Rude Employees

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Jul 16, 2010
Gee! And they were so nice on my R/T to Chicago a few weeks ago!

Typical Amtrak. The Standards are there to be broken at the whim of the crew.

The web page is written by idiots that never take any LD trips.

Executives, who never take LD trains, don't care.

Once again the "Center of Excellence" strikes again.

If you have zeros at the top (in the numerator), you can divide by any number and you still get zero. Basic math - but too hard for Amtrak to understand.


50 year Amtrak Rider
Staff member
Gathering Team Member
Jul 5, 2009
Orlando, FL
I was asked once by the Dining Car Stewart if I was an Amtrak Spy, I just laughed.
With regard to the notion of Amtrak "secret shoppers," when the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee (ACAC) was in existence, its members were required to file trip reports after every trip on Amtrak. Committee members did not disclose their position to crews and staff. The train, crew, station, food, etc. were all evaluated. Committee members also nominated Amtrak employees for Customer Service Awards. I believe I nominated at least 8 employees for Customer Service Awards during the five years I was a member of the ACAC. We did not ride for "free" unless we were traveling to an ACAC meeting or function.
Aug 8, 2014
Hello All,
I could use some assistance. I have an issue I feel that lies beyond the normal customer service phone line. I am currently on the eastbound Cardinal (8/25). The crew is TERRIBLE. Worst crew in my extensive 100,000+ miles of train travel. The only good crew member is the view liner attendant. I didn’t get my full meal I ordered, and tried to resolve it. No luck. I was sitting in the lounge, and was kicked out as they were closed. This shouldn’t be the case as on the website it show the flex dining lounges open 24/7. The timetable shows flex dining. I don’t really care if this isn’t the case on “this train”. Quite frankly, they advertised it as such, and should deliver. I asked one of the attendants if there was any place we could finish up a card game out of their way, and was rudely asked if I didn’t hear well, and that I was told the lounge was closing soon. I asked about the flex dining lounge being open, and I was to give an example. I was then told the Lakeshore Limited was a double decker train, and therefore was different. Once I picked my jaw off the floor from a crew that goes in to NYP, and therefore should know the clearance restrictions saying this, I decided to reach out. This trip has been really rough. I purchased 2 rooms for my group, and the rooms are so worn that one of the doors doesn’t even lock. Also, as of when did they close the long distance lounge seating at night? I know when arriving/ departing terminus points they do, but this is new for me.
Thanks for any help!
The best thing you can do is to put your complaint in writing at They will respond and will more than likely apologize and offer some form of compensation. I complained in writing about the dirty bedroom I paid a premium for on a recent Silver Meteor trip. I was compensated with a $350 travel voucher. They also thanked me for bringing this to their attention. We feel your pain and completely sympathize with your feelings. But, you owe it to yourself and future riders to let Amtrak know of your dissatisfaction. As was already requested, please let us know how things work out for you.
Sep 15, 2017
Regarding the lounge seating closing at night, that has been my experience every trip I have taken on the Cardinal specifically as far back as 2017. Due to limited seating, I have also been told that only customers making purchases can sit in the lounge on the LSL during my past few trips, as well as on the Capitol Limited and Texas Eagle since they lost their SSL. However, with the exception of early on in the pandemic, I have never had issues staying in the lounge overnight on the trains with SSLs, the Florida trains, or the Crescent.
On the Lake Shore they pretty much let me hang out in the VL2 diner/sleeper lounge as long as I wanted on my most recent trip. And the attendent would periodically come by the table and ask if I wanted anything else. Of course that train has two food service cars.


Lead Service Attendant
Apr 19, 2018
Brighton, CO (DEN but FMG-Preferred)
Well I feel most of us in this forum have a better understanding of what the OBS (including Conductors/Assistant Conductors) personnel are faced with on every trip. Such as delays for what seems like very minor reasons. Or that a mechanical/electrical/electronic gremlin is causing equipment (heating/ A/C, plumbing, etc) not to function as advertised. And that they are unable to do anything about it. But we are few and far between traveling with the millions yearly.

Most of my life was dealing with the public face-to-face in the airline industry. And most of it was back when people were more understanding, civil and courteous to one another. Nowadays customer service personnel are more regularly tasked to deal with a much different clientele. People these days are demanding (i.e. spoiled), wanting instant gratification and just plain rude! Believe me no matter how helpful a personality someone naturally has the constant barrage of being berated and badgered can take its toll on your demeanor.

Yes, you pay for something or a service you expect to get it. But there are times and unforeseen circumstances that it just doesn’t happen. The conduct of the customer service personnel (OBS or others) is something that does need to be taken into consideration. They should treat customers respectfully and courteously no matter how the day is going. But since most of us are human that isn’t always the case. But I personally tried to take into account attitude as to what they have been dealing with. And yes, I have contacted/written management about individuals that I feel were not quite up to snuff and done the same for someone that has gone over and above what is expected. It is two-way street. Proudly I can say all the letters in my “file” were complementary from customers and not complaints.

One thing my mother (an MIA airport bartender for 25+ years) taught me was tipping. Even when service was horrendous she would always leave a tip. And not a penny as insult! With the hopes that maybe they would be in a better frame of mind for the next customer. It wouldn’t be what she normally would tip but she would never stiff them.

In all of my Amtrak travels I have found 98% of the OBS to be doing their duties the way they should be. Some better than others and only one or two that really should’ve called off that trip!
Sep 2, 2021
Lubec, ME
One thing my mother (an MIA airport bartender for 25+ years) taught me was tipping. Even when service was horrendous she would always leave a tip. And not a penny as insult! With the hopes that maybe they would be in a better frame of mind for the next customer. It wouldn’t be what she normally would tip but she would never stiff them.
I agree with this. I would never leave no tip especially these days with the staff shortages in many places and the resulting stress on the remaining employees.

In my experience it seems things have gotten somewhat better over the years. I can remember some bad experiences in the early days of Amtrak, holdovers from the Penn Central era, in particular one club car attendant who apparently decided low lifes such as my wife and I didn't belong in his club car and tried in a passive aggressive way to make our lives as miserable as possible.