Cashless Amtrak Travel?

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alang

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 1, 2009
Messages
90
Location
Nebraska
If Amtrak travel remains cashless through the summer, what is the protocol for tipping. My wife and I travel in a Roomette and always tip the Attendant (and the Dining Car staff.) We haven't travelled (but certainly looking forward to getting back on the rails.) since COVID-19 restrictions. Please advise. Thank you!
 

lordsigma

Conductor
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Sep 15, 2017
Messages
1,191
Others that will accept cash tips are station staff for passenger assistance (boarding assistance or help with bags, etc.) Red caps at larger stations - and at staffed stations without red caps this is done by the station agents. All will accept tips for this type of thing.
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
12,456
Location
Delaware
Yes. Covid is spread by cash except when tipping! It’s all science :)
Well, when you tip, the money is going from you to the SCA and into his/her pocket for a while. In the cafe car, a purchase is going from you to the LSA and then maybe to another passenger for change. That passenger may use his change for another purchase later in the trip..... But, yeah, it's unlikely cash will spread the virus.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
4,114
I have decided that since I'm getting old, I will sacrifice to help my fellow Americans. Anyone with cash they suspect may have the Covid virus on it whether intended for Amtrak tips or for other expenses can be mailed to me for free and I will take the risk of safely disposing of it. While it might mean I might die of Covid, I'm willing to take the risk of handling the cash to insure your safety. It is not necessary for you to send gifts of good money in appreciation of my efforts but all such gifts will be used to enhance the local economy and help local residents keep their jobs as I pass those gifts on by spending that money wisely.
If those sending Covid money specify so, I will be sure to spend Covid money at establishments that fail to meet "green" standards and restaurants that fail to serve only vegan and vegetarian food in the hopes of putting them out of business when their management gets sick from virus exposure.

No accolades, medals, keys to the city or certificates of appreciation are necessary.
 

Anderson

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,661
Location
Virginia
I feel like the appropriate response is that if I have cash (to offer as a tip) and you do not want my cash, then I will just have to make do with not tipping you. Probably the biggest issue is going to be occasionally getting stuck with an overly-large bill for a one-night sleeper tip.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
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Messages
4,114
I feel like the appropriate response is that if I have cash (to offer as a tip) and you do not want my cash, then I will just have to make do with not tipping you. Probably the biggest issue is going to be occasionally getting stuck with an overly-large bill for a one-night sleeper tip.
My suggestion is to ask the SLA or the diner attendant to make change for you as they likely will have the cash and, of course, they are hoping for a tip.
 

Palmetto

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
2,337
Location
Miami
My suggestion is to ask the SLA or the diner attendant to make change for you as they likely will have the cash and, of course, they are hoping for a tip.

So, then, it's not cashless travel. If the attendants were smart, they'd carry some cabbage to do the same thing.
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
889
Actually, the tip issue is pushing me towards room service for my three night trip from Seattle to Washington, since there won't be traditional dining car food anyway. That way, I won't have to worry about not having the 'right' bills--I'll plan my cash needs in advance!
 

jis

Conductor
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Aug 24, 2003
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Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
In my experience an SCA will be happy to make change of larger bills to enable me to tip him/her properly. Just remember to request the change well before arriving at your destination wince they may not have it available in their pocket at the door. On the whole the issue of change making has been a complete non-issue at least for me.
 

zephyr17

Conductor
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
4,527
Location
Washington State
I doubt that since Amtrak is now cashless onboard that the lounge or diner LSA have cash to make change with. There's no reason for them to in their official duties and Amtrak will not be sending them out with cash to make change with. As individuals they might use personal funds so they can break bills for tips, but that isn't something to count on.
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
464
Location
Cleveland
I hope they go back to taking cash. Not taking it really puts passengers in an awkward situation, as basically anyone who only has cash has to ask random strangers to help them out. I've been able to help a few passengers by charging their meals to my card and taking their cash - but if I were in the situation of only having cash I would be really uncomfortable asking random people to do the same.

Even if you have a card, there's a decent chance of it getting temporarily disabled because the card company views making a purchase far from home as suspicious.
 
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