Tips for meals and Sleeping Car attendant

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I like rolling hotels

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 7, 2019
Messages
19
I like to put unusual surprises in with my tip to the SCA. Usually I put in Zimbabwe money from their hyperinflation, so s/he gets both something spendable and a conversation piece that says "ten billion dollars" on it.

I had heard $5/day from someone who rides a lot and organizes groups, but I notice $10 is more common here.

I paper-clip ten dollar bills together for each day of meals, plus the SCA tip.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
790
The way I do tipping if I'm in a sleeper, is that I tip after my meals in the dining car, plus also to the SCA ONLY at the point when I'm getting off the train at my final destination. For the SCA, I usually would do either $5-10, depending on how good the service was. I'd probably do more than $10 at the end of my trip if say I did a VERY long trip(i.e. if I rode 421, Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited and if theoretically I did the entire CHI-LAX route in a sleeper? or CHI-LAX on the SW Chief?), and the service was extremely danged great.

I hadn't ridden yet in any train that has gone to contemporary/flex dining, and wonder how others are doing tipping for long distance trains that've gone to that? Since it's only airplane like food, not sure if I'd want to tip, unless say a server was providing me with coffee or other drink refills.
 

Judy Tee

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 12, 2019
Messages
32
My tips are always in cash. As a single I fall into the $2-3 for breakfast, $3-4 for lunch and $5+ for dinner. Depends a lot on the service received. In a bedroom my SCA gets $5-$10 per night if service with beds, ice etc is timely. More if help with luggage ( almost never happens), extra blankets, friendly, engaging, etc. Ive had some really good ones lately. As far as the Cafe goes I walk down and grab my own beer and he/she rings it up. That's just a cashier and Ill give them the half a dollar change and that's it. If i purchased food I'd tip a little more.
Where do you leave the tip for the SCA who services your roomette/bedroom? In the room?
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
11,433
I always just hand the tip to the attendant shortly before arrival or when leaving the train.
Same here. I usually try to give it before arrival because I'm not busy getting my bag and detraining.
 

Willbridge

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
262
And then there was Bing Crosby, whose butler handled the ANNUAL tip to Eddie Elkins, parlor-lounge car attendant on the Del Monte. As a weekly coach passenger on that train in my Army uniform, I found that Mr. Elkins was appreciative of my small tips and remembered me from week to week.

In coach now, I rarely tip the rarely seen attendant. However, if they do something out of the ordinary, then I tip $5 (one night) or $10 (two nights) upon alighting.
 

Sauve850

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
475
As I leave the train, I give my SCA my tip. If the SCA attendant offers to help with removal of my carry-on stuff, he/she will receive a bit more as I depart.
Yes I do the same. Many come by the room on arrival and ask if i need any help with bags. Rarely get help when boarding. I always have a backpack and a carry on suitcase. I ask them to take the suitcase.
 

I like rolling hotels

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 7, 2019
Messages
19
They won't touch anything you leave in the room even if it's in an envelope with their name on it. I hand it to them in person usually at turndown time at night.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
1,522
Yes I do the same. Many come by the room on arrival and ask if i need any help with bags. Rarely get help when boarding. I always have a backpack and a carry on suitcase. I ask them to take the suitcase.
The best service the SCA has provided with luggage when I boarded was to take my carry-on and put it at the end of the steps of the entrance platform to the car. That was fine. That was helpful for me. And, it was appreciated.
 

anumberone

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
1,075
In my experience, most people leave cash on the table. I usually order wine with dinner and that allows me to place a gratuity on the payment card tip line (for which I do the anticipated tips for all of my meals for the following day, since I don't order alcohol with breakfast or lunch).

I will note that I am often seated out of ordering sequence so that my dining companions receive their meals and finish them first. They will often excuse themselves to go back to their rooms or the lounge leaving me to finish my meal alone (perfectly fine with me). I mention this because they usually leave a cash tip behind and if I were unscrupulous, I could easily pocket it without either them or the diner car staff knowing.

It happens so often that if I were leaving a cash tip, I would attempt to give it to the dining car attendant who serviced my table just in case.
Or, the other unscrupulous way of dealing with it if you wanted to take the high road and not be a total jerk, rake the other guys tip over to your side
 

Rasputin

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
606
It is sort of odd dealing with tips on the 421/422 through Chicago - LA sleeper on the Texas Eagle because the sleeping car attendants change in San Antonio instead of working the whole route. I guess you should tip the attendant sometime in the evening before arrival in San Antonio and before they go off duty and then tip the new attendant for their service at the end of the trip.
 

jimmrl

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
47
It is sort of odd dealing with tips on the 421/422 through Chicago - LA sleeper on the Texas Eagle because the sleeping car attendants change in San Antonio instead of working the whole route. I guess you should tip the attendant sometime in the evening before arrival in San Antonio and before they go off duty and then tip the new attendant for their service at the end of the trip.
I have done this trip once. The LA to San Antonio SCA was about two cans short of a six pack, but the SCA from SA to Ft Worth was great, so he got a double tip.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
18,931
I have done this trip once. The LA to San Antonio SCA was about two cans short of a six pack, but the SCA from SA to Ft Worth was great, so he got a double tip.
The SCA on the #422 Sleeper now stays aboard from SAS-FTW, but moves to the Thru Coach as an attendandt as the New SCA takes over the #422 Sleeper from SAS-CHI.
 

RSG

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
575
Or, the other unscrupulous way of dealing with it if you wanted to take the high road and not be a total jerk, rake the other guys tip over to your side
Yes, I've thought about that as well. That would be the more likely option for someone who was a little shady, but not a complete scoundrel.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,253
I hadn't ridden yet in any train that has gone to contemporary/flex dining, and wonder how others are doing tipping for long distance trains that've gone to that? Since it's only airplane like food, not sure if I'd want to tip, unless say a server was providing me with coffee or other drink refills.
When I rode the Meteor I felt no need to tip the LSA who handed you the food at the counter. She wasn't rude, but she also wasn't very friendly either. My sleeper attendant took meal orders, and ended up delivering one of my meals and also brought me coffee in the morning and an extra LaCroix from the diner. Basically I tipped her what I usually would have tipped my SCA and the diner staff. So $20 for a single overnight. (Would usually be $10 for the SCA, $5 for dinner, $2-3 each for breakfast / lunch).

Now if you get a super lazy SCA and a really nice LSA you may want to change that up.. in my case the SCA was the only person I thought deserving of a tip.
 
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