Rude Amtrak employees

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railiner

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There’s this, or at least there was…

IIRC, they had some sort of recognition program, beyond the every five years service pin…
 

cassie225

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For me, I have not had a rude person in the diner but it seems the sleeper attendants have changed, not rude just not attentive and maybe they have a lot more work to do. They have been young so maybe so maybe they have not been seasoned yet.
 

TheCrescent

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Whatever Amtrak did to get the fantastic staff at the Metropolitan Lounge at Moynihan, Amtrak should repeat throughout the system. They are great!
 

joelkfla

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For me, I have not had a rude person in the diner but it seems the sleeper attendants have changed, not rude just not attentive and maybe they have a lot more work to do. They have been young so maybe so maybe they have not been seasoned yet.
I think they used to be responsible for a single sleeper, but now it's usually 1.5 cars or even 2.
 

Amtrak709

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I think they used to be responsible for a single sleeper, but now it's usually 1.5 cars or even 2.
joelkfla: I believe this is pretty much the case as has been my recent experiences on the Crescent. As a matter of curiosity, you, I believe, have travelled recently on 91/92 with the five-car sleeper consist. Any comments on the service level there?
 

joelkfla

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joelkfla: I believe this is pretty much the case as has been my recent experiences on the Crescent. As a matter of curiosity, you, I believe, have travelled recently on 91/92 with the five-car sleeper consist. Any comments on the service level there?
My last trip was in October, before the Silver Meteor suspension. In fact, I was on the Meteor both ways.

My next trip is scheduled in June, conditioned on COVID not going crazy in Wash. DC by then.
 

Joe from PA

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travelled recently on 91/92 with the five-car sleeper consist. Any comments on the service level there?

We did, on 91, Phila. to Ft. Lauderdale on March 19. Our BIG mistake was trying to use the dining car. Total bedlam with the poor room attendants trying to deliver meals to 5 sleeping cars. We will most likely be flying to Florida next year, and just using Amtrak to get to Boston in 5 hours.
 

Amtrak709

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We did, on 91, Phila. to Ft. Lauderdale on March 19. Our BIG mistake was trying to use the dining car. Total bedlam with the poor room attendants trying to deliver meals to 5 sleeping cars. We will most likely be flying to Florida next year, and just using Amtrak to get to Boston in 5 hours.
JoefromPA: Thanks for that. Your response does NOT surprise me. As a railfan, and as one who is still sad ref the Silver Meteor suspension, there is this natural desire to want to ride a train with the large consist like 91/92 has now: 2-3 locos, 5 sleepers, diner, lounge car, 5-6 coaches, baggage. My concern, however, is the service level in the sleepers. My recent experience on the Crescent with only two sleepers has been marginal at best. Any one else: would love to read yor comments. Thanks!
 

Tom Booth

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I used to take the Maple Leaf a few times a year when I lived in Toronto. The difference between Amtrak and VIA crews on the same train was always like night and day. Amtrak crews seemed to regard passengers as an annoyance, and spent most of the journey taking up the majority of the cafe car. VIA crews on the other hand were a delight and were far more customer orientated.
I've noticed the difference too. A number of times on the Ocean and on the Corridor Montreal-Quebec run. Outstanding crews.
 

jis

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The Super Star has one SCA per car, so total 5 SCAs. However, it has 3 Coach attendants for 5 Coaches normally.

I have traveled four times on the Super Star and had relatively good experience in each. All trips in Roomette. All SCAs have been better than average.

Most still appear to eat in their rooms, but still the Diner was well patronized. At least in my experience those eating in the Diner picked up their food at the counter. For lunch and dinner the SCA took down reservations for a specific time both for eat in and take out to room. Take out to rooms were delivered to the room by the SCA at the appointed time. Eat ins were ready for pick up at the counter at the appointed time. On the whole it seemed to work well within the limits of Flex of course.

On the last round trip there were flowers in vases at each table in the Diner.

I will be traveling by it round trip to New York again around the last weekend of June. I have absolutely no qualms about doing so. Of course reintroduction of traditional dining, hopefully in September with the restoration of two trains will make things much better.
 
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Amtrak709

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The Super Star has one SCA per car, so total 5 SCAs. However, it has 3 Coach attendants for 5 Coaches normally.

I have traveled four times on the Super Star and had relatively good experience in each. All trips in Roomette. All SCAs have been better than average.

Most still appear to eat in their rooms, but still the Diner was well patronized. At least in my experience those eating in the Diner picked up their food at the counter. For lunch and dinner the SCA took down reservations for a specific time both for eat in and take out to room. Take out to rooms were delivered to the room by the SCA at the appointed time. Eat ins were ready for pick up at the counter at the appointed time. On the whole it seemed to work well within the limits of Flex of course.

On the last round trip there were flowers in vases at each table in the Diner.

I will be traveling by it round trip to New York again around the last weekend of June. I have absolutely no qualms about doing so. Of course reintroduction of traditional dining, hopefully in September with the restoration of two trains will make things much better.
Thanks for the comments, jis. Still trying to make the decision on boarding station, then maybe same day turnaround to RVR. Considering riding south into FL from SAV to maybe TPA--but the departure and arrivals times in SAV are not real good. By the way, I noticed your location as Space Coast, FL. I lived in Palm Bay from 1979-1982 before moving to Daytona Beach. I don't not think I have been back to Palm Bay since 1982--doubt I would recognize it.
 

Sidney

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Whatever Amtrak did to get the fantastic staff at the Metropolitan Lounge at Moynihan, Amtrak should repeat throughout the system. They are great!
The Metropolitan Lounge at Moynihan is the crown jewel in the system. If only Chicago,LA,Boston.Philly,DC and Portland could emulate Moynihan. Chicago is the most spacious,but the food and beverage options are average. Only negative about the Moynihan is that you can't board the train directly so if you have a Coach seat you are still on the long line,being they post the track numbers at the same time as the rest of the station does. The food at Moynihan is better than the flex crap you get in a sleeper.
 
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Whatever Amtrak did to get the fantastic staff at the Metropolitan Lounge at Moynihan, Amtrak should repeat throughout the system. They are great!
Completely agree about Moynihan. The staff, at least behind the food counter, are contract. One of them told me their company transferred them from an airport VIP lounge, where they presumably learned how to be nice to people. Have been there twice but looking forward to returning and checking out the new bar. Any reports on the prices? Would be nice to just get a beer to go with the free sandwiches and salads.

I'm lucky enough to burn coupons on Acela first class upgrades. The free first class Acela food is slightly better than flex, but the unlimited free drinks on board are great!
 

pennyk

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I was on the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee (ACAC), which is no longer in existence, for 5 years. The ACAC awarded Customer Service Awards to Amtrak employees for excellent service. I was pleased to have nominated many employees and to have had the pleasure to present in person some of them with awards. Below are a few photos of some of the ceremonies, often attended by Amtrak Management.


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TheCrescent

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Completely agree about Moynihan. The staff, at least behind the food counter, are contract. One of them told me their company transferred them from an airport VIP lounge, where they presumably learned how to be nice to people. Have been there twice but looking forward to returning and checking out the new bar. Any reports on the prices? Would be nice to just get a beer to go with the free sandwiches and salads.

I'm lucky enough to burn coupons on Acela first class upgrades. The free first class Acela food is slightly better than flex, but the unlimited free drinks on board are great!

Agreed. I got hooked on the Old Fashioneds from the Acela Express and buy them regularly for home use.

The staff on the noon Acela Express on Saturdays (southbound from NYP) is also fantastic. I rode it twice and then didn’t ride for a month; next time I was on board, the first-class attendant came up and gave me the same drink I had ordered on those two prior rides (a Scotch). Really excellent customer service.
 

Willbridge

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The Metropolitan Lounge at Moynihan is the crown jewel in the system. If only Chicago,LA,Boston.Philly,DC and Portland could emulate Moynihan. Chicago is the most spacious,but the food and beverage options are average. Only negative about the Moynihan is that you can't board the train directly so if you have a Coach seat you are still on the long line,being they post the track numbers at the same time as the rest of the station does. The food at Moynihan is better than the flex crap you get in a sleeper.
I have been in most corners of Portland Union Station over the years, and I think that providing a more elaborate Metropolitan Lounge might result in losing the short walk to the train.
 
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I have been in most corners of Portland Union Station over the years, and I think that providing a more elaborate Metropolitan Lounge might result in losing the short walk to the train.
If it was not for the existence of Powell's Books a modest walk away, I could easily spend most of the day at the Portland lounge. It is a remarkably pleasant place and I enjoy its closeness to the tracks.
 
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Devil's Advocate

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None of my friends or family will ride Amtrak anymore because dealing with the staff became too much of a headache. Years later Amtrak remains the butt of jokes about bad service because their entitled staff are willing to say things most carriers would find unacceptable. But who is tasked with ensuring staff are friendly and helpful on Amtrak? The conductor does not care how the staff treat customers so I guess that leaves nobody. I have no idea how they get high scores on staff ratings because I see them treat coach passengers like unwanted cargo. It's always "Get back in the station and wait, go sit in this one particular seat I chose for you, & if you don't like it that's your problem." Calling this good service is even more depressing than admitting it's bad service.
 
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None of my friends or family will ride Amtrak anymore because dealing with the staff became too much of a headache. Years later Amtrak remains the butt of jokes about bad service because their entitled staff are willing to say things most carriers would find unacceptable. But who is tasked with ensuring staff are friendly and helpful on Amtrak? The conductor does not care how the staff treat customers so I guess that leaves nobody. I have no idea how they get high scores on staff ratings because I see them treat coach passengers like unwanted cargo. It's always "Get back in the station and wait, go sit in this one particular seat I chose for you, & if you don't like it that's your problem." Calling this good service is even more depressing than admitting it's bad service.
Absolutely the best summation of the problem that I have ever heard!

(But like some things in life, it didn't use to be that way.)
 

TheCrescent

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The most recent Service Quality Report from the Federal Railroad Administration indicates that customer satisfaction with "Amtrak Personnel" is fairly high, ranging from 84% to 91% on LD trains. See page 40, FY22 Q1 Service Quality Report | FRA (dot.gov) This corroborates my personal experience with generally good Amtrak personnel.

Lots of interesting data here: Intercity Passenger Rail Service Quality and Performance Reports | FRA (dot.gov)

That seems like a very good score but (this is not directed at you) I wonder how employees of resorts, high-end hotels and regular airlines would rate.
 
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I have no idea how they get high scores on staff ratings because I see them treat coach passengers like unwanted cargo.

I took NER 86 one day last week from Trenton to Kingston in coach. The conductors were pleasant, cheerful, and helpful, and the train was extremely clean—the cleaning people checked/freshened the bathrooms several times during my 4-hour trip. The train was on time the whole way.

I rarely receive an Amtrak survey about my trips, but I received one asking about that trip.

Thinking back, all the surveys I have received have been for very good trips with great crews and no problems.

I have never received a survey about a trip that wasn’t good.

I have wondered if Amtrak just happens to “randomly” pick the trains with the best crews and general performance and send surveys about those but not about ones with problems?
 
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Cal

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I have wondered if Amtrak just happens to “randomly” pick the trains with the best crews and general performance and send surveys about those but not about ones with problems?
Probably too much work for them to bother doing in the first place 😅

But in all seriousness, I don't think the people who would be organizing those surveys would be in direct cooperation with the people who schedule the crews. But who knows, that's just a guess from me.
 
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