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Author Topic: Tipping
hookc
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It’s been a long time since we’ve enjoyed an Amtrak trip as sleeping car passengers. What are the current tipping suggestions, pre or post? And for the dining car? Many thanks... [Roll Eyes]
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Gilbert B Norman
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Mine:

Car Attendant: $10 per nite (for two)
"Comp" Breakfast and Lunch $3 ea per meal
"Comp" Dinner $5ea per meal
Beverages: 17% of tab

Even if I've been called it on too many an occasion, I try not to be "Cheap Charlie" in this life. I've traveled with some over the years - even just sharing a Diner table - and it's embarrassing.

Tips for "comp" meals be in cash; Attendant same.

Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sojourner
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Mine is similar. Assuming good service, I give

Sleeping Car Attendant: $5 a nite per person ($10 a nite for two), more if sleeping car attendant does extra stuff

Dining Car: $1 for 1 person for breakfast; $2 for 2 people

Dining Car: $2 for 1 person for lunch; $3 for 2 people

Dining Car: $3 for 1 person for dinner; $5 for 2 people

Café Car/drinks: $1, more if very big order

Red Caps: $3-4 for 1 person, $5 for 2, as long as Red Cap puts luggage where I want it on train

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palmland
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Mine is similar too, although I round up in $5 increments.
$5 per person per night for SCA, for two in the dinner: $5 breakfast and lunch, $10 at dinner. But, adjusted for very good or very poor service. Also something extra for meals or drinks delivered to room by SCA as well as wine in the diner.

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Mike Smith
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Sojourner & I tip the same. The only exception is if the car attendant is Toni W. He always gets a better tip because he is always entertaining.
Posts: 1418 | From: Houston, Republic of Texas | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hookc
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Thanks so much for the replies! Our Empire Builder & Coast Starlight trips are still a few weeks away, but your suggestions will travel with us.
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notelvis
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I was prepared to tip the SCA $25.00 when my wife, daughter, and I traveled Seattle-Chicago in the Family Bedroom in August.

By trips' end that tip was reduced to $10.00 primarily for knocking on our door and saying hello each day.

I was a little put off by her initial announcement in Seattle that it was OK to tip and that we would want to tip her because she was awesome. I was more put off that she was unwilling to touch our beds. On the first evening I asked if she could convert our room over to night configuration while we were at dinner and she responded "Catch me when you get back and I can show you how to do it. It's really easy."

Yes, it is not difficult and I know how to convert the room. HOWEVER, having purchased the ticket (or in this case cashed in 40,000 Guest Reward points), I would have liked something more than a DIY Sleeper experience.

The only time on our entire trip that she touched our beds was when we reached Milwaukee and she was making all the beds for arrival in Chicago.

In retrospect, I may have overtipped.

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David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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Geoff Mayo
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David, that would have earned a $0 tip from me based on that account. It sounds as if she wasn't even doing her job, let alone doing a good one.

I have also been known to tell people who directly ask for tips (and otherwise fully salaried) that my tip is to not ask for one.

In other news: that happy smiley face the server in the restaurant draws on your check? Apparently it's been scientifically proven to increase their tips. (I don't have a problem with that - but it doesn't alter what I otherwise tip)

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Geoff M.

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notelvis
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Geoff -

I will say, in her favor, that she checked in on us a couple of times each day, the trash never overflowed, soiled towels did not pile up in the shower, the shower room and bathrooms were checked and cleaned frequently, and she was on the spot with paper towels helping out in the diner the morning that my daughter spilled orange juice at breakfast.

Apparently doing the berths was 'just not her thing'. Other seasoned Amtrak riders with rooms upstairs noted that she had made the effort through the roomettes to determine who did (and did not) already know how to operate the beds shortly after departure from Seattle. Aside from the beds, she did everything else at or above standard and was pleasant and cheerful in the process.

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David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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DonNadeau
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For dining, I tip some 20% of estimated bill for professional warm service & work down from that depending on the degree it's not.

Don't believe these people should be treated any differently than those in other restaurants.

$5 per night single roomette, which seems to be the standard here.

I too had a no beds made up by attendant on CZ Sacramento to Chicago departing 9/18 both nights. Is this a trend? Yikes. No tip whatsoever, of course.

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@DonNadeau

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PullmanCo
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Dad taught me 10%, that's my starting point. Up if good, down to 1 penny if bad.

I frequently sit at the bar in several of my favorite supper houses. Superlative service there gets 20%.

Yes, I have given one cent for rotten service.

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Geoff Mayo
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quote:
Originally posted by DonNadeau:
For dining, I tip some 20% of estimated bill for professional warm service & work down from that depending on the degree it's not.

Don't believe these people should be treated any differently than those in other restaurants.

But they are different: the vast majority of non-fast-food restaurants underpay in the assumption that tips will make up the rest (legal in the US); Amtrak workers are fully salaried. Amtrak also offers benefits that many restaurants do not, like healthcare and retirement contributions.

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Geoff M.

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PullmanCo
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Can not Amtrak workers be moved from food service to car attendant (except for the cooks) as needed???

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The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

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smitty195
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I like to be a good tipper, especially if the service is great, then I let them know they're appreciated. With one exception (last year on the Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited), I have never walked away from the diner without leaving at least something. But on that breakfast out of the crew change point (Ugh....I forget where we were! It's where, going eastbound on the Sunset or northbound on the Eagle, the crews swap), they got a big fat ZERO by all at our table of 4. I think I mentioned here when one of the guys at the table (did not know him or his wife----we just got placed with them because of community seating) asked the attendant for a menu. She stops on a dime---instant stop!-----turns her head slowly towards him, and says, "I. DO. DRINKS. THAT IS WHAT I DO. NOT. MENUS.", and walked away. Luckily, he started laughing. It was his first Amtrak LD trip but they had been on several routes taking a big circle tour of the USA. As a newbie/rookie to AmTravel, he said that him and his wife can't believe how much stuff the employees get away with. At first, they were shocked by it. But at some point during their trip, it became a running gag at the poor service they received. They just looked at each other and starting busting up. I figured, well, at least they're making lemonade out of lemons. [Smile]
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