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Old Jun 28, 10, 9:11 pm   #1
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Does amtrak do anything if you complain

I haven't taken Amtrak in YEARS. Last time I did the train departed like 3 hours late.

I took a trip to chicago this weekend and couldn't find a cheap airfare or hotel and hate the drive (it's only around 4 hours) and amtrak had a 6:15 a.m. train so I decided it would be an easy alternative since Amtrak is only 20 minutes from my house and I could park for free, only pay for one night for the hotel instead of 2 and just sleep on the trip there and be in chicago around 9:30 a.m.

I had the NASTIEST thing happen that has ever occured in all my years of travelling. Thank god it was only about 20 minutes until we arrived in chicago but I smelled something nasty and mentioned it to the guy in the aisle seat and he said he was wondering if someone was being rude and changing a baby diaper on a seat instead of the bathroom and a couple seconds later we heard someone shout they were going to get sick and my seat mate looked in the aisle and there was feces in the aisleway. Someone had defecated in the aisleway apparently (I was sleeping most of the way and my seat mate said there was some weird lady going up and down the aisle and he thinks she did it and he found out she did it after he talked to someone that witnessed it when he changed cars). Luckilly my roller bag was in the luggage rack above my seat and I just grabbed it and moved up a car and tried to find an employee. I moved up 2 cars to the club car and there were a couple employees sitting down talking and I explained what happened.

None of them moved and wanted to clean it up (I can't honestly say I blame them) and when I got back to the car in front of the car I was in I saw an employee placing what looked like towels over it and she was telling people to move up a car.

While I realize this wasn't amtraks fault, I felt amtrak police should have been there to arrest the offender as soon as we arrived in Chicago. While I also understand employees not wanting to clean up this mess (and to be honest I don't know if I would have if I was in their situation) I found that to also be less incentive to take Amtrak again.

If I complain to Amtrak will they do anything about it?
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Old Jun 28, 10, 10:29 pm   #2
  
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If I had a list the grossest things i've heard about happening on a train, this would definitely be "number two". (pun intended)
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Old Jun 28, 10, 10:30 pm   #3
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If I had a list the grossest things i've heard about happening on a train, this would definitely be "number two". (pun intended)
LOL good one.
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Old Jun 29, 10, 7:57 am   #4
  
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If I complain to Amtrak will they do anything about it?
I imagine that they will apologize and might send you a voucher for future travel.
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Old Jun 29, 10, 8:47 am   #5
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If I had a list the grossest things i've heard about happening on a train, this would definitely be "number two". (pun intended)

I was telling the story to a guy in my office and he said the person that got stuck cleaning up that mess sure got stuck with a sh**ty job
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Old Jun 29, 10, 8:52 am   #6
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I imagine that they will apologize and might send you a voucher for future travel.

I sent an email under the comment section last night and got there automated reply that I should hear back shortly. If they give me a voucher for future travel that would be great. More than anything I wanted to bring it to managements attention. If this would have happened on a plane I am sure airport police would have come on board on landing and escorted the offender off.
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Old Jun 29, 10, 8:24 pm   #7
  
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I am a little confused by this story.

Was the offender mentally ill, perhaps a 'special needs' individual?

I don't know what the correct term is, but non-mentally handicap would do such a thing
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Old Jun 29, 10, 8:40 pm   #8
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I am a little confused by this story.

Was the offender mentally ill, perhaps a 'special needs' individual?

I don't know what the correct term is, but non-mentally handicap would do such a thing
I shouldn't have used the word weird. I was sleeping during most of the trip but from what I was told this lady was talkign to herself and going to down the aisle a lot. Almost anyone that would do that would have to have a mental handicap. If that was the case why did Amtrak allow her to board and why did her family allow her to go on a trip alone.

And in all fairness to the employees, I can certinaly understand them not wanting to clean up the mess. I fly at least twice a month, and I take VIA rail on a similar length trip 4 to 5 times a year between windsor and toronto and have never experienced anything this disturbing in all the years I have been travelling.
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Old Jun 29, 10, 8:51 pm   #9
  
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And in all fairness to the employees, I can certinaly understand them not wanting to clean up the mess.
Well no one wants to clean up other peoples poop, but someone has to do it. It is the coach attendant's job to keep the car somewhat clean right?
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Old Jun 29, 10, 9:57 pm   #10
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Well no one wants to clean up other peoples poop, but someone has to do it. It is the coach attendant's job to keep the car somewhat clean right?
Yes; however I'm not sure that they would actually have the needed supplies to deal with something like this.
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Old Jun 30, 10, 2:11 am   #11
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And in all fairness to the employees, I can certinaly understand them not wanting to clean up the mess. I fly at least twice a month, and I take VIA rail on a similar length trip 4 to 5 times a year between windsor and toronto and have never experienced anything this disturbing in all the years I have been travelling.
And in all the collective years the rest of us have traveled Amtrak (probably totaling hundreds, if not thousands, of years if you add everyone in this forum up), none of the rest of us has experienced anything this disturbing, either, so I think you're safe to keep traveling on Amtrak.
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Old Jun 30, 10, 3:08 am   #12
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If that was the case why did Amtrak allow her to board and why did her family allow her to go on a trip alone.
I don't disagree with you, but I think Amtrak would open themselves up for a REALLY bad lawsuit if they were to deny someone from boarding just because they're "special needs". If they're not drunk, high, or a noticeable danger to anyone, they really can't deny boarding, I don't think. IANAL though...

Last edited by lo2e; Jun 30, 10 at 3:14 am
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Old Jun 30, 10, 6:13 am   #13
  
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Yes; however I'm not sure that they would actually have the needed supplies to deal with something like this.
I would expect they should have some basic supplies for cleaning the restrooms to get the big stuff cleaned up and not just throw a towel over it. If not they could do the old dog poop bag trick and pick up the chunks with an inside out garbage bag. I wouldn't expect them to be able to do a deep clean, but they could have at least tried.
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Old Jun 30, 10, 8:50 am   #14
  
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This is one of my biggest complaints against Amtrak, on trips more then a few hours the bathrooms will get dirty. This is just a fact of life and one reason many public restrooms in office buildings, malls, airports, ect have checklists or signs about how they are cleaned every hour or two.

On long flights, the FAs will clean bathrooms. Amtrak on the other hand doesn't do that, the train crew will hand out in the cafe car before they clean the bathrooms.

This policy needs to change, Amtrak should supply the crew with the needed cleaning supplies to tend the the bathrooms.

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I would expect they should have some basic supplies for cleaning the restrooms to get the big stuff cleaned up and not just throw a towel over it. If not they could do the old dog poop bag trick and pick up the chunks with an inside out garbage bag. I wouldn't expect them to be able to do a deep clean, but they could have at least tried.
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Old Jun 30, 10, 9:45 am   #15
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Climbguy,

Amtrak does provide the crew with supplies to clean the bathrooms and there are indeed attendants who will actually use those supplies. I've seen it with my own eyes. Yes, there are some who don't too, but there are plenty that do.

Part of the problem however is that there are some passengers who seem to think that their ticket provides them with free maid service and that whatever mess they leave in the bathroom, will be cleaned up for them. And then there is the sheer volume of 75 people using 4 bathrooms over the course of a two day trip.

The attendants cannot and are not supposed to try to clean after each use. I believe that they are supposed to go through 2 or 3 times a day. And they are limited in what they can do too. They don't have a mop for example, which makes it harder to clean the floor. But they can clean the toilet, wipe down the mirror & sink, spray some disinfectant, and take out the garbage. They're also supposed to restock the towels and soap as needed too.
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