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Readers Respond: How Much Do You Tip on Amtrak?

Responses: 6

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From the article: Tipping on Amtrak Trains
Some folks think everyone from hotel maids to bus drivers should be tipped in America. Whether Americans tip too much is another question; this one is: how much do you tip on Amtrak? We've got some advice on tipping on Amtrak from old train buffs, and we're (all!) interested in your opinion. Amtrak attendants do not depend on your tips for income, btw, and it's not done to tip the conductor -- we're talking about attendants, like for sleepers and dining cars. Tell us what you think about tipping on Amtrak, or whether and how much you tip on Amtrak, below -- no need to (really) register or log in...

tip serving staff, but not others

As a former Amtrak & VIA ticket clerk, here are suggestions for tipping on Amtrak (& VIA Rail Canada). Serving staff such as dining car, cafe car, sleepers, and red cap (hand-baggage assistance at larger stations) should be tipped, but it's not absolutely required, as they are paid above minimum wage. But traveling for 2-7 days at a time away from home, or lifting (sometimes heavy!) baggage, all that makes you more comfortable, is worth tipping for. Ticket agents & baggage car workers don't get tips. Although I have been tipped sometimes, and it is appreciated, our first response is that we have to say that tipping is not required nor expected, but then if they insist, we are most welcome to accept it upon the 2nd offering. Operating crew such as conductors or engineers, mechanical workers, and others should not be tipped. But a 1st offer, employee refusal, & 2nd offer for employee to be allowed to accept, is welcome, but certainly not needed for wages nor is expected.
—Guest rivardau

Misinformation: tips ARE what we live on

Amtrak employees are part of the SERVICE industry and -- at least among my fellow newer employees -- we often bend over backwards to accomodate people's requests if we are able. We are trained in safeguarding the safety of our passengers: we are certified in CPR, basic first aid, the use of defrib equipment and food safety examinations. We are cross-trained for 3 different positions, expending $500-800 on approved shoes/uniforms before we are officially hired. Our 2nd check takes union dues as we scramble to make ends meet. No second jobs, as a 2-hour report time from 24/7 phone calls makes this impossible. "Professional" waitstaff have expediters and bus people but we do it ALL above the pounding rails shoving us back and forth. This is our livelihood but not much of a life. Prima dona waiters go home to loved ones; we work the trains on holidays (4 hours extra pay), birthdays, kids' recitals. Money cannot replace these losses. If our SERVICE is rewarded the sting is lessened.
—Guest JourneynotDestination

Do Not Tip

Amtrak workers are very heavily unionized. They already make significantly more than there private sector counterparts. It is not necessary to tip them.
—Guest Aaron

Don't tip

I am in the service industry and Amtrak servers are the worst it's because they may be union and they don't live on tips like other people in the service industry All in all you really need to impress me to get a tip on the train
—Guest Jynx

No, Don't Tip on Amtrak

People who work on Amtrak in the sleeping cars and in the dining room make about $35,000 per year, which is as much as some teachers and firemen and policemen make. They do NOT need to be tipped. Save your money and donate it to schools, etc. It is not our job to help people who already make $14-20 an hour make more. Plus they get insurance!!!!
—Guest angelababy

Yes, Tip on Amtrak

I believe your statements on Amtrak train attendants and servers is very incorrect. A good sleeper attendant should be tipped at least 20-50 for your trip. And of course if u dont see your attendant, for instance, get on in the middle of the night and leave in the morning. You should still leave a tip because they have to clean up after you. The bed, garbage and reclean the room. Also if your serving. You should defiantly leave a good tip. They have to put up with 400 different personalties a day. You should look at your meal price and tip accordingly to that like you would In a normal restaurant. You need to fix your statement cause your way off. Thanks for listening.
—Guest John

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