voucher for late train?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Pooh2, Jun 1, 2016.

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  1. Jun 1, 2016 #1

    Pooh2

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    Pooh2

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    We were on the Cascades on the 22nd when the locomotive died. It was probably about a 2 hour delay sitting on the tracks.

    Would Amtrak give any voucher compensation for the delay?

    We had paper tickets issued at the station and not sure where the stubs ended up. I assume they would have us on file and not need anything from us to issue a voucher?
     
  2. Jun 1, 2016 #2

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

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    Hi there,

    In the Netherlands you can get (some) money back from the Dutch Railways (NS) after +30 minutes delay. Means less income for NS, means less dividend payment from NS to the fine Dutch state, means everybody here has to pay more taxes. So I benefit, everybody pays a little.

    If you contact Amtrak and motivate your disappointment in Amtrak maintenance and/or equipment reliability, Amtrak will perhaps move some money from the maintenance and/or new equipment budget to an E-voucher in your email account. Choices for you, choices for Amtrak.

    If I were Amtrak, I would honor such a request and stick your e-mail print-out with a push-pin on some persons in Washington. Might just get some needed attention for Amtrak...

    Peter
     
  3. Jun 1, 2016 #3

    caravanman

    caravanman

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    You can always ask for compensation, for sure if you don't ask, you won't get!

    Ed. :cool:
     
  4. Jun 1, 2016 #4

    Cho Cho Charlie

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    I don't think they would issue a voucher automatically to everyone on the train.
     
  5. Jun 1, 2016 #5

    PeeweeTM

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    Hi there,

    Well, a couple of weeks ago on the Coast Starlight, while booked in three roomettes, we (two adults and some genetic mixtures aged 16, 11 and 9) were bustituted from Klamath Falls (departure around 0000AM instead of 1000PM) to Redding and departed Redding with about four hours delay. Instead of sleeping in a bed in a train, we had a chair in a bus. The driver didn't even bother to sound the horn every now and then to resemble the train so we didn't sleep that well...

    Cause of the bustitution was a derailment of a freight train, so not Amtrak's fault.

    But I think Amtrak could have handled the logistics around the bustitution better. For example to Sacramento instead of Redding to give the OnBoardStaff (OBS) time to turn the Northbound-->Southbound train around. And let an OBS drive with the buses to have a comlink between passengers and Amtrak HQ.

    Somewhere south of Salinas there was a medical emergency on the train, the OBS kept us informed with announcements about every fifteen minutes, very good. This emergency was not the fault of Amtrak.

    So we arrived in Los Angeles at about 0120AM instead of 0900PM (four hours and 20 minutes for the mathematically impaired). We missed the daylight California Coast, but still got some sleep on the train.

    We did not get an E-voucher automagically.

    I wrote an email with about the information as stated above and got a $200,- (about 20% of purchase price) E-voucher. Didn't ask (directly) for it, but got and have used it nevertheless.

    This may give you and others a direction and feeling about the procedure.

    Peter
     
  6. Jun 1, 2016 #6

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

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    The squeaky wheel always gets the grease! Two Hours doesn't sound like a terrible hardship unless you missed a connection etc.

    This probably wasn't Amtrak's fault, but it wouldn't hurt to call CR to let them know all the details of the delay including how the OBS treated you and any missed connections etc.
     
  7. Jun 1, 2016 #7

    Pooh2

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    What email address did you use Peter? Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2016
  8. Jun 1, 2016 #8

    PeeweeTM

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    On amtrak.com under left, you can tap 'contact us'. Then you can push the enveloppe (symbol). After that, you get a form where you can share your inner thoughts with Amtak. (And hope for the best!) Peter
     
  9. Jun 1, 2016 #9

    Devil's Advocate

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    If it's not Amtrak's fault who else is maintaining Amtrak's locomotives on their behalf? Depending on the time of day two hours may mean nothing or it might mean you've forfeited your hotel room or arrived after the car rental closed or left your friends/family waiting in the station until midnight. We can't all be free spirited retirees with no particular place to be and no specific schedule to keep. :cool:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2016
  10. Jun 1, 2016 #10

    AmtrakBlue

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    I suspect Jim missed the "engine died" part of the OP and is thinking, being the Cascades, mudslides. :eek:
     
  11. Jun 1, 2016 #11

    tim49424

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    Four years ago, I was on the Westbound Empire Builder in North Dakota when we got hit by a car. We arrived in Portland, 9 hours late. A couple of weeks later Amtrak contacted me (I had no intention of calling them and was unaware I even could at the time as this was my first long distance trip) and offered me a $150 voucher for future travel.
     
  12. Jun 1, 2016 #12

    Pooh2

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Figured any credit toward future travel would be welcome so sent an email and will wait and see!
     
  13. Jun 1, 2016 #13

    MARC Rider

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    "Two Hours doesn't sound like a terrible hardship unless you missed a connection etc."

    Last week, I was riding a MARC, and we were an hour late because of a stuck switch at the Grove interlocking. This was for a 50 minute trip. There was an Amtrak train in the mess, and I suppose they were equally late. The Amtrak ride between Washington and Baltimore is 42 minutes. Thus being a hour late for that ride means your travel time would have been 2.5 times the scheduled travel time. That would be the proportional equivalent of taking the Meteor up from Florida (a 24 hour trip), expecting to arrive on Monday morning, but arriving on Tuesday afternoon instead. Had I been on Amtrak, I would have asked for some consideration, but the $17 fare would have meant the voucher wouldn't have been much.

    Then there was the time I got bustituted on the Capital from Pittsburgh (it was when they were doing the track work between Cumberland and Pittsburgh, and we started running late in Ohio). I sent a nice letter to Customer relations, and got a $700 voucher, which was Amtrak's estimate of the pro-rated values of the sleeping car accommodation charge between Pittsburgh and Washington. Yes, if you're forced to sit in a (packed full) bus instead of being able to sleep and dine (they didn't even give us a few bucks for fast food at the Gateway Travel Plaza in Breezewood), you deserve some sort of compensation, even if the bus did get us to Washington right on the schedule time despite our arriving in Pittsburgh 3 hours late.

    My favorite, though, was when I rode NER #67 from Boston, and the HHP-8 died somewhere between Rt 128 and Providence. After spending a couple of hours waiting in 12 degree cold with the heat not working for the tech with the "million dollar laptop" to come and try to reboot the loco with the super proprietary software, they transferred us to a northbound train and sent us back to South Station. Where we waited sitting at those tables with the hard uncomfortable chairs. Of course, the station was closed up tight, except for us poor stranded passengers, they wouldn't let us out and go to a bar or something, and they also didn't open the Club Acela for us, where the seats might have been better. They finally towed the stricken train in, found a working AEM-7, and got us on the road around 1 or two in the morning. We didn't get much sleep, it was light by the time we passed New Haven. I think I got into work about 5 hours late. So I wrote a nice letter to the CEO of Amtrak (snail mail!), and it seemed like it dropped into a black hole until I contacted them about the Capitol Limited bustitution. Next thing I know, I got a call, they had been trying to get in touch with me (or maybe I had missed the first letter they sent), they had a voucher for me to the tune of $100. (I think the actual fare was about $130.) So I had $170 in vouchers. I also sent in a whole bunch of ticket stubs for missing AGR credit, and that's also when I first qualified for Select Plus. So two delayed rides, but there was a silver lining behind the cloud.
     
  14. Jun 1, 2016 #14

    Lonestar648

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    I doubt Amtrak wants to hand out vouchers to those not upset with the delays, so they respond to those who take the time to contact them. Look how the flooding in Texas has caused some serious delays (12 hours), was this Amtrak's fault that it rained 10" - 17" within a few hours, no, but if passengers are upset I am sure some at Amtrak will try to ease their unhappiness. Now the airlines try to make ever delay an act of God so they do not have to provide any compensation, thus the passenger is on their own, possibly pushed to the street during the early morning hours because the airport terminal closes for security reasons (I have had this happen twice), but the "Unfriendly Skies" said sorry not their problem, I chose to fly in the stormy time of the year, which is an act of God and they are not responsible.
     
  15. Jun 1, 2016 #15

    tim49424

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    Amtrak wanted to hand out the voucher to me in my above posted situation, as I stated, I had no intention to complain.

    However, I was caught up in Texas flooding last October (30 hours in San Marcos stranded on the train and returning home two days late) and again wasn't going to contact them but this time they didn't contact me.

    With my experiences, it would seem that there is no black or white regarding Amtrak being proactive in issuing vouchers. It seems very arbitrary.
     
  16. Jun 1, 2016 #16

    Cho Cho Charlie

    Cho Cho Charlie

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    If only airlines were required to refund your fare whenever they are delayed/late by just 2 hours. :rolleyes:
     
  17. Jun 2, 2016 #17

    Sauve850

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    I am a "free-spirited" retiree since 49 years old. Long time ago. I actually do have particular places to be and schedules to keep as do most people.

    I think too many people "expect" vouchers. Many instances they should be issued as mentioned before. Other times when its not the fault of Amtrak I wouldn't write customer service.
     
  18. Jun 2, 2016 #18

    BCL

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    I got a $3 cafe voucher once after we were delayed due to a "trespasser incident".
     

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