First of all, Thank You for this forum.
I have been taking Coast to Coast Amtrak trips as well as up and down both coats and into Canada for a number of years, so I'm no "newbie". I have endure trains 2.5 days late (a now well-remembered trip by Amtrak people); two days with a broken toilet, a freshly urine-stained couch in my bedroom. and other unpleasantries, without complaint. I don't want to be a bother to train staff.
My Sea-to-sea journey last year was marred by more than one issue; dogs on the train!
Amtrak's published guidelines state that all non-service animals, including "comfort Animals", "Search and Rescue Dogs", and yes, "Police Dogs" are
Pets", and must be kept in appropriate kennels at all times - in the station and on the train. These "pets" are not allowed in any area where food is sold or consumed.
An allowed "Service Animal" must be "trained to perform a specific task for the benefit of a person with disabilities". These trained animals must be properly documented and must be identified. They must be on the floor at the side of their owners at all times; which they are trained to do.
Why, then was a woman allowed to bring her dog into the Dining Car, be given a seat, and allowed to feed from the table in front of me? When confronted, she said, I can't do anything without "Pookie". "I need Pookie!"
When I asked both the Dining Car Host and the conductor about this, their bemused response was; "'Comfort animal'. Legal'". Wrong on both counts. According to
Amtrak, Pookie is not a service animal by definition, and it was not to be allowed in the Dining Car.
Does anyone know if this has been corrected? I will appreciate any knowledge before embarking with print-outs of all of the rules this year.