Jump to content




Photo

First Class Meals


  • Please log in to reply
104 replies to this topic

#21 Lonestar648

Lonestar648

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 832 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 17 February 2017 - 11:34 PM

Every train I have been on with a sleeper has offered dessert and had salads available on demand. As for tipping, yes the servers remember, often I received extras, like a coffee in the morning to take with me when I was going to the SSL before returning to the sleeper.  Most servers appreciated the tips, unfortunately, like some restaurants, some expect the tip without doing anything.


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 197,000


#22 Bierboy

Bierboy

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 506 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:East Moline, Ill.
  • Interests:Rail travel, grandkids, alien abductions, navel gazing, long walks off short piers, riding tricycles...

Posted 18 February 2017 - 08:17 AM

Do remember to leave a gratuity.  If one returns to the Dining Car again during a trip, one will be remembered.

 

I'm amazed and dumbfounded at the number of people I've seen leave no tip dining on Amtrak. Even lousy service usually prompts a very small "tip".


My vacation starts when I climb aboard the train and hear the whistle blow...

 

NP's Vista-Dome North Coast Limited in the early '60s....those were the days!

Cardinal Sleeper, CHI to WAS - July 2002
SW Chief Sleeper, GBB to LAX - June 2007
Illinois Zephyr/Empire Builder Sleeper, GBB to CHI to ESM - May 2009
California Zephyr Sleeper, GBB to EMY - October 2010
Illinois Zephyr/Empire Builder Sleeper, GBB to CHI to SEA - March 2011
Texas Eagle Sleeper (AGR), BNL to SAS - April 2013


#23 RRRick

RRRick

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 656 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Massachusetts
  • Interests:Transportation history,

Posted 18 February 2017 - 09:03 AM

 

 

 

I'm amazed and dumbfounded at the number of people I've seen leave no tip dining on Amtrak. Even lousy service usually prompts a very small "tip".

 

Why would you support "lousy service" with any  tip ?  Amtrak website says tipping is not required. Tipping is 100% voluntary in the USA. You can tip all you want, but don't try to impose your personal habits on others .

Attached Files


Edited by RRRick, 18 February 2017 - 09:10 AM.


#24 dlagrua

dlagrua

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,521 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hillsborough, NJ
  • Interests:Car collecting, Train Travel, Model RR, Visiting Historical sights, Cooking, Antiques, but above all love for friends and family.

Posted 18 February 2017 - 09:39 AM

Q: Why would you support "lousy service" with any  tip ?  Amtrak website says tipping is not required. Tipping is 100% voluntary in the USA. You can tip all you want, but don't try to impose your personal habits on others .

 

A:  Working a dining car is not as easy as some believe.Besides having to juggle a tray or hands full of food on a moving train, waiters/table servers/FSA's have to work multiple meal services up to three times daily.. At times they are understaffed, overloaded and always dependent on how the kitchen crew gets the meals out. We tip more or less dependent on the level of courtesy, but we always tip. It bothers us when we see people leaving nothing on the table. Those people are just stingy cheapskates. You pay hundreds of dollars for a sleeper and can part with a few bucks? How could anyone be that cheap?



#25 PVD

PVD

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,306 posts

Posted 18 February 2017 - 09:53 AM

I am extremely pro gratuity and have sharply criticized people at times for what I have seem as trying to find an excuse not to tip. I would however, probably substitute the word rude for lousy. Many times, what is perceived as lousy service is not the fault of the staff, they may be shoveling against the tide and doing their best. Rude is never acceptable, 



#26 crescent-zephyr

crescent-zephyr

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 472 posts

Posted 18 February 2017 - 10:20 AM

On a multi day trip I will always tip the first meal or 2, even if lousy / rude service. The servers remember you and a tip can give you better service on future meals.

After 2 or 3 meals if the service is still lousy / rude... I may stop tipping.

I think most of us know what lousy / rude on Amtrak is. If the food is slow coming up, or the LSA gets distracted on the other side and forgets to cash out my glass of wine... Those are totally understandable on a short staffed train. It's the rude service, totally ignoring tables after the entree has been plopped down, and totally unprofessional behavior that I won't continue to reward.

Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#27 the_traveler

the_traveler

    Engineer

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,408 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
  • Interests:Planning my next trip

Posted 18 February 2017 - 10:31 AM

The "kitchen crew" consists of:

A chef

The only person downstairs is 1 chef! So consider this when the meals come out slow.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

#28 crescent-zephyr

crescent-zephyr

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 472 posts

Posted 18 February 2017 - 10:41 AM

The "kitchen crew" consists of:

A chef

The only person downstairs is 1 chef! So consider this when the meals come out slow.


As in all things on Amtrak... That varies from train to train. My recent ride on the Sunset Limited a few weeks ago, there were 2 "chefs" in the kitchen, 1 LSA, 1 Server.

Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#29 dlagrua

dlagrua

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,521 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hillsborough, NJ
  • Interests:Car collecting, Train Travel, Model RR, Visiting Historical sights, Cooking, Antiques, but above all love for friends and family.

Posted 19 February 2017 - 01:40 PM

The "kitchen crew" consists of:

A chef

The only person downstairs is 1 chef! So consider this when the meals come out slow.

Geeze. I sure hope that it hasn't come to that. Just a few years back on the EB when we stopped at Tacoma for the long break, three people came out of the kitchen. One actually took the hose and filled up the diner water tank. They were wearing white kitchen scrubs so it certainly seemed as though there was more than one down there. My assumption was one chef, one line chef and a assistant/dishwasher/cleanup person. 



#30 zephyr17

zephyr17

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,093 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington State

Posted 19 February 2017 - 03:32 PM

 

The "kitchen crew" consists of:

A chef

The only person downstairs is 1 chef! So consider this when the meals come out slow.

Geeze. I sure hope that it hasn't come to that. Just a few years back on the EB when we stopped at Tacoma for the long break, three people came out of the kitchen. One actually took the hose and filled up the diner water tank. They were wearing white kitchen scrubs so it certainly seemed as though there was more than one down there. My assumption was one chef, one line chef and a assistant/dishwasher/cleanup person. 

 

Very interesting considering that the EB has never gone through Tacoma.  Ever.


SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX


#31 Lonestar648

Lonestar648

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 832 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 19 February 2017 - 06:55 PM

Must have been the CS.  Generally, there is one cook down stairs, except during the busy season like on the CS when there are 3 Sleepers and 4 Coaches, I have seen a helper.  I have also seen a second person who is being trained.

 

Tipping: I have tipped always on Amtrak.  There have been times when I have told by others, why am I tipping, everything is included.  Others seem to think that those working on Amtrak are making mega dollars per hour, therefore do not deserve tips.  Now, I have had first time riders ask me when we have been seated together about tipping because they are confused because there is not ticket with pricing to figure your tip.  I understand their confusion until they understand the system.  These people many times end up not tipping thinking with no ticket the amount is zero.


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 197,000


#32 Dakota 400

Dakota 400

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 257 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 February 2017 - 07:20 PM

Q: Why would you support "lousy service" with any  tip ?  Amtrak website says tipping is not required. Tipping is 100% voluntary in the USA. You can tip all you want, but don't try to impose your personal habits on others .
 
A:  Working a dining car is not as easy as some believe.Besides having to juggle a tray or hands full of food on a moving train, waiters/table servers/FSA's have to work multiple meal services up to three times daily.. At times they are understaffed, overloaded and always dependent on how the kitchen crew gets the meals out. We tip more or less dependent on the level of courtesy, but we always tip. It bothers us when we see people leaving nothing on the table. Those people are just stingy cheapskates. You pay hundreds of dollars for a sleeper and can part with a few bucks? How could anyone be that cheap?

 
diagrua's post reflects what I think.  The men and women who serve us on Amtrak are not doing so for their health.  In the Dining Cars and SSL Cars on which I have traveled, I have encountered men and women who try to do the best that they can do to provide me the best possible service that they can do.  (Sleeping Car Attendants' service vary from excellent to OK, however.  But, in my opinion, even the "OK" SCAs deserve some additional recognition at the end of my journey on their train.)
 
I do think that first time Sleeper Car travelers might not understand that the service that they receive in their train's Dining Car, and maybe even in the Sleeper, if so booked, ought to be rewarded with a gratuity to the personnel that serves them.  I am not sure how such information ought to be communicated to them, however.

#33 Lonestar648

Lonestar648

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 832 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 19 February 2017 - 08:48 PM

The people who work on Amtrak trains, work long hours, many times 6AM to  midnight with a small break between meals in the DC or SSL.  The only time I don't tip the SCA is when they are AWOL until tip time.  Then I get their name and report them to Customer Service, though on one occasion I had an OBS manager traveling incognito most of the trip, taking notes of what passengers were saying in the DC and SSL.  Our AWOL SCA must have been shocked when he learned who this person was. .


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 197,000


#34 Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,508 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SAS
  • Interests:Mechanized Travel

Posted 19 February 2017 - 09:16 PM

Tipping: I have tipped always on Amtrak.  There have been times when I have told by others, why am I tipping, everything is included.  Others seem to think that those working on Amtrak are making mega dollars per hour, therefore do not deserve tips.


Compared to most tipping positions in the US Amtrak staff are paid a much higher base salary, enjoy much stronger employment protections, and receive truly exceptional benefits. Among tipping professions in the US Amtrak staff are probably at or near the top 1%. Unlike most tipping positions in the US, Amtrak staff do not need to rely on tips to cover basic needs and make simple ends meet.  This isn't an assumption on my part; this is what I've heard directly from Amtrak staff.

 

The people who work on Amtrak trains, work long hours, many times 6AM to  midnight with a small break between meals in the DC or SSL.

 

I'm on call 24/7, even when I'm on vacation twelve times zones away on the other side of the planet I have to be reachable by phone. If someone important can't access something critical I have to take the call and help resolve the issue no matter the date or time or other circumstances. Compared to Amtrak staff my retirement benefits and employment protections are minimal, but I don't expect (and would not accept) any tips in return for a fundamental aspect of my chosen profession.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 19 February 2017 - 09:17 PM.

I'd rather be a glass half empty than a glass half fool.


#35 PVD

PVD

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,306 posts

Posted 19 February 2017 - 10:02 PM

There are jobs where tipping is traditional in this country there are jobs where it isn't. Income is not the only criteria.



#36 tricia

tricia

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 438 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Spring Creek, NC

Posted 20 February 2017 - 08:10 AM

 

Tipping: I have tipped always on Amtrak.  There have been times when I have told by others, why am I tipping, everything is included.  Others seem to think that those working on Amtrak are making mega dollars per hour, therefore do not deserve tips.


Compared to most tipping positions in the US Amtrak staff are paid a much higher base salary, enjoy much stronger employment protections, and receive truly exceptional benefits. Among tipping professions in the US Amtrak staff are probably at or near the top 1%. Unlike most tipping positions in the US, Amtrak staff do not need to rely on tips to cover basic needs and make simple ends meet.  This isn't an assumption on my part; this is what I've heard directly from Amtrak staff.

 

The people who work on Amtrak trains, work long hours, many times 6AM to  midnight with a small break between meals in the DC or SSL.

 

I'm on call 24/7, even when I'm on vacation twelve times zones away on the other side of the planet I have to be reachable by phone. If someone important can't access something critical I have to take the call and help resolve the issue no matter the date or time or other circumstances. Compared to Amtrak staff my retirement benefits and employment protections are minimal, but I don't expect (and would not accept) any tips in return for a fundamental aspect of my chosen profession.

 

 

I'm with DA on this. I'm a farmer, and thus not overly impressed with how difficult the working conditions are on a train. Lots of folks work in difficult condtions, and neither expect nor accept tips for that.  

 

I do tip Amtrak staff who provide exceptional service; I don't tip (as I do in restaurants) simply to make up what's lacking in a sub-minimum wage.



#37 JayPea

JayPea

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,371 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Colfax, WA (CFX)---Hey, it's only an Amtrak Thruway bus stop, but at least my town in mentioned on Amtrak's website and in their timetable!
  • Interests:Trains, photography, photography of trains, travel, travel by train, reading, reading about trains............

Posted 20 February 2017 - 09:59 AM

I tip according to the level of service and to show appreciation for that service. Whether I choose to tip (or not) is at my discretion and my discretion only and should be considered my business and my business only.

Amtrak Routes Traveled: City of New Orleans, State House/Lincoln Service, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, Capitol Limited, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Pacific Surfliner, Cardinal. 
Pre-Amtrak Routes Traveled: Empire Builder (Great Northern), North Coast Limited (Northern Pacific), Abraham Lincoln (Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio), City of Hinkle  (Union Pacific) Panama Limited (Illinois Central)
Bustitutions: Portland-Spokane (EB),Galesburg-Bloomington (CZ/Lincoln Service ) 
Amtrak Miles: 77509

Pre-Amtrak Miles: 8478
Bustitution Miles: 450
Excursion trains ridden:  Centralia and Chehalis Railroad, Mt. Hood Scenic Railroad, Alaska Railroad, 1880 Train (Black Hills Central RR) and trains at the Illinois Railway Museum, California Railway Museum, and the Monticello (IL) Railroad Museum.


#38 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,869 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 20 February 2017 - 12:31 PM

I tip according to the level of service and to show appreciation for that service. Whether I choose to tip (or not) is at my discretion and my discretion only and should be considered my business and my business only.

I agree. I find the, what feels like, attempted indoctrination towards tipping no matter what, that goes on at AU somewhat distasteful. But such is life.

#39 Green Maned Lion

Green Maned Lion

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,352 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NJ
  • Interests:Sleeping

Posted 20 February 2017 - 12:33 PM

It's nowhere near as distasteful as the food whose service we are discussing. :)
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
Most important: Keep it Simple, Stupid!
Posted Image
Dream of love, dream of me, for you are my love. I love you.
Avatar and sig were done by my fiance, Corvidophile.

#40 niemi24s

niemi24s

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,252 posts

Posted 20 February 2017 - 01:34 PM

Wish some kind soul would post links to the other 4 or 5 recent threads dealing with gratuities.  Same blather repeated every 6 months or so begins to wear thin after a while - but that's just me.  Carry on if you must.


Edited by niemi24s, 20 February 2017 - 01:35 PM.





2 user(s) are reading this topic

1 members, 0 guests, 1 anonymous users


    Devil's Advocate