Baggage pick-up in Chicago

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by redbug119, Sep 8, 2019.

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  1. Sep 8, 2019 #1

    redbug119

    r

    redbug119

    Train Attendant

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    My niece and I took Amtrak coach from Washington DC to Chicago. We got off the train and started to walk to the station and baggage claim. I stopped along the way to take 3 quick pics with my cell phone for my nephew. We then went right to the baggage (I knew exactly where it was), and there were 2 pieces on the carousel. 2 people picked those up and then the carousel went around once or twice then stopped. So we waited. And waited. There was only one other man there waiting as well and said he was also waiting for the Washington luggage. I went to the fellow behind the desk at "Baggage" and asked if this was where the luggage from Washington was coming off and he said yes. So we waited some more. There was a woman over by the lost and found desk in the area as well who saw us sitting there. Finally the man got up and said something to her and she brought his suitcase out of a closed room. So we went up and gave her our baggage claim checks. Ours were in that room too. Wasted almost 20 minutes just sitting there. Baggage desk guy never said, hey they were out already. Lady never said a word either. So my question is, how did they all get picked up before we even got there, when we went directly there. And why didn't the baggage guy and lady say anything as we sent like idiots on the bench?? I know that last question is rhetorical!!o_O
     
  2. Sep 9, 2019 #2

    Lonestar648

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    Lonestar648

    Conductor AU Supporter

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    This is why I pack light and always keep my bag with me plus my backpack. I will say that Chicago Amtrak does have a personality on the unfriendly side unfortunately.
     
  3. Sep 9, 2019 #3

    RSG

    R

    RSG

    Lead Service Attendant

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    Can't address the promptness of the baggage unloading process in CHI (it does seem uncharacteristic of a place that seems to operate in its own time-and-space continuum); but will concur on the overall lack of customer service and generally obnoxious attitude.

    I rarely check baggage as my travel usually involves one or more stations without baggage service, but when I have had baggage checked that involves pickup in CHI, I've seldom found it waiting for me in baggage claim to the extent that I have learned to go off and do other things until I'm ready to leave with it, which by that time I ask the attendant and they usually drag it from the back, even when it doesn't seem like there was time to have it waiting on the carousel for any length of time in the first place.
     
  4. Sep 9, 2019 #4

    MARC Rider

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    MARC Rider

    Conductor

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    I will have to counter and say that I had a positive experience with the Chicago baggage folks, though this was in 2015. I was sending some stuff for a ski trip out west ahead a couple of days earlier, and train service between the east and Chicago was semi-disrupted because of snow. When I checked the bags ( a roller duffle and some skis) in Baltimore, they told me they weren't sure when or whether the Capitol was going out, but they could ship it on the Cardinal. For some reason I don't remember, I would have to retrieve the bags in Chicago and then re-check them to Lamy, my final destination. When I got to Chicago, my bags weren't at the Carousel, which I expected, because I shipped them out a day or two earlier. When I talked to the baggage people, they checked the little closet where they usually hold stuff, and they weren't there. They checked a little more, and took me on a tour of their secret underground facility where we finally found the bags, and then I checked them to Lamy. They we very helpful and friendly, and of course, I got what I wanted.

    Because I was spending the night in Chicago, they actually went out a day early, and were waiting for me when I arrived. My trip home was much more routine. I checked them through to Baltimore from Denver, and when I arrived (late) on the Cardinal, my bags were waiting. (Again, I spent the night in Chicago, so my bags went home a day earlier, probably on the Capitol and the Carolinian/Palmetto.)
     
  5. Sep 9, 2019 #5

    RSG

    R

    RSG

    Lead Service Attendant

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    I had a slightly similar experience around the same time frame when I inadvertently left a bag in the storage area in the previous Metropolitan Lounge and it closed before I could retrieve it. When I went back the next day, I checked in at the Customer Service counter and after a few puzzled questions and reactions, they connected me with one of the go-fers and we went to the same area deep in the bowels of Union Station and retrieved my bag. It was only then when I realized just how huge a facility Chicago Union Station is.

    I will say that the employee who accompanied me and the personnel 'back of the house' were entirely pleasant and accommodating. It seems that it's primarily the front line staff that operate under the presumption that "if there's a problem here, you caused it."
     
  6. Sep 9, 2019 #6

    Chey

    Chey

    Chey

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    Another 2015 checked baggage story. I had a ticket from ALX to LMY but when I went to check my bags at ALX, the agent said he didn't think they had checked baggage service there because he had no LMY tags, and he'd never heard of the place. He said his computer was down so he couldn't find out. I offered to show him on my phone that LMY did indeed have that service, but nothing doing (at least they did back then, maybe the guy was channeling 2018) . After trying to convince him to just write up some LMY tags, he did but he also put CHI tags on them.

    When I got to CHI I felt a compelling urge to go to the baggage area - and sure enough, my luggage was there. So I picked it up and walked over to the ticket counters. The agent just shook his head when I told him what had happened, but he had pre-printed LMY tags which he put on my bags and checked them for the SWC portion of the trip and all went well from there.
     
    F900ElCapitan likes this.

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