Grab a Snack or Drink Without Leaving Your Seat
Amtrak is trialing a new order-at-your-seat service on select trains in the Northeast. This online cafe ordering capability allows passengers to place an online order from the cafe car and either pick up their items or have them delivered directly to their seat.
Added Convenience, But at a Cost
While the prices on the online menu are the same as in the cafe car, there is an extra cost for using this service. Online orders are subject to a $0.50 transaction fee, and deliveries come with an additional $2 convenience charge.
Convenient for Hot Food Orders
This service is most convenient for those ordering hot food from the cafe car. Passengers can pre-order their meal and only get up from their seat once it's ready, eliminating the need to wait in the cafe car.
Available on Select Amtrak Acela Trains
For now, this new Amtrak service is exclusively available on select Amtrak Acela trains operating in the Northeast. Passengers on eligible trains should receive an email about this new feature a few hours before departure.
Secure Online Ordering
The online ordering system exclusively accepts major credit cards and transactions are processed securely via Square. It is unclear whether these online transactions will be listed as a dining purchase on credit card statements.
Pilot Program and Future Rollout
Amtrak is currently in a 90-day pilot program that ends in mid-January. The company will make a decision on future rollout based on customer feedback and a post-pilot evaluation.
Passengers who have used the at-seat delivery option have reported that it has improved their onboard experience, especially for those traveling with family, with reduced mobility, or are seniors.
Potential for Expansion
While still in testing mode, there is potential for this service to be expanded to more trains and integrated with the Amtrak mobile app in the future.
Overall, this new order-at-your-seat service on Amtrak trains provides added convenience for passengers who want to grab a snack or drink without leaving their seat. However, there are additional costs associated with using the service. For now, it is only available on select Amtrak Acela trains in the Northeast, but there is potential for expansion in the future. Passengers have reported improved onboard experiences with the at-seat delivery option, and Amtrak will make a decision on future rollout based on customer feedback and evaluation.
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