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After our Capitol Limited train pulled into Chicago, we made our way from the arrival gates into Chicago Union Station

First, we had figured out that we didn’t need most of our suitcases. When we boarded in Toledo, we were running a bit late. Our 5:08 train arrival meant a 3:45 a.m. wakeup call, so we didn’t have a ton of time in the morning. We ended up just carrying on all of our suitcases onto the train – since we had 2 bedroom sleeper cars, it was fine (slightly cramped but manageable). Now that we had a bit more time, we first went to the Amtrak ticket counter and checked 5 of our suitcases on to Denver.

Thankfully we didn’t have 17 pieces of luggage like we did the last time we FLEW!

During our Amtrak train trip, we stopped at the Amtrak Chicago Union Station lounge before boarding the train for our sleeper car travel

Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge “amenities”

There was a bit of a line to enter the Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge, but it moved quickly.

Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge entrance queue

Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge entrance queue

As we were greeted, the agent looked at our tickets, and gave us passes to enter. She mentioned the “amenities” that were available. The Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge website says that the Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge has snacks and beverages, and we were hoping to be able to make that into lunch. However, the amenities turned out to be Lays potato chips and a pop machine.

Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge "amenities"

Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge “amenities”

Now, our family is known to be loose with the definition of “lunch” (Saturday sample day at Costco, anyone?) but this stretched even our destination. There’s a food court on the upper level of Union Station, but I ended up taking one of my kids around downtown Chicago where we found a McDonalds. Naturally, after we got back to Union Station, we found that the food court ALSO had a McDonalds #fail.

Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge wi-fi

The Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge does offer complimentary wi-fi, though I had a lot of trouble accessing it.  There are actually 2 different wi-fi networks, #1 and #2, but both my wife and my phone could only see #2, and that one didn’t seem to work.

When I asked the attendant, she was less than helpful and suggested that I check with “a computer guy”, which I found ironically amusing :-).  There are 2 desktop computers there in the lounge, but the Internet was SUPER slow on those, to the point of unusability.

Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge seating

The seating at Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge is pretty expansive.  There’s probably room for at least 150-200 people, and while it did get a bit crowded during our stay, there was room for everyone.  If you’re tired, you might be able to use some of the seating to take a nap

chicago-union-station-amtrak-metropolitan-lounge-sleeping

Worn out from the 4am wakeup call!

Of course, it helps if you’re only about 3 feet tall…. 😛

The Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge does have a place to check your bags, but we opted to just keep our luggage with us since we were only going to be there for a few hours.  On the way back, we also connected through Chicago, but because our trip was so delayed, we didn’t get to check out the Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge – instead, we had to run, Amazing Race style, through Union Station!

Buffet at the Amex Centurion Lounge

Buffet at the Amex Centurion Lounge – NOT The Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge

All in all, it probably beats having to hang out at the station, but nowhere near even a domestic airline lounge, not to mention international airline lounges.  Checkout my reviews of the airline lounges “The Club” at the ATL airport, or the American Express Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas and compare those to the “amenities” of the Chicago Union Station Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge and it’s not even close.

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