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"Go back to your seats, or lose them"...


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#81 railiner

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 08:29 PM

 

So Amtrak should suffer the loss of the revenue, "through no fault of its own"?


In the situation I described $1,000 represents my actual financial loss. Actual losses for common carriers would generally be limited to the cost of a phone clerk to modify my ticket and put me on the next train with an available seat. Which is probably somewhere around $15-$20. If no-shows were becoming a major problem a common carrier could add another $25-$50 in punitive fees to dissuade people from casually missing their trains while still honoring the spirit of the flat tire rule. In most cases under this scenario I'll still depart on the next train out and the carrier will lose zero money.

 

The solution, as Lonestar648 pointed out, is travel insurance.


Consumer level travel insurance policies generally cover things like being involved in the accident itself. They do not normally cover things like being delayed by an unrelated accident or break down.

 

I would modify my position somewhat, perhaps, if lets say Amtrak manages  to sell the no show space at some point, and in such a case, return a portion to the original purchaser.  Not sure how complicated that would entail....


Amtrak needs new passengers a lot more than new passengers need Amtrak. If Amtrak gets too heavy handed with their rules and penalties they risk suffering financial setbacks as Baby Boomers with pensions and disability checks and social security begin to die off en mass. Younger people on ever tighter post-Boomer budgets will end up looking for other options such as faster flights, easier car rentals, and cheaper staycations.


 

It is more than the administrative cost of rebooking a no-show....what about the lost revenue, of a bedroom going unsold?   Such space is "perishable", in the sense that once it .unoccupied for a trip, it can never be sold (for that trip), again.  Unless, as I said, they can sell it at the last minute

 

I purchase travel insurance all the time for my cruises.  And they cover cancellation for any reason, as well as missing the trip, or a host of other bad things that can delay or hamper the trip.  True, I don't get all of my money back, they have to set a fair deductible, or else people would cancel at the last minute for no good reason.

 

Theaters have had that policy for as long as I known, and I never heard anyone say it was "heavy-handed.   And I doubt that policy would defer many people from booking a train trip, if taking a train was what they wanted....


Edited by railiner, 20 July 2017 - 08:31 PM.

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#82 Skyline

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 11:00 PM

 


Except that a common carrier isn't paying me a salary to be at a specific place at a specific time. I'm the person paying them. If the person who pays everyone else shows up late to your radio station does he pay an out of pocket penalty to the station staff? Your example is both irrational and irrelevant. Not to mention that where I live radio stations are generally nothing more than automated playlists with occasional bits of prerecorded banter.

 

I understand the difference. The point was made that pax should leave home early enough that traffic, weather, etc. wouldn't make them miss the train.



#83 the_traveler

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 11:24 PM

I live about 20 minutes from the train station. The train departs @ 9:16 am & I'm taking a city bus @ 7 am to get there. Is that enough time?:huh:

How about if the bus breaks down, or there's a major accident on the route that closes the road and causes a backup of 3 hours? Should I lose my ticket AND my money because I didn't leave earlier?:huh: (Oh, the 1st bus on my route is @7 am. Or should I take the bus the afternoon before & sleep on the platform of the unstaffed station overnight?)
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#84 Bob Dylan

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 12:17 AM

I have no problem with passengers who use the Lounge to Sightsee,eat/drink or play games.

My experience is that on lots of LD Trains people Camp out all day and don't ever look up from their devices,books or even sleep.

Other pet peeves are peoole that "save" seats for others while they eat,go to their room/seat to rest,shower etc.

My last trip on the Starlight a group did this in the PPC,they took ALL of the Reservations for the meals there as well as "saving" the Swivel Chairs All day till it got dark on the way to San Jose.

Most of the time no-one was even in the chairs, they had sweaters,jackets etc in them and the official watchperson for the group would lie to your face by saying " They'll be right back, they're just _______!" Of course the person wouldn't come back or else someone would show up an hour or two later later and plop down in the chair and usually not even look out the window!One couple even discussed their sexual encounter while their pals saved their seats!😥

I'm not a rude person, but this is BS, and the attendants and Conductors need to consistently remind people about sharing the seats like Good OBS do on some routes!
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#85 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 06:44 AM

I just tell them I'll happily get up when their friend gets back. In poker, it's called "calling the bluff".
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
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#86 A Voice

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 07:38 AM

Most of the time no-one was even in the chairs, they had sweaters,jackets etc in them and the official watchperson for the group would lie to your face by saying " They'll be right back, they're just _______!" Of course the person wouldn't come back or else someone would show up an hour or two later later and plop down in the chair and usually not even look out the window!One couple even discussed their sexual encounter while their pals saved their seats!

I'm not a rude person, but this is BS, and the attendants and Conductors need to consistently remind people about sharing the seats like Good OBS do on some routes!

 

If common courtesy and honesty (at the risk of beating a dead horse from another thread.....) were practiced, most of the issues with seats in the Sightseer Lounge would simply go away.  But since both traits seem to be out of style anymore, it creates problems and a perceived need for a policy (and suspicions of crew motives) where none should really be necessary.  

 

In a worst case the "problem" could always be solved by charging for the lounge seats.  Nobody wants that.  

 

I live about 20 minutes from the train station. The train departs @ 9:16 am & I'm taking a city bus @ 7 am to get there. Is that enough time? :huh:

How about if the bus breaks down, or there's a major accident on the route that closes the road and causes a backup of 3 hours? Should I lose my ticket AND my money because I didn't leave earlier? :huh: (Oh, the 1st bus on my route is @7 am. Or should I take the bus the afternoon before & sleep on the platform of the unstaffed station overnight?)

 

Whose fault is it when you can't sleep laying on the platform all night, but finally doze off a few minutes before train time and miss it?   :)

 

Sometimes things happen in life beyond our control, which is why refund and cancellation policies exist as they do.  An overly strict "zero tolerance" policy wouldn't actually stop people from being late, it just imposes a much stiffer penalty, leading people to take greater precautions.  But things still happen.  

 

I just tell them I'll happily get up when their friend gets back. In poker, it's called "calling the bluff".

 

I like this advice.  With my luck I'd sit in the one seat in the whole car where the person really does come right back, but of course I could just graciously move to another.  



#87 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 08:16 AM

Oh I am against saving seats in the lounge, and I am also against taking up extra seats either with personal items or even how you sit (many times a couple will take up all 4 seats in a ssl by how they sit and place personal items.)

But if someone wants to sit and read, or play cards, etc. In the SSL that's there choice. Again... I have very rarely seen the SSL completely filled so I really think the problem is highly exaggerated. As long as there are any empty seats, people should be able to stay as long as they want.

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#88 railiner

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 03:46 PM

I live about 20 minutes from the train station. The train departs @ 9:16 am & I'm taking a city bus @ 7 am to get there. Is that enough time? :huh:

How about if the bus breaks down, or there's a major accident on the route that closes the road and causes a backup of 3 hours? Should I lose my ticket AND my money because I didn't leave earlier? :huh: (Oh, the 1st bus on my route is @7 am. Or should I take the bus the afternoon before & sleep on the platform of the unstaffed station overnight?)

Whatever you think is reasonable and appropriate to catch your train is your own business...Amtrak does not tell you how you should, and therefore should not be accountable for your decision.... ;)


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#89 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 07:54 AM

Use your intelligence and sagacity guided by experience. Sometimes your best wont do.
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
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#90 tricia

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 08:13 AM

Use your intelligence and sagacity guided by experience. 

 

This usually works well for Archie Goodwin. For the rest of us, YMMV.






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