Amtrak passengers are in for a surprise, as the 48-year-old company has decided to scrap its decade long tradition of sit down dining service for a much faster and accessible, millennial-friendly dining experience. 

This change by the American travel company is associated with the push to appeal to a much younger generation than their current customer pool. Peter Wilander, Amtrak’s Vice President of product development, expressed that most millennials prefer taking their meal in privacy over sitting in a dining car with strangers feeling uncomfortable. He also goes on to add that “some people really like (the dining car) and view it as sort of a nostalgic train experience” but most prefer to sit in their cabins and have dinner. 

Dining car awaits passengers for lunch onboard the Amtrak train Southwest Chief, somewhere in New Mexico.

From the 1st of October, the Amtrak is set to revamp its dining cars starting with the old-timey white-tablecloth service followed by a brand new menu of Pan-Asian and Continental menu. The dining service started in 1971, but now passengers can pre-order their food while booking their tickets from a more “enhanced” and “flexible” ready-to-eat menu. The change is expected to affect only short-haul services at the moment. But the company does have plans to implement this change across the board as they feel millennials want privacy over authenticity.

This is not the first time Amtrak has tried to appeal to Millennials

However, this is not the first time Amtrak has tried to appeal to its millennial customers. At the beginning of the year, the company hosted a contest to fish out travel influencers in the US to help share their experience aboard the long-distance train service. Amtrak wanted a leader in the social media community to bring a unique and diverse perspective to travel and connect followers to a “deeper level” of onboard travel.

Even though Amtrak is trying to connect with its younger customers, the internet, however, is not buying their reasoning for sudden revamp the 48-year-old food service. Many have taken to Twitter to express their dismay of such decision by the company while others have chosen to voice out their frustration of blaming millennials for this change.


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