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Amtrek The Policy Corner

Our policies, presented in an easy-to-read Q & A format

What do I need to know about crossing international borders?
Do you allow any pets or cats?
What is Amtrek's Disability Access Policy?
Does Amtrek offer special fares for the physically-challenged?
What about senior citizens?
Are there any special fare plans for normal people?
May I bring food on board Amtrek trains?
What about produce? Like squash, cantaloupe, watermelon?
I've searched this entire website without finding any instructions on how to purchase tickets.
Do youhave a policy regarding refunds for unsatisfactory service?
These policies seem, at first glance, quite ridiculous.

Question/Answer  What do I need to know about crossing international borders?
 Amtrek trains crossing borders are subject to inspection en route. American citizens entering the island nation of New Jersey are required to have a passport or birth certificate. (These documents will be examined by Customs Agents at border checkpoints in Trenton and Weehawken.) You are also advised to see your physician 30 days before travel to obtain the proper immunizations. Because Amtrek is incorporated in the United State of New Jersey and is supported in part by American foreign aid, there is no import duty assessed. American currency is commonly accepted. Many New Jerseyans speak English.

Documentation is also required when entering Mexico and Canada. However, American citizens no longer need documentation to visit Montreal, Quebec City or Vancouver. As part of the Canadian Cities Liberation Act of 1991, these cities are recognized as Occupied Territories of the United States of America. Travelers are advised to closely guard their valuables when visiting the Territories and Canada itself.

Question/Answer  Do you allow any pets or cats?
 Amtrek generally does not permit animals on trains or in stations. One exception is in the case of an Amtrek-approved assistance animal accompanying a visually-impaired passenger. Another exception is on trains that feature our newest meal service, the Authentic Gourmet Chinese Buffet. On trains that feature this popular dining experience, passengers are encouraged to bring their dogs. The highlight of the Authentic Gourmet Chinese Buffet is a competition in which passengers try to guess which meal was made from the canine they brought on board. No prior notification is required. Those wishing to participate must simply turn the animal over to our chef's assistant when boarding the train. At that time, you may specify any seasoning or sauce preference you may have. (No MSG is used in the preparation of pets.)

Occasionally, Amtrek offers other specialty dining services in which your pet may play an active role. The Silver Meat Eater currently offers "Wild Card Friday" - a feature that gives exotic pets the center spot in the dining car.

Trains offering only standard dining car service are not equipped to carry dogs or other mammals. However, they are able to accommodate pet fish of any edible variety, such as tuna, salmon, trout or swordfish. Pet lobsters are also welcome. (Drawn butter and bibs will be provided.) Persons having religious convictions concerning the consumption of pets are advised to seek alternate modes of transport. Cats are not allowed onboard under any circumstances.

Question/Answer Why doesn't Amtrek permit cats on its trains?
 We don't like them. And, they really don't go well with Chinese food.

Our thanks go to Mr. Steven W. Kay of the Lackawanna Terminal Railroad for his assistance in the development of Amtrek's pet policy.

Question/Answer  What is Amtrek's Disability Access Policy?
 As a progressive company, we believe in empowering our handicapable Guests to realize their full potential. We understand you don't wish to be treated differently simply because of your diminished social status. And, you certainly don't want to be stared at because you're hooked up to a machine or have some grotesque deformity. Amtrek personnel are trained to be sensitive to your embarrassment. We don't disturb you with awkward, blundering attempts at help. Instead, we give you the freedom to help yourself. With that in mind, there are some things you need to know about traveling Amtrek. Wheelchair-bound passengers should be aware that many
ALL of our smaller stations have low-level platforms that are not wheelchair accessible. To board at these locations, you will be required to carry your wheelchair on board with you. While on board, handicapped Guests are stored in the baggage car. This is for the protection of our younger riders, who can be understandably frightened by the sight of wheelchairs, oxygen equipment and missing limbs.

Question/Answer  Does Amtrek offer special fares for the physically-challenged?
 Amtrek allows a 15% discount for the crippled. We may ask for proof of disability unless, of course, we can tell just by looking at you that you're really in bad shape. In addition to the 15% discount, we assess a 30% Handling and Storage Fee, due to the additional costs incurred in processing special-needs passengers. In most cases this will result in handicapped passengers paying 15% more than normal people.

Question/Answer  What about senior citizens?
 They're usually pretty cranky.

Question/Answer  I mean, do you offer any benefits to senior citizens?
 The elderly may apply for membership in our Declining Years Club. All Declining Years Club members are entitled to complain long and hard to their congressperson about Social Security and Medicare. Other Club benefits include walking very slowly and going out for dinner at Four in the afternoon. To be eligible for Declining Years Club membership, one need only admit to being old and infirm. (Persons who describe themselves as being "80 years young" or "young at heart" will be automatically disqualified.)

Amtrek's Senior Citizen and Disability Access Policies were developed with the assistance of double-amputee Armand A. Legg. Mr. Legg is a Public Policy Advocate with the American Association for Disabled Americans. He is also quite old.

Question/Answer  Are there any special fare plans for normal people?
 Persons who aren't old or feeble may take advantage of our American Automobile Club discount. College students will be happy to learn about Amtrek's I'm special Club. With this plan, students are entitled to occupy two seats for the price of one. A Club member simply lies across two seats and pretends to be sleeping, effectively blocking others from sitting there. If asked to make room for another Guest, Club members simply display their Club Card and say the secret Club Passphrase: "I don't have to move 'cause I'm Special." Amtrek also honors the
West Bestern Traveler's Advantage Club Card.

Question/Answer  May I bring food on board Amtrek trains?

Question/Answer  What about produce? Like squash, cantaloupe, watermelon? Can I bring that on board?

Question/Question  If I bring along produce and put it in the baggage car and it spoils, will Amtrek reimburse me?
 What do you think?

Question/Answer  I've wasted hours searching this entire website without finding any instructions on how to purchase tickets.
 That was not actually worded as a question, but we'll do our best to answer.
We at Amtrek would like to use industry-standard e-commerce procedures to sell tickets directly from this website. Unfortunately, the Federal Railroad Administration and strict Union work rules prohibit us from doing so. In addition, our Webmaster's terms of parole prevent us from issuing tickets for trains that do not really exist. There are other factors, too. Federal laws concerning interstate commerce may - under the strictest interpretation - impact us negatively in this area. (At least, that's what we've been told by the Justice Department, if you can believe them.) It also becomes problematic for us to collect payment for non-existent services without creating a trail that might lead to our eventual capture, conviction and imprisonment for multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and assorted other frauds. Therefore, until we've determined a way to effectively insulate ourselves from prosecution, we must refuse all monies.

Question/Answer  Do you have a policy regarding refunds for unsatisfactory service?
 Yes. We certainly do.

Question/Answer  These policies seem, at first glance, quite ridiculous.
 They are indeed, and not just at first glance. It is admittedly difficult to develop policies that allow us to run a nationwide transportation business while accommodating the needs of a diverse customer base. However, in defining these policies, we've attempted to walk the fine line that separates compassion from shocking insensitivity.


Amtrek - Practice Makes Perfict

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