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randomguy65

"Lunch isn't included" (in fare on 21 from Fort Worth)?

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So I just got on the southbound Texas Eagle, Train 21, in Fort Worth. It got here fairly early at around 12:45.

 

I have sleeping accommodations and headed to the Diner for lunch. I asked to be seated and the attendant asked me if I just got on. I stated yes, and he told me "Lunch isn't included in your fare. Come back at dinner around 5."

 

I laughed because I thought he was pulling my leg but he didn't change his tune. So I walked away.

 

Now this smells like a buncha BS to me, I'm wondering if any of you can confirm or deny this is true? The scheduled departure for this train is 2:10 PM.

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Since you are apparently still in Ft. Worth (as of this writing), I would still be interested in hearing what your sleeping car attendant has to say. It surely can't be the first time it's come up. For all we know, there was a memo issued from on high recently...it might not be the fault of anyone on board. That still merits a complaint, of course, but it would help you focus the direction of your ire.

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If the scheduled departure is 2:10 pm, then I suspect he was right in saying lunch was not included in your fare. Had you boarded at 2:10, wouldn’t the diner have been closed by then?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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If the scheduled departure is 2:10 pm, then I suspect he was right in saying lunch was not included in your fare. Had you boarded at 2:10, wouldn’t the diner have been closed by then?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

 

A key detail is that 21 is scheduled to *arrive* in Ft.Worth at 1:25 p.m, which is definitely within lunch hours.

 

That said, I have no personal experience with this specific situation, so for all I know, this is the way it's always been.

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@AmtrakBlue

 

According to Amtrak's own website, latest boarding time to receive lunch is 2:30 PM.

 

www.amtrak.com/onboard/meals-dining/dining-car.html

 

 

Nice find, although it does say "exceptions apply to certain trains," which pretty much gives Amtrak free reign to make up whatever rules they want.

Edited by fairviewroad

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According to Amtrak's own website, latest boarding time to receive lunch is 2:30 PM.

 

www.amtrak.com/onboard/meals-dining/dining-car.html

 

Nice find, although it does say "exceptions apply to certain trains," which pretty much gives Amtrak free reign to make up whatever rules they want.

 

I would say on-site Amtrak employees rather than Amtrak. The immediate effect on the customer is the same, but the suggestion of authority is different and perhaps more accurate.

 

If there are exceptions, Amtrak should list them on the web page.

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I would politely request the name of the employee who declined to seat you for lunch. Then I would speak to my SCA about the situation and find out their answer. If the SCA remedied the situation and either A) got you a seat in the Diner for lunch or B) offered to bring lunch to you in your room then there would be no further action (except to increase the tip amount for said SCA.)

If, however, neither A or B above occurred, a phone call to Customer Relations would be placed immediately. And the name of said Diner car employee and possibly my SCA would be communicated.

 

I have never experienced being denied a seat for any regular meal on Amtrak, but perhaps I'm just lucky.

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Since,I've ridden the Texas Eagle a few times ( understatement of the year!), I know for a fact that the Diner server is totally "full of it" and needs to be reported to Customer Relations.

 

Did you talk with the LSA in the CCC/Diner or just the full of BS Server?

 

When #21 is "on time" into the Metroplex,Lunch begins when the train leaves Dallas with "Last Call" in Ft.Worth for Sleeping Car passengers.

 

Be sure and let your SCA know about this, and it wouldn't hurt to tell the Conductor either, most of the Conductors on this route are really Friendly and Helpful!

 

FWIW, Dinner should begin upon leaving Temple with 5pM and 530PM servings.Last Call is in Austin when the Train is running close to on-time!

Edited by Bob Dylan

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According to Amtrak's own website, latest boarding time to receive lunch is 2:30 PM.

 

www.amtrak.com/onboard/meals-dining/dining-car.html

 

Nice find, although it does say "exceptions apply to certain trains," which pretty much gives Amtrak free reign to make up whatever rules they want.

 

I would say on-site Amtrak employees rather than Amtrak. The immediate effect on the customer is the same, but the suggestion of authority is different and perhaps more accurate.

 

If there are exceptions, Amtrak should list them on the web page.

 

 

For the record, there are exceptions and I can say that the Eagle is one of them. Each train has the times listed and the associated exceptions. In other words, it may say stop serving at this time or stop serving at this station but make last call at this time/station. Blah, blah blah.

 

 

That being said, the train was early and within tolerance of your meal period. There is nothing that says stop serving upon arrival at "xx" station. As for the comment about meals being included in your fare, how does someone that is working the diner know the break down of your fare?

 

 

Man I knew something was fishy.

 

I'm not hungry so no biggie but Customer Relations will definitely be hearing from me.

 

I wouldn't even wait that long because this may be an honest misunderstanding or misapplication of the rule. Perhaps they are not used to being on time, let alone early into FT Worth and think they are supposed to stop upon arrival. Did they stop serving everyone?

 

Handle this now:

https://twitter.com/amtrak

 

TRUST me when I say it is monitored. Pose the question the same way you posed it here.

Edited by Thirdrail7

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I have boarded the CS in PDX after getting off the EB. Upon boarding (Ar 2:00 Dp 2:25) the SCA asked if I am having lunch. When I say yes, they tell me to go to the Dining Car. Even my last trip,when the EB was really late and they held the EB, I was offered lunch!

 

I would certainly contact Customer Relations about this. A room boarded during a meal period should receive an included meal.

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Considering how many times I've seen OBS err on the other side (e.g. holding the diner open if the train was a few minutes late rather than making us go hungry), this is just wrong...

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This is a perfect example of what bugs me about Amtrak.

Either the server is wrong, in which case he should be reported so he can be better trained.

 

OR (and it appears this is NOT the case) he is correct, in which case some penny-pincher at Amtrak has decided that saving a few bucks (because it really is only the incremental cost of this meal at this point) is more important than a satisfied customer. It's little things like this that can make or break a customer's decision to do future business. And honestly, any company that has captured your business once knows how costly it can be to lose it.

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I too have boarded the Coast Starlight in Portland and been told to report to the diner immediately. I wasn't expecting that at all. I was expecting to get dinner later that evening.

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There is actually no real cost to serving somebody lunch at FTW- the food is already aboard, it will likely be thrown out at the end of the trip, and from an accounting perspective, it would help the diner to transfer costs. Whoever did this was on a power trip, and not a very smart one, either.

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Turns out the person who denied me service was the LSA.

Did you ask your sleeping car attendant about it? Please please please report this LSA to Amtrak.

 

And yes... GML made an excellent point... It actually HURTS dining car accounting because of how the sleeper costs get accounted for. Typical of Amtrak..... Ha.

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The separate TE website lists 12-2PM as the typical lunch hours. Like all things Amtrak, even if they might be following their own established guideline, they make it extraordinarily difficult to figure that out. Like others have stated, the presentation of information on what is to be expected leaves too much to the imaginations of both crew who may make stuff up, and passengers who may have an expectation of something they are not actually entitled to, but wouldn't have a simple way of knowing either way.

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Well last week on the CS 11, Sleeping Car passengers who boarded in PDX at 2:10 were told no lunch over the intercom. According to the LSA, they were too busy. We had dinner with one of the ladies who were denied lunch and she was not too thrilled about it. The PDX sleeper passengers were promised priority dinner reservations but that did not happen either.

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Personally, I would have eaten lunch already and not cared about eating on the train at 2:10 pm. But that's just me. ;)

 

I got on #14(CS) at San Jose last fall around 8:30 pm and though I was "in time" for dinner, I just got a dessert because I had already eaten dinner.

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According to Amtrak's own website, latest boarding time to receive lunch is 2:30 PM.

 

www.amtrak.com/onboard/meals-dining/dining-car.html

According to the TexasEagle's own website, their meal service times are:

 

Breakfast: 6:30-9:30a

Lunch: noon-2:00p

Dinner: 5:30-9:30p

 

http://www.texaseagle.com/onboard.php

 

I'm going to venture that the staff feels that 2:00p is when they shut down all lunch services, which means you have to have been seated far enough before 2:00p that you will be finished by 2:00p. Continuing down that thought path, the staff feels that passengers just boarding for a 2:10p departure are presumed to be too late for lunch.

Edited by Cho Cho Charlie

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The texaseagle.com website seems to be little more than an outdated third party fan site. The formatting is rather casual, the registration is hidden, and it still refers to numerous services and amenities that haven't been featured on Amtrak in years. Not sure why it's being referenced as an official voice of Amtrak on here. Personally I'd take whatever it says with a grain of salt.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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