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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Don and Ray's Horrific Adventure


Date: 03/11/20 01:12
Don and Ray's Horrific Adventure
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

Here's an interesting blog post from six years ago where these two guys were traveling on Amtrak's Southwest Chief from Los Angeles to Kansas City.

http://purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/2014/08/traveling-fabulous-gay-world-amtrak-experience-good-bad-ugly-aftermath.html

This is now a dead web page, but it can still be retrieved by using this very useful website:    https://web.archive.org/

They apparently felt that if they announced to the on-board staff loudly enough and frequently enough that they were writers for a travel blog that it would trigger a free upgrade to a bigger sleeping car accommodation.  If not, they *MIGHT* write something negative about Amtrak on their ever-so-important-and-influential travel blog.

Oh, my goodness.  

I was the first conductor, from Los Angeles to Kingman, and told them that there were no Deluxe Bedrooms available for the distance they desired. An unoccupied room is not necessarily an unsold room.  The purchasers of the room will be boarding downline.  I was accused of being "homophobic" because I didn't give them a free upgrade.  After all, they were important writers for a travel blog.  

It morphed into a somewhat ugly situation and later I had to answer some questions from a supervisor regarding it.  I conveyed what happened to a couple of friends of mine for their opinions.  One friend used to conduct "Chico Tours" for Santa Fe when that railroad was in the passenger business.  The other friend was in the legal department of a Class One railroad in the Southeast.  Here are their opinions on this incident:

COMMENT # 1:

One very clear issue here -- I consider it very incorrect for travel writers to ID themselves to crew and passengers in the fashion that was apparent in this case. Period! Any review of this type should be stealth, plain and simple, and only then can one really judge whether homophobia or any other bias is present among Amtrak crew members. Pompous, demanding passengers of any persuasion were often a headache back in the days when I worked for the Santa Fe, and we ran some darn nice trains. But anytime an angry passenger told me Uncle Joe was the Superintendent in Amarillo and was going to hear about the crew's evil deeds, I saw red, and despite my best behavior, it was easy to put them on my "go to hell" list.

COMMENT # 2:

I guess they figured they were sure to get the free upgrade to a Deluxe Bedroom since they would be writing a travel column about their trip. Passengers like Don and Ray probably did make many railroad executives anxious to cut off passenger trains and focus on hauling non-complaining commodities like coal!

I posted the above comments to the "reader reponses" section of Don and Ray's ever-so-important-and-influential travel blog. The critical commentary appeared for about twelve hours before Mssrs. Pile and Williams yanked it.

So much for tolerance of opposing viewpoints.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/20 12:44 by CA_Sou_MA_Agent.



Date: 03/11/20 09:54
Re: Don and Ray's Horrific Adventure
Author: trainjunkie

This is the same "Do you know who I am?" game that a lot of modern "food critics" and so-called "social influencers" use to get free stuff. Totally unprofessional to be anything but incognito. They clearly have no idea how rail travel works anyway, and their assumption there would be an upgrade only revealed their ignorance. Who needs a "travel review" from dopes like that?



Date: 03/11/20 18:48
Re: Don and Ray's Horrific Adventure
Author: TAW

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is the same "Do you know who I am?" game that
> a lot of modern "food critics" and so-called
> "social influencers" use to get free stuff.

I heard a story about I think Gordon Lightfoot being pulled over for speeding by a young cop. As the cop walked up to the car, the guy demanded "Don't you know who I am?" expecting, of course, to get out of a ticket. The cop answered no...license and registration please.

TAW



Date: 03/11/20 20:09
Re: Don and Ray's Horrific Adventure
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

Lifted from elsewhere on the Internet:

A crowded United Airlines flight was cancelled. A single agent was rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travellers. Suddenly, an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk front. He slapped his ticket on the counter and said, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS." The agent replied, "I am sorry, sir. I'll be happy to try to help you, but I've got to help these folks first, and I'm sure we'll be able to work something out."

The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?" Without hesitating, the agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone: "May I have your attention, please," she began, her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal. "We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate 14."

With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the United agent, gritted his teeth and swore "F*** you!"

Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to get in line for that, too."



Date: 03/12/20 17:25
Re: Don and Ray's Horrific Adventure
Author: WAF

CA_Sou_MA_Agent Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lifted from elsewhere on the Internet:
>
> A crowded United Airlines flight was cancelled. A
> single agent was rebooking a long line of
> inconvenienced travellers. Suddenly, an angry
> passenger pushed his way to the desk front. He
> slapped his ticket on the counter and said, "I
> HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST
> CLASS." The agent replied, "I am sorry, sir. I'll
> be happy to try to help you, but I've got to help
> these folks first, and I'm sure we'll be able to
> work something out."
>
> The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so
> that the passengers behind him could hear, "DO
> YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?" Without hesitating,
> the agent smiled and grabbed her public address
> microphone: "May I have your attention, please,"
> she began, her voice heard clearly throughout the
> terminal. "We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO
> DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him
> find his identity, please come to Gate 14."
>
> With the folks behind him in line laughing
> hysterically, the man glared at the United agent,
> gritted his teeth and swore "F*** you!"
>
> Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm
> sorry, sir, but you'll have to get in line for
> that, too."

Love it!



Date: 03/14/20 14:09
Re: Don and Ray's Horrific Adventure
Author: DD40

Like a flight I had out of Atlanta. Some jerk was giving the agent one heck of a bad time and throughout the agent was as pleasant as can be, one of Delta's Red Coats. After he finished and the jerk was on the way to the gate the agent grabbed the checked bag before it left the gate area, and tore off the destination tag and put another on, then sent the bag on its way. Then he looked at me, smiled and asked how he could be of assistance. I laughed, asked if I could buy him a beer sometime, and we got my ticket changed, and an upgrade to first! In all my years of travel I always found sugar works a whole lot better . 



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