Amtrak Complaint - Amtrak - Never again
In summary taking Amtrak was a terrible experience. Arrogant unfriendly personnel, dirty bathrooms, cold temperatures because A. C. is turned up too high, dirty windows, too uncomfortable to get any sleep, trains don’t run on time, for what they charge for a sleeper you may as well fly. I would never take Amtrak again, I would drive first.
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Amtrak experience was terrible. We took the Southwest Chief from Chicago to L. A.
, CA, 2 Reserved Coach Seats, departed 09-JUN-10; 3:15 pm - arrival 11-JUN-10; 8:15 am . This is what we experienced on the trip to L. A.
We were assigned seats by an Amtrak employee before boarding the train. Our seats were #3 and #4 on the last car of the train. We had all of bags in place and were all settled in. Then about 20 min. after the train pulled out of the station, the attendant for our car who’s name is Francis told us that we could not sit in those seats, they were for her and that we had to move. I told her that we were assigned those seats at the station, she said that they didn’t know what they were doing and we had to move. We were some what embarrasssed in front of the other passengers, since Francis made us feel like we were trying to get away with something. So took our luggage and moved to the new seats. Shortly there after we decided to go to the observation car, we spent maybe an hour and a half in the observation car and returned to our seats. When we returned to our car there were 2 people sitting in the seats that Francis removed us from. When I asked Francis why there were people sitting in those seats she said they over booked the train so she had to seat them there. Well the train was not over booked. The rest of the evening and next day Francis sat in the seats across from this couple and spent a lot of time talking to them, I suspect they were her friends and she wanted them to sit in the back across from her and that’s why she moved us. Francis was arrogant and not very friendly, she seemed to be bothered if you asked her a question. She spent a lot of her time texting on her cell phone. Sometime during the second day she moved up to the car in front of us along with her friends. Some other people then sat in the seats she removed us from.
All of the windows on the train were dirty, the windows on the observation car were very dirty, we could hardly see out of some of the windows, very disappointing since that’s one of the reasons for riding the train.
The bathrooms were always dirty but by the second day the sinks were clogged up, water was to the top. Some were out of paper towels. I saw a passenger put paper towels in one of the bathrooms, I don’t know where she got them from. I guess Francis was too busy texting.
During the second evening my wife came back from the restroom and told me that when she passed the baggage area she didn’t see one of my suit cases. I went down to the baggage area and could not find one of my suit cases. I was now almost frantic thinking of the things I had in my bag that would be lost. I informed one of the conductors that my bag was missing, he went down to the baggage area with me, asked me to describe my bag, I did, he then took me to another car, showed me a bag that was stored above a seat that had a passenger in it and asked me if that was my bag, and it was. He told me that sometimes they move people's bags from the baggage area so that can have room for larger suit cases. How can they move people's bags with out telling them. If my wife hadn’t noticed that my bag was missing what would I have done when we got to our destination. Amtrak has no consideration for it’s passengers.
Forget about trying to sleep in coach. The seats are very uncomfortable, they give you a very small pillow about 12” by 8” and don’t even think of asking for two. The temperature was freezing at night, they wouldn’t turn off the air, grown men were bundle led up in blankets and wore hoodies. Also the aisle lights are so bright they keep you awake, I was lucky if I got an hour of sleep each night.
No A. C. outlets by the passenger seats. The only electrical A. C. outlets were 2 of them on the observation car, of course everyone and their brother wanted to plug in.
We were almost an hour late leaving Albuquerque, N. M., the morning of our arrival the conductor told me we would be a good 45 min. late arriving in L. A. So I called my son who was picking us up that we would be about an hour late. I don’t know how the engineer did it but we ended up getting to L. A. around 45 min earlier than what our original scheduled time was. So of course we had a long wait at the L. A. station for my son to pick us up.
The return trip, Southwest Chief, from Los Angeles to Chicago 19-JUN-10; 6:55 pm – arrival 21-JUN-10; 3:10 pm.
The return trip was slightly better than the train going out. But again we had a rude, arrogant attendant named Antonio. Again the air was turned way up and it was freezing at night. Earlier in the day an elderly man asked Antonio if he could turn the air down since it was cold on the car, Antonio was almost rude to him and told him that he couldn’t and wouldn’t turn it down. That evening I asked Antonio to turn down the air, it was too cold to try and sleep, again grown men were bundled in blankets wearing hoodies. Antonio told me that if tried to turn down the air he might break it and then we wouldn’t have air conditioning the next day, what kind of crap is that. Again about an hour’s sleep all night. The other thing on this car was the guy running the snack bar would come on the P. A. system about every half an hour trying to sell his snacks, drinks and food, Very Annoying. All the windows were again dirty. The bathrooms were kept a little better. This time we kept all of our bags with us. An attendant named Nina did try and keep things cleaner than the first train, she was often going around with a vacuum. The train arrived about an hour and a half late to Chicago.