Jump to content
CHamilton

Amtrak trips I'm not taking

Recommended Posts

Amtrak has been successful in its efforts to turn away its best customers. It no longer makes sense for me to take the train for these planned 2018 trips.

 

SEA-SJC Bedroom round-trip

SEA-PDX-CHI-WAS-NWK Bedroom round-trip

SEA-CHI-WAS-MIA Bedroom round-trip

 

Total revenue lost by Amtrak: $14,172.

 

What trips will you not be taking this year?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amtrak has been successful in its efforts to turn away its best customers. It no longer makes sense for me to take the train for these planned 2018 trips.

 

SEA-SJC Bedroom round-trip

SEA-PDX-CHI-WAS-NWK Bedroom round-trip

SEA-CHI-WAS-MIA Bedroom round-trip

 

Total revenue lost by Amtrak: $14,172.

 

What trips will you not be taking this year?

 

 

This is really nice to see...but largely irrelevant if people take your spot and most importantly, this is the only place you post it. Did you send this nugget to Customer Relations or the VP of Marketing or any other official at Amtrak?

 

What did they say?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except for the One way trip to the Gathering using AGR Points, I won't be taking any Amtrak LD Trips in 2018. ( I will be riding the Canadian in the Winter between Vancouver and Toronto)

 

My usual Annual Average in the past few years since "Retirement" in 2009 was about

6 LD trips plus many AGR1.0 Point runs with an Annual spend of around $5,000. ( Select Plus)

 

Alaska Airlines and Southwest are now my preferred way to reach places I want/need to visit.

 

SAD😣

Edited by Bob Dylan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was pretty likely that Id do the following this summer:

#449 BOS-CHI - Roomette for two

#48 CHI-NYP - Roomette for two

But courtesy of fresh choices, Im not doing anything. Revenue lost: around $900.

Edited by cpotisch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't we already do this thread?. Anyway, Amtrak will continue to be far and away my first choice for Northeast travel, and long distance, as ever, will primarily depend on price and timing. Might end up on the LSL at some point this summer, which would be one more long distance trip than I took last year. Food isn't really a factor, in my experience it's all been varying degrees of adequate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since I am not believing "the sky is falling", I AM taking Crescent NOL to NYP, Acela(NYP to WAS) connecting to Capitol Limited WAS to CHI, Empire Builder CHI to SEA, and CS SEA to LAX in June. And to do this I have to fly BNA(Nashville) to New Orleans on Southwest and American Los Angeles to Nashville. Then in late October to early November I fly to and from Chicago to ride round trip on the Southwest Chief to Los Angeles and then ride round trip from Chicago on the California Zephyr to Emeryville. Only dining car service reduction is on the Capitol Limited and while I miss the table service in the dining car, I am not disappointed in the cold meal which is often what I eat at home. I do have roomettes on all the sleeping cars and first class on the Acela and I am spending low bucket for all the sleeping car accommodations so only spending about $3500 for all of this. For me "the sky is not falling".

Edited by Tennessee Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Amtrak has been successful in its efforts to turn away its best customers. It no longer makes sense for me to take the train for these planned 2018 trips.

 

SEA-SJC Bedroom round-trip

SEA-PDX-CHI-WAS-NWK Bedroom round-trip

SEA-CHI-WAS-MIA Bedroom round-trip

 

Total revenue lost by Amtrak: $14,172.

 

What trips will you not be taking this year?

 

This is really nice to see...but largely irrelevant if people take your spot and most importantly, this is the only place you post it.

That is an important point that I think many people forget. The changes to food service affect sleeper passengers far more than coach passengers. Meanwhile, especially during the Summer sleepers tend to be sold out or at least close to it. Therefore, in the relatively frequent case that a lost passenger is simply replaced by a new one, the decision makes sense from Amtrak's perspective as revenue remains constant and costs are reduced. While there are cases where a passenger is lost and not replaced, this may be infrequent enough that Amtrak benefits from a financial perspective.

 

Personally, the recent changes will have no impact on how often I travel on Amtrak. In fact, I will likely be increasing my travel as I move from a location 45 minutes from a station with one daily round-trip LD train to a city with 28 departures and arrivals each day. These route options and choice in departure times are far more important to me than food service. Since I am a picky vegetarian as well as a college student with limited funding, I very rarely eat in the dining car as it is. Last winter, I traveled 10,000 miles on Amtrak with segments without overnight stopovers as long as Whitefish to Tampa. The only time I used the dining car was on the northbound Silver Meteor since I wanted to experience one of the new Viewliners. Other than that, all of the food I ate I brought on the train with me. Especially considering that most people travel relatively short distances, most people outside of forums such as this one and long-time travelers won't even notice the difference. For example, travelling on the eastbound CL, if I wasn't on this forum I would have assumed that I should get dinner before boarding in Chicago, and it would be no problem to wait until arrival in Washington for lunch the next day. The only meal passengers really have to have on the train is breakfast (and only if traveling most of the route), which I feel most passengers could deal with without having a terrible experience. I'm not claiming that these changes are ideal, but if Amtrak is going to run like a business these changes are not completely illogical. The only reasonable scenario which would have a significant impact on my Amtrak trips would be the elimination of one or more routes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be interested to know which aspects of the Amtrak service have led to your decisions not to take those trains, Charlie?

 

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think coach passengers are impacted too, since there only option is the cafe car now.

Coach passengers are impacted in theory, but since most coach passengers don't use the dining car, it really doesn't work out to a big change for them. However I should mention that the Lake Shore Limited has a very high coach passenger diner utilization rate, which means that it will hurt coach passengers more on the LSL than it would on most other trains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand you people .

You call yours selves passenger train fans !!! ???

You get into snit over some things.

I'm not happy with some of Amtrak's meal changes, hope fully these will be reversed .

Go fly on your jets! I will drive or take the train.

The only way I fly is if I'm going across the "pond".

All I see on these chat groups is "bitching and whining and putting people down"

That is why I usually can't be bothered to join in the chats anymore !!! :angry::angry::angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I probably have the most amount of cancelled trips just because of Anderson and Gardner's new private car policies. And the few trips I do have I've converted a lot of the deadheads to budget airlines. Estimated loss to Amtrak from my deadheads about $10,000. Estimated lost revenue by the new private car policy is potentially north of a million.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand you people .

You call yours selves passenger train fans !!! ???

You get into snit over some things.

I'm not happy with some of Amtrak's meal changes, hope fully these will be reversed .

Go fly on your jets! I will drive or take the train.

The only way I fly is if I'm going across the "pond".

All I see on these chat groups is "bitching and whining and putting people down"

That is why I usually can't be bothered to join in the chats anymore !!! :angry::angry::angry:

Ok. I'm going to address everything you just said.

 

I don't understand you people .

You call yours selves passenger train fans !!! ???

Just because someone is reducing their use of Amtrak due to amenity cuts doesn't mean that they hate passenger trains.

 

You get into snit over some things.

Everyone "gets into snit over some things". Including you with your comment. And someone saying that they're cutting back on Amtrak travel doesn't automatically qualify as "snit".

 

Go fly on your jets! I will drive or take the train.

Cool. You're welcome to take the train. Just like how we're welcome to fly if we feel that the train won't meet our needs for travel.

 

All I see on these chat groups is "bitching and whining and putting people down"

Who are you quoting? And how is this thread at all "bitching and whining and putting people down"? What did any of us say here that you would qualify as bitching, whining, or putting someone down? Give me an actual example that qualifies as any of those.

 

That is why I usually can't be bothered to join in the chats anymore !!! :angry::angry::angry:

Ok then - don't bother. The issue is that you just did bother, and that now I'm bothering to respond to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand you people .

You call yours selves passenger train fans !!! ???

You get into snit over some things.

I'm not happy with some of Amtrak's meal changes, hope fully these will be reversed .

Go fly on your jets! I will drive or take the train.

The only way I fly is if I'm going across the "pond".

All I see on these chat groups is "bitching and whining and putting people down"

That is why I usually can't be bothered to join in the chats anymore !!! :angry::angry::angry:

Sorry, but as much as I love trains, Im not going to subject myself to a longer more expensive trip if the amenities are being cut.

 

I can fly first class cheaper from DC to ORD and only subject myself to one cold meal on a 3 hour trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like brianpmcdonnell17, the change in the food choices has little to no effect on my choice.

 

Just using NYP or BOS to CHI as an example, unless you are flying first class, you will get MORE food included on Amtrak than on American, Delta, United, Alaska, Southwest or any other airline. Last September, I flew coach ALB-ORD, ORD-TPA, TPA-LAX, LAX-PDX, PDX-IAH and IAH-TPA on UA, DL and AS. None of those flights had meals included. In January I flew coach from ALB-IAD and IAD-DEN on UA and then GJT-DFW, DFW-ORD And ORD-ALB on AA. None of those flights had meals included either.

 

BTW - If I took the LSL from ALB-CHI or CHI-ALB (even today), I WOULD get included meals!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you will get MORE food included on Amtrak than on American, Delta, United, Alaska, Southwest or any other airline.

You will. But you're not stuck on American, Delta, United, Alaska, or Southwest for 20-22 hours. It's fine if you don't need hot meals on your overnight trips, but that doesn't mean that people don't need food more on a 20 hour ride than on a two hour flight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand you people .

You call yours selves passenger train fans !!! ???

You get into snit over some things.

I'm not happy with some of Amtrak's meal changes, hope fully these will be reversed .

Go fly on your jets! I will drive or take the train.

The only way I fly is if I'm going across the "pond".

All I see on these chat groups is "bitching and whining and putting people down"

That is why I usually can't be bothered to join in the chats anymore !!! :angry::angry::angry:

 

 

Personally, I'd like to see you remain and join in the chats. Differing are needed. After all, not everyone here is a passenger train fan. Hell, not everyone here is a passenger.

 

What you call bitching and whining" may be a useful catalyst for change. Ideas and thoughts are exchanged. I can honestly say that I have taken quite a few things from this board and pushed the information into the minds of the people that may influence the actual people that can talk to the people that may be able to implement policies and changes.

 

Yes, there are that many layers.....and more. ^_^

 

While you may be content to patronize Amtrak regardless of the costs or convenience, there are others who may travel because of a particular amenity, schedule, cost or some other type of constraint. When that particular reason no longer exists, the reason for travel may go with it.

 

The bottom line is I think people see the diminishing services and rising fares/fees as the typical corporate indifference to the product. While some say "it is what it is, we're used to it" and/or " since this is the same way other modes of transportation have treated us for years so resistance is futile," others are probably sick of the process...and it has crept into one more area.

 

From an Amtrak perspective, they are likely hoping you are already used to it....less for more. It isn't much different from anyplace else at this point, and they are grooming future travelers to not expect hot meals or services.

 

After all ,you can't miss what you never had.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since I am not believing "the sky is falling", I AM taking Crescent NOL to NYP, Acela(NYP to WAS) connecting to Capitol Limited WAS to CHI, Empire Builder CHI to SEA, and CS SEA to LAX in June...For me "the sky is not falling".

I don't believe the sky is falling. I simply don't think Amtrak is a good value for long haul journeys at this time. The price is higher than any other form of transit I might take, including first class airfare, and the schedule is not dependable enough to avoid having to pay another $100+ per night for otherwise unnecessary hotels on either side of an Amtrak segment. As a working age person with limited time and funding I have to spend both wisely. Maybe if I had nothing but time and money on my hands I'd be doing the same as you are.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for me the changes in food service will have zero effect. Chances are I may not be taking the LSL or the CL again, not because of the food but because my trips on those trains in the past were part of large AGR redemption trips. With the devaluing of AGR points, I can really no longer afford such trips. After all, I live here in the great Pacific Northwest. And, frankly, I have no desire to travel to the East or Northeast again. I don't mean that as a slight or put down at all to all the many fine folk that live in those areas, it's just that I've seen what I've wanted to see there. I do have one trip upcoming in August: Flight to Oklahoma City, Heartland Flyer to Fort Worth, Texas Eagle to Chicago, Wolverine to Dearborn and back to Chicago, and the Empire Builder to Spokane. Nothing changes there for me. I'm not going to let Anderson or other decision makers at Amtrak have the power over me to decide my travel choices. Those are mine and mine alone.

Edited by JayPea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charlie, I am sorry for you that you are canceling these trips because I still think traveling by Amtrak is a great experience. I also regret the revenue lost by Amtrak--depending on when you were traveling, Bedrooms are NOT always filled.

 

We will continue to travel by train even if it means bringing along our own food. If we fly, we go first-class so cost is not as much of an issue. It has to do with the experience of seeing this great land at ground level and meeting interesting people.

 

Our last trip on the Coast Starlight was as memorable as all the times we have ridden it, even without a Pacific Parlor Car and with mediocre food and service in the dining car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of my trips other than the OTOL and AU trips are purely opportunistic, and those do not depend too much on food service, being relatively short and usually booked at the last moment trips. The OTOL and AU trips aren’t changing and well the rest will happen if and when they happen. Those of you that know me already know that I am not that much into cross country trips on Amtrak much of late, having traveled each route at least half a dozen times. For the long distance experience these days I prefer trying out new routes on other continents. Nothing particularly against Amtrak. It is just been there and done that way too many times already.

Edited by jis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So let's assume these boycotts are actually successful and LD ridership goes down. What's Anderson's thoughts?

 

a) They don't like the meal changes, let's go back to the old menus/way things were.

 

b) LD ridership is tanking, let's get rid of the trains.

 

If you really believe a), then boycott the trains. But I'm more likely to believe b) so I'd suggest any plans of boycotting is going to have the opposite effect and ruin LD travel for the rest of us (unless you just don't care).

 

I don't really believe the boycotts are going to be successful (they weren't on the Silver Star) but I refuse to go along with them or support them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its not just a matter of boycotting. As others have mentioned, its cost and time.

 

I frequently travel to north Florida for family. Amtrak is almost twice the cost of driving, and almost 2 hours longer. Despite this, I still use Amtrak for most of those trips, as does my family when they visit me. Since my trip lasts through the lunch hour, I'll still use the dining car (Ive grown tired of the microwaved food in the cafe). I still think the Meteor has one of the better dining car meals on Amtrak. If they implement this new contemporary type of service on the Meteor, I'll likely just end up driving. Then to me, no boundaries becomes I can stop at a decent restaurant on the road and order whatever I want.

 

Also, if ridership is not impacted, Anderson & Co. will no doubt implement this elsewhere.

Edited by chrsjrcj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So let's assume these boycotts are actually successful and LD ridership goes down. What's Anderson's thoughts?

 

a) They don't like the meal changes, let's go back to the old menus/way things were.

 

b) LD ridership is tanking, let's get rid of the trains.

 

If you really believe a), then boycott the trains. But I'm more likely to believe b) so I'd suggest any plans of boycotting is going to have the opposite effect and ruin LD travel for the rest of us (unless you just don't care).

 

I don't really believe the boycotts are going to be successful (they weren't on the Silver Star) but I refuse to go along with them or support them.

As chrsjrcj said, it's not just a boycott. It's the fact that Amtrak's amenities and quality of service have seen a stark decline in recent years, and for many people it's just not worth it anymore. Most people aren't just doing it to teach Anderson a lesson, it really just comes down to the fact that flying or driving is just the better option for many people. And as I've said before, it's vastly more likely that Anderson and his goons see that following these changes, ridership on certain routes have taken a turn for the worse, and that it's worth considering reverting some changes. There would have to be a massive loss of ridership and revenue over a long period of time for management to decide that a train off is the best way forward. In theory, all it really takes to prove that "fresh choices" was a bad idea is to have the loss in revenue exceed the $3.4M savings. It's obviously not that simple, but it doesn't take millions of people to make a difference with this kind of stuff. To prove that an entire route isn't viable, on the other hand...

Edited by cpotisch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×