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Tipping question (station agent/staff)

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Is it customary to tip station/train staff for assistance of a passenger with mobility difficulties? If so who should I tip and how much? At one station it will likely be a ticket agent providing assistance. Is it customary to tip them and also if an on board crew member gets involved do you tip them too? This will involve a wheelchair lift from a low level platform. Thanks!

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JMHO, but I feel that if station employees are providing just basic boarding assistance to mobility challenged person, that is part of their job, and they are already compensated for it.

On the other hand, if that person goes 'above and beyond' in rendering friendly service, beyond expectation's, then yes...it would be appropriate to offer a gratuity....

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I agree.

My sister boarded at FED (an unstaffed Station) and needed to board via the lift. The Conductor came down, obtained the lift from the locked shed, used it to board my sister and then put it back. I feel that this is part of their job, and requires no tip!

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It’s not really fair to expect a disabled person to tip just so they can get what we all take for granted.  It’s not as if they could just use the stairs.  

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One simple enough, you don't tip any employee who is under Hours of Service. Same with air transport. A Station or On-board employee, well that's the "50 shades of...."

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For the benefit of new AMTRAK riders (and some of us who are not so new) could someone please provide the actual tip amounts that they normally pay on, let’s say, a long distance train like the Southwest Chief during a passage from Los Angeles to Chicago.

These amounts would include the tip paid to the Sleeping Car Attendant (SCA), the tips paid to their dining car servers at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and station personnel such as the Red Caps who operate the carts that take passengers and their luggage to the platforms.

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1 hour ago, railiner said:

..., that is part of their job, and they are already compensated for it.

Under that rule, no Amtrak employee should ever be tipped.    They are all already paid well for doing their job, and no Amtrak employee is paid less than the minimum wage (which would allowed someone receiving tips).

So, I break that rule and tip my SCA and my wait staff in the dining car.

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4 hours ago, VTTrain said:

It’s not really fair to expect a disabled person to tip just so they can get what we all take for granted.  It’s not as if they could just use the stairs.  

But some Amtrak employees don't give a damn.

If a disabled person is served well and is *able* to tip that employee for that service then do it. if not then just thank them. For most of them that's enough  (based on the ones I've met).

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4 hours ago, Eric in East County said:

For the benefit of new AMTRAK riders (and some of us who are not so new) could someone please provide the actual tip amounts that they normally pay on, let’s say, a long distance train like the Southwest Chief during a passage from Los Angeles to Chicago.

These amounts would include the tip paid to the Sleeping Car Attendant (SCA), the tips paid to their dining car servers at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and station personnel such as the Red Caps who operate the carts that take passengers and their luggage to the platforms.

This has been covered in depth on AU for years . I travel long distance trains primarily in a bedroom and some in roomette. Im a low maintenance passenger. If the SCA helps me with luggage boarding (rare) or detraining  ( most of the time) I factor that into the tip. I usually ask for some ice each day and expect my bed to be put down or up in a reasonable time frame that I have already discussed with the SCA. I usually hit the call button when heading to breakfast as a heads up. And usually have bed put down when at dinner. Seems to work for me. I think 5-10 per day per person is ok. I have had SCA's that come in and clean my room (vac, empty trash etc) each day and that warrants more of a tip. If you have meals in your room I would tip extra at the time service is received. I never tip in advance for service not yet received.

As far as the dining room meals I tip as I would in a restaurant. It depends on the service I receive. Can range from little to 20+%. Service in the dining room is all over the board at times. Some people tip heavily at breakfast thinking that lunch and dinner service will be much better. Ive seen little success with that strategy.

 

I dont use Red Caps so cant help on that one.

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5 hours ago, Eric in East County said:

For the benefit of new AMTRAK riders (and some of us who are not so new) could someone please provide the actual tip amounts that they normally pay on, let’s say, a long distance train like the Southwest Chief during a passage from Los Angeles to Chicago.

These amounts would include the tip paid to the Sleeping Car Attendant (SCA), the tips paid to their dining car servers at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and station personnel such as the Red Caps who operate the carts that take passengers and their luggage to the platforms.

There are dozens (maybe hundreds) of tipping threads on this forum, so you may want to look those over. We personally tip our SCA a baseline of $5 per person per night for average service, but if they are particularly helpful or friendly, may tip as much as $10 or $15 per person per night. And if they suck, we might only tip a couple bucks. As to diner staff, we just do 15-20% off the menu price of what we got (even though food is free in sleepers). We don’t ever use Red caps though, so I can’t speak to that part.

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12 minutes ago, Sauve850 said:

This has been covered in depth on AU for years . I travel long distance trains primarily in a bedroom and some in roomette. Im a low maintenance passenger. If the SCA helps me with luggage boarding (rare) or detraining  ( most of the time) I factor that into the tip. I usually ask for some ice each day and expect my bed to be put down or up in a reasonable time frame that I have already discussed with the SCA. I usually hit the call button when heading to breakfast as a heads up. And usually have bed put down when at dinner. Seems to work for me. I think 5-10 per day per person is ok. I have had SCA's that come in and clean my room (vac, empty trash etc) each day and that warrants more of a tip. If you have meals in your room I would tip extra at the time service is received. I never tip in advance for service not yet received.

As far as the dining room meals I tip as I would in a restaurant. It depends on the service I receive. Can range from little to 20+%. Service in the dining room is all over the board at times. Some people tip heavily at breakfast thinking that lunch and dinner service will be much better. Ive seen little success with that strategy.

 

I dont use Red Caps so cant help on that one.

OMG, great minds really think alike! :P :)

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Here is our response to our request for specific dollar amounts paid out in tips:  As seniors, we now take advantage of early boarding and have a Red Cap drive us from the Metropolitan Lounge to the platform where our sleeper is waiting.  We tip the driver $5.00 per trip.  Normally, we are “low maintenance” passengers but do take most if not all of our meals in our bedroom.  We tip our SCA $50.00.  On our westbound trip last summer, Pat was fighting a head cold and our SCA provided her with some extra services.  We tipped her $60.00. 

Eric & Pat  

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