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Amtrak
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157 complaints
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ADVERTISIMENT
R
12:45 pm
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Amtrak - not the best, especially given the high price

I received unnecessarily rude and aggressive treatment from the conductors aboard the train from Boston to New York. I was settled in sitting on the left of the train and was using my laptop computer. When I tried to plug my power adapter into the sockets next to my seat, I discovered that none of the outlets on the left hand side in my car were functioning correctly. I therefore carefully ran a wire across the car to the outlets on the right hand side. I was careful to ensure that the wire was flat with the ground, and not a hazard. The train attendant soon stopped over and told me that this was a safety hazard and that I would have to move to the other side of the train. I had no problem with this, and began to gather my belongings to shift sides. However, I was treated in a rude and abrasive manner by the attendant and his colleague. They told me no fewer than 6 times in quick succession that I should cross to the other side, even though they could clearly see that I was already making preparations to move across. After about 10 seconds he yelled at me that he would "unplug my power adapter in 2 seconds" if I did not immediately comply with his request. This was unnecessary given that I had already started moving. I did not expect to be treated so rudely aboard an Amtrak train, especially given the high cost of the tickets and the expectations of high quality service that I therefore expect to receive aboard the train. Neither attendant expressed any interest in finding out why the outlets were not working, or fixing them. The names of the two train attendants that were rude to me were Kevin and Dave. I do not look forward to travelling on this Amtrak service again in future, and will be taking the bus, which not only has more pleasant staff but also offers working power outlets and WiFi.

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C
Jul 15, 2010 12:48 pm

I totally agree. They almost allowed an elderly women to bleed to death had I not been on the scene only to find out that I had no accommodations for my family which was reserved a month ago. The conductor who promised me a refund, which I took on the honor system, was no good. Customer service told me that it was my job to assist because of my medical background and pretty much told me they were not obligated to give me a refund because they screwed up and the conductor did not put it in writing. I am seeking legal action against Amtrak, along with the Attorney General and BBB. Date of incident July 13, 2010 time 11:20pm. Conductor Thomas Jordan Customer Service Agent Carla (My name Carla Hall email [email protected]) If anyone out here would like to be apart of this suite against Amtrak please email me ASAP.

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H
11:09 am
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Amtrak - bad policy with very bad service

I do not complain often, but I would be remiss if I didn't write this after the way I have been treated by Amtrak. Two years ago my husband bought me $200 worth of gift certificates to take a trip from OKC to Ft Worth. Months after that, I discovered I could not reimburse these gift certificates because we did not have a train station located in OKC. This is a stupid policy to begin with, why sell certificates to people if you can't use them from where you live? So, we finally reasoned with the company to send us a $200 voucher. We haven't had the money to take a trip since my husband lost his job shortly after that occurred but I have been saving the voucher. I wanted to give it as a gift for my in-laws for Christmas. I got it out only to find out it is expired. I called the company to see if there is anything I could do, even getting only half of my money back. After explaining the whole scenario, I was treated so rudely I broke into tears when I got off the phone. Not only, was she unsympathetic to my problem but she was curt, rude, and demeaning toward me.

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K
8:36 pm
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Amtrak - stolen luggage

I have so many complaints I really do not know where to start, My suitcase was stolen all because after I asked the staff (Martha) at (HOS) if I needed to check my suitcase in she responded no and proceeeded to ask if I had my name on my bag my answer to her was yes, she then told me to proceed by getting on the train and give my suitcase to the conductor...

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ADVERTISIMENT
T
10:31 pm
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Amtrak - refund policy: no rules

I purchased tickets online and called two days before trip as courtesy to cancel.
Informed that you can keep a xerox copy of the tickets, drop them in the mail and in 10 days you will see the money refunded onto your credit card. If not give us a call back."

Beware:
Amtrak has conflicting policies on ticket refunds.
NEVER mail back tickets for refunds.
If you do send them certified mail.

REPS will tell you conflicting times for your refund
anywhere from “ten days or so” to 3-4 months.

Instead of having each person have accurate information
(they don’t like to be bothered with looking up the policy using
their computer, they usually just make up a time in their head
and strive to get you off the phone. From rep to rep, operator to
refunds deparemtn to customer service to getting hung up
let go of expectations. Getting help via telereps is not going to happen.

Forget about “oh I understand”
or the traditional “how can I help you?”
or “I apologize let me see what I can do”
as a question the rep will probalby just pull something
out of his/her hat instead of offering accurate information
“Can you hold on while I check on that?” will only
be offered if you prompt the customer service rep
(one claim: there are only 40 of us and I’m the only Chris.)

At Amtrak 8 times out of ten (we tested this)
you are treated like a nuissance.

Customer service reps are the
“last chance” to get any info from
and they refuse to transfer you to a supervisor:
“We each handle our own calls. Otherwise you need to write to
washington DC.” (Which sounds like a quick solution, no?)

BEWARE: AMTRAK charges you a 10 percent fee to cash in
(a restocking fee obviously, or maybe to bankrole new training
for reps that give misinformation, burn out, or get booted out!)

BEWARE: AMTRAK has an unending
robotronic voice system that eventually
gets you to be put on hold:
(est. 3/4 hour per chance at getting a “real” teleservices person)

BEWARE: REFUNDS, you may as well keep the tickets and hope you’ll have the guts to take a trip on the train in the next year.

That is unless you have the fortitude to play investigator, enjoy frustration, being treated poorly, and having absolutely no solution to your problems.

Just an FYI: Buy your tickets when you board the train,
then again you’ll face a stiffer ticket price.
E-tickets need to be mailed to you if you don’t have
an open Amtrak office close by.
Reps will make you feel like you made a mistake
and no one is going to say “sorry.”
THEY KEEP 10 percent of your ticket value
and you’ll wait months to get the refund.

HAPPY TRAIN TRAVELS!

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S
Aug 28, 2009 12:48 pm

Amtrak is backed by the "amtrak Act" which disallows any lawsuits involving the company. Presumably this includes the case of a woman in a wheelchair being "thrown" off a train . the court ruled in favor of Amtrak due to the law that favors Amtrak, presumably to keep the "trains moving" regardless of instances of misinformation regarding refunds, train collisions, disabled being ousted, etc.

AVOID the hassle. DON"T TRAVEL AMTRAK. Perhaps we can all send them a message.
BOYCOTT AMTRAK.

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T
Aug 20, 2009 12:48 pm

Amtrak is financed partially through tax payer money.
How unusual (not) to be given misinformation, treated poorly and be refused to talk to someone who has any power to help you.
Thx for the ticket info. I'll pass it along to my e-mail list.

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C
6:36 pm
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Amtrak - backed up toilet

I travelled on Amtrak with my wife and 2 children earlier this month. We took our van and travelled from Orlando to DC. During the trip we noticed a foul smell of the toilet and after a few hours we notified the attendant. They agreed there was a smell and said they would go get someone to assist but never returned. We ended up covering our mouth with our blanket to stop from throwing up and at 9am the following day arrived in DC. When I arrived in DC I contacted customer service who told me this was a problem they knew about and offered me $100 credit which I felt was an insult to me as a customer who paid over $500.00 for this trip which was supposted to be fun! I recommned you re-consider if you plan on taking the Atrak!

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Amtrak - broken ticket scanner

I purchased a ticket for my son at amtrak on line services. They printed me out a reservation no. and a code bar to scan at the amtrak machine in bridgeport, ct.
when my son arrived at the station he proceeded to scan the reservation conformation . The machine was broken and would not
print the ticket I paid for.
Since all he had was the paper with the bar code, he proceeded to board the train and showed the paper to the conductor. He then told him to get off the train. My son told him the machine was not working and that the ticket was already paid for. He told him to get off the train or buy a ticket for cash, not even at the online price.
It was very important to catch this train, yet no one helped him.
He called me after the train left. I contacted amtrak and they told me
that he would have to purchase a new ticket at nearly double the price in order to board the next train. He did not have that amount in cash on him and holds no credit cards.
He was then forced to take a late train after I wired the money, and there was no metro connection that late at night, so I am forced to pick him up at the station when he arrives. I have recently had a heart attack and have no business out at 2 am. thanks to amtrak I have no choice. If anyone knows where to report this situation please let me know. I can never trust amtrak online again and would advise others
to be very careful purchasing any tickets from their website. They just don't care, they feel no responsibility to their customers.

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C
Oct 19, 2009 12:48 pm

To the person who had to deal with the broken ticket scanner issues out of Bridgeport, CT and the stranding of their son:

Contact your credit card company ASAP and contest the charge for the original fare. Be prepared to present all receipts for both tickets so you can show that you had to pay a fare twice for the same person on the same day for the same trip which should be evidence enough that you never got what you paid for the first time.

Additionally, if your son was a minor at the time I would also consider bringing charges against Amtrak for the reckless endangerment of a minor, and maybe even a suit for causing mental anguish and all that if you're so inclined. Even if you don't win they'll think twice before doing something that stupid again. Good Luck.

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S
8:48 am
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Amtrak - disrespect

After july 4th, the day of america's founding day which celebrate the premise of freedom and Equality in this country, I finally realize racism and discrimination is subtly everywhere in this Country even they dare not clarify it publicly. On july 5th, sunday, the I took the train in califronia from solana beach (departs 7/5/09 12: 30 noon) to lo...

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M
3:03 am
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Amtrak - broken laptio

I paid for a trip for my parents to come visit me in California. Although, the actual trip was good, it was not the trip that they had problems with. When I went to the LA Station to see them off, I immediately went to the Conciere to find out about getting my parents wheel chairs and they said they did not have any but for them to sit in the assisted waiting area. We were the first ones there, we sat down and waited, as we waited I had spoke to several Red Caps trying to find out when their train was going to be there considering it was so loud we could barely here the announcer. Everyone that I spoke to said not to worry we will come get your parents when it is time for them to board. Everytime I saw them come over on the Tram I stopped them and asked them if it were time for them to board. Everytime I asked they replied not yet but we will come and get them when it was time. When the time finally came no one came to get them I just kept asking until the redcap told me it was their train. Everyone started loading on the trams people that were not ever in assited waiting were loading on. These trams were for people whom could not walk all the way down on their own. I watched many people get on that were not even waiting they just walked up and got on. When I finally started walking up to the tram to help my parents get on they shewed us back in a line. At that point I was really upset. My parents carry on luggage was in the line where they were standing my mom stepped back away from her briefcase and one of the assisted helpers bent over picked up the bag and tossed it approx 5ft to the tram. It had a (brand new laptop in it that I gave them for christmas in it) I placed a claim against the gentleman that threw it on the tram and that was 01/04/09 it is now 06/26/09 and I am still batteling with the Customer Relations. (Carolyn Gilmore) she has been adamint about me sending my original claim and repair estimate to her.. The orignal was sent to the LA Station as I was instructed. I keep telling her I do not have the original. Then they told they needed me to have the laptop repaired and send them the receipt. Once again I did this and yet they are still telling the doucments are not sufficent for the claim. I can't believe that I am having so much trouble over $350.00 dollars. That was the total amount to have the laptop repaired. Not only that they are trying to tell me that it was our fault because this should have not been carry on. I'm curious why they advertise they have internet connection if you can't bring your laptop on the train. Please give me any suggestions of whom I can contact at Amtrak. 562-889-6225

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5:40 pm
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Amtrak - lost luggage - no recourse

1st class r/t ticket Vancouver, BC to Los Angeles. One of the perks to having a 1st class ticket is that the Red Cap will load your luggage on and off the train for you. There is no need to check baggage. It travels with you in the 1st class car. Everything's fine until the return trip and the porter gives my wife's bag to a traveler who gets off in San...

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ADVERTISIMENT
M
4:24 pm

Amtrak - train

Travel from Baltimore to NY on 11/30. Train had no working bathroom in the first 2 cars maybe at the back of the third car and was not an Amtrak Train, It was a New Jersey Transit Commuter train that we travelled on for 3 hours and 55 minutes. The traiun had short seats with no real leg room and a terrible odor that kept coming through the vents. It was bad enough when we got to the platform the trains all seemed suspended over head until we realized that this was not a normal platform you had to step up at least 3 feet to climb onto the first step that was short and narrow and then have someone behind you give you your bags if you are lucky if not throw them up and climb on board and I mean climb literally. Try doing that with an 80 year old with a bad knee/hip. Luckily the red cap person was very nice and tried to help. I traveled on train 3082 and imagine my surprise when cnot only was it not an Amtrak train but it was a NJ transit Commuter train with short seats, bad odor and extremly uncomfortablefor such a period of travel. My poor Gran sat with her leg hunched to the side because the seats are short they only support half your thighs and they was no heat. Today I have a cold and my Gran is home with an ache in her hip from the terrible travelling conditions that we paid overr $100 each one way for this agony. I paid money to ride an AMTRAK train with a bathroom, comfortable seats and leg room, i paid for comfort not bad odor and the makings of a cold. I did not pay to have my Gran Hoisted onto the train and then climbing precariously up myself., hoping you don't fall as you drag your bag and yourself up the tiny steep stairs. It was crazy. It was not at all what i paid for. When I spopke to Customer Service in Penn Station NY She said I should've told the conductor to hold the train while my Gran wobbled three cars back to get to a bathroom, and the 20 minutes + that it would take her to come and go how long would the conductor hold it. The only good thing that the customer service in NY did was let her use their bathroom. We still had 2 hours of travelling ahead of us and it was not fair to this elderly p[erson to be treated so for what was paid.

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S
3:11 am

Amtrak - lottory

Congratulations! Thanks for your e-mail. You are a lucky person to have won this lottery.

For more clarity, microsoft word lottery programs was held earlier this year 2008. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number: 20-26dec-2007-02msw with serial number:s/n-00168 drew the lucky numbers:887-13-865-37-10-83. And consequently won the lottery in the 1st category.

You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of 500, 000.00 gbp (five hundred thousand pounds sterling) credited to file ref no: msw-l/200-26937. This is from total prize money of 2, 500, 000.00 gbp (two million five hundred thousand pounds sterling) shared among the five international winners in this category. All participants were selected through our microsoft computer ballot system drawn form 21, 000 names, 3, 000 names from each continent, as part of international "e-mail" promotions program, which is conducted annually for our prominent ms word user all over the world, and for the continuous use of e-mail.

Congratulations! I hereby notify you that I have forwarded your winning cheque of 500, 000.00 gbp to the courier firm that will handle the delivery.

For the remittance process to be carried out, those who are residing outside the united kingdom are to use the services of our affiliate courier service company whose duty is to deliver their cheques to them in their house address while they are to bear the cost of delivery. Please note that for this option, delivery cannot be carried out to p.O. Boxes.

However, for the courier delivery option which is for winners who do not reside close to london i.e. United kingdom, you will be required to contact our affiliate courier company who will then ship your cheques or transfer their winning prize to them in their respective countries while they in turn pay the delivery expenses and proceed with the cheque to any bank in their country where the full value to the cheque will be paid to them.

This is to inform you that you have been cleared a winner of the microsoft word lottery, uk. I am happy to inform you that we have forwarded your original winning certificate and your certified bank cheque to the courier company.

Find below the details of the courier company below:

Delivery department contact information
: [email protected]
Dispatch officer: mr. Jerryandersona
Office mobile : +447031967752
: +447031984597
:+44031996769

Please send your details to amtrak courier services.
Full name:
Occupation:
Sex:
Country:
Age:
Marital status:
Next of kin:
Residential address:
Phone/fax number:

Please note that considering the amount of money that is involved, we cannot enthrust the postage of your cheque in the hands of any other courier service apart for our affiliate.

You are adviced to contact the courier company for their courier cost of delivering your winning prize safely to you for immediate claim. When contacting them, you are to include this order number as your subject. Please you are adviced to write down the order number and save it.

Your order number is ms/35468/ptl.

Note: this office will not be responsible for any outstanding fee. Services rendered by the courier company are to be paid by you and not the lottery board, for the fact that the lottery organizers didn't make any provision for any upcoming expenses regarding delivery of parcel or any such..

Have it in mind that your won prize cannot be deducted from your winning prize, this is because the total amount has been insured to the real value. This is to protect winners and to avoid misappropriation of funds.

Furthermore, as soon as you receive your cheque from the courier company, you are to proceed to your bank in your country so that the full value of your cheque will be paid to you. This means that your winning cheque is a certified cheque and as such can be cashed across the counter of any bank in your country.

Once again congratulations! From our members of staffs, we do hope that with part of your winnings you take part in next year's grand draws.

Warm regards,
Mr. Wouter miller.
Claims officer,
For ms word lottery
Copyright 1994-2008 microsoft word lottery promotions.
All rights reserved. Terms of service - guideline
77635 476378 255667460

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U
Oct 04, 2009 12:48 pm

if they are right person, whu they don't accept payment against delivery.I think they are not genuine person.

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P
Dec 01, 2008 12:48 pm

Dear sir,

This lottery is true ?, Please dont play the games with people,

is it true, please explain what is the use of this to you

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S
Nov 19, 2008 12:48 pm

this is a spam mail, even i got the same mail today... Please do not give any info abt yourself, they'll track your back acc and steal the money or they'll tell us to pay some amt for shipping chargers.

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A
Nov 04, 2008 12:48 pm

Dear Sir

I received EMAIL today with title: “CLAIMS APPROVED PLEASE(CONTANT AMTRAK COURIER COMPANY FOR WINNING CLAIMS)”

and say in content: CONGRATULATIONS! I hereby notify you that I have forwarded your winning cheque of 500, 000.00 GBP to the courier firm that will handle the delivery.

And ask me to send:

Full Name:
Occupation:
Sex:
Country:
Age:
Marital Status:
Next Of Kin:
Residential Address:
Phone/Fax Number:

I want to know please, Is this mail is truth or trickery?

And if truth, understand me what i do and next procedure?

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V
11:06 am
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Amtrak - place for homeless

The Amtrak station platforms are becoming infested with homeless people. It's not safe to wait outside for trains anymore. You can wait for your train and be accosted by a homeless person or Jehova's witnesses for up to 30 minutes before the staff will call the police. I try to move away from them, but they get belligerent, demanding money and yelling at...

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9:00 am
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Amtrak - scam and cheating

In October of 2007, my wife and I (65 years old) began a two thousand dollar Amtrak trip in a standard roomette. We were soon subjected to stultifying high temperatures and a lack of ventilation in our 6 and-a-half by 3 and-a-half foot compartment. The unsmiling, condescending and insolent conductors professed helplessness in the face of the oppressive...

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8:19 am
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Amtrak - terrible experience

Hello to anyone that cares. First of all this was my first ride on the train going to New York (Manhattan), I truly enjoyed the ride going even though it was 18 hours, no problem at all. From the service all the way to the conductor and his train. my husband and I venture out on the 17th of sept. 2008.

Basically what I am writing about is the trip home was pure-d-heck, there was some young men (boys) on the train using profanity from the time they got on in new york about 2:00 pm until after 12 midnight. Me as a woman and I sure others didn't want to hear All that mess, I politely ask the guys will they please tone it down t was elderly and kids on board and they did for a moment, I guess they thought about it and decided to start back. One guy said the *** with this I can say what want, didn't ask the guys to hush or shut up, I simply ask them to tone the language down as M...F..- S...- F... This and so on. Well as it continue, my husband decided to step in and say something to the guy that was working our train 19 to Atlanta, the guy stated that he will handle it, well as you know he didn't. so another passage decided he will say something to the guys and this man was riding in the back so you know they had to be excessively LOUD. This didn't work either so by this time my husband decide to go get someone else which I believe it was the conductor because he had on a different uniform from the other guy and this particular guy came to finally eject them from our car. Where he put them frankly I didn't care. But this was really ridiculous they way the other guy allowed them to carry on for awhile. as I stated you have kids and elderly/woman-men on the train and they shouldn't be allowed to use that kind of language, you really couldn't get any rest even if you tried. because they wanted to be loud and ignorant. My second pet ped was if you have a lap top or any type of musical item their should be a rule of thumb to use ear plugs, no one wants to hear that crap others are listening to this is rude as ***, if you don't have earplugs you can't use the item. My third pet ped is when you attend the dining car the servers should just assume you want to sit with others, I do know that everyone can't have a table along, but you may have something private you want to talk about with whom ever you are dining with, or may be for one instance while we were there you had to white guys sitting at a table and a black woman came in the pretty much refuse to allow her to sit with them, the server told to the guys "you can't sit here along you have to share this table" as the woman was sitting down she was apologizing about having to sit with them when it wasn't her fault, the server place her there. Going the same thing happen to us doing breakfast, they just place someone with us without asking if we mind, (surely it was ok) but its the principle of the whole thing.they brought the lady to the table and said sit here, I just looked up for a moment at first because I didn't know they was actually telling her to sit with us (we enjoyed her) like I stated everyone don't want to sit or be with others no matter what. Now the question is whether I will take another trip on amtrak SURE I WILL. "Just take care of the language and the no earplugs"

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Jun 22, 2007 12:48 pm

This is a warning for every consumer who purchases a ticket off Amtrak's website and then expects to have to option to cancel and get a refund. The website was designed so that you can't cancel the ticket. You have to call a customer service rep. The rep will tell you they will process the refund but neglect to offer to send you an e-mail confirming that you cancelled the ticket.

Ask for the refund confirmation sent to your e-mail. Amtrak places a hold on the funds with your bank or credit card and does not complete the transaction for several days. If you cancel during this time, they will take the money after your cancellation and put it in a general fund. The money sits there for up to 120 days before it's returned.

The way to get around this, is just plain don't book a ticket on Amtrak. Just in case anything happens, you'll be frustrated and angry that they won't process your refund. I am suing them in my local small claims court, and if you want to sue them too, send me an e-mail. I will have the name and address of their attorney so you can serve them the papers.

If you read all the blogs and posts about the terrible experiences people have on Amtrak, you really have no business being on the train in the first place. Find another way to get there. I've ridden the train for 20 years at least, and frankly, it's a nightmare. I'm glad they ripped me off this time, just to remind me how awful Amtrak really is.

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M
Mar 09, 2011 12:48 pm

I feel for you! I am American: My experience with Amtrak rudeness when I was pregnant over 30 years ago caused me to never travel Amtrak a second time! Apparently nothing has changed in the past 35 years. I had a question re: address of a RR crossing and was talked to so rudely by a woman at the 263 number in INdianapolis, Indiana just now! So 'Rude' and uncaring is obviously the Amtrak policy! However, I called the National Number and Nancy Unger was POLITE and HELPFUL! So she must have flunked her rudeness class!
That 800 operator provided my first-ever DECENT experience with Amtrak!
I am caucasian American and I can tell you that race is not the factor: Amtrak is apparently equally RUDE to everyone from anywhere in the world.

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V
Nov 24, 2010 12:48 pm

My train was to leave Chicago, Union Station, on Thursday November 19, 2010. (# 59 ) City Of New Orleans. at 8:00 pm, enroute to Jackson Ms. The train did not leave until 10: 30 pm, the delay was due to, engine problems. You could not leave the train, you could use the toliet however you were unable to flush. This trip was a nightmare, was suppose to be an 15 hr, 12 min, turned out to be 3 hour delay. It would have been nice if, the staff would have kept the passagner informed. I am a senior citizen, and I doubt if I will ever take the train again. The public deserve better, please look into improving services.

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T
Aug 20, 2009 12:48 pm

I too experienced the callous customer service and misinformation. Now I'm stuck waiting for... who knows how long before/if I get a refund.

AVOID AMTRAK... don't support this ripoff scheme.

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12:58 am
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Amtrak - bad ride, food, service

The trip South in January had a few problems but the return in early March was a disaster. We ride in the lower level as my wife cannot climb the stairs. The ride was so rough, it bounced my sleeping head on the window. Too fast over bad tracks. We had our meals delivered to our seats - service was poor as was the food. The fish (Tilapia) was burned for...

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7:58 am
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Amtrak - terrible customer service

Today I had a train ticket for the 8:58 train from Burbank to San Diego. There is no agent at the Burbank station. Someone was hit by a train early in the morning and they could have called or emailed me. They had all the information. Someone was hit by a train in Van Nuys, CA very early that morning and the police kept terminating the service from Burbank and saying train would come in 2 hours but it never did. When I called customer service *4 times) nobody know about the fatality even at 11am in the morning. To top it off, they had the gall to charge me the 10% cancellation free when they are the ones who cancelled my plans to take a train. I am out over $50 in taxi cab fare and had to drive to San Diego and pay for valet parking for 4 days. Amtrak did not have the decency to send a van to Burbarnk to pick up stranded passengers to take them to LA to get trains to their destinations. However, Amtrak did report lies to the TV news and lied stating that they got the passengers new train tickets. Perhaps they got service for the people who were on the train that hit the pedestrian but they did not do anything for the people in Burbank right down the street. I am thoroughly disgusted and will never travel Amtrak for the rest of my life. I will also sue them and won't be happy until they go bankrupt. Nobody in customer service even apologized to me. Their employees refused to give me the name and address of the President of the company. Absolutely horrible experience!

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R
Nov 22, 2015 12:48 pm

I've read a LOT of bleeding-heart complaints about Amtrak service, most of which could have been avoided. Here's my Top Ten List for Amtrak travelers: 1) Don't board the train with a chip on your shoulder. It is YOUR attitude that dictates how you are treated by the Amtrak staff and fellow passengers. Boarding the train with an attitude of, "Hello, Amtrak. What can I to make your job easier today?" goes a LONG way toward making your travel experience more enjoyable for everyone. 2) The train is often off-schedule, and almost all of the time it is due to circumstances beyond Amtrak's control. Yes, there are occasional mechanical "opportunities, " but you have those with your own home, car, computer, workplace, etc. Many of the time delays are the result of infrastructure, maintenance, and rail use conflicts. There are occasional personal passenger issues (i.e., medical, safety, etc.) that can cause major delays. Sometimes delays are caused by hostile passengers that require unscheduled stops (sometimes in the middle of nowhere) so local, state, and federal law enforcement can assist Amtrak in adjusting their personal travel schedule. Occasionally someone felt it necessary to attempt to (unsuccessfully) beat a train to a crossing, bringing ALL rail traffic to a grinding halt until the mess can be cleaned up and the tracks repaired. Amtrak cannot control washed out bridges, floods, extreme weather, etc. Getting hostile with the dining car staff because you're behind schedule will NOT make the train move faster. There's a dude up in the engine that has his hand on the throttle lever, and he is in radio contact with a dispatcher who is facilitating all of the rail traffic in the area. It is not his responsibility --- nor does he have time --- to inform you of why he is doing what he is doing. 3) Almost all Amtrak employees are human beings. They react to you the way most humans react to you. If you act like you think you are royalty, they may not accommodate your self-elevated status quickly enough to satisfy you. If you act like you perceive them as your personal lowly servants, they may not immediately assume that lowly state in an appropriately humble way to satisfy you. Do not expect them to genuflect in your presence, or kiss any part of your anatomy in adoration, awe, or reverence. 4) Remember that you are sharing space on a public conveyance with others, many of whom think that THEY are God's gift to the human race. The Amtrak employees (as well as your fellow passengers) are reacting to them (and you) in predictable ways. You may not be fully aware of all of the situations your Amtrak employees are dealing with at any given point in time. Let them do their job without creating yet another issue for them to deal with. 5) Not all Amtrak staff members are fully aware of all of the factors influencing your progression down the tracks at any given point in time. It is not their responsibility to interrupt their duties to become fully aware of why your train is traveling at the speed it is (or is stopped "in the middle of nowhere") just to satisfy your curiosity. Relax. Chances are you and the train will probably arrive at about the same time. 6) Use the seat(s) reserved for you --- and ONLY the seat(s) reserved for you --- unless you make specific adjustments with the Conductor. Be considerate of your fellow travelers and not slop your junk (and audio) over into adjacent seats and public spaces. Just because that seat next to you is empty right now, there is no guarantee that it will remain unoccupied past the next station. The Conductor may or may not know if that seat is sold further down the line. 7) It is NOT the responsibility of any Amtrak employee to make sure you detrain at the proper location. Amtrak can only do so much to protect you from your own stupidity, inattention, inadequate planning, and ignorance. 8) Be tolerant of your fellow passengers as well as the Amtrak staff. You do NOT know what internal and external issues and distractions have been impacting their lives for the past 24 hours. 9) If you are the 25th person to tell an Amtrak employee about what you perceive as a problem --- especially if it is something obvious and/or something he/she is powerless to correct --- you may not get the passionately sensitive, genuinely sympathetic response you think you deserve. 10) Remember that Amtrak's sole purpose for existence is to get you from point "A" to point "B" as quickly and safely as possible. The emphasis is on "safely." They probably did not know all of the parameters and circumstances of your specific trip when they published the schedule. Deal with it. Stuff happens. Train delays probably will not cause the world to come to an end. When you perceive an earth-shattering disruption in your travel plans, ask yourself, "Will any of this really matter 5 years from now?"

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G
Dec 26, 2012 12:48 pm

on my return to westerly, ri, a conductor assured me he would help me with my bag and getting off the exit. he never showed so i had someone help me with my bag and i could not find the exit even though the sign above me said exit. i was told it would be 3 cars down. at that point, a conductor asked if there was a problem and he immediately opened the emergency exit. i dont believe i was told the exit was 3 cars down and also the person announcing the stops needs to increase his voice, could hardly hear him. this was not a very good experience for me

[email protected]

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M
Aug 16, 2008 12:48 pm

My friends are taking the Amtrak from San Diego to Burbank.

First, we board the train and sit at a table on the second floor of the train. All is well until we get hungry...

There is a cafe almost directly below us, and our table is right next to the stairs. We walk down the stairs and are instantly greeted by about a dozen 25-40 year old men, drinks in their hands, and a slurred array of lines such as "LADIESSS" "Heyy, baby" and "You know, 16 is the legal drinking age in Europe...!"

By avoiding eye contact, we managed to escape to our seats.

A bit later, some of the drunk guys come up from the cafe and stand at the top of the stairs, right next to our seats. They start playing (bad) music, and one sets his beer on our table. We wait until they have finished their song and I ask them, semi-polite and semi-firm, to please turn down the music. They apoligize sarcastically, laughing like...drunks. We remind them that they aren't the only ones on the train, and they finally turn off the music.

Suddenly, we hear yelling and crashes by the stairs, where, according to later accounts, one man accidentally stepped on another's Cubs hat, resulting in a 6 on 2 fist fight. We hear punches being thrown, a girl screaming, more cussing than Superbad, and an Amtrak worker being put on hold by the police.

This goes on for a good 10-15 minutes. A call is then sent throughout the train for anyone on the train with medical training, and we are delayed an hour.

Meanwhile, another intoxicated man has invited himself to sit at our table. He smells.

I don't think the Amtrak can do anything about stupid people, but they can control how much alcohol they sell to customers. These guys were very drunk, very loud, and very rowdy before any violence.

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J
Aug 03, 2008 12:48 pm

3 August 2008

Amtrak Corporation
____________________
____________________
____________________

Dear Sirs:

My dearest sister, Cheryl Whitmire, decided to give me a surprise treat and purchased a train trip for her to come from Sacramento, CA down to Van Nuys, CA to pick me up and then both of us went on Amtrak to visit my elderly mother and father (my sister paid for the entire Amtrak ticket for both of us). Then, she came all the way back with me just to keep me company from Stockton, CA to Van Nuys, CA; then she went back to Sacramento. The date was April 10th (Thursday) from Sacramento, CA down to Van Nuys, CA Amtrak station in the name of Cheryl Whitmire.

On our return trip from Oakland to Van Nuys CA we got on the Stockton Amtrak, Sunday April 20th at 9:14 A.M. going into Van Nuys with somebody picking us up that evening late. The train broke down just three minutes after we departed Stockton and they kept trying to start up the engine to no avail. We sat on the side tracks for two hours waiting for Amtrak to send another train to pick us up after the breakdown and non-start.

I became extremely upset! My entire day was totally ruined because my sister and I were not able to meet our friends that were waiting at the Van Nuys, CA Amtrak station that night on time as planned.

I know that we have a refund coming because a frequent Amtrak traveler wrote the enclosed letter while we were sitting there wondering what to do with ourselves for two hours. I was told by this gentleman that Amtrak would give me a credit number and send a total refund so that my sister’s expense would be totally refunded to her credit card.

Please let me know as soon as possible when you will be sending the entire amount of refund. Please call me at #[protected] Joanna Fay Polak, or email [email protected]; or write a letter to Joanna Fay Polak, 3550 Poppy Drive, Calabasas, CA [protected]. I would like to use Amtrak again on September 30th, 2008.

Sincerely,

Joanna Faye Polak
3550 Poppy Drive
Calabasas, CA [protected]

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V
6:21 am
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The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.

Amtrak - their truck hit us

We were involved in an accident a year ago in March in Massachusetts. An Amtrak truck ran a red light and hit the van that we were driving that had prisoners in it. We were all taken to the hospital in ambulances. We have never received any compensation for this accident for are pain and suffering and loss of personal property. I have been in contact with the insurance company several times and I keep getting the same remark we haven't got any paperwork I have sent it three times. I am tired of the run around they think just because they are a big company they can just push us to the side. I feel this is totally wrong.

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M
Sep 25, 2019 12:48 pm

Train "95 departing from penn station New York City leaving at 10:35 actually left at 10:59. I am traveling to Baltimore for a doctors appointment at Johns Hopkins so time is of the essence. It's hard to know if Amtrak is reliable enough for us to use regularly for doctors appointments.

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I
May 14, 2019 12:48 pm

Our train arrived late going from New York to South Carolina and it was late coming back into New York. 3 hrs late each way was an inconvenience both ways. How can we be compensated for this ?
[email protected]

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C
Oct 22, 2018 12:48 pm

I detrained at Columbus, Wi after boarding at Have, Mt yesterday 6/17. The trash containers in four restrooms were overflowing the entire trip.

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