New dining options (flex dining) effective October 1

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by SanDiegan, Jul 13, 2019.

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  1. Aug 7, 2019 #376

    ScouseAndy

    ScouseAndy

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    You dont even know what they are offering is the same, comparable, better or worst because no announcement has been made. Wait until you have made your trip and tried the food before jumping to conclusions.

    If it is worst then pick up the phone after you have travelled and complain to them until they refund a portion of your ticket costs.
     
  2. Aug 7, 2019 #377

    seat38a

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    seat38a

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    I'm a United Club member. It is only available if your flying business class on premium transcon nonstop routes: LAX - EWR, SFO - EWR, SFO - BOS
     
  3. Aug 7, 2019 #378

    seat38a

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    Yeah but those hot eggs at HIX were definitely not cooked fresh in the back. Just reheated.
     
  4. Aug 7, 2019 #379

    CAQuail

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    Or if you purchase a membership or a day pass.
     
  5. Aug 7, 2019 #380

    seat38a

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    But the original question was if domestic FC has access with ticket purchase which they don't except for the 3 routes I listed.
     
  6. Aug 7, 2019 #381

    scrollmaster

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    I guess we'll find out in October. If they're no better than my experience of the City of New Orleans they can keep that.
     
  7. Aug 7, 2019 #382

    flitcraft

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    I agree that cold hard-cooked eggs are vastly preferable to reheated hot eggs, especially those made from powdered eggs. Yuck!! My preferred breakfast would have some kind of low sugar protein; flavored yogurt doesn't fit the bill, but hard-cooked eggs would.
     
  8. Aug 7, 2019 #383

    seat38a

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    Personally, I wouldn't mind the whole dining changes if they rolled out what the've been doing on the PDX Empire Builder. The food is prepared and brought to the train my a local caterer.
    [​IMG]DSC00941 by B H, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC00943 by B H, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC00945 by B H, on Flickr

    Fried Chicken Dinner. Loaded In Havre Montana. Might have been Shelby. This was being sold to coach passengers, but I decided to buy and try it.
    [​IMG]DSC01137 by B H, on Flickr

    [​IMG]DSC01142 by B H, on Flickr
     
  9. Aug 7, 2019 #384

    Devil's Advocate

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    Good luck getting any portion of a completed trip refunded back to you. In my experience the best Amtrak will do is provide a credit towards future travel, which probably wouldn't mean much to someone who is uninterested in boxed meal service.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  10. Aug 7, 2019 #385

    seat38a

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    I had this exact same meal on my flight from IAH - LAX. I just wished I had some naan and mint chutney to go with it instead of the pretzel roll. :D
     
  11. Aug 7, 2019 #386

    crescent-zephyr

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    Same as Delta. Just wondering what the competition is like... I've pretty much only flown Delta, unless you count Southwest! :p
     
  12. Aug 7, 2019 #387

    crescent-zephyr

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    The Big Sky Chicken Dinners were available for purchase when I rode the empire builder 20 years ago. While the box meals loaded up for the Sleeper passengers are pretty good for what they are (I've had them twice I think), they really don't answer the big problems with the Contemporary Dining. You are locked into a box of food that you may or may not want or be able to eat all of. In a full service dining car, there are some reasonable substitutions that can be made. If you can't eat mashed potatoes, you can order a baked potato for example. If you can't eat cheesecake, there is a gluten free pudding you can order. None of that is possible with Contemporary dining, Airline style dining, or the box meals on the Empire Builder.
     
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  13. Aug 7, 2019 #388

    jis

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    I have done plenty of substitution, mixing and matching specially in International Business Class, and even some in domestic First Class. So I have no idea why you claim such is impossible in airline dining.

    In International Business Class actually the dessert trolley comes by separately and you pretty much get to choose what you want including specialized prep of the ice cream sundae should you prefer that. Similarly the salad and appetizer comes out separately and you get to choose what you want or not. Of course it also depends a lot on the airline. My experience is on various Star Alliance Airlines - United, Lufthansa, Singapore, Thai etc.

    The one differentiator in train Diner Dining is the availability of the Grill which enables more local prep of food, but that is where the cost of labor comes in big time. In terms of mixxing and matching from stuff that is on board, there is little difference.

    As far as at seat service goes, there are airline services that one can get in International B/F Classes Amtrak has never come even close to, in the last ten years. As DA has explained elsewhere the true comparison between Amtrak Dining and Airline Dining is really with International Upper Class in terms of the fares paid.
     
  14. Aug 7, 2019 #389

    crescent-zephyr

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    Impossible in the term of it's not possible for a passenger to do. Not impossible to achieve such a feat. In my limited experience (only one airline..) on domestic first class there are a couple of entree choices and everyone gets the same salad and the same dessert.

    It's physically possible to let amtrak passengers mix and match side dishes and desserts with Contemporary Dining, but that is not currently how it is set up for lunch and dinner.
     
  15. Aug 7, 2019 #390

    crescent-zephyr

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    But regardless... I was talking about mixing and matching the entree plate. The example I gave was being able to order a baked potato or rice if you couldn't eat the mashed potatoes etc. That's not possible, as far as i know, on airlines. Even if the airline does give you a choice between cake and ice cream.
     
  16. Aug 7, 2019 #391

    jis

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    And yet mysteriously I have successfully done so. ;) Have you actually flown in International B/F recently?
     
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  17. Aug 8, 2019 #392

    seat38a

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    While jis has had luck mixing and matching meals inflight, you have to also remember, the need to eat inflight on international flights is really diminishing with preflight dining in the lounge. For example, United has Polaris Lounges with a full buffet and also sit down restaurant dining. Same with Star Alliance lounges, with their buffet.

    Pictures of EWR Polaris Lounge.
    [​IMG]IMG_3334 by B H, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_3360 by B H, on Flickr
    [​IMG]IMG_3359 by B H, on Flickr

    After eating here, I was not hungry during my flight.

    You know, it might even be better if Amtrak just did lounge dining or something at Chicago Union Station for the Eastern Trains. Setup a buffet or something with access for sleeper passengers only. Not sure if it would work going westbound but with the Chicago Hub, it could possibly work.

    Nevermind, I forgot about the intermediate stops. :confused: It would have been great to have Amburgers with french fries instead of chips all the time. :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
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  18. Aug 8, 2019 #393

    crescent-zephyr

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    I've never flown International period. I've said that in multiple posts now. I'm talking about domestic first class.

    You were able to substitute side dishes that accompany an entree? That's an extensive menu for a flight, but of course at international first prices they can afford to stock up. ha.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  19. Aug 8, 2019 #394

    lordsigma

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    I’ve said this before, there is an easy logical solution that I wish they’d consider. Duplicate exactly or close to what they’re doing for Acela First on the eastern LD trains which is more similar to airline first class.
     
  20. Aug 8, 2019 #395

    yarrow

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    2 questions. i had heard that the dinner provided to sleeper pax on the eb out of pdx(which we always enjoyed)had been downgraded. anyone ridden recently and have a report? second question, we are traveling sleeper on the eb spk to msp in early october. i understand this thread is dealing with changes east of chi but has anyone heard of any changes to western ld trains(specifically the eb)as of october 1? thanks
     
  21. Aug 8, 2019 #396

    lordsigma

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    Shouldn't be any changes to EB. RPA said in a post a while back that Amtrak has acknowledged that the two night trains would demand a different approach so this contemporary program is likely designed primarily for the eastern trains. Not saying that they have "good intentions" ultimately for the western trains only that they would be looked at separately and differently. It should be noted that it appears the Auto Train is getting special treatment. Although its coach diner is going away, the sleeper diner appears to be remaining a more traditional diner.
     
  22. Aug 8, 2019 #397

    the_traveler

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    The reason the EB has boxed meals between SPK and PDX is that the Dining Car goes on the SPK to SEA section. The PDX section only has the SSL (no Dining Car at all). East of SPK, the EB has a Dining Car.
     
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  23. Aug 8, 2019 #398

    yarrow

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    i am aware of that. i had heard somewhere that the caterer for the dinner out of pdx was going to change to a source with not as nice a meal. was wondering if that had happened and, if so, what it was like.
     
  24. Aug 8, 2019 #399

    crescent-zephyr

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    The photos that were just posted looked like comparable quality to what they had earlier.
     
  25. Aug 8, 2019 #400

    yarrow

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    yes, the meal is from "outakes" who was the caterer but i note that the box has a date of 5/19 so i wonder how recent the picture of the meal is
     

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