Amtrak to Cut Select Amenities on Long-Distance Train Lines

Certain amenities will no longer be available on certain long-distance train lines on Amtrak in the future. Photograph by FlyerTalk member KenHamer. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by KenHamer.

Even Amtrak is not immune from the spate of perceived devalutions with which members of frequent travel loyalty programs had to deal.
According to FlyerTalk member trainman74, the following amenities are scheduled to be cut from long-distance train lines operated by Amtrak — primarily impacting passengers of sleeping cars — as of the dates indicated below:

  • Cranberry juice boxes in sleeping cars as of February 8, 2014
  • Flowers and vases on tables in dining cars as of February 15, 2014
  • Wine and cheese receptions as of March 31, 2014
  • Complimentary champagne as of March 31, 2014
  • Complimentary apple cider as of March 31, 2014
  • Chocolate squares as of March 31, 2014
  • Amenity kits as of May 31, 2014
  • Complimentary newspapers as of May 31, 2014

Although several of the cuts in amenities apply only to the Coast Starlight and Empire Builder long-distance train lines — and one applies to those two plus the Lake Shore Limited — some do apply to all train lines.
Orange juice and apple juice boxes will still be available in sleeping cars; and cranberry juice boxes will continue to be available in dining cars.
However, FlyerTalk member jackal posted that “Sleepers are actually a profitable product (above the rails, at least). I don’t guess that people will avoid booking a trip because a chocolate wasn’t left on their pillow, but still…I will miss the wine and cheese receptions, though. Those were always fun and a highlight of the trip, even if the wines were, at best, mid-range selections. And IME, they usually sold out, so at $5 a head (and not free to sleeper passengers), you’d think they weren’t a money-pit…”
What do you think about the reduction in amenities offered by Amtrak on certain long-distance train lines?

2 thoughts on “Amtrak to Cut Select Amenities on Long-Distance Train Lines”

  1. jeffhacker says:

    i’ve traveled in Amtrak sleepers multiple times and didn’t even realize they had these amenities. Oh, well, I won’t miss what I’ve never enjoyed 🙂

  2. alben says:

    This past summer I traveled the Empire Builder from MSP to SEA and back. The wine and cheese tasting was a memorable experience. During the event the wine servers have a competitive quiz session. If you get a right answer you win a full or partial bottle of wine. It would be an event I would look forward to if I were to make the trip again. Sadly, it looks like it is being discontinued.

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