I generally like Amtrak and accept that a lot of the late arrivals are beyond their control. However, I think they could do a much better job of training their employees in the very basics of customer service. At DC, the Club Acela employees were among the worst I've experienced on the entire Amtrak system (and I've logged over 20,000 miles on both their short and long distance routes, so I know of what I speak). The woman at the front desk was half-asleep and could barely contain her boredom at various traveler questions. But the worst was a lady checking tickets between the lounge and the track leading out to the train. "Have all tickets out," she ordered in the middle of the stampede of customers heading for the train. I started to pull my ticket out, but with 2 heavy bags in my hands I ended up dropping my keys. Before I could even straighten back up, she was in my face. "SIR, YOUR TICKET!?!" She barked in the most hostile tone imaginable.
What a ***--did she not see that I had just dropped my keys right in front of her? Did she think that I was going to race ahead of her, hop on the train without a ticket, and just hope that nobody would notice between DC and New York? Obnoxious, ***, and hostile is no way to go through life--I paid way too much money to be spoken to like I'm a teenage kid trying to jump the turnstiles in a subway station, and I will be contacting Amtrak to report her.
But her idiocy is symptomatic of a larger problem: Amtrak does not train their station employees particularly well, and the result is a mixed bag of people who are great at their job and people who must have learned their communication techniques by watching Milton Wadams from "Office Space".
Product or Service Mentioned: Amtrak Train Service.