Amtrak cuts certain Sleeping Car amenities Nationwide

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by timfrost, Feb 5, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    Instead of the typical gloom and doom about how Airline service gets worse and worse, here's a bit of ground-based bad news to brighten everyone's day. :confused:

    This came from the Amtrak discussion page on another site, and although I saw the Food Service Notice at work yesterday, it's not something I personally would have posted publicly. Now that it's out there though...

    This isn't terribly surprising to me considering all the fire coming from Congressman Mica about how Amtrak gives away "free booze" to sleeping car passengers, though it is technically something included in the price of their ticket. Still, the amenity bags and the wine and cheese tastings were something passengers were always excited to share with their friends and families.

    Employees:
    All
    Food Service Car/Type: Diner, Lounge, Cafè, Pacific Parlour Car, Diner Lite
    Region: All
    Train Specific: All Long Distance trains except the Auto Train
    Issue Date: February 4, 2014

    Background:

    A number of amenity items are being eliminated and removed from long distance services.

    Advisory:

    The following amenity items are being eliminated and removed from long distance services. Effective dates are posted next to the items and the commissaries will stop boarding these items on these dates. Ending dates were set based on the calculated depletion of existing inventories.

    • Wine & Cheese Receptions - Effective March 31, 2014
      • Empire Builder
      • Coast Starlight
      • Lake Shore Ltd.
    • Complimentary 187ml Champagne & Non-Alcoholic Cider - Effective March 31, 2014
    • Aseptic Cranberry Juice will no longer be offered in the Sleeping Car - Effective February 8, 2014
      • Orange and Apple will continue to be offered
      • Dining car will continue to offer Cranberry Juice
    • Complimentary Newspapers - Effective Date TBA. Research is underway regarding existing contracts in place with current vendors
    • Amenity Kits - Effective May 31, 2014
      • Empire Builder
      • Coast Starlight
    • Flowers and Vases on Dining Car Tables - Effective February 15, 2014
    • Astor Chocolate Squares - Effective March 31, 2014
      • Empire Builder
      • Coast Starlight
     
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  2. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    At least they waited until after Valentine's Day. :D
     
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  3. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    Funny, @MSYgirl, I thought the exact same thing. :p
     
  4. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    They're getting rid of all the nice little touches that would make someone actually want to take the train.
     
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  5. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  6. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Stupid. A cross country Amtrak trip in a nice car is on my bucket list but it's so expensive compared to flying. This makes me less likely to book such a trip. Most people don't have to take the train as it's normally cheaper to fly so why would they want to do this. Really dumb IMHO. They should ramp up the perks not cut back. It's not like they will ever make much money anyway.
     
  7. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    I haven't been able to verify this rumor on any of the rail oriented sites I follow, but if they were to drop fresh flowers on the tables in the dinning car, it would end a railroad tradition that not only predates Amtrak, but also predates the birth of just about anyone alive today.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens, but it makes me very skeptical.

    DTWBOB
     
  8. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    DTWBOB, I'm afraid this is quite true. I saw the notice on paper when I was at the crewbase in LAX the other day, and another friend of mine who is a Dining Car Steward (like myself) said they weren't catered flowers out of LAX or CHI on trains 4 and 3 this week. I don't know if they will bring them back for Valentine's day or if they just decided to cut that particular amenity early at LAX Catering.

    My fear now is they will make the Coast Starlight just as bland as any other train by cutting the Parlour First Class lounge car. Without the wine tasting it does seem as though that car and job have instantly become irrelevant.
     
  9. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    Then you probably know Dave A who is a conductor on 3 and 4 based in LA and you probably know about the move of the 4014.

    If so, small world !

    DTWBOB
     
  10. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    I don't offhand... I've been Seattle based from 2011-2013 and only worked one trip on 4/3 since my return. Actually I've only worked 9 days in the last 60 thanks to the slow season and a week of vacation, starting to get a little worried. I'll keep an eye out for Dave A the next time I go on 4/3 though!

    I am very aware and watching the move of the big boy with much interest. Another friend is a conductor on Metrolink who worked it as far as SBD. :)
     

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