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Will full service dining ever return to the Western trains?

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niemi24s

Conductor
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Feb 11, 2015
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If you want to dazzle 'em with bodacious numbers, poke around on Arrow a few hours until you find a travel date over the whole route of the Silvers when the Saver Coach fare of $130 is offered and Bedrooms are at high bucket of $1591. You can then proudly proclaim $1461 for a one night trip with flex dining makes the previous $356 look like the bargain of the millennium!
 

Qapla

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Jul 15, 2019
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Gator Country Florida
That is true ... I just used the "normal" ticket price and chose different days for travel so I could see if the Star and the Meteor had the same price (they did) to get an idea of the "everyday" cost of such a trip

At current COVID conditions - I am not planning such a trip!
 

tgstubbs1

Service Attendant
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Mar 3, 2020
Messages
130
The $623 from Chicago to LA is two nights,three if taking the Eagle and several meals. With the current flex dining it is a bit high. It was the same price with full service dining...You can get to Florida from Baltimore for example on Southwest for under $100.Flying to LA,a little more,but I take the train for the journey.
Let's see. If you have dinner on departure from CHI, then two full days, then breakfast on arrival in LA the SWC would have 8 meals included. Is that right?
 

amtkstn

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OK
Five Dinner first day, Second day breakfast, lunch, dinner and a early morning breakfast on the way into LA.
 

jiml

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Barb Stout

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Mar 13, 2019
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No, it's 2 days. One day will get you to ABQ (actually 25 hours), then about 2/3rds of another day/night to get to LA. I have to admit that I'm not looking at the timetables, just relying on my memory of both east bound and west bound trips from ABQ. But it's only 4-5 meals, not 8, because of the 2 nights of travel.
 

anumberone

Conductor
AU Supporter
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Aug 8, 2015
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Los Angeles
Sounds like it all boils down to Amtrak thinking, if Coach riders can travel without having to use a dinning car, Sleeper Pax can do the same.
 

drdumont

Service Attendant
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Apr 16, 2017
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207
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The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
The prices make less sense out west especially with flex dining. October 1 sees a $623 price for a roomette from Chicago to LA vs. $343 for first class, non-stop on the same day via united.
Problem here is you would have to fly on United. And deal with TSA and the rest of the tsouris of airports.

I believe most Amtrak riders are those who either cannot fly, don't want to fly, or ride Amtrak for the sheer pleasure of the ride (or at least what is left of the pleasure). Greyhound isn't all that cheap any more, and ven if it is, the worst ride on a train is better than the best ride on a bus, IMHO.
 

Sidney

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
66
I will only fly if I have to be somewhere quick or when I m low on Amtrak points and I can't find a low bucket fare. Comparing flying to rail travel is apples to oranges. Of course it is cheaper to fly cross country. Last rates I checked for travel in October was $129 BWI to LAX on Southwest and $900 for a roomette and $250 for Coachon Amtrak. If cost is the factor there is no comparison. When I was younger I did three overnights in Coach quite often. Maybe one night if I both seats to myself. That is guaranteed now,but when the pedemic passes that will not be the case.
 

crescent-zephyr

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Oct 21, 2015
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Problem here is you would have to fly on United. And deal with TSA and the rest of the tsouris of airports.

I believe most Amtrak riders are those who either cannot fly, don't want to fly, or ride Amtrak for the sheer pleasure of the ride (or at least what is left of the pleasure). Greyhound isn't all that cheap any more, and ven if it is, the worst ride on a train is better than the best ride on a bus, IMHO.
You're suggesting United customer service is worse than Amtrak? I don't love the TSA but I've never been questioned by TSA as I have by Amtrak police for having a "suspicious" itinerary. (A one-way ticket in a roomette to Salt Lake City).

I've had bus rides that were better than my worst experiences on Amtrak, but for truly long-distance overnight trips I agree. The biggest problem with bus travel in the USA is the constant transfers.
 

tonys96

Conductor
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Aug 5, 2011
Messages
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Location
Texas
Apples and Oranges are both fruits. Rail and Air are both public transit options. What would you suggest I use to compare Amtrak prices with?
Best is Megabus, or The old Gray Dog, but can also compare with:

Driving, hitch hiking, and walking. All are terra firma based transport alternatives, like Amtrak.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
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Oct 21, 2015
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Driving, hitch hiking, and walking. All are terra firma based transport alternatives, like Amtrak.
Those are not public transit options though.

Greyhound is, but since they don’t offer a first-class product it’s difficult to compare any greyhound prices to Amtrak sleeping cars IMHO.

I suppose I just see things the way I see them. When I plan a trip I compare first-class air with roomette prices. Those are the two options I consider. I use bus services to get places that air and rail won't take me. Before I got used to flying, I would use Mega Bus more often.
 
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