I bought my daughter a ticket from Boston to NYC Penn Station in late Nov 2017, one month before she was to take the train. I spent $140 for a one-way ticket on the Acela Express.
She is 22 yrs old, and had to arrive early at her job in Manhattan on 12/27/17. When she was buying the ticket online, she was asked to fill-in the pop-up window with her beginning destination. She had a choice of South Station, Boston or Back Bay Station, Boston. She chose Back Bay because she thought it would be easier for me to drop her there.
NO WHERE ON THIS CUSTOMER POP-UP WINDOW DOES IT SAY THAT BACK BAY IS NOT A DESIGNATED AMTRAK STATION. I dropped her off 45 mins before the train was due. She waited upstairs in the passenger waiting area. It was the day after Christmas.
There were a few other passengers waiting for the same train. THERE WAS NO SIGN SAYING “Amtrak trains will not be announced.” Or “Please wait below at the track site.” She waiting thinking someone would announce her train and she would have a few minutes to get on the train. This is the procedure at South Station - they don’t want you out next to the train until the train arrives. So, she and several other passengers missed a train that they did not know had arrived.
SO WE NOW DISCOVER AFTER THE FACT, THAT THIS IS A SUBWAY STOP, staffed only by MBTA employees who do not announce Amtrak trains. She and several other left-behind passengers got on the next regional train, which took them almost 6 hours to get to NYC. With no food. They did give her a business class seat, but this was not much of an upgrade on this particular train.
It did not look like the Amtrak pictures of business class. When I called to complain to Customer Relations, I was given the stock answer “On the website, it clearly says that Back Bay is not a fully serviced Amtrak stop.” Even if she had seen this, what does this mean exactly? And where does it say this? Certainly not when the choices pop up in the buyer window.
Then the customer relation person had the nerve to say this regional train was only one hour later than the Acela Express. I told him that “no” this train in fact got in almost 2 hrs later. There was no snack or food car either. At the very least, there should be a sign at the Back Bay Station letting passengers know that they should wait at the track below, and that Amtrak trains would “not” be called.
She chatted with several other passengers who missed their trains also because they also did not know. In fact, it appeared that the Amtrak conductor was ready with a solution, that this had happened before.
That he/she placed all these passengers in business class. So what does this imply?
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $80.
Preferred solution: Price reduction.