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We took the Starlight Express from Portland to LA. First time in a long time on a long distance train. The experience was mixed. We had a the smaller of the two available sleeper cabins so it was a little tight. Not terrible, but still smaller than we expected. The food was surprisingly good (also included in the cost of the sleeper ticket) so that was fine. The path through Portland and then Oakland carries you right by numerous homeless encampments that are filthy and very third world feeling. Not Amtrak's fault but sure is a bummer. The staff was friendly for the most part, though the dining room waiter was very impatient and obviously fed up with his job. There were several delays and we arrived a couple hours late but that's standard for Amtrak, I'm told! It is NOT inexpensive but it is very relaxing compared to TSA, traffic, and airline food.
I've traveled the NYC-Montreal route many times over many years. The route is truly so very well worth the journey; astonishing, particularly as it follows the Hudson River & traverses NYC Adirondack wilderness. Sadly, Amtrak has caused itself to suffer in many ways because of inconvenience of scheduled services (system-wide, as I've seen), too often round-trips are impossible, amenities (food & beverage) aren't nearly as available as in years past, "smoking cars" have been completely removed, alienating a particular ridership, the cleanliness/condition of the wagons/cars has deteriorated, the cost has increased as the services & amenities have decreased/vanished.
With regard to "safety", I can't say that I've ever felt unsafe whilst aboard. Surely, their tracks require up-dating along routes. But over-all, I'd say I trust Amtrak to get me to my destination safely. "Value"? Over-all, for the price, if one has the time (some trips can be quite long) & an interest in seeing the world pass by, in being fascinated by some of the most wondrous scenery this planet has to offer, oh, by all means, it's great value!
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I have had a good experience every time I have taken Amtrak. I always seem to meet really nice people on the train. I think it's nice to talk to others on your ride or journey to your next destination. I love the coffee and access to restrooms on the train. It is very comfortable you can bring your own food and drinks watch a movie on your laptop or just talk to others. I like that the train has wifi and plugs for your cell phone. I love the relaxing ride on Amtrak.
Took a trip from Washington DC to Miami in October 2019: The ride was great, everything was perfect except, # 1 they really need hand sanitizer in the restrooms, even buses have hand sanitizer in their restrooms, and people are nasty so the restrooms are not the cleanest. # 2 They just recently in October a week before I traveled changed the dining car with the chef and great service and the food was really good, no more, I was looking forward to that, one of the reasons I booked that particular train, and no notice. Everything else was great.
I took a 2 day rail trip to Utah. I arrived 8 hours after we were due there, which made it very inconvenient, and had to get a hotel room for the night. For the return trip, I sat at the train depot for 5 hours waiting for the train that had already been delayed by over 24 hours, which again made me get a hotel room. When will Amtrak and the Freight Companies get their schedules fixed, so the delays are less frequent. Cost-wise, the train was very affordable, but adding the hotel cost for BOTH directions, would have been better to fly or drive.
Having booked a trip to the Grand Canyon, I was very disappointed with the itinerary and service we received. When we checked in at Pittsburgh Amtrak at 12:00AM, to begin our trip, we were informed that the bus that was supposed to take us to Williams AZ. from Flagstaff AZ was no longer in service. We were told to get in touch with Amtrak Vacations, to get more information, when we got to Chicago. The next day as we were waiting SIX hours for our connecting train in Chicago, we called Amtrak to find out what we were supposed to do to get to Williams. After an hour on the phone we were told to call a taxi to take us to Williams from Flagstaff, a thirty mile trip. This should have been done by Amtrak because they charged us for the bus, knowing that it was no longer in service. So we did what we had to do and took a taxi round trip to Williams, at an additional cost of 160.00 dollars.
On the return trip we had to leave Williams at Three O'clock in the morning to catch our train back to Chicago. I can't tell you how stressed my wife was over the whole ordeal of making our connections. The food on the train was worse than what you get on an airplane. The same pre-made entrees for lunch and dinner. Had I known the times I had to catch the trains, I would not have planned this trip. After getting my itinerary once the trip was paid for, I tried to cancel the trip but you can't get a refund. They will only give you credit for another trip. Overall this was supposed to be a relaxing stress free vacation. It was anything but that.
Trip to Chicago was not "too bad", car stewardess Rita was amazing. Return trip, ice cold room, no A/C control, needed 3 blankets. Both ways, NO decent food, microwave only "because of Covid". First class price with coach amenities. Return trip, dining car attendant (?) Lupe, refused to allow us to eat off breakfast meal for lunch or dinner, which is the only menu that had edible microwave food. The "pay additional charges" food station, again had only microwave food, but did have a selection, but refused cash "because of COVID". So even though I paid a rate equal to first class on a plane, I had to pay additional money to get a cheeseburger to eat. So unless you are going on a trip for nostalgia reasons, don't do it.
Most Amtrak employees were rude, only had one that was nice on the round trip. The Amtrak employees at the stations, were AMAZINGLY nice, at both locations, just that attitude didn't make it to the employees on the train. Oh, just a quick mention, train would stop for 30 minutes at key stations, and we were told to stay within range of train and every time this happened, several employees returned to the train carrying fast food, something we were not allowed to do. I guess they liked to rub salt in our "covid" induced wounds.
I booked Amtrak from Rochester NY to Cincinnati OH. I arrived at the station on time. It went downhill from there. The train was 2 hours late which meant l missed my connection in Toledo. It goes even further downhill. The layovers weren't minutes. They were hours. I finally need up getting a bus ticket. I should have done that to start with. What is usually a 7 or 8 hour trip turned in to 2 days. They didn't even offer a refund for the remaining cost of the ticket.
I am currently going through an absolute nightmare with Amtrak. My Wife and I had planned a cross-country trip for our 25th Anniversary. Purchase in March for September 2020. I put the deposit down with our debit card, then immediately removed/changed to our CC to add additional trip protection etc. as well as purchasing their own travel protection plan. By June we realized it would be in our best interest to cancel this trip until things may or might settle down with Covid-19. I called and canceled and figured that was that. Yesterday afternoon they wiped out our checking account and over drafted us by thousands of dollars.
They are now actually fighting us on this, saying they have no record of the cancellation. I said, "Fine then cancel us now." They stated that we are not entitled to a refund. That we are only eligible for future travel vouchers. This is despite all of their advertising, emails and website stating that there will be "No Hassles Refunds with no fees" for all trips booked before April 20th due to Covid-19. I have spoken with several agents who are telling me that they never give money back, only travel vouchers. We currently filing a dispute with our credit union as we have run out of options. We currently can not pay our bills, and we have been robbed of any alternative vacation plans as we have absolutely no intention of traveling with Amtrak ever! Thieves and Liars!
ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING TRIP!! Please do not do a trip with Amtrak. I booked well in advance for my father and myself. We booked hotel rooms and we booked tours with Amtrak. When we arrived in Seattle the tour was canceled due to high winds. I assumed that we would naturally be reimbursed by Amtrak later. I phoned Amtrak from Seattle and they confirmed that I would definitely be reimbursed. My father and I had to find our own tour, since the Amtrak tour never happened. After holiday when I tried to get my $100 US back for the tour we were denied our money!!!! What they did is illegal. They took money from us and gave us NOTHING in return and they promised reimbursement when I called. When I explained this to them they really didn't care and simply didn't want to listen to me. They had my money and that was the end of it.
We checked into San Francisco only to discover we were in a room with ONE double bed. It was me and my father. Again, Amtrak had booked the room for us and I had specified two separate beds when I made the arrangements. The other rooms we booked were fine, but this one was a mess. My father and I had to pay for a much more expensive room just to get two beds, as nothing else was available. As this was Amtrak's mistake I expected to be reimbursed. Nope. I could go on and on about the FILTHY train. It does NOT look like the pictures at all. Nothing was cleaned. Our room had coffee stains and dust and grime on the trays. Our air conditioning would not turn off! Would you believe it, but the attendant had to come to our cabin to TAPE UP the vent because the ENTIRE car's AC was broken. He did this in EVERY SINGLE ROOM. The seats were old and dingy. Again, not like the photos at all.
Amtrak is a very shady company. I cannot believe they are still in business. Their "customer service" supplies NO SERVICE at all. Honestly, this entire trip was the holiday from hell and we spent $5000!!!! Absolutely nothing good at all to say about this dishonest company. I would have rated it 0 stars, but I couldn't. I still cannot believe that they didn't refund our money for the tour that never happened. I actually believe this is a gimick of theirs - they suggest people book tours through them, but the tours don't actually exist. And Amtrak is still sending me email!!! After all of this they actually think I would want to travel with them again. Save yourself money and stress and upset and worry and book another vacation. Don't book with Amtrak!
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