Carriers who go the extra mile for ADA customers part 2
Note: I am not affiliated with Amtrak nor is this an advertisement for Amtrak. I am sharing my good experience with the company.
Earlier this week, I talked about carriers who provide additional ADA support for their customers. I have had great experiences with other carriers and their ADA support, but these last couple articles are about providers who have ADA information built into their ticketing system, making the communication part of any trip (that you are traveling with a visual impairment in my case) seamless. Today we are talking about Amtrak, have you ever decided to take the scenic route and travel by train rather than air? At the end of the day, the cost is generally about the same or in some cases cheaper. I looked at a comparable flight from Denver, where I live to Chicago’s Midway Airport. Both the flight on Southwest and Amtrak were around 100 dollars one-way, the big difference in the train is that it takes 18 hours to travel form Denver’s Union Station to Chicago. Now, full disclosure, I love to take the train when I can, I see it as part of the experience and challenge. When you fly, generally you get on and off when the plane lands, with the train you have to listen and make sure you are getting off at the right station. It can be more work, but it can be very cool in terms of the things you experience. I have found the conductors aboard incredibly helpful, and happy to confirm that your stop is coming up. In my case, Chicago is the final stop of the California Zephyr line, so taking this particular route is incredibly easy.
Lets talk about ticketing, when booking a ticket for an Amtrak ride, there are check boxes in the system alerting Amtrak staff that you are an ADA customer. They offer assistance to get you to the right train, board the train, and you can even alert them if you are traveling with a guide dog or other service animal. In the get-there-now world we all live in the train may not be the most convenient way to get to your destination, but if you give it a chance you might enjoy the leisurely trip and the interesting people you will meet along the way.
You can follow me @nedskee on Twitter and @nedskee on Instrgram. Don’t let your lack of vision hold you back from traveling someplace you have never been. Take a trip, make it an adventure!
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