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Marooned in Chicago


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#1 Guest_Stuck_*

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 09:34 PM

Empire Builder 7/27 - passengers departing Chicago today, 6Feb, with destinations beyond St Paul were held off the train.
Amtrak "advised" that Greyhound was an option and would accept Amtrak tickets. Others, with time and money, decided to take other Amtrak routes, others cancelled their plans and still others found alternative transportation to their destinations.
For those, myself included, who remained Amtrak is overnighting us on sleeper cars in Chicago. No meals are being provided.
Question about the regulations as to what Amtrak is required to provide, if anything, regarding sleeping accomodations and meals. Does anyone know? Or can point the right direction.
Thank you

#2 Ryan

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 09:40 PM

Basically, they owe you nothing. From the Terms and Conditions:

Amtrak may, in the event of a force majeure event, without notice, cancel, terminate, divert, postpone or delay any train or the right of carriage without liability except to issue a refund. The refund will be made in the original form of payment in accordance with refund rules for any unused portion of the ticket.

Force Majeure Event means:

Any condition beyond Amtrak's control including, but without limitation, meteorological conditions, acts of nature, riots, civil commotion, embarges, wars, hostilities, or distrubances - actual, threatened, or reported. Also, because of any delay, demand, circumstances or requirement due, directly or indirectly to such conditions, or


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#3 Triley

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 10:11 AM

Why would Amtrak be required to provide anything, even the sleeping car to sleep in? It wasn't Amtrak's decision to cancel. The freight companies are forcing Amtrak to cancel due avalanches caused by mother nature (I have seen forecasts of an astonishing 5-6 FEET of snow within a 24 hour period several times within the last month). The airlines wouldn't give time a thing either, except maybe a discount code for a hotel room.

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#4 KmH

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 11:21 AM

From conversations I've had on Amtrak western LD trains it seems a lot of passengers don't know Amtrak does not own the tracks.


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#5 jis

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 11:32 AM

From conversations I've had on Amtrak western LD trains it seems a lot of passengers don't know Amtrak does not own the tracks.

I think track ownership is a red herring in this case. This is a straight case of Force Majeure, and irrespective of who owns what Force Majeure releases one from a transportation contract.
 
Out of the goodness of its heart or concern for their reputation an outfit may decide to do some stuff for its customers, but they don't really have to, if they so choose. For example, most reputable transportation outfits won't just leave you in the middle of nowhere, though some less than reputable outfits have been known to do so in the past. But if you are nicely located in a large city and a service cannot be run to your ultimate destination immediately, you may be offered transportation at some point when it starts running again or be allowed to get refund for the portion that could not be served within a stipulated number of hours of the original schedule. I don't know if there are any specific rules about the number of hours for trains, but there are clearly spelled out rules for air travel.

Edited by jis, 08 February 2017 - 01:35 PM.


#6 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 12:27 PM

Terms and conditions that only one party is permitted to create, modify, and interpret do not represent a immutable final disposition on their own. If a common carrier acts in an especially unreasonable or irresponsible manner they can still be taken to court and potentially suffer corrective actions. That being said the bar is set pretty high for making a case in this manner. For instance, if Amtrak had abandoned you in a remote location without alternative transportation and where there was no practical method for acquiring your own nourishment you might have a case. However, in this situation you were providing lodging in a major city where you could choose fly or rent a car or take a bus or simply wait for the next train. Since food and other services are plentiful in a location like Chicago the courts would almost certainly consider Amtrak to be in full compliance with all reasonable expectations and interpretations.

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#7 anuenue

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 01:46 PM

This is a situation where trip insurance would be valuable, I suppose. Even if insurance wasn't purchased, many credit cards provide trip protection when used to purchase travel tickets.

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#8 Lonestar648

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 11:52 AM

Weather created delays or cancellations, the company has not responsibility for accommodations or food.  I remember a few times when United cancelled their flights due to weather, the airport closed the terminal forcing all the passengers to the ticket lines or curb.  Very few airports care about the passengers stranded by weather, because the airlines could care less, they have no legal responsibility. If Amtrak provides anything in a weather related situation, it is because they care about the Sleeper passengers. Imagine if some in Congress realized they were spending money when they didn't have to, they would throw a fit. 





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