Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Amtrak flabbergasts me

I recently made a reservation to New York departing from Union Station, which I realized was a mistake. BWI is actually closer and easier to get to, so I went on the website to see if I could (a) change the departing station or (b) just board there. Nowhere could I change the station, or find out how picky they were about the tickets, so I called them.

Julie, the automated agent, took my info and then offered me the choice of changing the date, the time, or the number of passengers. I said, preparing to hang up, "Actually, Julie, I'd like to change the station" and she came back with "I think you said you'd like an agent, is that right?" Well, I didn't say that, but I did want one, so I said yes, and very shortly - less than a minute wait - I had a woman who cheerfully changed it (and gave me a $16 refund to boot. Yeah, that's right. No "change fee".).

What was really astonishing, though, is that Julie gave her my info!

Yes. I didn't have to pass on my reservation number or last four digits of the credit card or anything. Wow. I seriously believe this is the first time I have ever not had to repeat everything I'd given the robot to the person I eventually reached.

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At 5:17 PM, August 29, 2012 Anonymous Mark had this to say...

Well, that was a nice experience.

I wish Amtrak had better cross-counry service. I took the train from Santa Fe to LA once and it was a nice ride. It was great to get off the train after an overnight journey feeling refreshed. On the other hand, riding from Atlanta to Denver is a three-day affair with hours-long stopovers in three cities. There is no reason not to fly. I mean except for passengers being treated like terrorist cattle.

At 8:27 PM, August 29, 2012 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Yes, the cross-country schedule could be better. A lot better. But in the Washington-New York-Boston corridor it's terrific.

At 11:53 AM, August 30, 2012 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

When visiting California, I appreciate being able to take Amtrak to/from the Central Valley (mostly downtown to downtown), as flights are preposterously expensive and airports at some distance from my destination.


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