Q: I'm taking Amtrak overnight for the first time (to Chicago). Meals are included in the ticket price, but I want to know if tipping in the dining car is customary?
To tip or not
on Amtrak trains
Q: I’m taking Amtrak overnight for the first time (to Chicago). Meals are included in the ticket price, but I want to know if tipping in the dining car is customary? How about the cabin stewards? How much? How often?
— Train tipper, Seattle
Most Read Life Stories
- 'Grand Poobah of Powder': This Seattle man's snow reports have powered winter sports for 25 years
- Family sustains Big John's PFI, bringing tastes of Italy to Seattle for 50 years
- Want to see holiday light displays in the Pacific NW? There's a map for that
- The crispiest, lightest shrimp cakes you can make
- Struggling with holiday binge eating? 5 tips to help you recover
A: It’s been my experience that dining-car attendants and cabin stewards on Amtrak’s overnight trains go out of their way to provide personal service. The attendant on the train my husband and I took this winter to Essex, Mont., greeted us by our first names and stored our skis in a special place so we could easily find them when it was time to get off.
Jim Loomis, author of “All Aboard! The Complete North American Train Travel Guide,” recommends $5 per passenger per night for sleeping-car attendants, and the standard 15 percent of what the meals would cost if you paid (prices are on the menu) outright.
Come prepared with a stash of small bills.
Leave the tip in cash on the table, and hand your sleeping-car attendant the tip at your final destination.
There’s no obligation that you tip, of course, and you should feel free to adjust the amount, depending on the service.
— Carol Pucci / Seattle Times
If you have a question about travel, ask us. Go to www.seattletimes.com/travel (scroll down to the middle of the page to “Ask Travel”) to submit a question. We’ll answer as many as we can, but are unable to answer all due to the volume of submissions.