Jessica Torres ***** Bartley Ave.*Santa Fe Springs, CA ******April **, *****Amtrak*** Massachusetts Ave. NE*Washington, DC *****-*****To whom it may concern:*I recently had a very frustrating and extremely costly experience with your passenger rail carrier. I feel that I am owed compensation from Amtrak for my expenses.*On February **, **** I called Amtrak to purchase * one-way Coast starlight tickets from Seattle, WA to Los Angeles, CA on March **, ****. I was informed because my daughter uses a wheelchair and my mom uses an electric wheelchair that * separate reservation will be made. I initially was interested in booking a suite but at the time they were booked. I questioned the comfort on the train and ADA accessibility, she assured me that someone would assist us with accessibility should we require assistance. She said the seats recline flat and that there was plenty on leg room. She questioned whether the disabled passengers would stay in there wheelchair during the trip and I responded that they would be able to transfer and that I wanted them to have a seat so they are comfortable. The first reservation was for * adults and * children and the second reservation was for my mom and daughter both disabled. I was told that we would all be seated together that the separate transactions were just so that she could charge me the correct fare. The lady on the phone was very nice and considerate as she had to keep placing me on hold to get assistance from someone else to help her apply the discounted fares since we had * childrens fares, * disabled child passenger fare and * disabled passenger fare. The reservation was made and my account was charged. My disabled daughter loves trains and our boys had mentioned that we have been on Disney cruises and countless airplanes rides but never a train. So, for spring break we flew from LAX to SEATAC we enjoyed Seattle for a couple of days. Then we were to take the ** hour scenic, coast liner from Seattle to LAX. My daughter and boys were excited.*On March **, **** we arrived at King street station, ready to embark on our journey. When we boarded we noticed that they had reserved * seats downstairs for the disabled passengers and the other * seats upstairs. Now who in their right mind would place two disabled passengers from a family of * to sit next to each other on a ** hour train ride, and place there family (caregivers) upstairs!!! Who was going to assist them? I asked the onboard service lady about changing seats or possibly sitting in one of the many empty seats but she responded that the train was full and other passengers we going to be filling the seats shortly. To avoid any conflicts I then left my daughter’s wheelchair downstairs and my husband carried her upstairs to sit by me. My dad then went downstairs to sit by my mom should she require any assistance. *First impressions, the train smelled, it was filthy (see attached photos) but we were determined to make the most of our first train ride. The first stop was Portland, Oregon. We figured we could stretch our legs and I could change my daughter’s diaper(the bathroom on the train was too small for us to fit in and the ADA bathroom was out of service at the time). My husband assisted my daughter down the stairs and when we met my mom she was told by the onboard service lady that the wheelchair ramp was too heavy for her to carry and that there was no one around who could help her at the time. She told my mom that she has to remain on the train until she reaches her destination because she doesn’t have help to be placing the ramp “whenever she needed it.” My mom then told her, her legs were swelling because she hasn’t been able to get up. She then questioned my mom’s mobility and told my mom that if she can transfer to the seat then she can walk up and down the corridors of the train. We then told her that my mom can walk short distances but when the train is moving it’s hard for her to keep her balance. My mom began to cry she said she felt like luggage, she was left downstairs and was not offered any food or water. The man taking reservations for lunch did come by to take a reservation should she need one for lunch but again she would have to walk to the diner and there was no way she would be able to walk that far. *We assisted my daughter to the Portland station bathroom, we left her wheelchair onboard, I changed her diaper at the station’s bathroom then we assisted her back to the train, up the stairs to her seat. We did not receive any assistance. *We noticed different passengers embarking and disembarking at various stations. No boarding passes were checked. The seats were never cleaned, and the paper that is over the head rest was not changed. I asked the lady if she checks boarding passes and she replied “I know who they are!” The lady was so preoccupied with the next smoke break she mentioned it to others. She would say “ok let’s go get our smoke in the next stop won’t be for * hours”. The filth on the train was unbelievable! We still attempted to make the best out of our situation but when I started developing a rash (see attached photos) and when * females started yelling and were about to fight. We decided right then and there to get off the train and drive home ASAP. *The next stop where we could find a suitable rental car was in Sacramento. We got all our belonging asked for our checked baggage and disembarked. We have video of another employee and what would occur when we asked for a wheelchair ramp, why my mom’s mobility was questioned infuriates me. Just an FYI the train arrived at the Sacramento station very early so the stop was going to be a “long stop” and they would still not place the ramp so that my mom could disembark. They only time they placed the ramp was when we told them we were going to disembark and drive home instead.***Please call me at (***) ***-**** should you have any questions. I am expecting a refund of our train fare, to be compensated for the rental car and the unnecessary suffering that we had to endear. My family or I am not interested in ever riding on Amtrak again. *Sincerely,*Jessica Torres
GetHuman-tiffyfit did not yet indicate what Amtrak should do to make this right.