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Return To Traditional Dining on Long Distance Trains?

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niemi24s

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...from Flexible Dining appears to be in the cards for the Westbound Empire Builder starting on 17 Dec 2020 and the Southbound Texas Eagle starting on 18 Dec 2020. Don't know about other trains.

Is this something new, or have I been asleep at the switch (as usual)? Or is it a programming error in Arrow?
 
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lordsigma

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Arrow was showing a return to traditional dining on the earlier “return to normal” dates before it got extended before. It’s probably going to depend on demand and status of Covid.
 

niemi24s

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If true, great. What is your source of info?
Do a dummy booking using Arrow and then click on Details. The type of dining shows up on the drop down menu, amongst other stuff.

And the Westbound CZ shows Flexible Dining up through 14 Dec 2020 and then Traditional Dining starting on 16 Dec 2020. However, not sure how meaningful the info is that shows up there.

Here's similar info for the Eastbound CZ (first appearance of Traditional Dining):
Trad. Din. Return.jpg
But maybe it's all a pipedream?
 
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ScottC4746

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I haven't been on a LD train since before COVID and saw at one point they really scaled way back on service. I just went on Amtrak just now and looks like everything is back to normal again. Is that true?
 

niemi24s

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Moderators: Suggest combining this thread with this other one: Dining Car Service LD Trains It's OP may be an eye witness to the return of Traditional Dining. Maybe. Hopefully.

MODERATOR NOTE: The two threads were merged
 
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niemi24s

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FWIW, Arrow sayeth Traditional Dining returns to the Northbound CS on 16 Dec 2020.

But as C³ hinted, maybe it's just a coy attempt to erase Flexible Dining from our memories.
 

AmtrakBlue

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I'm sure this notice has been up on the site since they switched to flex dining on all LD trains. And, just like how they keep extending the relaxed change fees/refunds policy, this may or may not get extended.Screen Shot 2020-10-11 at 5.26.40 PM.png

 

niemi24s

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I'm sure this notice has been up on the site since they switched to flex dining on all LD trains. And, just like how they keep extending the relaxed change fees/refunds policy, this may or may not get extended.View attachment 19282

At present, here's what comes up as the menu for Traditional Dining on the Empire Builder: https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/menus/routes/Long-Distance-Dining-Car-Menu-0120.pdf

Logic tells me this will be its menu starting 17 Dec 2020. But I know better than to think logic applies here.
 

AmtrakBlue

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joelkfla

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AmtrakFlyer

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Until management and certain Board members are removed I don’t expect traditional dining to return or any improvements in food service.

I’ll take it step farther if this management remains in place it’s more likely that meals will be removed as an amenity for sleeper passengers and they will have to pay for whatever they want from the lounge along with NO reduction in sleeper fares.

Unfortunately Covid is playing right into these guys hands of destroying almost everything except the NEC.
 

Devil's Advocate

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While the Mica Rule has apparently been de-fanged by Congress the reinstatement date has been changed before and could easily be changed again. Until we see something more than this I wouldn't expect a change as of yet. If Amtrak is really planning to bring back traditional dining I would expect to see a press release at a minimum.
 

niemi24s

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The menu states "as of 1/2020"...
So What? Your quote comes from this printed on the menu:
This list is compiled based on information provided by Amtrak approved food suppliers, as of 01/22/20. Ingredient changes may occur before this list is updated. Amtrak makes no guarantees regarding the accuracy of these items
This pertains to only the food items on the menu and has nothing to do with whether or not (or when) the items on the menu will or will not be served. And my reading comprehension is pretty good this time of the day. The only other date I could find on the menu itself is "AMT LDS 0120" and appears to be nothing more than a date of publication. And if you're going to put quotation marks around something, please get it right. You wrote "as of 1/2020" which is not the same as what's printed on the menu.

FWIW, the Details drop-down menu for the Westbound SWC shows Traditional Dining is back on 17 Dec 2020.
 
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niemi24s

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And just for giggles and grins I just sent this off to Julie:
The drop-down menu in Arrow when booking any long distance Western train shows a change from Flexible Dining to Traditional Dining during the third week of December 2020. What exactly will this change involve in regard to the food items?
At least I think it was sent successfully. <edit> And just a moment ago I stumbled across this as the source of the 15 Dec 2020 reference previously posted but now deleted:
Service Change
Traditional dining service has been temporarily suspended on all routes with the exception of the Auto Train. Through December 15, 2020, Sleeping Car customers will be offered flexible dining service; Coach customers will be offered Café service.
So I guess that's been the plan all along. Well I'll be fried in wine!

Moderators: Please feel free to delete this entire thread.
 
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