Eastern Sleeping Car Passengers Pre-Order Meals

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RebelRider

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Sleeping car passengers will be able to pre-order meals soon. An e-mail will be sent 15 days before departure to the primary passenger who can select meals for everyone on the reservation. The cut-off is three days prior to the train's origination date. The only way to access the pre-order will be via the e-mailed link. This will be rolled out by route starting July 13. Covers the Capitol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Crescent, Lakeshore Limited and Silver Service.
 

railiner

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I think they will take into consideration those that either don't choose ahead, or book too late for pre-ordering. Perhaps you won't get your favorite, but they should still have something for those cases...

I think this pre-ordering can indeed be a good practice, if it is done well....
 

jiml

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Major airlines have offered this service - at least in FC - for several years. It's great when it works, but on my airline of choice what's shown on the advance menu doesn't "get loaded" about 25% of the time. That could include entirely different choices or not enough of the ones pre-ordered.
 

Devil's Advocate

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As mentioned above many full service airlines have offered preselected meals in premium cabins for several years, or at least they did before the pandemic. Advanced meal selection can reduce waste for accountants while opening up a wider menu selection for passengers, but it’s still dependent on the carrier and commissary to manage it properly. Carriers that do a good job with standard meal service should also do a good job with preselected meals, but I would not expect a carrier that struggles with standard meals to do a better job with preselected meals. Airlines typically cutoff changes around 24 hours, which is when the catering service expects to finalize the order. I don’t usually know what I will want to eat three or more days in advance so Amtrak’s preselection service will not be as helpful as simply catering better food in the usual manner.
 

me_little_me

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Sleeping car passengers will be able to pre-order meals soon. An e-mail will be sent 15 days before departure to the primary passenger who can select meals for everyone on the reservation. The cut-off is three days prior to the train's origination date. The only way to access the pre-order will be via the e-mailed link. This will be rolled out by route starting July 13. Covers the Capitol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Crescent, Lakeshore Limited and Silver Service.
The source for your information? Would love to read it.
 

MARC Rider

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Sleeping car passengers will be able to pre-order meals soon. An e-mail will be sent 15 days before departure to the primary passenger who can select meals for everyone on the reservation. The cut-off is three days prior to the train's origination date. The only way to access the pre-order will be via the e-mailed link. This will be rolled out by route starting July 13. Covers the Capitol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Crescent, Lakeshore Limited and Silver Service.
Will you also be able to order the kosher meals via the email link?
 

pennyk

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Because I am allergic to garlic and because all the flex meal entrees contain garlic, I was able to special order "special" meals the last few times I traveled on the Silver Meteor and Captiol Limited. I worked directly with a very competent customer relations representative who provided me with a few alternatives. I would respond to her email (at least 3 days in advance) with my entree choice for each non breakfast meal I would eat on the Silver Meteor or Capitol Limited. I am guessing I special ordered at least 16 meals during the last few months of 2019 and each one was loaded and was exactly as ordered. I ate each meal in the sleeper lounge and never had an issue. I got the impression from the customer relations representative that pre-ordering would soon become common place. I have not been in communication with this representative for a while since my three 2020 trips for which I had reservations have been canceled. I hope she is around when I feel safe to travel again.
 

Palmetto

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I see this as a big plus for sleeping car passengers. It probably should even be required, if cost-cutting is paramount, by reducing wasted food. The problem arises, though, that the eventual goal of Amtrak is to serve the whole train from one, single car. For people who are coach passengers, and therefore won't reserve anything, the current café car fare would remain in place, I gather. However, I don't think there would be any problem if coach passengers were allowed to pre-order either.
 
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I think pre-ordering is a good idea, and I see no reason why this option can't be extended to coach passengers.
 

Palmetto

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I think pre-ordering is a good idea, and I see no reason why this option can't be extended to coach passengers.

It does take the spontaneity out of it, though, doesn't it. Even between Boston and NYC, sometimes I just say to myself: "i think I'll get a hot dog and chips". Could be anywhere, any time on the route.
 

MARC Rider

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It does take the spontaneity out of it, though, doesn't it. Even between Boston and NYC, sometimes I just say to myself: "i think I'll get a hot dog and chips". Could be anywhere, any time on the route.
If the alternative is no food at all, I'll be happy to dispense with the spontaneity. I can save that for when I reach my destination.
 

PVD

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Boston to NYC would be cafe car anyway, this would not really change anything about that.
 

the_traveler

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I travel sometimes from CHI to LAX on the TE. If I chose my dinner for the first day, but decide to not have it because I had a big lunch in Chicago, are you saying I should wait until I reach my destination 3 days later?🤔
 

railiner

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I believe the pre-order must be pre-paid...so if you don't have it, you lose it...unless they hold it until you decide to have it...not sure how that works.🤔
 
Joined
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It does take the spontaneity out of it, though, doesn't it. Even between Boston and NYC, sometimes I just say to myself: "i think I'll get a hot dog and chips". Could be anywhere, any time on the route.
They're talking about dining car meals. I'm sure people will still be able to purchase hot dogs and chips in the lounge car anytime they want.
 
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