Amtrak Dining

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tim49424

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Here's what it looks to me in the meal:
Dead rat roadkill meat
Opheodrys vernalis - small (green) grass snakes
The orange things are cheap hot dogs
The off-white stuff is beach sand for the snakes to dig in.
I won't even say what the small white things are as I don't want to turn people against those delicious flex meals.
My mouth is watering! Sign me up!
 

Anderson

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Some comments about whether recent generations attach any "meaning" to a proper table seating, i.e. tablecloths, a small vase of flowers ( real or not), etc. cause me to post this thought.

If dining car service is going to return--in any form that was what many of us who are of a senior age remember--and the Sleeping Car pricing is going to remaining higher than they once were--as I think they will--then, the lack of any semblance to what "Dinner in the Diner" once was will be unacceptable to even those of us who are younger than we.
I think what Amtrak is missing is that, regardless of generation, when they're charging nosebleed prices for the sleeper, the price point demands a certain level of service. This isn't to say that a lot of younger folks might not happily work with a "discount sleeper" option, just that Amtrak isn't meeting the expectations that their price points imply. Even pre-pandemic, I remember taking Delta and routing via JFK to MCO going to Florida because the food options were better once the diners were pulled (and the flights were cheaper, in F, than the sleeper if you knew how to manage booking them).
 

Sidney

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Obviously flex dining is a huge downgrade from traditional dining. The sleeper prices did not reflect the downgrade,and in many cases rose

Decent food on a two day trip or more is essential. At least the Western trains are returning to full dining. However if people are willing to pay close to $500 on a Silver from NY to Fla and put up with that substandard food,Amtrak will charge it. That $500 is low bucket for a roomette one person. Most fares the remainder of the year are much higher
 

Railspike

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A little over 2 weeks before "traditional" dining supposedly returns to western LD trains. A new menu, a partial new menu with some returning items, or the same menu selections before Covid? What's the word on the street?
 

lordsigma

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Not surprising given the RPA presentation - they are working on it but it sounded like there was still a lot of work to do.
 

Sidney

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Why the delay? I booked Coach on the CS for $50 in June. Glad I won't be missing traditional dining. This is the fourth time the return of traditional dining has been postponed. Now that we are stuck with flex dining a little longer I wish Amtrak would add sandwiches to their menu and let sleeper passengers have an option of a burger or a hot dog from the cafe car.

I'm on the EB and CS in September. I certainly hope traditional dining is back by then
 

lordsigma

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Why the delay? I booked Coach on the CS for $50 in June. Glad I won't be missing traditional dining. This is the fourth time the return of traditional dining has been postponed. Now that we are stuck with flex dining a little longer I wish Amtrak would add sandwiches to their menu and let sleeper passengers have an option of a burger or a hot dog from the cafe car.

I'm on the EB and CS in September. I certainly hope traditional dining is back by then
The long distance business unit VP outright said outright they wouldn’t make the May 21 date due to having to get staff back - re-establishing the food supply chain - etc - they were aiming for June timeframe. They probably really don’t know exatly when it will happen and have probably just put July 1 as a placeholder.
 

lordsigma

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The long distance business unit VP outright said outright they wouldn’t make the May 21 date due to having to get staff back - re-establishing the food supply chain - etc - they were aiming for June timeframe. They probably really don’t know exatly when it will happen and have probably just put July 1 as a placeholder.
However I’m Not rescheduling the trip over the food - too many wheels in motion and people involved. I guess I’ll just skip lunch on board - the flex meals are way too much food to eat at both lunch and dinner.
 

TrackWalker

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However I’m Not rescheduling the trip over the food - too many wheels in motion and people involved. I guess I’ll just skip lunch on board - the flex meals are way too much food to eat at both lunch and dinner.
Ask and you may receive. The CS last week allowed me get something from the cafe car for lunch. Got a hot dog, soda and chips. But the EB did not allow it. You never know.

EDIT- Forgot to mention on the EB instead of the full flex meal for lunch I simply ordered my drink and a blondie to go.
 
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lordsigma

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Ask and you may receive. The CS last week allowed me get something from the cafe car for lunch. Got a hot dog, soda and chips. But the EB did not allow it. You never know.
I might give that a shot. Get a burger or something for lunch and have the flex meal at dinner - I like a couple of them so I’ll survive - just way too much food to eat two in a day. Ultimately riding for the scenery - and I figured it was pretty likely I’d have flex at least on the way out.
 

crescent-zephyr

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The long distance business unit VP outright said outright they wouldn’t make the May 21 date due to having to get staff back - re-establishing the food supply chain - etc - they were aiming for June timeframe. They probably really don’t know exatly when it will happen and have probably just put July 1 as a placeholder.
Seems odd there would be so many steps for a “temporary” change in service. I’m guessing they weren’t planning on bringing it back...
 

me_little_me

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Flex dining extended until June 30 - not surprising given the RPA video last week. Sadly this means my long planned trip will be flexible dining both ways.
Evidence? That contradicts the email I received April 29:

We are sorry for taking longer than expected to reply to your e-mail, due to an unusually high volume of e-mail correspondence. Your patience in this matter is appreciated.

Tradition dining will be offered for your travel. It is scheduled to return after May 21, 2021.

We look forward to seeing you onboard.

Sincerely,

Geneva S.
Amtrak Center of Excellence
 

lordsigma

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Evidence? That contradicts the email I received April 29:
I’m surprised they sent you that email. The VP Larry Chester has said more than once it’d probably be sometime in June - theyd probably not make the return to daily service dates.
 

lordsigma

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Seems odd there would be so many steps for a “temporary” change in service. I’m guessing they weren’t planning on bringing it back...
It’s a more than a year suspension - I’m sure that resulted in a termination of the entire supply chain for the meals and they have to re-establish that - and they probably could not start the process until the rescue plan passed. Also have to get enough OBS crew back from furlough. They're probably essentially starting from scratch.
 
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jis

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I’m surprised they sent you that email. The VP Larry Chester has said more than once it’d probably be sometime in June - theyd probably not make the return to daily service dates.
When I mentioned this the first time here after the RPA Council meeting, while some Chef returning from furlough in New Orleans said otherwise, we were told by some here that a Chef knows more than the responsible VP. 🤷🏻 In any case the message says “after May 21, 2021”, without giving any specifics of how long after.

Remember originally Amtrak had said that they would restore full service as before the pandemic by July 1, if their budget request was appropriated. Their budget request was appropriated. Based on their original statement they have until July 1 to fully restore pre-pandemic service.

Late May is not summer so who is lying, Chestler or Amtrak's web site which contradicts him by showing that Traditional Dining will be on trains in late May?

Hmmm!
So who was "lying"? 🤔

It’s 50/50. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chef knows more about actual operations than the office guy giving a public speech.
Hail to the Chef! 😏 Of course the guy who signs off on monthly expenditures, what would he know? Just a stupid office guy giving speeches. 😬

If full Diners are coming back on New Orleans based trains the New Orleans crew base is preparing for that change now.

I would take the New Orleans based chefs word for it, but that’s just me.
Fortunately 🤪
 
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Rats. I have a round-trip PHL-SAN-PHL scheduled for June, and was really hoping for Traditional Dining to be available on the trip.

At least I'll be able to have a beer included.
 

me_little_me

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I requested and received a 100% refund from Amtrak back to my credit card for my June 2 trip to Grand Junction. I'll be damned if I'll pay $3500 for a trip to Colorado all with flex dining.

I'll remake the reservation AFTER Amtrak has already started Traditional dining on the western trains.

The agent told me Traditional dining starts May 21. I told her that contradicted the web site as well as the information I pulled up when I reviewed my reservation on Amtrak's site. She then looked it up and said that I was indeed correct. When I asked for a full refund with no penalty, she immediately agreed.

BTW, when I asked what the "Amtrak Center of Excellence" was, basically she said they were all part of it. Obviously, management is not included as she was never told that the information had changed and would have given out wrong information to anyone who asked.
 

Sidney

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Glad I postponed a trip on the Starlight from June to September. Now I'm hoping traditional dining will be back by then.

Again,why can't they offer cold sandwiches and burgers on the flex menu and a bagel option for breakfast and something other than a brownie for dessert? These reheated pre packaged meals are not what Amtrak passengers deserve when they are paying top dollar for a sleeper. I do remember when meals on Amtrak were something to look forward to.
 

jis

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Glad I postponed a trip on the Starlight from June to September. Now I'm hoping traditional dining will be back by then.

Again,why can't they offer cold sandwiches and burgers on the flex menu and a bagel option for breakfast and something other than a brownie for dessert? These reheated pre packaged meals are not what Amtrak passengers deserve when they are paying top dollar for a sleeper. I do remember when meals on Amtrak were something to look forward to.
In the interim it would indeed be nice if they simply allowed reasonable substitution from the Cafe menu. Absemt that I generally have a tendency to pass on the complementary stuff except the drinks and buy items off the cafe menu. That really makes a joke of the whole notion of complementary meals in the Sleeper IMHO. But I suppose that is what was Mica's original intent and Amtrak Board went along with without any protest. This is what happens when it is overloaded with Corridorheads.
 
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