Pacific Coast Parlour Car

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Bill M.

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I'll try to be as brief as possible. I am an annual Amtrak long distance (FC) trekker. I carefully plan my routes, my trains and my every expensive moment. I have a love of these trains not unlike the literary genius of Thomas Wolfe. So. I booked an "extra" on the Coast Starlight because I wanted to enjoy the Pacific Coast Parlour Car again. Both for ambiance and meals. It will be at the end of a few thousand miles on Amtrak, but I just had to "tack it on" for the PCPC. I have even booked (and paid for) my flight back to the east - at the end of the CS.

Moments ago I received an email from Amtrak telling me that The Pacific Coast Parlour car will be removed from that train in Early February. This is the only reason I booked this leg. Only! I don't need yet another bedroom trip with shared Dining Room Roulette.

Do I have any chance of Amtrak taking any kind of responsibility for this? If they had decided when I booked it (early for the best rates) that there would be no Parlour Car, I would not have booked it. Period.
 

the_traveler

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None!

Amtrak decided at the last minute to retire the PPC. Like any other LD train, they offer sleeper class service that includes a roomette or bedroom with included meals. Previously it also included the PPC, but you could not get that on the CZ or EB. Now you also can not get it on the CS.

Maybe the riders on the TE should complain about a lack of a PPC on their train. Should you complain because Delta Airlines replaced the 767 on your flight with a 757? They are still getting you from point A to point B. So is Amtrak on the CS.
 

BuffaloBoy

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I'll try to be as brief as possible. I am an annual Amtrak long distance (FC) trekker. I carefully plan my routes, my trains and my every expensive moment. I have a love of these trains not unlike the literary genius of Thomas Wolfe. So. I booked an "extra" on the Coast Starlight because I wanted to enjoy the Pacific Coast Parlour Car again. Both for ambiance and meals. It will be at the end of a few thousand miles on Amtrak, but I just had to "tack it on" for the PCPC. I have even booked (and paid for) my flight back to the east - at the end of the CS.

Moments ago I received an email from Amtrak telling me that The Pacific Coast Parlour car will be removed from that train in Early February. This is the only reason I booked this leg. Only! I don't need yet another bedroom trip with shared Dining Room Roulette.

Do I have any chance of Amtrak taking any kind of responsibility for this? If they had decided when I booked it (early for the best rates) that there would be no Parlour Car, I would not have booked it. Period.
Sounds like you don't ever need another sleeper trip with the very diverse cross section of people that share meals doing the Dining Car Roulette! As an avid Thomas Wolfe reader, I think he would surely enjoy whatever was thrown his way, as I'm equally sure he would find something to write about. In all my rail travels, I have only been able to afford one LD trip in a sleeper and I am extremely glad that I had the chance to do your so-called Roulette. ' Nuff said
 

cpotisch

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I apologize if we are sounding curt here. However, the fact of the matter (as is mentioned above) is that though you're not getting a PPC, Amtrak is still getting you from A to B in the accommodation you paid for, so they're not really obligated to comp you. When you think about it, for the past couple years, getting a PPC has frequently been a game of Roulette. They were only scheduled on certain runs, and occasionally a car would be bad-ordered, so in its place there'd be a Cross Country Cafe, SSL, or maybe nothing at all. While this is obviously a pretty crappy thing for you to discover (having bought your ticket solely for the Parlour Car), Amtrak has a very minimal obligation to compensate pax for lost amenities of this sort.

All that said, I do recommend calling 1-800-USA-RAIL and maybe they'll give you a $50 voucher or something like that. Bear in mind, you're still getting a ride along the coast with a Sightseer Lounge and dining car to enjoy, so things could be worse, right?
 
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Devil's Advocate

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Maybe the riders on the TE should complain about a lack of a PPC on their train. Should you complain because Delta Airlines replaced the 767 on your flight with a 757? They are still getting you from point A to point B. So is Amtrak on the CS.
The riders on the TE had no reason to believe, and Amtrak never implied, they would ever have a PPC on their train. Whereas on the Coast Starlight Amtrak went out of their way to say the cars would remain active on specific dates and would be coming back repaired and in good working order for the summer season. Their sudden decision to retire the PPC and sell them off has impacted their customers and their employees in a negative fashion. If a 767 came with a special lounge but a replacement 757 did not then yes, I'd complain to Delta, and probably be able to cancel or rebook on another flight without much issue.
 

jis

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The least Amtrak could do is waive the refund charge. I don;t see a reason why they should not, other than pigheadedness of course.
 

AmtrakBlue

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The least Amtrak could do is waive the refund charge. I don;t see a reason why they should not, other than pigheadedness of course.
I got the feeling the OP wants compensation for his flight home, which he only booked because he was expecting the PPC to be on the CS.


Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum
 

jis

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The least Amtrak could do is waive the refund charge. I don;t see a reason why they should not, other than pigheadedness of course.
I got the feeling the OP wants compensation for his flight home, which he only booked because he was expecting the PPC to be on the CS.


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That is just plain silly. Good luck with that. I hope Amtrak does not give any such consideration.
 

Ronbo

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May 12, 2015
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He should just stick with his original plan, have his meals served to him in his room to avoid the diner if desired, or heaven forbid, have a meal or two with his fellow passengers in the diner! And relax and enjoy the scenery that the Coast Starlight has to offer!
 
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Lonestar648

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Eating in his room, he misses the opportunity to view the great scenery from the DC windows which is always special to me. When I have been in the PPC, seating in the swivel chairs was difficult to obtain. Had a PPC been on his train, it could have been like my recent two trips of excessive heat either the whole car or at least half of it. Getting from A to B and to see the beautiful scenery along the CS route is why I take this route, the PPC was just an added benefit..
 

cpotisch

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This is how I see it. The OP has two options:

a) Refund the ticket (hopefully Amtrak could wave the 20% fee)

b) Ride a PPC-less Starlight

The big problem with (a) is that Amtrak definitely won’t refund your flight back. It really isn’t their responsibility that you’re taking a whole trip because of the PPC. Amtrak can quite possibly grant you a full refund for the Starlight ticket, (or give the 20% fee as an e-voucher), but don’t expect anything more. So you would take a loss on the flight and wouldn’t take a trip at all.

With (b), you may well be able to score a $75 or $50 refund/e-voucher, and you would still have the trip and ride on the Starlight to enjoy.

I say go with the latter.
 

the_traveler

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The Adirondack advertised that Ocean View would operate on it between September xx and October xx. On October 26 (within those dates) I planned to ride the Adirondack. But it was bad ordered and did not operate. This past weekend, I flew to Colorado to ride #5 thru the Rockies. The CZ advertises that it has a SSL. On Monday, #5 out of DEN did not have an SSL! It was bad ordered and another unused Dining Car (used as the cafe car) was substituted for the SSL.

Should I have cancelled? Do you think United And American would have refunded my airfare?
(I doubt it.)
 
B

Bill M.

Guest
Excuse, me, everyone! You misunderstood. I always travel by Sleeper and dine in the diner. Quite often , and more than often actually, it is wonderful and inspiring. So this is NOT the issue. (Most specifically, "Global Moderators"). I already had a great itinerary; I just wanted to enjoy the historic PPC once more. That's all.

Your collective venom is noted, posters. End of Postings, please.
 

Ryan

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If that’s all, the “shared dining room roulette” wasn’t really appropriate.

Sorry that we can’t read your mind and only go on the words you’ve provided us.
 

cpotisch

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Excuse, me, everyone! You misunderstood. I always travel by Sleeper and dine in the diner. Quite often , and more than often actually, it is wonderful and inspiring. So this is NOT the issue. (Most specifically, "Global Moderators"). I already had a great itinerary; I just wanted to enjoy the historic PPC once more. That's all.

Your collective venom is noted, posters. End of Postings, please.
Is it correct that you just wanted advice on how to have Amtrak comp you for the removal of the PPC? If so, you got answers.
As to the dining-car-related posts: In the first post, you said that you ‘don’t need yet another bedroom trip with shared Dining Room Roulette’. That does seem to imply that for you, a big plus with the PPC is the lack of ‘shared Dining Room Roulette’. Without a PPC on your train, we suggested the best way forward for you.
 

jebr

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I'm not sure what responsibility you're expecting Amtrak to take for this. There's nothing that requires them to give any consideration for the lack of a Pacific Parlor Car.

That being said, I'd say it'd be reasonable to ask Amtrak to waive any sort of cancellation fee should you decide not to take that leg; thus allowing you to get a full refund of that segment. If you do decide to take the trip and there's no sleeper-only lounge car, you may be able to get some compensation in the form of a voucher for future travel, but if they give anything it'll likely be rather small in comparison to the total cost of your trip (maybe $25-$50.)

Amtrak almost certainly won't take any responsibility for any change/cancellation fees for any travel not booked with them. Nor would I expect them to; they are still offering you the transportation and their obligation for transportation ends when the ticketed itinerary with Amtrak is completed. It might be worth seeing how much the change fee would be for your return flight and how much of a refund you would get from not taking the Coast Starlight and make your decision from there.
 
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cpotisch

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I'm not sure what responsibility you're expecting Amtrak to take for this. There's nothing that requires them to give any consideration for the lack of a Pacific Parlor Car.

That being said, I'd say it'd be reasonable to ask Amtrak to waive any sort of cancellation fee should you decide not to take that leg; thus allowing you to get a full refund of that segment. If you do decide to take the trip and there's no sleeper-only lounge car, you may be able to get some compensation in the form of a voucher for future travel, but if they give anything it'll likely be rather small in comparison to the total cost of your trip (maybe $25-$50.)

Amtrak almost certainly won't take any responsibility for any change/cancellation fees for any travel not booked with them. Nor would I expect them to; they are still offering you the transportation and their obligation for transportation ends when the ticketed itinerary with Amtrak is completed. It might be worth seeing how much the change fee would be for your return flight and how much of a refund you would get from not taking the Coast Starlight and make your decision from there.
I think this post absolutely nails the whole thing on the head and is precisely how you (the OP) should go from here.

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum
 
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B

Bill M.

Guest
Thank you, LSA and Engineer.

And to those who could not a bit of satire in my "Dining room Roulette" phrase; We all know that where you are seated is a gamble'! Could be the most wonderful or boring time you've ever had while dining. Simple analogy.
 

Tennessee Traveler

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The Adirondack advertised that Ocean View would operate on it between September xx and October xx. On October 26 (within those dates) I planned to ride the Adirondack. But it was bad ordered and did not operate. This past weekend, I flew to Colorado to ride #5 thru the Rockies. The CZ advertises that it has a SSL. On Monday, #5 out of DEN did not have an SSL! It was bad ordered and another unused Dining Car (used as the cafe car) was substituted for the SSL.

Should I have cancelled? Do you think United And American would have refunded my airfare?
(I doubt it.)
Incidentally, that CZ equipment set with the Dining Car used as a cafe car is now making its FOURTH round trip Chicago - Emeryville - Chicago. I'm not sure how "bad ordered" that is considering they have use this same equipment set all the month of January.
 

Bob Dylan

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Is Amtrak that short on SSL that they sub a DC?
That's probably a CCC Car( a Hybrid made from a Regular Superliner Diner with 1/2 the Car being a "Lounge/Cafe" that generally serves as a Crew Lounge)

It's OK as a Diner but sucks as a Lounge Car!
 
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M

momjons

Guest
I have traveled Amtrak for over 28 years. We enjoy the sleepers all the way. When the person talked about dining as the gambling option---that's how it feels. I've sat with discussions about war ( with body parts included), children born with third eye site, divorce in

America and not in 3rd world countries,politics, ect.ect. All done with force and determination I don't need with a meal. Yes, this adds to the excitement of the trip seeing a cross section of beliefs. We have started to take some meals in the room ( with a nice tip for the attendant ). It is sad to see the Parlor car go as Amtrak continues to downsize everything over the years. The Coast Starlight first class has really took a hit over the last few years. Remember the toiletry bags and drinks before you departed? All said, the upgraded lounge areas and remodel stations are nice. We will still travel Amtrak .
 

Lonestar648

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I started traveling on Amtrak in the 80's so I too miss the amenities that came with the Sleeper. But somehow despite Washington's attempts to discourage train travel, more and more select Amtrak. The PPC on the CS was really nice for just viewing the passing scenery, but it offered a nice place to read in the evenings, and a quieter place for Lunch and Dinner. So many ammenirties have been cut, not sure what else they can do to discourage train travel, except maybe forbid food consumption on board the train and non reclining seats. I miss the welcoming in your room, the white cloth on your pullout table, metal vase of a flower or two, etc. The EB had branded small wine bottles and glasses for each sleeper passenger. Other trains did other things. Yes, we will miss the PCC.
 
A

A. Urbano

Guest
I'll be traveling from LA to Klamath Falls/Ashland OR with three friends, two persons per roomette, on the way to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2018 Season. Our first trip will be in April and a second trip in August, round trip. We have done this for a number of years now, sometimes with kids, sometimes just adults. The Parlour car was where we all got together to visit, watch the passing scenery and have drinks before and after dinner. Some how the idea of four people sharing drinks in a roomette does not sound like a good deal. I have tried the Coach version of a "View Car" which is usually crowded with the smell of hot dogs permeating the air. Sorry that Amtrack is punishing the sleeping car passengers (to save money?) who do pay a higher fare than coach passengers.
 
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