I am attaching copies of the letters back and forth from Amtrak as well as a letter I sent to our Senator in hopes he would be of some help. No one should ever have to go through the treatment we did after paying for decent transportation and then to recieve the treatment we did. I tried to put all of the information in this so as to make the statement as complete as possible. In my opinion, Amtrak should not even be allowed to transport people under the conditions they do and yet they continue to receive subsidies from our government. nLetter to our Senator, nAttached is a copy of the letter we sent to Amtrak regarding ournrecent trip on the Amtrak train. I personally feel that thengovernment subsidies given to Amtrak are a complete waste! Perhapsnthey would at least try to run a profitable, customer orientednbusiness if they didn’t know that they don’t have to because ourngovernment will give them money to keep operations going anyway.nIt’s just another form of welfare as far as I’m concerned! I don’tnknow what you can do to help but feel that since this has to do withnyour state, you should hear about their problems that they are sondead set on inflicting on us! In my opinion, regarding mynexperiences on Amtrak and Chicago, race relations have been set backnat least 50 years! n Iowa n——– Original Message ——– nTheir reply, nSubject: nRe: Travel Feedback [#560623] nDate: nTue, 12 Jun 2012 14:19:14 +0000 (GMT) nFrom: nAmtrak Customer Service <[email protected]> nReply-To: [email protected] nTo: nDear Customer,nThank you for contacting Amtrak. We respond to onlineninquiries 7 days a week between the hours of 8 am and 11 pmn(ET). E-mails are answered in the order that they are received.nWe will respond as soon as possible. nPlease do not reply to this message. nSincerely, nAmtrak Customer Service nAmtrak.comn| Stationsn| Routesn| Dealsn| Planna Trip | HelpnAmtraknis a registered service mark of the National RailroadnPassenger Corporation. n n—– Wrote —– nOur original complaint. nSubject: Travel Feedback nNature of Comment: Complaint nName: nEmail: nAddress1: nAddress2: nCity: nState: IA nZip/Postal: nCountry: United States nPrimary Phone: nMobile Phone: nAmtrak Guest Rewards #: nReservation Number: 19749C nDate of Incident: 06/03/2012 nTime of Incident: 1:20 p.m. nMessage: nMy wife and I are both 65 years old and had never ridden an Amtrakntrain before. We had been planning this vacation for some time andnpre-paid everything so there would be no last minute problems. nObviously, I didn’t know how adversely Amtrak was going to impactnour entire trip! First, we were told to be sure to be at the trainnstation at least 30 minutes prior to boarding time. Well, we live 2n1/2 hours from where we had to catch the train so we went to Ottumwanthe night before and got a motel room so we would be sure and not benlate for our train. That cost us $89.49. As it turned out, wenwouldn’t have had to get the room afterall because the train we werensupposed to catch at 8:09 a.m. didn’t even get to Ottumwa to pick usnup until 1;20 p.m., 5 1/2 hours late! n As soon as we got on thentrain, we talked with the conductors and were assured that we wouldncatch our connecting train in Chicago. We were originally supposednto have a 5 hour layover in Chicago but that time was now gone.nDuring the trip to Chicago, we sat in our assigned seats and had tonput up with 4 & 5 screaming kids running up and down the aislenwhile their parents and all train personell seemed to simply turn anblind (and obviously deaf) eye (and ear) to everything happening innfront of them. (Don’t y’all think that maybe observation camerasnwith someone overlooking what’s going on and caring about the carenand comfort of all riders might come in handy in many of thesensituations?). nWell, we finally made it to Chicago and were told ournconnecting train had just left and they would put us up for thennight. How nice of AMTRAK! We were all then herded into a room wherenwe met 2 of the rudest people in Chicago! At least that’s what wenthought right then, but, we hadn’t had the opportunity to meet morenof the Amtrak employees yet because it only gets worse. n Asncompensation I guess for delaying us and making us miss ournconnecting train, Amtrak gave us vouchers for a room for that nightnand $120 to cover taxi fares to and from the hotel and meals becausenthe next train going to our destination doesn’t go until 6:10 p.m.nthe next day! Was that voucher and $120 supposed to cover thencomplete loss of one day of our vacation? n Was it supposed to covernthe fact that we still had to pay for the hotel room we didn’t getnto sleep in because we made paid reservations. That cost us $51.65!nThen, we had to pay the extra for the car rental we had reserved andnwasn’t thereto get it. That was another $45.51! n Now, we’re innMartinsburg West Virginia and it took at least 1 1/2 days to justncalm down and try to regain some of our dignity after our delayednstart of our vacation and loss of one day, indignity of having tonput up with screaming kids, attendants who really didn’t care howndisturbing it all was, the absolute rude behavior from the Amtraknrepresentatives in Chicago and the humiliation of having to put upnwith everything that goes on in the waiting areas of Amtrak. nWhyndoesn’t Amtrak have people go around in the waiting areas to at leastntry to keep down the roughhousing, language and filth in thesenwaiting areas? Alright, we were there in Martinsburg and we enjoyednour time there on vacation but dreaded the return trip home homenhoping it would not be a repeat of our trip to West Virginia. Well,nit didn’t take long for the nightmare to continue. n We were seated innone car right in front of a disgustingly loud, foul mouthed drunknwho it seemed had one intention and that was to annoy & everyone onnthat car. He had been warned by the attendants numerous times but tonno avail. We asked the attendant to let us move and she moved usnforward two rows and on the other side of the train. Still, thendrunk continued with his outbursts. nFinally, after 6 hours ofnputting up with this drunk and listening to him argue with thenconductor, they kicked him off the train or at least that’s whatnthey said they did. We made it into Chicago and started our 6 hournwait for our connecting train to Ottumwa. I pity anyone who has tonwait in the Chicago Union train station for 6 hours with all thendisorganization that goes along with the operations of Amtrak. Wenfinally get called to board our train. nSeniors are called to boardnfirst but all they have you do is wait in another area. Then, theynlet you board but they also let everyone else board at the same timenso you’re pushed and crammed down the aisle between two trains onntheir tracks and finally get to your assigned seat. We were only 20nminutes behind schedule now but again they tell us they’ll make thentime up but they never do. We finally make it to our destination ofnOttumwa! n I am quite positive that neither myself or my wife havenever endured a more uncomfortable, demeaning and antagonizing trip!nI guess I understand why Amtrak is so quick to put all the delayednpeople up in hotels and give them money for taxis and rooms and foodnthough. It’s just taxpayers money that they get as a subsidy tonAmtrak anyway because they can’t make a profit being as inept asnthey are with their operations. nPerhaps, if they were to stopnrecieving those subsidies, they’d learn how to properly run theirntrain and how to treat their people right. Right now, there is nonincentive to treat people as nothing more than an annoyance. I wantnto know what Amtrak is going to do about the extra money we had tonspend for our car and hotel in West Virginia, our hotel in Ottumwa,nIowa, our lost day of vacation and our loss of dignity with the waynwe were treated in Chicago. nWhat we mainly saw while in the waitingnareas for our train was Amtrak attendants, cashiers, conductors,nbellhops and I don’t know all but but there was obviosly no one inncharge because all they did was argue with each other and carry onnwith each other and all the paying customers were obviously justnscrewing up their big social get together! Before this trip, Inalways belived (since I hadn’t been on a bus before either) that anbus ride was about as bad as it gets but I was proven wrong. It wasnAMTRAK! n I will be waiting for a response and fully expectnreimbursement for our expenditures and indignities!
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