Consumer Complaints and Reviews
My 18 year old son took the train from Chico, Ca. to Eugene, Or. on Friday, Feb 10. and was scheduled to return early Monday Feb 13. After his first train trip was delayed by more than 3 hours, he is informed on Sunday that his return train has been cancelled. The next train was scheduled to leave Wednesday night Feb.15. He was told he was responsible for his own lodging and food while being stranded in Eugene because (like this makes a difference to a paying customer) it was due to mudslide on the tracks and that was unforeseeable.
If it had been a mechanical failure, they would have accommodated him and the other passengers. And how do we know that it wasn't? The agent advised my son to grab some space on the bench and sleep in the train station - FOR 3 DAYS. This is customer service??? When I called on his behalf, frustrated at the poor treatment, the rep asked me if I could send him some money for food(!). I will never allow my son to travel on an Amtrak train as long as this is the way they treat people.
Travelling between the east coast and the west coast, a one-way coach sleeper berth is $1,252. Note that this is coach, not 1st class, and only one-way. $1,252 is 5 times the cost of flying! The 1st reason for the outrageous price is AmTrak's overpaid executives & board members. Put these featherbedders to work on board the trains for $50K/yr, instead of the $200K+ they each make now for doing nothing. The 2nd reason for the price is that our government, who should oversee the Amtrak salaries and rates to make them fair, has been bought by the oil fat cats and told to do everything possible to kill rail service in the US. Outrageous ticket prices are a perfect way to kill it.
The 3rd reason for the sky-high sleeper berth price is that Amtrak has Americanized the sleeper car. In W. Europe there are 4 beds per compartment, and in E. Europe there are 6. This is nice and cozy and you get to meet people. Amtrak's putting only 2 beds per compartment, turns it into an isolation chamber. The 4th reason for the unaffordable coach sleeper ticket is the unnecessary, forced luxuries listed on the Amtrak site, and I comment on each:
Meals included - It used to be in all Europe, but you see it mostly in E. Europe today, that train travelers would bring their own food and eat it at the fold down table in their compartment. Boiled eggs, unsliced dark bread, dry salted fish, sausages, beer, etc. Private women would also sell homemade hot or baked items & beer from the platforms, handing the purchases thru the compartment windows.
Two comfortable seats which convert to a bed; upper berth lowered down from the ceiling - Look at the picture. These seats are too wide. How depressing and cramped it is to sit there all day staring into a sink, cabinet, and wall, instead of sitting in a normal sized compartment with 3 passengers facing 3 passengers, as the serviceable & fun Euro. & US sleeper compartments were for over 100 years.
Sink and toilet in room - Are Americans really too proud to use common sinks & toilet? One of the fun things in a train is to walk thru the jostling car to the WC with your towel and toothbrush. Now you don't have to leave your "secure" closet. Yes, a closet, not a compartment. The latter has space, windows to the aisle, and fellow travelers entering and exiting. It is not sterile and secure.
Climate control - Amtrak has sealed all the windows shut, necessitating expensive, noisy, and space-taking air conditioning units. Nor can you talk to the people who are saying goodbye to you. The reason given for locked windows is "security", but think about it. What exactly are they afraid of? Why has America become afraid of its own shadow?
Is it too much to ask of Amtrak to take more of an interest in the cleanliness of their trains, especially the bathrooms? My sister who has a medical condition was on an early train today from NY Penn to Albany and needs to be near a bathroom. When she told me of the filthy and smelly conditions including the fact that toilet did not flush, I was appalled. This is disgusting!!! Customers pay good money and this is the service, the bathrooms are cleaner at Penn Station. Management needs to go inside the bathrooms. Take pride in your trains and bathrooms Amtrak and clean them for your customers.
Due to a medical condition I was forced to take the train to Chicago. It is the last time I will ever take the train anywhere. We were late arriving at both destinations. I almost missed a wake because of how late we were. Seems to me they travel these routes enough and still can't figure out when freight trains will be there? I should not only get my money back, my family should get an apology for having to wait for me before burying my loved one. I paid $122 for this? Thanks Amtrak. You. Are. Awful.
My husband was returning to the Tacoma, WA from Portland, OR at 10 pm on Thursday 1/26/17. The train stopped to let passengers off, his car door never opened in business class. Train then proceeded to start down the tracks on the way to another station, my husband then found a conductor in another car to ask why they didn't open his car door. So the train stopped & let him out right there on the tracks for him to walk back to the Tacoma station on the tracks in the DARK! REALLY, isn't That DANGEROUS! They did eventually send a person from Tacoma station to pick him up, but he walked on the DARK TRAIN TRACKS for while. If this is not site to complain or let someone know about this dangerous situation, can you please tell me who else to let know. Thank you!
How do I know I can trust these reviews about Amtrak?
- 697,993 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.
This was my first time taking the train somewhere, and I traveled alone. I had no idea where to go exactly, and everyone from Fresno to Santa Ana was so incredibly nice and helpful! It was definitely a great experience and I will be traveling this way again.
In January 2017 I purchased tickets to travel from Seattle to Olympia with my son on the 605pm train. We were cutting it very close to getting to the train station on time as we did not realize it would take us 1 hour 15 minutes to travel 7 miles. I arrived at the train station at 555pm ran in and bought my tickets. When I came out from buying my tickets the conductor was calling for the final boarding of the train. As I started running up to the podium the conductor started walking off towards the door. As I approached him I apologized for cutting it so close and his response to me was "next time you need to leave an hour before you originally left, and if I wasn't such a nice guy I wouldn't be letting you on MY train".
Again I apologized and proceeded to walk down the platform towards the train (with my bag in one hand and my 4 year old son in the other) when the conductor yelled "you're in cart 3" I said "ok" but was facing the other direction. Then the conductor started yelling "ma'am, ma'am you're in cart 3" and before I could turn around and acknowledge him he yelled again "MA'AM (very rudely) WHAT CART NUMBER ARE YOU IN?". By that time I had already turned around and said "Cart 3, there's no reason to be so rude I'm not an idiot". He then said "I'm not being rude, you want me to be rude, you know what you're not getting on my train" and walked past me towards the train and again said I was not getting on. I know I cut it close getting there but there really was no reason for him to be so completely rude. I never received a refund from my tickets either. I will for sure never travel on Amtrak again.
I thought the train would be the quickest way to travel. No traffic to contend with. A straight shot, right? WRONG!!! Amtrak is a joke! It's very rarely on time to the point of being totally ridiculous. There's always a delay 30 to 40 minutes sometimes even an hour! Disgusting restrooms and I was told that in order for my 1 year granddaughter to have her own seat my daughter had to purchase her a ticket. Seriously!
I was really surprised to see such a low rating for Amtrak. I just made a trip from Tacoma to Portland and back with my sister. It was the first time we'd been on a train in about 20 years. Compared to flying it was absolute luxury. We took the Coast Starlight train # 14. Got tickets online. At the station after a 5 minute wait we were able to hop right on the train. It was a pain dragging my wheeled carry-on bag up the steep, narrow steps... I got smart and checked it on the trip back. Another easy, no wait process. The train was clean. The seats were wide and comfy, they reclined a lot, there were foot and leg rests and so much leg room we shorties could barely reach the footrests. Food was good in the dining room. The views were spectacular.
Going home the train was delayed by two hours due to heavy snow and a rockslide. The delay was a disappointment, but you can't blame Amtrak for the weather, which was so bad other modes of transport cancelled the trip. Best of all, every single employee we encountered was pleasant and polite. Several of them were real standouts: Pete, the conductor, went out of his way to keep us informed. He was incredibly nice and friendly. Server in the dining car, (Sabrina?) was also especially attentive. The man in the cafe car was not only friendly and cheerful, he sang beautifully - it's been a long time since I was last serenaded!
In a week I'm flying first class to San Diego... It's a safe bet the experience will not be a pleasant one - just getting through the airports is generally a nightmare, and now we can add the fear of some nutjob with a gun showing up. We were so pleased with our total experience on the train we are now we are checking into a cross-country trip to New Orleans.
On Jan. 8, 2017, my wife was scheduled to travel from Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale. Some snow in the Virginia/North Carolina stretch delayed the Silver Meteor for more than four hours. The snow accumulation was reported to be about 4 inches. That's hardly enough to slow/stop a massive vehicle that runs on tracks more than 4 inches above ground. To top that off, the train Sat at the Jacksonville Station for an additional 2:20 for unknown reasons. There is NO snow in FL, and no explanation for the delay has been provided.
In most developed countries where snow is common (think Canada, Russia, Scandinavia, and the Alpine region in Europe) trains manage to keep to their schedules within reasonable limits during winter snows. Years ago, I traveled frequently by train in the NE corridor (Boston, New Haven, New York). I can only remember one instance with substantial delays--a significant, ongoing snow dump (18-24 inches) in January '66 resulted in a 3-4 hour delay between Philly and New York on the PRR/NYC. Why on earth can't AMTRAK get one of its premiere trains through 4 inches of snow in 2017?
Amtrak Stamford to Alexandria round trip. Very easy to list the reasons that AMTRAK is a 3rd world RR. (1) Cars are dirty, especially toilets. (2) P.A. speakers were broken, no station announcements were heard and no conductors came through to announce station stops. (3) Conductors ignore questions when passing. (4) Question to conductor about where to exit: Answer: "Don't know, ask the guys in Washington". I needed help with heavy suitcase in Alexandria, the platform isn't elevated and the conductor was reluctant to help me. He finally came down and lifted it aboard.
Summary: What is the reason for such poor service? Is it the Union? Is it the Mgt? Is it US Congress trying to defund public transportation? No, probably it's just that we Americans can't manage anything properly that has Fed. funds and Mgt. behind it. The sad part is that Americans will put up with it because most haven't ridden a train in E or J and have no idea how far behind the US is in public Transportation. It won't improve under Trump, he has never ridden a train in his life.
I bought tickets from Crawfordsville, IN to Chicago, IL to buy Christmas presents. I had been looking forward to taking the train up to go shopping on the Magnificent Mile. Well, I get to the station and learn that the train would have an 1.5 hr delay. Then I check Amtrak's status off my smartphone and learn that the train will be delayed by another half hour. Then I check my smartphone and learn that the train will be delayed by another half hour. At this point, I'm sitting in my truck in the train station parking lot and am frustrated. I decide to go call up Amtrak customer service. After sitting there being on hold for 32 mins to try and get a refund back the train arrives.
I decide WTF if it's arrived I might as well go up. The train then stopped for another 20 mins outside Cedar Lake because the train workers thought they hit something. It is now 12:20 Central Time and I just got to the Dyer station. That is about an hour and twenty minutes late from the time we were SUPPOSED to have ARRIVED at Chicago. The conductor tells us to expect delays since the freight railroads get priority from Dyer to Union Station. Well now why in the hell did I even come up here? I'll have less than half the time I wanted to have in Chicago today. I'm never taking the Cardinal again and you shouldn't either.
Worst service I have seen, especially the guy named Kurt at "Customer Relations." I doubt Amtrak offers folks any service-related training. If they did, Kurt would have hopefully learned not to act like a douchebag. So long Amtrak!
Why is this company still in business? Who else can quote a round trip price and give you only the one-way fare listing. Airlines don't! When you check the icon stating round trip you should then be quoted a round trip price. Amtrak gives you the option for one way and round trip. Does someone at Amtrak need to get hooked on Phonics? Learn English Amtrak! Let me help you. The definition of one way; Traveling one direction. The definition of round trip; Traveling one direction, then returning back the other direction back to the original location. Wow! really! Tough one! OK, so if you quote someone a price for a round trip ticket, and actually it was only a one-way quote (but you didn't choose the one-way option, you selected the round trip option) what is that defined as; FRAUD! BAIT AND SWITCH! BAD BUSINESS! Yes Amtrak you are correct all of the above. Well off to see how many sites I can complain about you to.
My husband and I were traveling from Wilmington, DE to NYC today. With the over $200 price tag, we expected to have a seat. This was the main reason we spent the extra money instead of traveling the much less expensive SEPTA ($60). Even though we would have liked to have Sat close together, I can understand that. What I cannot understand is the fact that Amtrak overbooked so now one of us had to stand the entire trip! This is the same service I expect from SEPTA. We were assured that Amtrak does not overbook their seats. This is obviously not true! We might as well have traveled SEPTA. We would have had the same probability of getting to sit! We both better have a seat on our return trip tonight!
I would like to share my Amtrak experience: I have traveled by rail in over 10 countries. I have ridden Amtrak many times from coast to coast and from the Great Lakes down to the Gulf. It has always been an acceptable experience. Neither bad nor particularly great but I was satisfied. It did the job. The train staff have always been very helpful. Recently, on a multi-city journey I decided to try the business class upgrade. On the first leg of my journey between Indianapolis and Chicago, the business class was an absolutely exceptional experience. It was AWESOME. Private business class car (with its own lavatory and dining facilities), food and drink service, friendly staff, I could go on and on about it. I even filled out a glowing survey about it.
In fact, I enjoyed it so much I immediately paid for the upgrade on the next leg of my journey from Chicago and was reassured at the Amtrak desk that it included the same amenities. This is where it all went downhill. Aside from the inconvenient scheduling (whatever, transport doesn't operate on any one individual's convenience) the same level service simply was not there. Gone was the private car, instead half of it was the public cafe/observation car. Gone was the white table cloth service. Gone was the included food and drink service. Gone was the business class restroom.
Pretty much everything that made the first leg of my journey enjoyable was gone. The only difference between coach and business class was a seat that was exactly the same save for material and an extra inch or two in width. It didn't even recline more than the coach seats and really was not any more comfortable. I didn't even get the unlimited coffee as the cafe car closes on overnight trips. Needless to say I was sorely disappointed. That is not even the worst part.
In the course of trying to resolve my disappointment, possibly getting a refund and going back to coach I learn that I was charged an extra 50$ on top of the 36$ upgrade fee. It turns out that when you book a ticket, you pay a "Rail Fare" and then the upgrade to business class is a separate fee. Even though I had booked my tickets weeks in advance and was upgrading out of coach the "Rail Fare" had changed and as such they decided to charge me 84$ without mentioning that the business class upgrade was actually only 36$. It also turns out that the line between Indianapolis and Chicago is not actually owned or operated by Amtrak but only staffed by Amtrak personnel which explains the drastic difference in quality of service and experience.
To add insult to injury when I called Customer Relations the next day as instructed to try and peaceably resolve this I was offered a 25$ voucher. Not even enough to cover the sub-par and disappointing business class upgrade. So in closing I would like to thank Amtrak for reminding me why rail travel is the worst way to travel within the US and why it is by far the worst rail service in the developed world. Next time I would rather work an extra week at my underpaid mediocre 10$/hour job, deal with the extra hassle and just fly rather than get ripped off by your company again. Thank you for charging me more than double the usual upgrade fee for sorriest experience I've ever had on a train. Despite my love of rail travel, I feel let down.
Bought advanced tickets for my son to travel back and forth to college. Reservation that's dated today was told not valid and that he traveled using it already. Son never took the train the day Amtrak stated because I did not buy a ticket for that day. Was told by the customer service rep that he was a no show for that date... WTF? He never rode the train. Anyhoo, so mad... had to buy another ticket and may not get my money back. No supervisors or managers on duty. Had a bad experience prior to this one, but I thought I would give them another chance. NEVER AGAIN AMTRAK. YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE IS HORRIBLE!!!
You are going to be so burned by me all over Google. My Reservation is **. Your agent told me that he was giving me 4 days of trolley shuttle service. In fact you only sent 48 hours of service. The trolley does not run on thanksgiving at all, which he did notice! And my vacation in over thanksgiving. But he sold me a package for only 48 hours! When I paid for the 4 day trolley service. I was on the phone with 3 of your agents. They all denied me any help, saying that they would not honor what your agent said he sold me!! I looked up the price difference for the 48 hours and the 72 hours. It is $3!~!~!!! You ** will not honor what you sold me for $3 extra dollars. Good business sense Amtrak.
I am going to warn EVERYONE to stay away from Amtrak Vacations. That their agents lie, that you don't get what you paid for. That Amtrak tells you to go jump in a lake when you call and tell them the mistake that they made. That they could not care less about their customers (their chumps?) even when it would cost only $3 for them to make things right and give a customer the package that they paid for. Let me be clear, the agents that I spoke to today didn't even care what the first agent had told me that I was getting! So have a great time with your business; you guys are fools. It is going to be all over social media how you treat people why foolishly give you money.
I was coming into Chicago for a concert and there was no way for me to return that night so I opted in to taking an Amtrak train the next morning so I would be able to get back in time for my morning class. I thought that I booked the trip for Friday November 11th but instead the trip was booked for Thursday November 10th and I was charged $15 instead of the $12 that I was supposed to be charged with a student discount. I called the company to explain that I had no idea that this happened and could I please get a refund considering I was not even in Chicago at that time.
The operator had an attitude because I was upset but instead of trying to figure a way to solve the issue and calm me down for my lost in money he just continued to treat me as if I had no intelligence. This is the worst customer services I have ever received. And the ticket for the new trip was $22 because a student discount did not apply. Honestly I am so tired of Amtrak.
The wife and I decided to try Amtrak for our trip to Sema in Las Vegas because it seemed like a great way to see the country and get some sleep on the trip. What we thought would be one of the best parts of this trips turned out to be a nightmare. First thing noticed, the lock on our door was broken, so every time the train hit the brakes, the door would open exposing us to anyone in the hall. We eventually just had to use the curtain by itself which gives a little privacy. The food is pretty terrible. The same microwaved choices at all meal times. Meals are included with a sleeper car purchase, but so awful they drive you to the "cafe car" to buy something edible. The ride on our trip (Syracuse to Chicago to Kingman) was like being stuck in a 48 hour straight earthquake of about 5.5.
The absolute worst part of the trip was the return from Kingman to Chicago. Our room (and everyone else's room as well) was flooded with sewer gas smell EVERY 10 minutes. Made you want to puke. Everyone complained, complaints were ignored and the problem not fixed. Complained at union station as well where it fell on deaf ears "we will look into it". He did nothing but continue checking people in. The ONLY positive experience was the onboard staff on the southwest chief. Super friendly and helpful people. In a nutshell, this train travel trip was THE worst travel experience of our lives. I just hope that others read this review and save their $3000! Dollars for first class airfare or other.
My husband and I took an Amtrak vacation that started in Emeryville and stopped in LA, New Orleans, and finally ending in Chicago - then we took the train from Chicago back to Emeryville. The entire trip was a NIGHTMARE! The first train was approximately 8 hrs late so we had to take a BUS all the way from Emeryville to LA! I'm disabled so we took this vacation because we thought we'd have our sleeper available so I could lie down when I wasn't feeling well. No, we were on a bus! The service on each train was atrocious but the food was even worse. The food was the same everyday (seriously) 3 subpar options for each meal - premade; no cook. It was horrible food, horrible options it was literally the same on each train (uggghhh).
On top of that the staff was rude and unbearable (except for Derek on the LA to New Orleans train; he was fantastic - top notch). Everyone else right down to the snack cart was horrible. (For example, Milton in the dining room was atrocious; rude, visibly angry and it was so apparent he hated his job). The rooms were sooo small; just try to take a shower in there unless you're 95 lbs plus your toilet paper will get soaked every time you shower due to inadequate covers! My husband and I are fit - not overweight at all and the showers were very uncomfortable.
Finally we were delayed 5 hours on the way home, just sitting on the tracks... We spent $4,500 for this trip and all of the beautiful landmarks advertised were passed during the night! We will never take Amtrak again. When I called Amtrak to complain, all they offered was a non-transferrable voucher of $1,000. I told Amtrak to ** off. We could've gone to Hawaii and not spent our time with the usual bus riding crowd and insufficient food, accommodations, service, and timing of train sightseeing. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY. AMTRAK SUCKS FROM THE TRIP THROUGH SINCERE COMPLAINT ASSISTANCE. WE WON'T BE TAKING AMTRAK AGAIN!
I was trying to take the bus back to Chicago and I was in Madison. I was scheduled to ride the bus at 2:20 am and the driver wouldn't let me on. I had to wait for the next one, which was 4 am and I had to pay again. It was a middle eastern driver who wouldn't let me on. I should have called the company at the spot.
The conductor told them that mom would have to handle her own luggage. Mom got on the train and my husband stepped in the doorway of the train to help mom push the handle of her suitcase down to allow her to handle her bag, but before he could step out of the doorway, the conductor very rudely screamed at him to get off, get off now and physically put his chest up against my husband's chest saying "Boy, get off the train NOW."
My husband told the conductor to back up and away from him and allow him to step out of the doorway, but the conductor continued to press his chest up against my husband calling him a "BOY". My mother yelled at the conductor about calling anyone a "BOY". The conductor yelled to my mother, "you'd better go sit down before I put you off this train, lady." It took a lot for my husband to restrain himself to prevent a physical confrontation. There was another lady standing there boarding someone also, who yelled at the conductor and witnessed his rude unprofessional behavior. She has the same complaint about this conductor. Everyone wanted his name; yet he claims his name is Cal **. I don't know if that's his true identify or not, but something needs to be done about this conductor. He is rude, prejudice and shows very unprofessional behavior to the people riding Amtrak.
I will be writing to your corporate office and demand that he be terminated. I will not stop until Cal ** or whoever he truly is gets terminated. He has absolutely no reason to work within an environment dealing with the public. He showed that he is prejudice calling anyone any type of name, specifically a "BOY". He showed his rude and unprofessional behavior more than once. Something has to be done about this conductor. I hope to learn his true identity to be able to give the accurate information to the corporate office to start his termination process. And please know that NO ONE in my family will EVER ride Amtrak again. NEVER EVER EVER!. We had never experienced this kind of behavior and have ridden Amtrak for years. I am discouraging everyone that I know to not take Amtrak EVER again. We are done with Amtrak due to conductor Cal **.
My wife and I decided to take the Amtrak Empire Builder Train to Milwaukee from Saint Paul, MN, and what a mistake that was. I booked the train at approx. 7:00 p.m. on Saturday evening for an 8:00 a.m. departure and thought all was well. We made our plans for Milwaukee, had reservations with family, etc. and were looking forward to our first nice, relaxing trip on the train, enjoy the fall colors from the upper car, etc.
At 7:00 a.m. I received a text message that our train was delayed, by 6 hours and 59 minutes! Being that we were already on our way to the station I thought that I would just sort it out there. Upon arriving I was told that not only was the train really delayed by 7 hours but Amtrak had been aware of this delay for over 24 hours. In other words they knew of the delay prior to letting me book the trip and failed to mention it, nice! Then I'm told they are going to put me on a bus to Milwaukee (without a discount of course) to which I refused. After that they tell me there will be a 20% fee to cancel which I also wasn't going to accept. After 20 minutes or so at the station I finally left with my full refund and no trip to Milwaukee.
I then decided to call Amtrak to find out why they would sell me tickets for an 8:00 a.m. trip when they were already well aware that they had a 7 hour delay. The female agent who answered the phone was about the rudest customer service rep I have ever encountered. I'm still amazed by this agent and ended up talking to the manager afterwards. The manager was actually pretty decent about everything and gave me a corporate number to call for Customer Relations.
I was warned by a co-worker about taking Amtrak and ignored his advice so I'm here trying to give advice to others. If you hear horror stories about Amtrak believe them. I will never consider another trip on Amtrak and they have lost more customers with us. And to think we were talking about doing a cross-country trip with Amtrak if this short trip went well. Thank God we found out now prior to embarking on a trip from MN - Seattle!
Presently, I am on the Capitol Limited #29 (WAS to CHI). At 10:17 p.m., I was awakened and instructed to move seats on the same train car. Yes, startled awake. Instructed to move. No apparent reason. I was sitting/sleeping in seat 19 -- where I had been comfortably sitting since 4:30 p.m. -- and told to move to 58 of the same train car with no reason provided other than the service attendant stated to me that need to move from a sparsely occupied front end of same train car to a crammed pack back end of train car. Unbelievable!
Seat 19 is located in the front of the train car and 58 is in the back with a stairwell to divide the same train car. Why the service attendant startled me awake to ask my destination, which is Chicago at 8:30 a.m., and then tell me to move NOW to the back of the train where every seat is occupied, I will never understand. So, now I am sitting next to someone taking up part of my seat - I imagine to tell me she was here first; in front of two men engaged in a conversation with intermittent laughter; next to two women chatting and one possible ADHD (constantly kicking her foot in the aisle); and, near a man in the phone. Damn, I'm annoyed!
Was my peaceful slumber annoying the service attendant? Was the seat I had occupied held sentimental value, which I inadvertently breached? Who knows? All I do know is NOW I AM WIDE AWAKE and cannot get back to sleep in the back of a train car with people laughing and talking, while the lady next to me wiggled in the seat to nudge me with her hip. Absurd! Utterly absurd.
The front half of the train car is quiet, people are sleeping (just as I HAD been), and more vacant seats to sleep comfortably. The back half of the train is crammed pack, people are not sleeping, and full of lively and alert folks. I would ask to move back to my vacant seat; but, out of fear of being ejected, I am sitting in the freezing cold observation deck drinking hot water.
I would understand asking someone to move from one train car to another, in case they are uncoupled for alternate destinations. However, to disturb someone sleeping, instruct them to vacate a comfortable, quiet seat, and move to the back of the same train car is not only rude, but borders on discriminatory. Yes, discriminatory. The passengers that were sitting/sleeping around me embarked in WAS and will disembark in CHI. No one else on the front half of the train car was asked to move. And, yet, here I sit wide awake in the freezing observation car for or peace and quiet. What happens if I fall asleep? Will I be escorted by Security to seat 58? No telling.
I do feel my inconvenience and interrupted slumber should be compensated because I paid to ride on train and the service attendant singled me out (discrimination) and moved me (inconvenience) for no apparent reason, explanation, or apology. I would push the issue or move back to my vacant seat; but, I have read and seen (first-hand) service attendants eject passengers at an upcoming train stop for an innocuous you cross your eyes. Well, needless to say, I will go directly to Amtrak customer service when I arrive in Chicago for a refund or partial refund.
I travel Amtrak frequently using the Northeast Corridor. I also have made many long distance trips. I often take the Crescent to New Orleans from Philadelphia. It's far too uncomfortable in coach to ride nearly 30 hours and sleep sitting up so I'll take a roommate. Many times I have found very polite and helpful on board staff. Then again I have encountered some of the rudest and discourteous people that don't care that customer service reflects on the future of Amtrak funding. It is significant. If you dare point out you are entitled to decent and polite customer service they become belligerent and ignorant. Their greatest power is to toss you from the train even if they are clearly wrong. I've seen them tell people to shut up or move to another seat if they are in a sour mood.
Amtrak at this time is the only long distance passenger train service so they get away with this behavior and our tax dollars keep them rolling. However, I have read that Amtrak will have to give up some of its routes to other passenger rail companies. I can't wait! Iowa Pacific Holdings may take over some routes. They currently run the Hoosier State train from Chicago to Indiana and have gotten glowing reviews. I hope they get a few more and show Amtrak they cannot continue abusing paying customers.
I have been traveling on Amtrak for years and for those who are in coach know how expensive it can be just to get a bottle water. Every time I've traveled I've always brought snacks and something to drink because they have NEVER charged me for ice or hot water. But on this day from Chicago to NYC this same cafe attendant gave me a free cup of ice for my water then in the morning decided to charge me $2 for a cup of hot water. A cup of coffee is $2.25 so for $.25 less for hot water is ridiculous to me and then the Uncle Tom of a boss decides to say that for the past 6 yrs all of the employees should be fired for being kind. Never riding Amtrak again.
After being persistent and contacting a variety of people at Amtrak, I was finally able to get a refund. It should not have taken so much effort to get a refund for services we paid for and did not receive. While I have been refunded, I still want people to be aware of the difficulties that we faced. Amtrak has a new CEO and he is working to improve customer satisfaction.
My husband and I drove to California with our son to take him to his first military post. We could have flown back but opted to take Amtrak to try out as a possible means of future trips to see him, and for him to see us. We should have flown and would have if we had known the trip was going to be this big of a disaster. Our Amtrak train that was to leave from LAX departed 4 hours late due to a mechanical problem. We were ASSURED that we would still meet our connecting Amtrak buses and trains. I asked several people on our train repeatedly and they all kept assuring us we would be ok. I called the Amtrak Guest hotline and spoke to Anthony. He did not seem interested in helping me and offered no help. He took the attitude that I might just be out of luck and on my own to figure the problem out. I again spoke to our conductor and various staff members on the train who repeatedly said everything would be ok.
We were to get off the train in Newton, KS and catch a bus to our other station to ride the train to our final stop in Gainesville, TX. We were assured that the conductor would wake us at least 10-15 minutes before arriving in Newton. Nobody could tell me what time that would be so I took a guess and set several alarms to wake me every hour in the night to see where we were to make sure we were awake to get off the train. Both my husband and I have medical issues that require us to have time to wake up properly. Thank goodness I set the alarms! The conductor came to our sleeper and said we would need to be ready to get off the train in Newton in 5-6 minutes!!! Had I not set the alarms, we would not have been physically ready to leave. Thank goodness we slept in our travelling clothes! We could not even take advantage of the sleeper we paid for because of the unknowns of when we would arrive and what time.
Would we have time to shower and/or change clothes? So many questions so that is why we thought it best to sleep in our travelling clothes rather than be comfortable. Based on the room design, it takes a couple of minutes just to get down from the top bed so we both had to sleep in our seats which was not what I paid for. It is imperative that my husband get adequate rest or he will have epileptic seizures. Nobody offered us breakfast and I ended up having to buy a breakfast sandwich from May in the Cafe. She was the ONLY person on the train who even suggested that we might not make our connecting bus and train. After the conductor woke us, he stayed at the door because we were that close to the station. I asked him about our connecting bus and all he said was he was sorry but we probably missed it and hopefully someone in Newton could help us but he wasn't sure. Really? This is the best he could offer?
Amtrak knew this train was running extremely late and we were not given any options for travel to get home. Newton, KS is a very small town and I never even saw a hotel. When we arrived we were let out at the station as if the trash was being put out on the curb. The train took off quickly, leaving several of us behind to figure things out on our own. The only person who really helped us was Michelle in Newton, KS and Amtrak needs to make her the employee of the month and give her a big pay raise! She had the train dump their problem onto her shoulders and she handled it professionally and to the best of her ability in her little town. She arranged a taxi to take us to Wichita, KS to the Greyhound station. From there we were to take a Greyhound bus home. That bus did not leave for over four hours so we were stuck in a bad part of town, surround by homeless people and no viable options for a meal.
One guy that was on our route had no way to get from the Greyhound station in Wichita to where he was staying because he planned his trip around Amtrak, not Greyhound! Thank God the taxi driver was kind enough to drop him off at his hotel which was on our route to the station. The other lady who rode in the taxi with us had a young child and neither spoke English. Their train translator was no longer with them and Michelle worked hard to accommodate this woman and child. Our Greyhound ticket said we would have one stop in Oklahoma City but that was definitely incorrect! I don't know how many stops we had to make but can tell you if you need me to. We had to stop in almost every town along the route to pick up passengers. In Oklahoma City, the driver told us we could stay on the bus or get off for 20 minutes. My husband is disabled and opted to stay on the bus so I left my carry-on baggage with him and ran inside to go the restroom.
When I returned, I found him off the bus because they FORCED all passengers to get off the bus, just to let them all back on the bus because the new driver wanted it that way. This caused a lot of stress for my husband which triggered a seizure on the bus. Thank goodness it was a small seizure but all of this could have been avoided had he had proper sleep and not been stressed with all the changes in the schedule and travel. A bus trip from Wichita to Gainesville, Texas that should have taken about 4 hours took us 8 hours!!! We were supposed to be home before noon that day but we did not arrive until almost 8:00 pm. Our vehicle was at the Amtrak train station in Gainesville, Texas where our friends left it that morning so we had to call them to come back to Gainesville from Denton, Texas to take us to our vehicle. This trip was the biggest mess I have ever been involved in my life and we have travelled quite a bit.
As tired as I was when we got to Newton, Kansas, I would have driven a rental car to get us home but we were not given the option to do so and all our money was tied up in this trip so I had no means to pay for anything on my own. There were NO options given to us. It was a take it or leave it situation. Now that you have most of the details of our story, you can see why I am requesting a FULL refund. We did not travel by the means we paid for in advance and the extreme additional hours added to the trip caused medical problems for my husband as well as me. I am having a fibromyalgia flare up with extreme pain due to the unexpected hellacious Greyhound bus ride, so now I have to pay for a doctor's appointment today to see my pain doctor for injections to ease my pain. I missed a day of work due to all of this and feel that it is only right for Amtrak to refund us for the cost of this trip.
The decent half of the trip in no way covers the horrible second half of the trip that we endured. I look forward to hearing from someone immediately with compensation in the full amount of the trip. On that note, when I was pricing our trip, the prices were the same for Monday-Thursday. We opted to travel on Tuesday instead of Monday. When I called in to move the trip by one day, the agent refused to honor the price and made me pay an addition $101. I explained the pricing structure and how I knew it was the same for those days since I did quite a bit of planning to decide when it was best to travel. She refused to listen and could only do what the computer said to do.
My boyfriend and I took the Zephyr train from California to Denver, CO. We noticed most of the staff on this train were sick so we tried our best to stay away from the staff as much as possible. Well in our 12 day vacation trip, due to spending one night on this train... we managed to both get sick (6 days of my trip I was very, very sick and had to go to urgent care in other state). I know for a fact I got sick from the lady who took care of our car, she was sick and kept trying to speak to me close to my face.
Ever since I told the lady who took care of our car that I had a gluten allergy, she became rude and passive aggressive towards us. Everything I said to her became an issue, she even gave me attitude as I was walking back to my sleeper trying to mind my own business. Out of nowhere she says "What did you say?" And I said, "Nothing." She kept saying, "No, you said something.." trying to start a confrontation with me. I don't know why she was behaving this way, I guess my gluten allergy became an issue for her to find foods for me to eat, I'm not sure.
Either way, I would never ever take Amtrak again, especially for any overnight trips. It is extremely uncomfortable on those sleepers, and just sitting in the chairs. They have done no updates on these trains and it shows. By the time we got off of the train both of our bodies hurt, especially our necks because the seats face towards each other instead of out the window. Some people want privacy and want to be able to have a chair that is able to look out the window and still turn back around and into a bed. I know that technology exists, it's 2016. Get with the time Amtrak and update your trains because trains are not "in" anymore, and the least you can do to succeed is update these trains and hire better staff that doesn't get passive aggressive with you because they feel like they're "the help."
My son Billy, who is 14 years old and just started high school frequently takes the Southwest Chief as an unaccompanied minor from La Junta to Albuquerque or Lamy to visit relatives. I've always feel safe with that and he has done it at least 9 times. On Labor Day Weekend however, my son took the train to Albuquerque to visit his grandparents (on my husband's side) as an unaccompanied minor. He left on Saturday 9/3/16 and was to return on Monday which was Labor Day. The trip was just fine going to ABQ, but it requires going over the Rocky Mountains and Raton Pass and during his visit with his grandparents, there was a fire in one of the tunnels in the Rockies, therefore rerouting the Southwest Chief through Northern Texas and other parts of NM and skipping La Junta. Because of this, Amtrak provided bus service between Albuquerque and Dodge City, KS to connect passengers with the missed stops.
When my son went to ABQ Station with my mother and father-in-law to board the bus. The staff managing this at Albuquerque Station were extremely rude and were yelling at dozens of passengers. Then, when my son tried to board the bus, the staff denied him access onto the Amtrak bus with a dirty attitude. The told him and his grandparents that unattended minors, can only ride the train and no buses. I don't understand though, because they should be able to make that exception if they had to reroute the train. Before he tried to board, they went into the ticket office and the ticket agent assured it was okay, but when they returned, she said there was nothing she could do about it. I was told this over the phone and was very upset that Amtrak is not allowing my son to come home.
I called Amtrak to address this issue, but the woman on the phone was rude to me and refused to help me get my son home. She said that my son would have to wait until the train service was restored through the Rockies, or I would have to drive to Albuquerque and get him. My husband and I couldn't drive to Albuquerque to get my son because we both are very busy with work, we have two other daughters to take care of at home, and Albuquerque is a five hour drive from La Junta. My husband's parents didn't mind keeping my son for a couple extra days because they are retired. My son and I also knew the ticket agent at La Junta Station (Darcy) from buying tickets from her so many times and when I talked to her about this problem, she promised to help me get my son back before the tracks were fixed from the fire, and that she would call me when she had a solution. But I never received a call back from her.
On Tuesday, my son and his grandparents went back to ABQ station and again, the Amtrak employees were yelling at them and did not allow him to get on the bus. Finally, on Wednesday, the Southwest Chief returned to La Junta and my son returned by train on Wednesday evening, when he should have come on Monday evening. He ended up missing two days of school because of this and thanks to Amtrak, his teachers at school are making him make up all the work he missed while stuck in Albuquerque. My son loves trains and doesn't want to stop riding them no matter what, but I have a hard time thinking about whether I want him to do this again.
Amtrak Company Profile
- Company Name: