I like lots of peace and quiet and solitude, but there’s plenty of that on an LD trip, and I enjoy or need all the interactions with the crew that you have listed.Amtrak’s approach: plenty of nasty employees combined with a system that emphasizes lots of contact between employees and passengers likely compounds customer dissatisfaction.
1. If I could order dinner online, then I wouldn’t have to deal with employee attitude when the Amtrak employee comes by to take my order. (One time when I asked for a glass of wine with dinner, the employee fussed at me and said that it wasn’t her job to wait in line in the cafe car for me.)
2. I don’t need a wake-up call, particularly when my stop is before dawn and particularly when the wake-up call is often 30 minutes or more before arrival.
3. I would prefer to be able to just get off the train by myself. (I’ve been yelled at when I came to the door nearest my room to get off.)
4. I don’t need someone interrupting me to tell me how to use the room. I’m Select Plus; I’ve taken Amtrak sleeping cars many times before, which Amtrak should know.
5. I can raise and lower the bed myself.
6. Why doesn’t Amtrak have a place where you can put your ticket so that it can be scanned without the ticket collector needing to knock on your door and interrupt? I’ve been fussed at for NOT leaving my ticket in the window of the sleeping car, and fussed at for needing to unlock the door so that the ticket collector can come in; either way, I get fussed at.
If Amtrak had consistently helpful employees, the “high touch” level of service would be fine. But since each interaction with an Amtrak employee increases the chance of the employee yelling at the customer and the customer being dissatisfied, Amtrak should move as much as it can to be online and reduce the contacts unless the customer wants them.
If I had simply been left alone by one sleeping car attendant on the Crescent, I would still be an Amtrak regular. But thanks to Amtrak employees, I am an American Airlines twice-a-week flyer.
I prefer to make sure in person that the conductor has scanned my ticket, and I prefer to see an LSA in person in case I have questions or to let them know if I want to eat in the room or in the dining car—if I ordered ahead online, I might change my mind later.
I can use help getting off the train, and I would never try making the bed by myself.
I only needed a wake-up call once—early morning arrival in Sacramento—but I was grateful for it.
I must just be lucky, because I have never run into a truly bad or rude crew member on the LD trains.
Instead, I have met a few truly nice and helpful ones that I sometimes come across again, which makes the trip even better.