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11 comments

1) Don't board the train with a chip on your shoulder. It is YOUR attitude that dictates how you are treated by the Amtrak staff (and your fellow passengers). Rather, boarding the train with the attitude of, "Hello, Amtrak. What can I do to make your job easier today?" That would go a LONG way toward making your travel experience more enjoyable for everyone.

2) Almost all of Amtrak's employees are human beings (although some possess some super-human powers, so they may be from another universe). If you act like you think you are royalty, they may not accommodate your self-elevated status quickly enough to satisfy you. If you act like you think of them as your personal lowly servants, they may not immediately assume that lowly state in an appropriately humble way to satisfy you. Do not expect anyone to genuflect in your presence, or kiss any part of your anatomy in adoration, awe, respect, or reverence.

3) The train is often behind schedule, and almost all of the time it is due to circumstances beyond Amtrak's control. Yes, there are occasional mechanical "opportunities," but you have those with your own home, car, computer, workplace, etc. Most of the time delays are the result of infrastructure, maintenance, and rail use conflicts. There are occasional passenger issues (i.e., medical, security, safety, etc.) that can cause major delays. Sometimes delays are caused by hostile passengers that require unscheduled stops (sometimes in the middle of nowhere) so local, state, and federal law enforcement can assist Amtrak in adjusting their personal travel schedule. Occasionally a vehicle driver feels it necessary to attempt to (unsuccessfully) beat a train to a crossing, bringing ALL rail traffic to a grinding halt until the mess can be cleaned up and the tracks repaired. In spite of its partnership with the federal government, Amtrak is still unable to control washed out bridges, soggy rail bed, tornadoes, floods, landslides, hurricanes, blizzards, etc. Getting hostile with the dining car staff because you think you're behind schedule will NOT make the train move faster. There's a dude up in the engine that has his hand on the throttle, and he is in radio contact with a dispatcher who is facilitating all of the rail traffic in the area. It is not his responsibility --- nor does he have the time or motivation --- to justify to you why he is doing what he is doing.

4) Sometimes not everything works perfectly all of the time (electric outlets, WiFi, air conditioning, plumbing, etc.), much like your own home, apartment, or office. You are traveling in a very complex machine. If someone plugs a high-wattage appliance into an outlet designed for a razor or cell phone charger, it's gonna blow the system. If someone plugs the plumbing with a full diaper, it's gonna back up. Amtrak will NOT stop the train just because you can't connect to the Internet. Running out of your favorite beer in the club car does not constitute a national emergency.

5) Not all Amtrak employees are fully aware of all of the factors influencing your progression down the tracks every minute. It is not their responsibility to interrupt their duties to become fully aware of why your train is traveling at the speed it is (or is stopped "in the middle of nowhere") just to satisfy your curiosity. Relax. Chances are you and the train will probably arrive at about the same time….unless you get obnoxious about it. If you do, the train can arrive way ahead of you. Let the Amtrak employees do their job without creating yet another issue for them to deal with.

6) Use the seat(s) reserved for you --- and ONLY the seat(s) reserved for you --- unless you make specific adjustments with the Conductor. Be considerate of your fellow travelers and not slop your junk (and audio --- your right to listen to music stops where other people's ears begin) over into adjacent seats and public spaces. Just because that seat next to you is empty right now, there is no guarantee that it will remain unoccupied past the next station.

7) Recognize that some people simply should NOT be allowed out in public, let alone travel in a public conveyance. Don't be one of them. You should still be considerate and tolerant of your fellow passengers, no matter how difficult they make it.

8) If you brought food on board, remember that everyone in the car is going to be forced to endure the stench wafting from your stash. Opening a container of sardines, limburger cheese, garlic sandwich, or some other odiferous culinary delight, can make the whole car smell like something died for hours or days. YOU may like a food that's smelly and stinky, but the other people in the car may not feel the same way. ALWAYS clean up after yourself (especially the restroom). Unless your mother is traveling with you, you'll have to do it yourself.

9) Keep your cell phone conversation private. The rest of the people in the car are NOT the least bit interested in hearing a one-sided conversation about your business deal, domestic problems, latest gossip, hot date, or mindless chit-chat for hours on end --- or even for a minute. That's just rude. Do NOT argue with (or simply ignore) the Amtrak employee who just reminded you of this, unless you want a major adjustment in your travel plans.

10) The dining car practices "community seating." That means that others will share the table with you. This is NOT optional, even in an "empty" dining car. You'll meet some very interesting people that way. If you can't tolerate that long-standing practice, eat in private at your seat or in your bedroom. Don't get belligerent with the dining car staff just because you feel like being anti-social at the moment. You will not get the passionately sensitive and genuinely sympathetic response you think you deserve.

11) It is NOT the responsibility of any Amtrak employee to make sure you detrain at the proper location. Although they will do their best to give you courteous, personal attention in advance of your stop, Amtrak can only do so much to protect you from your own stupidity, inattention, laziness, inadequate planning, and ignorance.

12) Remember that Amtrak's sole purpose for existence is to get you from point "A" to point "B" as quickly and safely as possible. Fortunately, "safely" trumps "quickly." The Amtrak personnel probably did not know all of the parameters and circumstances influencing your specific trip when they published the schedule months ago. Deal with it. Stuff happens. Getting to enjoy extra time on the train means that you are really getting your money's worth. Train delays probably will not cause the world to come to an end. When you perceive an earth-shattering disruption in your travel plans, ask yourself, "Will any of this really matter 5 years from now?"

Product or Service Mentioned: Amtrak Train Service.

Reason of review: Good customer service.

I didn't like: Rude passengers.

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Anonymous
Jackson, Tennessee, United States #1187644

With all the bad reviews of customer service plus my own experience/nightmare, I would say you probably work for Amtrak. I was stuck on a train for hrs w no one in sight to help me as I am diabetic and my sugars had dropped to a dangerous level.

There was NO ONE that came down the aisle for almost 5 hrs. I needed HELP.

Your employees were not helpful nor were they even close to polite. I won't even consider this ever again.

Anonymous
#1169790

I don't know who you are, but I freaking love this. Thank you!

From an Amtrak employee.

Nomoretraintravel
#1098304

Seriously...if you start out with the attitude as a "customer service agent" of "Hello, Amtrak. What can I do to make your job easier today?", we immediately have an issue.

I didn't even need to read the rest of your post (though i did the time) to understand you are a disgruntled employee.

This attitude is exactly what everyone is posting...we aren't here to mare your job easy, we're here to get from point A to point B. Again, if you are so upset by the fact that people treat you like a blue collar employee vice an executive or CEO, get out of the customer service business!

Anonymous
to Anonymous Denver, Colorado, United States #1167840

It's clear that #1 was meant especially for fools like you. To think that you would have to be nice to people you consider beneath you must make your brain boil.

People like you equate customer service with subservience. People like you believe that someone in the customer service business should take whatever *** you have to sell them.

It's clear the only way people like you can validate themselves is to try and run down someone else just because they feel the can.

I would say to you if you can't be civil, stay at home and don't ruin other's trips with your banal, pitiful act.

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1169797

Clearly, you didn't understand the post, even IF you did read it all (but I'm sort of doubting that you did). I can't speak for other employees, but I do my job, and I do it well.

My positive reviews speak for themselves!

And I can honestly say, everything on this list is pretty spot on. Amtrak is so strange - the way some people treat us, you couldn't get away with this stuff on the airlines (or anywhere else)!

Anonymous
#1086716

1 - I will agree - attitude is everything. Sometimes things happen and people get stressed.

2 - Disagree - the majority of Amtrak employee are in a customer facing service position, which means they should be as cordial as possible at all times.

Should they kiss people's feet? No, but being rude shouldn't be expected just because they are "human beings".

3 - Agree again - never expect an Amtrak train to be on time, it's just the reality of train travel in the US.

4 - Agree - it does seem that "enroute" maintenance is non-existent..

5 - People have been commenting and complaining about this? Guess I missed it.

6 - 200% Agree - Amtrak seat hogs are the worst. 7 - That happens everywhere it's life.

8 - Yes - I hate smelling other people's stinky food. If only Amtrak made them eat it in the cafe car. 9 - At least some trains have quiet cars. When they are enforced 10 - I can see why some people get bent out of shape with the dining car seating esp if they've never been in one before.

Too bad the attendants can't understand this and explain the reasoning for it. 11 - Yeah that's a no-brainer 12 - Sad but true, gone are the days of the glamour of rail travel.

Anonymous
#1070773

How much they pay you to spew this ***?

Norman0227
to Anonymous Los Angeles, California, United States #1070781

I do not get paid by Amtrak. I am not an employee of Amtrak.

I am a frequent Amtrak traveler who has seen some really nasty people riding the rails. Most of the problems people experience are self-generated.

Your comment would indicate that you are in that category. Congratulations.

Anonymous
to Norman0227 #1098322

Aaahhhhh, so it makes sense now...you're one of those people that writes an extra long diatribe about things you absolutely know will spur debate...and then you hover like a vulture waiting for the replies that you can attack. Enjoy your time....and your own "odifurous culinary delight".

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1169792

So...You ran out of argument, so you make fun of them for being online? That makes no sense.

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1167842

Let me guess, you're a Trump supporter and think being a C or D is cool

As an FYI if the fool is elected or not, you're going to have to get used to being nice or stay home. The world is getting sick of people like you and will let you know fast.

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