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My friends and I took the train from Seattle and on and off ending in L.A. The folks who work on the train were mostly wonderful. Especially Jose on our overnight leg and his help and service. We reserved two adjoining roomettes for our party of 4, and no one including the conductor was able to open the door between our rooms. They finally gave up and told us we should have requested that ahead of time!
Our last leg of the trip from San Luis Obispo to L.A. was the exception to liking train travel. Rude employees from the woman behind the counter checking in our bags, to an extremely dirty train. We were even asked to leave the observation car a good hour before arriving as they needed "to clean up". Really? I watched one employee roughly wake up a young man at our destination, shine his flashlight in his face, and then on the floor asking "Is THIS your trash? Clean it up." Honestly would not have been surprised if he had run up and down the cars hitting the back of our seats with a bat. Absolutely horrible.
I'm traveling by myself to California and I've been having extreme challenges with lining up my trains to my flight. I called customer service twice over the past 2 weeks, the first time being very helpful and I was aided swiftly, but in the process she deleted my reservation to catch a connecting bus. I may be the issue and understand the problem, but I call again 2 days later and the woman on the other end was EXTREMELY RUDE and would not let me finish a single sentence where I would explain. I was just asking out of curiosity how connecting services work. This is my first experience with Amtrak and am genuinely concerned on what I'm going to do. They mishandled my information and gave me a brief rundown ONLY EXPLAINING ONE RESERVATION TO HAVE CHANGED, and now I am forced to spend $150 to travel by taxi to my destination. I'm so upset and tearful, this just blows.
For many years we have been Amtrak customers on the Auto Train that travels from Virginia to Florida. We have always been pleased with the service and accommodations. This year, we traveled to Florida on the Auto Train with the same excellent service. We pay an extra fee to travel Business Class, which due to my disability, provides additional space and services. After arriving in Florida, we booked (and paid for) the same accommodations for the return trip.
A few weeks before our return trip, we received an email from Amtrak saying that our reservation for Business Class is canceled. When we called the customer service number, a somewhat rude representative, said that my disability didn't matter, the cancellation of Business Class was a "corporate decision" and their accommodation for my disability was "we can give you your money back." After filing an ADA complaint, we are seeking other ways to travel. If you are an Amtrak Auto Train customer, especially if you are a disabled customer, be aware that in choosing Amtrak, your "reservation" can be canceled, at any time, by a Washington Bureaucrat.
My wife and I were riding the Texas Eagle from Tucson Arizona to Chicago from Saturday April first to Monday April second. On Sunday as we were arriving San Antonio TX about 5 AM there was a fight right on our wagon # 3400 (drug related). These 2 guys were all over the cart fighting going from chairs to chairs all over people. One of them landed on my chair and broke my glasses. The wagon smelled like ** all day and nobody said anything about it. The people that smoked it would only do it on train stops but the smell was easy to spot since the guys were sitting near the stair on the second floor. We were delayed about 2-3 hours and next day we reached Chicago later than planned. This made us miss our train connection to Milwaukee that was leaving at 3:15 and they said the next train would come at 5:30.
This was a huge inconvenience for us because we only had one chance to be picked up at Milwaukee from the train station to our destination in Waukegan Illinois about 60 miles away. So we had to ask the person in charge to give us all our luggage in Chicago and from there take Metra train. This means we paid 16$ Metra train, 10$ taxi cab, and we lost the use of the Amtrak connection Chicago/Milwaukee 56$ because of your late arrival. We are not happy losing all that money and the fact that having a big smell in the train cart, none of the employees did anything about it until the fight broke off. I do not have a receipt confirmation number of the ticket at this particular moment but is at home if you really need it. The tickets were under my name and my wife's Irma **. My experience was not the best as I had in previous trips with Amtrak.
I have used Amtrak for several different trips, never had an even acceptable experience, delays, gross bathrooms (when they are working), staff is not even close to nice. On one trip, reservations promised me a "quiet car", and said to tell them at the station that I had reservations on the quiet car. When I got to the train station and asked for my quiet car, the guy actually busted out laughing, and said, "no, we don't have those". After so many years of trying to travel Amtrak, I had to admit this is public transportation after all, talk about self loading cargo.
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The bathrooms on the train were completely disgusting. They reeked of urine and it was all over the floor and every around the seat. The passengers placed Paper towels down over the urine in order to avoid stepping on our it. With the train movement it requires a lot of upkeep. It would be nice if they had separate bathrooms between men and women. Secondly, from Albany to Chicago the train is extremely long and it was full and all cars. The staff people were generally very nice but they took off three of the seats giving only three seats available for the dining cafeteria cars for the entire train. There should be another car with them with more social space.
I have been trying for a month to book passage on Amtrak from Oklahoma to Ohio. I had questions that the website did not answer. I cannot call them as I am deaf. They have no chat line but do have an automated Virtual Travel Assistant. So I clicked there and entered my question. It gave me generic response that did not help. I asked a different question. Same generic answer. Different question...same generic answer. I found a place to email them. So I emailed, explaining my deafness and that I have questions.
I got a generic email stating that they received my email and would respond within 7 days. No response 10 days later so I sent another email. Got same generic email back but again no response 7 days later. Sent another email...yep you guessed it...generic promise to respond with no response. Sent another email asking if I should file a complaint somewhere just to get a response from them. I've heard nothing back. Looks like I won't be taking Amtrak nor recommending it to anyone.
Well it's my very first time on any train in my 49 years on this planet, and this experience is the worst. I am currently on the Sunset Limited traveling from New Orleans to Los Angeles and the staff doesn't seem to represent Amtrak the way they should. When I boarded the train my roomette was dirty, and I had a half bottle of wine just sitting here on the side of the seat. Shower was dirty, and nothing in my room was wiped. Staff has funky attitude about dining area when you don't want to sit next to a bunch of strangers. I paid too much money to be looked at crazy when you try to make us be social. And I get the whole seating thing, but only when it's crowded you should try to do that. Like I said first time on a train so staff be patient with us too, everyone does not sit next to strangers and eat comfortably. And plus the ridiculous tips you get all day come on...
97/98 Silver Meteor - Lost my wallet on 97 to Miami... was given 3 different stories on how to track it down. Now on 98 back to NY... I asked when I could get off to stretch my legs out and have a smoke. When I got to the stop nobody was there to open the door. Another crew member had an attitude because they had to open the door for someone... Still wouldn't let me off... About time I finally was able to get off this train I had to get back on. This car attendant had the nerve to tell my husband they let people off as a courtesy. Are you serious? $1200 and not to mention the tips we have dished out. Never again.
If airlines were always 1 1/2 hours late there would be no airlines. Wife taking train from Alabama to South Carolina was 4 hours late on arrival and now the return trip is starting almost 2 hours behind. With the accident that occurred just 2 weeks ago you would think they would be trying to upgrade their face not lose it!
We booked AMTRAK for December 31, 2017 to enjoy am en route New Year's Eve dining car experience. Our train arrived over 4 and a half hours late and we did not board until Mid-night. So much for celebrating New Year's Eve en route. The Dining Car was closed. So much for enjoying a Dining Car meal. We entered our Sleeper Compartment, tired and hungry. The toilet (in fact, ALL toilets on the two sleeper cars) was inoperable. At 78 and 80, we get up to pee a lot. So much for a relaxing sleep.
The next morning, The Dining Car was closed for breakfast, since the Dining Car was inoperable, We stopped at Florence, SC for repairs. The Dining Car re-opened, but the regular was not available. We arrived at our destination over 5 hours late and missed most of our planned New Year's Day festivities. The ONLY reason we took this train was to welcome the New Year 2018 at 79 miles with a relaxing meal. We did not even open the bottle of champagne we carried with us. We took the very next train home, a 12 hours trip. AMTRAK returned us an hour late on this leg, also. Very disappointing.
Feb 11, 2018, right after 4 fatal Amtrak accidents since Dec 2017. Was scared to even take the train. You'd think staff would be extra nice and professional but it was the opposite. Before boarding about 30 people, a staff was at entrance to train and handed out little pink slip without saying what it was. Everyone sat where they wanted. Later an announcement said go to assigned seats. No one knew what that meant. The pink slip had 2 sets of numbers. We moved as best we could.
When same guy came near us I said, "Which number? You didn't give instruction upon handing it the pink slip". He got so mad and scolded me saying. What? I asked for spvsr. got none. When conductor called setting to check tickets I told him what happened and got same scolding treatment. Wtf? Then as train running outside air comes in, smelly dirty air including skunks. They don't filter the air? At next stop same guy (Carl **) does same disorganization, gives pink paper to new customers without telling them what it is. So stupid!!!
Didn’t expect train service here is so primitive and outdated. Where is the spirit of power? And it’s going backwards. No compensation policy as compared to other developed countries. Would not recommend trains until the infrastructure is developed to an acceptable level for modern day commute.
I took the train Fri night Feb 2nd out of Champaign IL to Homewood IL. The train did not leave Champaign on time and there was a 20 min delay or so almost to Homewood. Then when I got to Homewood I walked into this cold, dark, poorly lit like concrete underground tunnel which had so many steps. I left Homewood Sunday morning Feb 4th and again the train was late and delayed. I was scheduled to arrive in Champaign at 10:30am but the train got into Champaign around 12:15 instead and I live 45 mins or so west of Champaign so I got home in the afternoon. The plus side was friendly helpful conductors and staff. Too many delays.
On October 2016 I tried get a refund for a round trip fare to Florida but was told I could only receive a voucher. This meant that I was obligated to travel within a year or lose the entire round trip fare. In October 2017 I contacted them because I could not travel due to the hurricane damages in Florida. I was told that the voucher needed to be use before the expiration date or lose it. I lost almost $300.00. This is the last time that our family will travel on Amtrak and I will share this experience with others.
It was the last train of night to San Diego. We made a stop in old town. I thought it was a good time to have smoke. I was the only one to get off. Before I could light smoke, the door on the train closed. I said oh no, then the train started moving and I said oh no. So I turned around and started walking not knowing where I was. Finally I found some people and asked them what direction San Diego was. By the time I got downtown the station was closed. In the morning I returned to station to find my luggage was not there. It was the last train for the night. I'm certain it was Amtrak's crew that took my luggage. It was everything I owned.
I am currently sitting on Train 449 from Buffalo which was 2 hours late arriving. I should've been in Chicago at 9:45 am. We are just on the other side of Toledo and have been stopped for at least 30 minutes. We are already 2 hours late and they just informed us it will be at least 3 more hours before arriving in Chicago. I am on an extensive trip to several cities over a 2 week period. I have limited time AND prepaid reservations for tours in several of those. This situation will guarantee me a loss on money and TIME. I've never been to Chicago so this is a severe disappointment.
I called customer service who then transferred me to a person who offered me a 100 dollar voucher. I told him I want a refund to my card, not a future trip. I have no plans to ever put myself through this again. I will fly or drive as I always have. The offer for a voucher only and no credit to my card angered me and I let him know. This is not a funny situation and I hardly think a voucher is worth all this trouble.
The ticket handler on the train singled out my husband every chance she got. First time to take train to DC and back to NYC. Did what other passengers were doing. We sat in dining car to work and kids doing homework. Others had luggage and bags and coats on seat. We were told to move it, nobody else was told to move it. Among us 4 we had 2 bags and a scooter, everyone else had a luggage and a handbag. So we had less than the average. The train smelled like cigarettes, my kids complained of feeling nauseous from the smell. We reserved this trip months ago, but weren’t sure of the weather; we opted for train not knowing if there would be flight delays. We did not do anything to bring her attention on us. We have well behaved kids, didn’t have loud conversations in a foreign language, so Thanks for the Profiling!!!
This was a trip made from Alliance Ohio to Las Vegas, NV. First train was 3 1/2 late. No bathroom is available. This is just a brick building that is partially enclosed. The train stops at 1:30 am. Arrived at 4:30am. This was in October. I am disabled needed help with luggage and getting on the train. I had called ahead and asked about help through the whole trip, did not happen. The train ride was great in the lower section. Didn't feel the ride at all. The trip from Ohio to Chicago, no one came back to see if we needed anything in the lower compartment. Arriving in Chicago I was told I would be met with a wheelchair, didn't happen. I had to find someone to help me get to the legacy room where I paid $20.00. Got snacks and a bad attitude from the person collecting the money.
No help for wheelchair, or luggage, can't help. Then after I finally got a seat when it was time to go to the train from Chicago, they came. Announced it and left without helping me. I then had to find help again. So when they say they help the disabled it did not happen, when I got to Kingman Arizonia, I was suppose to be put on a Greyhound bus with help and I was put on a shuttle full of 13 people for a 1 1/2 ride to Laughlin first and then to Las Vegas airport where the shuttle drops you off at 3am in the morning and I had to figure out how to get my luggage from the shuttle to inside the airport, luckily there was a wheelchair someone got me to help. I felt like they did not live up to what they had said at all. So if you are disabled, alone don't take their word.
There is only one train (at 1am) from Sacramento to Chico CA, but numerous buses throughout the day. This is a straightforward 90 minute highway route. The buses are unbookable by themselves, and they force you to book a train ticket as part of your trip if you want one of these buses. Even if I do this (book travel from Davis to Chico), paying extra, and they don't use the first train portion, they state they will cancel the ticket after the train leaves, so the bus portion will be unusable. Therefore, despite a half-dozen perfectly good buses going to and from Sac/Chico all day, I cannot use any of them because of oppressive and restricting rules. My only option with Amtrak is to wait 13 hours between my plane landing at Sac airport and the train, to travel 90 miles, when there are Amtrak buses going there all day long. Infuriating!
Sleeper inclusions - Lakeshore from Depew to Penn. The sleeper was very comfortable and clean but no one bothers explaining the inclusions. The train was over 2 hours late, meant to be 8.50am depart but departed at 11.15am so we missed out on breakfast but were offered a bowl of special K to make up for it. Went to lunch which was great but then went to dining room for a coffee 2 and a half hours before arrival and told we had to pay for our coffee and then found out that coffee was available behind us for free but they had cleaned up more than an hour before arrival. Make sure you ask what's included when you board. Definitely ripped off this trip. No snacks even offered to make up for the 9.45pm arrival into Penn Station when we were meant to be there around 6.15pm.
Wife and I went from Chicago to Reno on the California Zephyr. Trip was mainly good and I thought the train was pretty clean as well. The cafe prices were out there so bring your snacks. The employees were ok if not in need of a bit of polishing. Not rude but brusque. But generally they were friendly and helpful. Our car got yelled at over the intercom for trashing a bathroom with threats of them being shut down. Lastly we had a nearly 3 hour delay in the middle of the desert in UT/NV when a car or two lost power so it took time to put those cars at the rear. Not their fault. Just old cars.
I don't like doing these reviews but sometimes the situation is so ridiculous you have to. The story: My wife and daughter had been planning a trip to Vermont to see the leaves turn color there for over a year. First we researched Airbnb, found a place to stay and paid for that. Then bought the airplane tickets, which would be leaving from the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, then on to Vermont. Next we bought Amtrak tickets ($80) to take the train (their "Pacific Surfliner" version) from our town, Grover Beach, California, to Burbank. The date for the train (and flight) was September 30. The distance from Grover to LA is 170 miles. So we were all set. Or so we thought.
A little while after dropping them off at the train station I got a call from my daughter that the train had broken down maybe 5 miles from our house. She said they'd been sitting there for a half hour. The train people didn't think that they could fix the problem so they said they'd request another train but that they weren't sure how long that would take, but thought it would be a minimum wait of at least another two hours. Knowing that they needed to be at the airport ahead of time or they'd miss their flight I suggested that they get off and I'd drive them. They told the train people that they needed to get off because otherwise there was a good chance that they'd miss their flight and also lose out on at least the first night in the Airbnb home we'd reserved. So I rushed there and picked them up.
When I got there they were standing in a field near where the train had died. I saw that another passenger had also gotten off. I picked them up and drove them to Burbank. You have to understand that the reason we reserved the train was because we didn't want to drive all the way to LA and in LA traffic. We thought the train was a better choice. After I picked them up we made it just in time for them to catch their flight. When they got back my wife called Amtrak and told them what happened. She said that, "We would like a refund please". Amtrak though said that, no, they would not issue a refund, that they'd issue us a non-transferable credit instead. She told them that we very rarely ever take a train anywhere and can't use a credit. They said that's the way it is, and they weren't going to refund us. So we called our credit card company and put a stop on the payment.
They called Amtrak to investigate and were told by them that since their tickets were scanned beforehand, no matter how short and faulty the ride was, we are liable for the payment. Our credit card company called us back and told us what they said. They, the credit card company, said that if we can provide some proof that the train broke down we would have a case. On the advice of someone else I did find proof that they broke down. It is acknowledged on their Twitter page for Pacific Surfliner. Scroll down to September 30.
My question: Is Amtrak hurting so bad from lousy service that they have to do this to hold onto our $80? If they are they willing to issue a credit then are they not admitting that there was a problem? Shouldn't normal decency hold here? Not only did they not provide the service, but they also caused us a lot of inconvenience and wasted time. My wife says that the aggravation is not worth the $80 and maybe we should just let them keep the money and forget it but to me it's the principle. Why should we pay for something we didn't get???
I have taken the Coastal Starlight from Los Angeles to the Northwest four times round trip. Overall I am more than satisfied with the operation. It is unfortunate that this company is hobbled by so much budgetary neglect. If more support, they could attract more ridership. Still, a little inexpensive attention to detail by Amtrak would help. Training is a big element that pays off in customer satisfaction. As well, safety. I witnessed a fellow patron fall on the train platform and was astonished that the crew stood by and looked as I rendered bleeding control. Calling 911 for a simple laceration would mean this customer would miss his departure. I recommend Amtrak.
Went from Chicago, IL to Lancaster Pa and return. All trains were on time and all Amtrak personnel that I encountered were friendly and helpful. I don't doubt that there are surly Amtrak employees that people encounter, but for my part I have never encountered any of them. Pittsburgh Amtrak personnel are always helpful and there to help you on and off with heavy bags for train transfer. The deluxe sleeper rooms that I had on the Capitol Limited were adequate but could use a refresh. Most people I encountered on the train said they don't like to fly, so that's why they take Amtrak. All in all it was a good round trip.
My husband and I traveled on the Hiawatha, going from Milwaukee WI to Chicago IL Union Station and back. We were wary after seeing many negative reviews on here as well as Facebook and Twitter. Also, my husband is disabled, on oxygen 24/7, so that adds a little hardship to traveling. We decided it would be fun to do a day trip, taking the train from Milwaukee to Chicago Union Station, hanging out for awhile, then heading back to Milwaukee later in the afternoon. After checking out the website and talking to railfans on Facebook, I called Amtrak to get tickets. If you are on oxygen, you do need to call Amtrak to make the reservation. They will note that you are on oxygen so they are aware and can make accommodations. It does state this on their website too.
The lady I talked to was very nice and professional. She made sure to let me know we would get points on my Amtrak Guest Rewards. In addition, disabled customers get a 15% discount, as well as their traveling companion. So we both received 15% off our fares. She answered all my questions. I received our tickets via email a few minutes later and printed them out, very convenient.
The Amtrak Intermodal Station in Milwaukee is very nice. We ate at a nice cafe before boarding the train. We made the conductor aware my husband is disabled, and we received priority boarding. He took us right to disabled seating. It's important to make them aware you're disabled to get this, as there is no reserved seating on these short distance trains. Now it was obvious my husband is disabled as he was pulling a large oxygen tank, but Amtrak won't necessarily guess one is disabled by osmosis. Speak up before boarding. They may ask you for a copy of your disabled placard that you put on your vehicle as proof. I made a copy just in case, but didn't have to wind up using it.
The disabled seating on Amtrak is very nice. We had plenty of room for my husband's large oxygen tank. The conductor even carried it on to the area for him, which I thought was very nice. The ride was awesome, very smooth and on time to Chicago. I'm not sure if this train had wifi, but I was able to use my Virgin Mobile signal and had no problems surfing the internet with my smartphone. When we got to Chicago, the conductor again took the oxygen tank off the train for us. He also called a cart to take us in to the station, as it's quite a distance to go for someone who is disabled. This was a godsend, and we were very pleased at the high level of customer service and professionalism displayed.
We had fun at Union Station, did a little shopping and had some lunch. We even sat in a bar and watched a little of the Cubbies game. On the train back, we let the ticket agent know we needed priority boarding and disabled seating. He frantically tried to find a cart for us, but it was afternoon rush hour and wasn't successful. Be careful if you are traveling during afternoon rush hour in Chicago. You are pretty much on your own.
We did have to walk a significant distance to get to the train. The conductor again helped us with the oxygen tank. The disabled seating was taken by two gentlemen, who upon seeing my husband's oxygen tank, immediately vacated the seats for us. I was really glad, as the train had many people standing, and all the seats were filled. I could have stood, but my husband most certainly couldn't have stood.
Even though the train left about 20 minutes late, we arrived back at Milwaukee on time. All in all a very nice trip with excellent customer service and professionalism. If you are disabled, it's best to make your reservation over the phone so they know you're coming. And as I mentioned before, if you are on oxygen, you must make your reservation over the phone anyway. Let them know every step of the way. Again, if it's not obvious you are disabled, speak up. They are not psychic. I'm very sorry to see all the bad reviews. I'm grateful my husband and I had such a wonderful experience.
At Penn Station today, I accidentally kicked my cell phone underneath the train, as I was walking by on the platform and they, surprisingly, were able to retrieve it for me. Great job guys! You really put a smile on my face!???
This train is a damn shame!! It's always late as ever!! They never take in consideration of the smokers that pay too money to ride!! It's only a few stops to smoke. This train is the worst in the world. I will never ride on Amtrak no more. Kids running all thru the train!! You cant sleep or enjoy the ride!! They never tell the parents to keep their kids in their seats!! Kids play on the train!! Don't spend your money drive or fly!! They are always late!! I have been 6 hours late 2times in a row. And they don't even care at all. So don't ride on Amtrak!!! Boycott in order!!!
Oh Amtrak. So I would have giving Amtrak 4 stars, because I loved taken the train. I took coach from Austin to Chicago then Chicago to Washington DC. I was in Maryland for business for over a week and then took the train back to Austin. I did the roommate on part of the way back and I highly recommend. It was a 2 day trip and my only complaint is that it was really, really cold on the train and the bathrooms are tiny-tiny. I loved the experience and was thinking that this is it, until Amtrak lost my suitcase.
This was not my first lost luggage experience so I didn't get upset. It happens. On the return trip from DC to Chicago to Austin, my suitcase made it to Chicago but the baggage handler in DC didn't do put in the paperwork to make sure my suitcase was transferred in Chicago to the train going to Austin. I get to Austin and tell Paul, the baggage handler in Austin that my suitcase is not here. He was very nice. He tracked my bag down immediately. It was still in Chicago. He said Amtrak would FedEx my suitcase to me. He gave me a warning, it was late Thursday, they would send it out on Friday so I wouldn't get it until Monday.
Not ideal because this was a business trip and my work clothes/shoes are in the suitcase. Things like this happen and getting it on Monday is not that big of a deal. Just to be sure, I called the Amtrak customer service line on Friday morning to make sure my suitcase was on its way. I was told it was. I'm on the road a few months of the year for work to give fellow employees vacation time so all my work clothes were in the suitcase. In Amtrak's defense, I did not tell them that. In my defense, why would I? I was getting my suitcase on Friday. Anyhoo...
Side note about the Amtrak customer service line- there isn't one. Amtrak has one phone number for all of their services including reservations and upgrades. You will get a phone tree voice, there isn't a phone tree option for customer service or lost bags. You have to request to talk to an agent which puts you on hold for reservation agents and then the reservation agent will transfer you to lost baggage. You will be on hold for about 8-10 minutes to get a reservation agent and then additional 8-10 minutes for lost baggage.
I asked 3 times is there a direct line to customer service or lost baggage and all three times I was told nope. You call the main line and get transferred in. That means if you call Amtrak with a customer service issue, be prepared for at least a 30 minute call and 20-25 minutes of that you will be on hold. Even after you get to customer service, they will put you on hold numerous times. Hey Amtrak- if you ever bother to read this, why don't you offer the option for lost baggage on your phone tree?
So, Monday around 8 pm with no delivered suitcase from FedEx, I call Amtrak again. This time I am told by Amtrak they have no clue what I'm talking about. They can see I called in on Friday about my lost suitcase. At this point I'm told the Amtrak policy- customer service will open a file for the lost baggage department to call me and there wasn't one. Customer service dropped the ball. I would have to call in on Tuesday when lost baggage opens at 8 am because they're gone for the day. At this point I'm totally confused because I was told by two separate Amtrak employees I was getting my suitcase FedEx. They didn't know anything about that.
Tuesday I call into lost baggage and they were apologetic. They would hop on it and said lost and found in Chicago would be calling me to make arrangements. That was confusing. Why am I making arrangements to get my bag back? What does the lost baggage department do? Lost and found Chicago calls me and they were awful. She began the conversation by asking me why didn't I call her directly on Friday. Why would I do that? Paul the baggage handler and customer service told me it was taken care of. How would I know to do that? I just presumed if you call customer service and you talk to an employee of the company and both say it's taken care of, well, it's taken care of.
The Lost and found agent proceeds to school me on Amtrak policy that Paul in Austin and the Amtrak customer service department did not have permission to promise me that the bag would be sent FedEx because the charges comes out of her budget. The bag will be put on the next train going to Austin and I would need to pick it up at the station. I admit, this annoyed me. I told her that wasn't an option for me. I'm on a work trip, I don't have a car and it would have to take an ride share and cost me about $60 round trip and hour of my time and I'm not the one that lost the suitcase. "Can't you just FedEx it to me where I'm staying in Austin like I was told would happen four days ago." She told me she would need permission and asked- "can you get that permission" and she hung up on me.
I would like to add, I've worked with clients/customers my entire career. I know people it can be a stressful job. Because of this, I never raised my voice, never cursed, I was polite (admittedly I was upset because it had been four days of handwashing clothes in my bathroom sink) so I was floored when I was hung up on. I called lost baggage again (second time I'm put on hold for over 20 minutes and not even 10 am). Again, they are apologetic and said they would call Chicago lost & found and call me back. Chicago lost & found calls me back (same person that hung up on me) and asks what do I want to do about this lost suitcase. Again, I was confused. I told her "I called Amtrak lost baggage and they would handle it and they didn't call you?" Nope, they did not.
At this point, I super frustrated. My co-workers on this business trip think I did a 'walk of shame' wearing the same outfit two days in a row, it's been four days and my bag is still in Chicago. She tells me that the Austin station should have reimbursed me for my clothes. Amtrak does that, up to $100 if they lose your luggage for more the 24 hours. I've already made three calls to customer service explaining my situation and this is the first time I've heard of this. To get this $100 reimbursement I will have to take my clothes receipts to the Amtrak station. Yet again, if I take a rideshare to the Amtrak station on the other side of downtown Austin would have cost $60 not including my time. It's just not worth it. She told me most people do it when they are leaving on the Amtrak but after all of the customer service confusion I'm not sure I'll ever take an Amtrak again.
Lost baggage calls me back and says they're putting my suitcase on a train and I'll get it Wednesday night and they'll have a taxi deliver my suitcase to me. At this point I have zero faith in Amtrak and lo and behold it was well founded! I didn't get my bag on Wednesday. What a shock. Thursday I call the Amtrak line, again, wait on hold for ten minutes, get transferred, wait on hold for another ten minutes to ask where was my suitcase. Now I'm mad. It's literally been a week. I feel like Amtrak could have strapped my suitcase on the back of Forrest Gump and he could have jogged it from Chicago to Austin in less time then it would take an Amtrak. Apparently my bag made it into Austin, but no one bothered to call a cab and send it to me.
So I take the morning off from work to be there when they send a cab with my suitcase. I asked to speak to a manager because, yes, I wanted some form of compensation. I didn't think I was being unreasonable that after having to buy clothes, spending hours on hold and then taking a morning off work (I had to work till 9 pm to make up the time), yes, I wanted compensation. I was offered $100 travel voucher. At this point after what "customer service" put me through, I wouldn't get on an Amtrak if it was the last train out of hell. Only because if Amtrak told me it was the last train out of hell, I wouldn't believe it.
"Customer service" told me he can put in a request for a manager to call but it's up to the manager's discretion to do that. I took that as I will not be hearing from a manager. I was shocked because a manager did call. She apologized and said it was a massive miscommunication on all levels and all of this shouldn't have happened. She was going to call me back with some form of compensation and what another shock, I never heard from her on Amtrak.
So- go ahead and take an Amtrak. Like I wrote above, I loved it. Before you get on the train, blow out your birthday candles, wish on a shooting star or just hope nothing goes wrong because if it does- you are on your own. Amtrak does not have any form of customer service. Oh wait they do have customer service, it's just the worse. I'm taking a plane or renting a car.
The train ran fairly well on schedule. If you have a lot of time, and want to enjoy a ride across the country, well Amtrak is okay. The service on the train is very good, and you can even select coaches with beds if you like. The meals are pretty appetizing. The downside of Amtrak for me, is that the scheduling is sometimes difficult. You may have to catch a train 40 or 50 miles away at 4:00 a.m. The train also runs to different areas on scheduled days.
Amtrak Company Information
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