First Person: Is Amtrak a Travel Horror Story?

by on December 26th, 2014
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Is using a travel service like Amtrak a horror story waiting to happen? As the economy dwindles, many people are asking how they can travel across the country on a budget. For some, options like Greyhound buses do not suit their needs. However, is Amtrak the ultimate airline alternative? In my case, there were several horrifying aspects to traveling across the country on the train that had nothing to do with Amtrak.

Mainly, my concerns stemmed from the passengers. All of the staff at Amtrak were extremely helpful; especially in regards to helping me give my service dog a bathroom break. Despite this, I could have used more protection from some of the other people riding the train.

In the past, I have dealt with many strange strangers on public transportation and at airports. Nonetheless, the main problems were only endured for a matter of minutes or a few hours. On the Amtrak, on the other hand, I was roped into dealing with people I would rather not talk to for almost three days.

Does this mean that I was ambushed and harassed? Honestly, if the situation was serious, the passengers would have been told to leave. I was only annoyed and not under any kind of distress. For this reason, the next time I go cross country on Amtrak, I will make sure to take a traveling partner with me. That way, I will not look as tempting to the occasional weirdo.

Furthermore, out of all my traveling experiences with my service dog, Amtrak rates number one. Not only is an advance ticket from San Francisco to Chicago only $150, but the staff are good as gold. For this reason, make sure to avoid the mistake I made and bring lots of dollars for tipping.

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