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Watch us take the overnight Caledonian Sleeper train 2 different ways

Aug. 20, 2021
3 min read
Watch us take the overnight Caledonian Sleeper train 2 different ways
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TPG staff members are known for reviewing flights and airlines all around the world — but this doesn't dampen our fascination with other modes of transport, especially trains.

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The Caledonian Sleeper is the overnight rail service operating between Scotland and London, and a trip we've had within our sights for some time. Liam Spencer and I jumped on board this unique service to see what a night would be like comparing one of the train's comfiest suites against a regular seat.

The trains travel from Edinburgh and Glasgow on their Lowland Route, and Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen on their Highland Route into London’s Euston Station.

The Caledonian Sleeper completed the rollout of its new trains in October of 2019, which include the Club Car lounge and restaurant, which was unfortunately closed on our journey due to the ongoing pandemic. But more importantly for us, there were different classes of travel to try.

Spencer snagged the swankiest option, a Caledonian Double – an en-suite room with a double bed and breakfast included and whilst there are also Club Rooms and Classic Rooms available, in true TPG style, I would be spending the night at the other end of the spectrum, in the train’s Comfort Seats.

My 10-hour journey would be spent in reclining seats equipped with not much more than charging points and lockable storage.

We departed Aberdeen at 9.34 p.m. and arrived the next day at London Euston at 7.49 a.m.

You can watch the full video of our experience here:

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https://youtu.be/8K4ms1UenGE

Caledonian Double — Liam Spencer

We paid: £395 ($544)

The comfortable and large double bed inside Coach B's room 5R made for a totally unique sleeping experience. The spacious room came with its own shower and offered complete privacy from the rest of the train. Spencer enjoyed the fast room service with a sizeable drinks menu.

On the downside, the noise and rattling of the train made it very difficult for Spencer to sleep, despite the comfy bed. There was also no hot meal available for dinner. The communal dining area was closed so there wasn't much opportunity to walk around the train.

Seat - Nicky Kelvin

We paid: £73 ($100)

For train seats, I found seat 7C in Coach A relatively comfortable with some recline. The arrangement of the seats made it just about possible to curl up in a ball across two seats, and the carriage was very quiet. The amenities provided were very handy for the journey, especially the eye mask. The crew and service, while limited, were incredibly efficient and friendly.

It wasn't all great, though. I definitely did not arrive in London feeling refreshed. A solid sleep was difficult and that was with the benefit of a spare seat next to mine. There were no significant washing facilities and a shower would have been necessary to really hit the ground running in London.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
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  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more