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Complimentary Drinks for Sleeper Car passengers?

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CTANut

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On Amtrak, it says that sleeping car passengers get free drinks. However, I am not sure how it works outside of meal times. Do we go down to the cafe car to get it? Can we get hot water/ice if necessary for free?
 

pennyk

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The LSA in the sleeper lounge is the individual who will provide you with your free non-alcoholic beverages, including hot water and ice.
If the LSA is not in the sleeper lounge, your SCA probably could get you hot water or ice. The cafe attendant may be able to provide you with hot water and ice, but I am not sure.
 

PVD

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I believe someone who walked a VL2 sleeper noted that it had an ice maker/dispenser which would pass muster since it would be essentially "hands free" That would eliminate a common gripe point.
 

crescent-zephyr

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As usual on Amtrak, it will be different depending on who you’re crew is. It could be your sleeper attendant, it could be the LSA, or it could be the lounge attendant. Or any mix of the 3.
 

CTANut

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I saw a video on the auto train showing that there was still self service, but I am not sure about the auto chief. Also, what drinks are included? I would think that it would be coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks, but what about hot chocolate?
 

TRoberts

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I saw a video on the auto train showing that there was still self service, but I am not sure about the auto chief. Also, what drinks are included? I would think that it would be coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks, but what about hot chocolate?
The current "Flexible" dining menu on Amtrak's website lists the following -

Coffee – Regular & Decaf
Hot Tea
Milk
Minute Maid – Orange & Apple Juice
Gold Peak Iced Tea Unsweetened
Crystal Geyser Spring Water
Coke - Regular or Diet
Sparkling Water
Seagram’s Ginger Ale
 

Palmetto

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From the Amtrak website:

  • A wide selection wine, beer and spirits (the first one is on us), plus unlimited soft drinks throughout the journey
 

WWW

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With what is noted about HOT CHOCOLATE - bring your own Swiss Miss - Nestle - Big Box name brand pouch and have the car attendant
provide the hot water - want marshmallows with that bring them also ! Whipped cream - I don't think so - this is not Starbucks !

There is a limit to what Amtrak can supply and still keep a budget for other essentials like executive pay bonuses and stock options.

On time bonuses - not in the budget - no matter how many LD trains and services are eliminated reduced rescheduled - I must be hallucinating !
Dreaming of Hot Chocolate will do that - or maybe it was Baileys !
 

bms

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You are supposed to get free drinks but on 5 sleeper trips this year, I was never offered any complimentary drinks (alcoholic or not) other than the drinks I ordered at meal times.
 

crescent-zephyr

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You are supposed to get free drinks but on 5 sleeper trips this year, I was never offered any complimentary drinks (alcoholic or not) other than the drinks I ordered at meal times.
When I asked for a coffee from the LSA she seemed extremely annoyed and like she was doing me a favor by serving me outside of meal times.

As usual, the crew makes up their own rules.
 

lordsigma

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When I was on the silver star recently they didn’t go out of their way to mention the free soft drinks but on both legs the procedure was to go to the LSA and ask for it - if you go to the cafe they will charge you. The LSAs were pretty decent on both trips - on the way north the LSA actually did table service for breakfast. Meanwhile for alcoholic beverages they give you your first one for free but it seemed if you wanted to purchase additional ones you had to go to the cafe.
 

crescent-zephyr

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Meanwhile for alcoholic beverages they give you your first one for free but it seemed if you wanted to purchase additional ones you had to go to the cafe.
If that’s the case why are they paying an LSA to be in the diner? LSA’s get paid more because they handle money.
 

caravanman

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A few years back, sleeper car passengers normally had a choice of fruit juices, water, and self service coffee available from about 6am up to about 10pm from the coffee urn in each sleeper car. I guess this facility has stopped now with covid-19? I have always been able to obtain hot water gratis from the café car when in coach seats. No idea if this still continues nowadays? Never knew about any free alcoholic drinks, is that something recent?
 

pennyk

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A few years back, sleeper car passengers normally had a choice of fruit juices, water, and self service coffee available from about 6am up to about 10pm from the coffee urn in each sleeper car. I guess this facility has stopped now with covid-19? I have always been able to obtain hot water gratis from the café car when in coach seats. No idea if this still continues nowadays? Never knew about any free alcoholic drinks, is that something recent?
The free alcoholic drink is included with the "new" flexible dining meals. On a one night trip on the Silver Meteor or Capitol Limited, it was one drink per trip. I do not know if sleeper passengers get an additional free drink when the trip is 2 nights.
 

Devil's Advocate

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With what is noted about HOT CHOCOLATE - bring your own Swiss Miss - Nestle - Big Box name brand pouch and have the car attendant provide the hot water - want marshmallows with that bring them also ! Whipped cream - I don't think so - this is not Starbucks !
Land O' Lakes and Ghirardelli are easy to find and have the added benefit of tasting like actual chocolate. 🙂

I have always been able to obtain hot water gratis from the café car when in coach seats.
I've always wondered how that worked. Did you ask beforehand and they said it was free, did you offer money or buy something else in the process, or did you simply walk away assuming it was fine unless challenged?

Never knew about any free alcoholic drinks, is that something recent?
It was a concession of sorts that came after Amtrak's conflex dining changes. I think it was more than a year ago at this point but the pandemic has messed up my concept of time so I could be wrong.
 
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PVD

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I think it started with the East Coast dining change, and went nationwide under the pandemic meal program.
 

WWW

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Has Amtrak gone Cashless? Most businesses have during the Pandemic.
It is the day and age of PLASTIC MONEY aka credit card.
Legal tender currency is for tips for those deserving service individuals who earn it the ole fashion way by doing something other than WORK.
There I go again using that 4 letter word !
 

Devil's Advocate

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It is the day and age of PLASTIC MONEY aka credit card. Legal tender currency is for tips for those deserving service individuals who earn it the ole fashion way by doing something other than WORK. There I go again using that 4 letter word !
We live in the era of forfeiting our earnings to opportunistic middlemen. Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling from 1978 that neutered state usury laws this can be up to 30%. If you're careful enough to never miss a payment or deposit you're still giving away a percentage of your earnings to cover merchant and processing fees on the other side of every transaction. Even if it's just 1% that's a huge amount over your lifetime. We once were paid to save our money but now we have to pay someone else to access it. In many cases cash is simply cheaper and easier but provincial rubes keep trying to turn anyone who uses currency for more than a tips into some sort of criminal mastermind. 🤣
 
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railiner

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've always wondered how that worked. Did you ask beforehand and they said it was free, did you offer money or buy something else in the process, or did you simply walk away assuming it was fine unless challenged?
I am not sure, but I believe the LSA has to account for every drink cup they are issued. So perhaps it would be easier to get hot water if you provide the cup....but then again, there is the sanitary issue, if the dispenser inadvertently makes content with the passenger's own container, so perhaps not permitted that way?
 
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