by Alaska, which is better in terms of safety as well as coping with turbulence and sound etc.?

Edited: 02 September 2014, 15:34
Port Moody, Canada
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4. Re: Best way to get to Seattle

You can get a cab no problem..have the hotel order one for you. It will take 10 minutes max to get from 4 Seasons to Amtrak. No they do not hold the train. Be sure you have any visas etc required for entry to the US.

No matter what type of plane you fly the possibility of turbulence between YVR and SEA exists. It's a very short flight and the issue of wind/ weather impacts all plane types. I flew Alaska monthly or more for over 7 years and can only think of a few times when we had turbulence issue on this route. They have an excellent safety record and are a major carrier..not a small regional airline if that's your worry.

I think you may find buses here are not the same as in India..will you not be using local transit? Or do you get car sick on longer journeys? The Bolt Bus is a well equipped clean modern vehicle with ample leg room and large windows.

As noted in previous post if you fly you will clear US Customs/Immigration in Vancouver and will need all paperwork to be in order. Allow 2 hours for customs and security clearance. You can get to the airport on Canada Line/Rapid transit which is a short walk from your hotel. City Center station off Granville Street is the stop you want. If you take a can to the airport it will take between 35 and 45 minutes depending on time of day. Once in Seattle the airport is about 30 minutes south of town and there is rapid transit to get you to Seattle. Check the Seattle forum for info on this.

seattle
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5. Re: Best way to get to Seattle

I do this monthly as I live in Seattle and work in Vancouver. I'm taking Amtrak up sunday and flew home on Alaska last week. First Delta and Alaska are the same as they codeshare their flights. They are turboprops however its a 30 minute flight. I pay almost $200 most of the time so fairly expensive. My train ticket is $26 this weekend.

Business class have their own line up so no wait. It gets you on first so no problem I'd plan to arrive around 5:30-5:45 and you'll find it very easy. If your on an India passport please make sure of entry requirements to the US.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Best way to get to Seattle

Your hotel will arrange a cab for you if you ask them to. If you arrive at Pacific Central Station by 5h30, with your documents in order for entering the US, they will have you through Immigration in time for departure, no problem. A business ticket comes with a voucher to use in the dining car. Here are the benefits of business:

http://www.amtrakcascades.com/Seating.htm

There was a McDonald's in the station, but I don't know what is there now. Taking some snacks for the 4 hour journey might be a plan. No fresh fruit though across the border. At least the restrictions re: fruit seem to change enough to not bother taking it.

Gurugram (Gurgaon...
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7. Re: Best way to get to Seattle

Thanks for all your suggestions...

Had made up my mind to book morning Amtrak only to find Business Class sold out, so have booked First/Business Class on morning flight of Delta...

8. Re: Best way to get to Seattle

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