Quantcast

Long anti Anderson Article

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Amtrakfflyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
476
He doesn’t know anything about customer service and doesn’t seem to care about learning Amtrak’s business model or mission. He’s horrible with stakeholders. So the bar is low....
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
26,091
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Remember, he has explicitly been hired by the Board to put in place a change in mission and business model better aligned with what Congress has decreed. Of course I hate what he is doing, but clearly he is not a loan rogue running off on his own. The Board has repeatedly expressed their full support for him. We have a much bigger problem on our hand than just Anderson.
 

Acela150

Conductor
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
8,813
Location
In a Sea of Foam
Remember, he has explicitly been hired by the Board to put in place a change in mission and business model better aligned with what Congress has decreed. Of course I hate what he is doing, but clearly he is not a loan rogue running off on his own. The Board has repeatedly expressed their full support for him. We have a much bigger problem on our hand than just Anderson.
Amen!!! 
 

dlagrua

Conductor
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
3,148
Location
Hillsborough, NJ
IMO, the only hope for change is to win the hearts and minds of the American people. Rail is a comfortable, great way to travel. Most of us here know this, enjoy train travel so why isn't this message spreading faster than it is?  Perhaps its because Amtrak no longer advertises very much and strangled by its budget.  Change at the grass roots level can happen so if all rail passengers took a bit of time to write Amtrak and their representatives maybe this would make a difference.
 

John Bredin

OBS Chief
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
744
Location
suburban Chicago (Buffalo Grove)
Perhaps its because Amtrak no longer advertises very much and strangled by its budget. 
I hear Amtrak ads on Pandora all the time, to the effect of "don't put up with the hassles of driving, take the train, sit back, look out the window, eat something." Now maybe they come up for me because of my Internet usage & searches, but even if that's so, it shows that Amtrak hired an internet spying marketing firm to do that.

Not calling you out in particular, but I've seen the "Amtrak doesn't advertise at all/enough" meme pop up on this board from time to time, and I suspect what many people mean is Amtrak doesn't do highly-visible network television ads, including Madison Avenue jingles, as in decades past. Television advertising isn't the alpha and omega of marketing,* never was, and even less so now.

*Plenty of brands and organizations don't advertise on television, but they sure as heck advertise and market themselves.
 

jebr

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
3,970
Location
"The Last Great City of the East," St. Paul, MN
Yeah, I've seen Amtrak take out ads in our local version of the Chinook Book, which is a coupon/savings book that's targeted towards advertising local and/or eco-friendly businesses. While they don't offer a coupon (frustratingly,) they do pay for a full-page color ad in that book. I'm guessing that has better ROI given the market it's targeting than a standard TV or non-targeted radio advertisement.
 

GBNorman

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 26, 2017
Messages
573
"Not the Railway Age I once knew...."

"Back in my day" when I was employed within the industry (70-81), and RA was a freebie, one would never have expected this Opinion in print (or digital nowadsys).  Very simply,  the party line was "get rid of 'em - sooner the better".
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,702
Location
Texas
I've seen the "Amtrak doesn't advertise at all/enough" meme pop up on this board from time to time, and I suspect what many people mean is Amtrak doesn't do highly-visible network television ads, including Madison Avenue jingles, as in decades past. Television advertising isn't the alpha and omega of marketing,* never was, and even less so now. 
The only time I've ever seen or heard an unsolicited Amtrak commercial is when I was watching the local feed for an NBA game somewhere in the Northeast or Chicago.  That's it.  Out here in the rest of the country we don't see much/any Amtrak advertising.  You can choose to believe that or not but it's been true for as long as I can remember.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Ryan

Conductor
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
17,032
Location
OTN
I very much believe it, but it certainly shows that “Amtrak doesn’t advertise at all” is untrue, and while there is more space for discussion in the “Amtrak doesn’t advertise enough” side, it’s not an unfair argument to say that they’re better office not advertising in a locale that gets such cruddy service as you guys do down there. 
 

tonijustine

Train Attendant
Joined
May 3, 2017
Messages
75
I’ve heard Amtrak ads on my local talk station during evening drive time a couple of times in the past month. Sadly, I live near Indy and at the moment the budget has eliminated funding for the Hoosier State.
 

NSC1109

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
364
Location
MI
My college dorm has Amtrak signs posted around the building for student saver fares...pretty sure all the residence halls have them. 

As a college town, we get a lot of kids who travel by train to and from Chicago. It's the same across the state, where students from as far as Ann Arbor (U of M) and East Lansing (MSU) take the train to Chicago for the day or even to their homes elsewhere in Michigan so they don't have to drive. 

Now if only we had a second Blue Water pair and service between GR and Detroit....
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,242
So there ae some Amtrak ads for short haul trains.  Wonder how many ads are state or local ads?  Our many trips to Florida have never come across an ad for Amtrak to the North east or even in Florida.  Has there been any ads for LD destinations that anyone knows of?
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
4,490
I think this fiscal year will tell the tale. If Amtrak's 'definition' of revenue climbs or remains the same and "costs" drop, the board will continue to embrace him.
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,702
Location
Texas
I very much believe it, but it certainly shows that “Amtrak doesn’t advertise at all” is untrue, and while there is more space for discussion in the “Amtrak doesn’t advertise enough” side, it’s not an unfair argument to say that they’re better office not advertising in a locale that gets such cruddy service as you guys do down there. 
The Sunset Limited's poor calling times and lack of daily operation would be a hard sell for almost any advertising agency.  However, the Texas Eagle does have reasonable calling times and daily operation.  If Amtrak were to advertise along the Eagle's route they might be able to fill another car or two over time.  Texans who live in and around cities are generally neutral or even pro-train.  It's mainly the deep rural folks who are anti-rail.  It's true that average Texans can be manipulated into supporting anti-train measures with exaggerated propaganda, but if you ask them about taking a train in a non-partisan context they're often open to such consideration.
 

John Bredin

OBS Chief
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
744
Location
suburban Chicago (Buffalo Grove)
So there are some Amtrak ads for short haul trains.  Wonder how many ads are state or local ads?  
Well, that Pandora ad I mentioned came up twice during my commute this morning. It's for Amtrak, period. No mention of Chicago, or Illinois (or any other state), or even the Midwest. Doesn't tell people to ride corridor trains and ignore long-distance trains.  :giggle:  

Is it possible Illinois or some other Midwest state paid for the ad? Possible but not likely. The written material I've seen advertising or promoting Amtrak in Illinois had "Amtrak Illinois" and an IDOT logo on it.
 

Shanghai

Conductor
Joined
Feb 4, 2008
Messages
3,885
Location
Florida
For all of his potential faults, the Wall Street Journal today announced that Delta is the best

airline in the US based on seven criteria.  Alaska was second and Southwest third.

Perhaps, historically Anderson has done some things right!!
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,702
Location
Texas
For all of his potential faults, the Wall Street Journal today announced that Delta is the best airline in the US based on seven criteria.  Alaska was second and Southwest third. Perhaps, historically Anderson has done some things right!!
Being the best airline in the US is a bit like being the best smelling dog present. image.png
 

cpotisch

Conductor
Joined
Sep 2, 2017
Messages
7,511
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Being the best airline in the US is a bit like being the best smelling dog present. View attachment 12181
I actually really disagree with the claim that DAL is the best U.S. carrier. They aren't particularly cheap, their planes feel old and tired, and the staff seem to usually be pretty rude. In my book, jetBlue is by far the best American airline, with totally free high bandwidth WiFi, consistently good service, clean planes, and cheap fares. I will agree that everyone else sucks, though.
 

jebr

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
3,970
Location
"The Last Great City of the East," St. Paul, MN
I actually really disagree with the claim that DAL is the best U.S. carrier. They aren't particularly cheap, their planes feel old and tired, and the staff seem to usually be pretty rude. In my book, jetBlue is by far the best American airline, with totally free high bandwidth WiFi, consistently good service, clean planes, and cheap fares. I will agree that everyone else sucks, though.
I've had pretty much the exact opposite experience. Granted, I've never actually flown JetBlue, but when I saw a decent fare on an OTA (multiple OTAs, in fact) for JetBlue and tried to book it I got an error and the price jumped up $50. JetBlue's website only had the higher fare. Even after I saw that the first time, the lower (false) fares still popped up on multiple OTAs, even ones that I hadn't searched that itinerary on before, which makes me think that the fare issue was on JetBlue's end. Their prices (at least from MSP) that are available don't seem to be that great unless they have a huge sale, and the flight I was looking at for a potential trip in March has a very poor OTP rating (with under 40% of that flight schedule arriving on time, and almost 45% arriving more than 30 minutes late.) Considering that it's a late evening flight, I really don't want to risk having a 30-minute or more delay when it's that likely to happen, and some perusal of web forums suggest that this isn't uncommon for JetBlue.

Delta, on the other hand, at least seems to generally be on-time - the couple times I've flown them they've been on-time or early. Their prices are also decent if there's competition on the route, and all but Southwest seem to have a similar baggage fee structure. On my last flight we landed 45 minutes before scheduled arrival (which meant I was home pretty much right at scheduled arrival!) and my checked bag had made it onto the luggage carousel a minute or so before I got there (based on the tracking.) I haven't noticed any major difference in terms of their plane interiors and their flight crew seems just as friendly as any other major airline. Granted, since MSP is my "home airport" Delta is the most convenient, and I get annoyed when I see the hub penalty, but operationally I'm impressed with how smoothly they seem to run. I do have to pay for wi-fi if I want it, but they do have free messaging available, which is enough to communicate with my ride and have a text conversation. Frankly, at the end of the day I want to get home close to on-schedule and with a minimum of fuss, and Delta does that better than pretty much any other airline I've flown on (which, granted, is limited to US domestic airlines and Air Canada.)
 

GBNorman

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 26, 2017
Messages
573
Wow, do we get off topic around here - especially when we have a non-rail forum.

I can't say anything about Delta; I've flown 'em in this life, but what can I say beyond that?

JetBlue? flew 'em during '15 to visit my Niece in Brooklyn. Got totally lost at ORD trying to find them, but the flight was OK. Even if it didn't work, they try to offer free Wifi. But let it be noted, my Sister "loves 'em". On her JFK-SYD journey she just got back from, she gave them JFK-LAX, then Delta beyond (maybe they have a code share).

So, quite simply, United is my "go to". From ORD, they go anywhere I have, or would have, occasion to go. I know my way around their part of ORD, and that's a lot of "the battle" when flying. Should I choose to visit my Niece in her new permanent home, Sydney, NSW, AU, it will be on United.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,654
Location
Austin Texas
I don't fly that often since retirement, but the flights I've had on Southwest,United and Alaska in the last few years have all been above average, especially Southwest with Free Checked Luggage,No Change Fees,Free Snacks and Beverage and friendly Crews with Excellent on time Flights!
 

Chey

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Messages
475
Location
NW TX
My college dorm has Amtrak signs posted around the building for student saver fares...pretty sure all the residence halls have them. 

As a college town, we get a lot of kids who travel by train to and from Chicago. It's the same across the state, where students from as far as Ann Arbor (U of M) and East Lansing (MSU) take the train to Chicago for the day or even to their homes elsewhere in Michigan so they don't have to drive. 

Now if only we had a second Blue Water pair and service between GR and Detroit....
*Many* polls have shown the college students in west TX would  LOVE to have Amtrak service to ABQ, FTW, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston. We don't even have Amtrak bus service to any of them (except for Longview-Houston - I don't know if there's a college in Longview that takes advantage of it). El Paso had begged for service to Lubbock (UMC Medical), Amarillo was willing to revise its platforms when there was consideration of altering the SWC route.

If one wants to take Amtrak from west TX, one takes Greyhound to FTW, or Albuquerque. It can be a hassle depending on where you start from and when you want to arrive at the Amtrak station. So count your blessings.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,283
Location
Baltimore. MD
Being the best airline in the US is a bit like being the best smelling dog present. View attachment 12181
I also suspect that the criteria used by the Wall Street Journal to define the "best" airlines is heavily weighted towards financial performance and the interests if the shareholders, not the other stakeholders, like the employees, the customers, and the general public.
 
Top