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Flexible dining - Requesting a review from a recent rider

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Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
88
The ultimate in first class dining. Sad Amtrak is charging first class pricing for their sleepers
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,825
Takes me back to my daze on the American Orient Express. Used it to go back & forth DCA to Chicago.
How was it!? I regret never taking it. I’ve been on Iowa Pacific Pullman and VIA Canadian before they messed it up with the luxury suites.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,825
That tray is what I was thinking and would be an improvement over what I got. I got a takeout bag with a bunch of those folding boxes on the left for everything - they aren't doing the trays at the moment. Did you get dinner rolls for yours?
I did get a dinner roll at dinner, not at lunch.

Did you get your food in your room? I did not get the tray when it was delivered to my room.
 

lordsigma

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
966
I did get a dinner roll at dinner, not at lunch.

Did you get your food in your room? I did not get the tray when it was delivered to my room.
I did take one meal in the diner (lunch on the way down) and they gave it to me the same way - in a takeout bag with the box tray things. Due to COVID it seems they are pretty much defaulting to room service for dinner and lunch - essentially they'll deliver to your room unless you outright state you want to eat in the diner.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,825
I did take one meal in the diner (lunch on the way down) and they gave it to me the same way - in a takeout bag with the box tray things. Due to COVID it seems they are pretty much defaulting to room service for dinner and lunch - essentially they'll deliver to your room unless you outright state you want to eat in the diner.
It was almost like that before covid in my experience. I was getting ready to go to the diner and my SCA brought it to me.
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,051
Location
LAX
On my recent 6 train trip, the western trains (CS, CZ and EB) were diner or room. Your choice, no pressure either way.
On the Cardinal, it was in room only. Lots of those white paper bags being used!
 

Rasputin

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
768
For a bit of contrast, I recently came across a letter from May 1975 from an elderly relative to my parents describing her recent trip on Delta from Florida to Maine, which included a change of planes in Boston. Not sure whether she was in coach or first class:

"About 11:00 I guess they served the most delicious filet mignon, scrambled eggs, hot muffin with jam, including coffee or whatever one wanted - even champagne. Then after we left Boston they came around with a turkey sandwich made in a sesame roll, pickle, more drinks, etc., but I could not eat any more."
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
10
I am guessing that there are still no updates on regular dining possibly resuming, at any point? Amtrak is offering double points right now. But, if nothing has changed with the dining, I will have to continue to not patronize Amtrak.
 

dlagrua

Conductor
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
3,151
Location
Hillsborough, NJ
The food now being served on Amtrak will discourage ridership. On an overnight trip , you may get by with a "flexible" meal but try it on a two or three day trip and you'll get sick to your stomach. This has got to change. If no kitchen is now the rule give us back the old Cardinal food menu. It was reheated but it was OK. The stuff they are serving right now has hit a new low.
 

RichieRich

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
328
... I will have to continue to not patronize Amtrak.
Sorta a moot point with my AT...meals never changed other then serving in the room. But the Covid thing cut me down from 10 trips-a-year to none. As-far-as AGR points... canceled my BoA AGR card due to fraudulent charges posted to it.
 

Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
88
Amtrak is still saying full service dining will return December 15. With this never ending virus still with us I doubt full service dining will ever return. Same for daily service. I hope I am wrong. There has got to be better alternatives than what is served now. Biggest complaint is the sleeper prices have not come down,and in many cases have risen. But if people are willing to pay for their substandard service nothing will change. I have seen sleeper prices $1000 and up for many routes. No way in hell would I pay those prices and if you do you are wasting your money.
 

lordsigma

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
966
if you do you are wasting your money.
What if you don’t fly, don’t want to drive, and don’t want to ride in coach? I’ll take a room over coach even if there’s no food. While I could see the meals getting boring on a long trip, based on my recent trip i can accept flex dining on a one night train - private room still beats coach - but that’s just me. Once again i am a short timer as far as riding trains I never rode in the days of really good food - most of the traditional dining meals I had were fine but not incredible. Sure the service and presentation and menu variety beats this any day especially at breakfast. Amtrak also could drastically improve this program, once again, by providing breakfast meals as well as some lighter fare choices as well as better choices for people who can’t eat highly salty foods or can’t eat meat.
 
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Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
671
Location
MI
Food is the absolute last of my concerns. Yes, it used to be part of the experience. But I'll get back to the meals question if, and when, I can make sense of the website without Amsnag, with the frequency reductions and now building a connection in Chicago, and the lack of points information available. It used to be so easy to book with cash one way and points for return or vice versa. The website doesn't even display the points needed. Call for price, really? Maybe the app works better.
Look, I'm happy to call if there's an agent patient enough to go through different dates with me, round trip, one way, multicity... points, dollars.... even if the agent was patient, who knows if they'd be penalized for spending that amount of time with one customer. Although I am prepared to book when and if the pieces fall into place. //End rant....
 

bratkinson

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
837
Location
QB 101
I am guessing that there are still no updates on regular dining possibly resuming, at any point? Amtrak is offering double points right now. But, if nothing has changed with the dining, I will have to continue to not patronize Amtrak.
I highly agree. Amtrak won't be seeing any of MY money until LD food improves.

If no kitchen is now the rule give us back the old Cardinal food menu. It was reheated but it was OK. The stuff they are serving right now has hit a new low.
The Cardinal food and even the 'diner lite' food on the Lakeshore Ltd are far, far more tolerable than the garbage being served now!

Amtrak is still saying full service dining will return December 15. With this never ending virus still with us I doubt full service dining will ever return. Same for daily service. I hope I am wrong.
Ditto. (for those old enough to remember Ditto Machines!...or the movie Ghost)

Throw in that many states now have restrictions on travelers from many other states, how is one to book a trip a month or two from now and be surprised at the last moment that ABC state bans all travelers from XYZ state?
 
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