There has been an inflatable movie screen-sized hole in our hearts ever since SkyMall announced in January that it had filed for bankruptcy protection, essentially ending 25 years of inflight shopping entertainment. But that void for all things you-never-knew-you-needed-until-you-had-nothing-better-to-do-than-flip-through-the-pages-of-the-kooky-retail-magazine will soon be full: SkyMall will once again by flying high on United Airlines. [More]
If you’ve been hopping on trains with big loads of luggage and gleefully stowing it Amtrak’s baggage compartments, you’re going to need to curb your tendency to over pack: starting Oct. 1, Amtrak will start enforcing its baggage weight limits, handing out fees to those hauling more than their fair share onboard.
When you’ve already cruised the highways and byways of your hometown, the idea of a bike trip in another state can certainly be appealing — there are new hills to vanquish, deep forests or vast deserts waiting to be discovered on two wheels and long stretches of road to zoom on. To help folks who need to travel to hook up with popular bike trails and routes, Amtrak is expanding its service that lets passengers bring their bikes onboard trains.
Five airlines are at the center of a newly opened federal investigation into price-gouging for their actions in allegedly raising airfares following the May derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia that killed eight people and injured 200 others. [More]
If you’ve ever had the misfortune to sit next to me on an Amtrak train while I was trying to write, you’ve probably heard me mutter things about the state of onboard WiFi service that — were they fully audible — would have made Larry Flynt blush. Sometimes I wondered if it was just me, or if there was something wrong with my computer (every single one of them that I’ve ever used) that made it allergic to AmtrakConnect. It turns out, the service is just plain awful for everyone. [More]
After embarking on a trial allowing dogs and cats to travel on some trains along with their owners last spring, it seems Amtrak could soon have pet cars on all its trains nationwide. In a bill passed by the House that approved Amtrak funding, legislators rewrote the rules regarding furry companions riding the rails.
You know that feeling you get when you leave the house, like maybe you left the curling iron on, or didn’t remember to lock the back door? That’s annoying enough, so I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to leave an entire trainful of passengers behind at the station, like one Amtrak train did over the weekend. [More]
Trains! Such adorable little vestiges of a golden era gone by, so rich in quaint customs like not allowing pets onboard, even as those young upstart airlines have accepted furry friends for decades. But Amtrak is possibly going to change that, with a new trial policy of allowing dogs and cats on trains — but just on certain routes for now. [More]
What a difference a few weeks and a bunch of writers who want a free roundtrip train ride can make: After Amtrak’s initial writers’ residency stirred up interest at the end of February, Amtrak has officially unveiled its program and is now accepting applications. [More]
There is perhaps no other idea so entrancing to the writerly-mind than setting out to write during a cross-country trip. And there’s no smoother way to write about the amber waves of grain rolling endlessly past than on a train, says anyone who has written on both a train and in a car. So it’s not surprising that Amtrak’s plan to give free, roundtrip rides to writers (riders and writers!) is turning out to be a popular idea. [More]
As you’re snuggled up to your cubicle space heater and dreading that icy walk home, sure, you’re allowed to feel the cold and be grumpy about it. But imagine being stuck on an Amtrak train for hours, overnight, huddled in your coat and hungry, with flooded bathrooms and nonworking toilets. Those are some of the conditions passengers stranded on three trains in Illinois said they faced before their rescue this morning. [More]
Passengers aboard an Amtrak train that departed Harrisburg, Pa. were probably looking forward to taking in the sights of New York City, considering that’s where everyone on the locomotive thought they were going (do they still call them locomotives or did my grandfather just take over my brain?). But never mind the Empire State Building, aren’t the Philadelphia suburbs charming? [More]
More than two decades after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a new survey of Amtrak stations around the country claims that the overwhelming majority of them still fall far short of being accessible for passengers with special needs and that some are still completely inaccessible to consumers who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices. [More]
If we’ve learned anything from the Carnival Poop Cruise earlier this year, it’s to bring an electrical generator wherever — or however — we travel. That’s probably impractical, but as passengers on an Amtrak train stuck for 14 hours outside of Richmond, Va. learned, when the electricity is spotty, having a working potty is a luxury. [More]
You know how it’s really important to trust the people in charge of operating heavey machinery/vehicles that you’re riding in? Well that trust might be a little tiny bit shaken when you hear that Amtrak workers — conductors, mechanics and engineers and the like — have been failing drug and alcohol tests more frequently in the last six years. And it seems not much is being done about it, says a new report.