It’s a little after 11 pm Central Time and I’m waiting for the Empire Builder at St. Paul Union Depot to take me home. Besides bike complications and a very soggy Monday, it’s been a good trip.
But the getting home part has become slightly complicated. And I’m not thrilled.
So the Empire Builder is running late, by about two hours. While not exciting, it’s to be expected with Amtrak. But I was texted a warning, telling me that it was expected to arrive around 11:55 pm, and I should get there at least one hour early if I needed “station assistance”, which I assumed would mean boxing and checking my bike. So getting to the station at 10:25 would be ample, right?
I arrived to the ticket/baggage counter and was told that because I didn’t get it there “in time”, the bike would be delayed a day. What?
After much back-and-forth with the agent, who seemed more interested in arguing with me and interrupting me rather than be actually helpful, I learned that I should have had it there at 9, an hour before the scheduled arrival. Even though the train is coming in at midnight. Even though I got a text telling me to be here at least an hour before the delayed arrival.
And oh yeah, they somehow don’t have any packing tape?
Just to be clear, having the bike delayed a day is annoying, but not the end of the world. I’m going home to my other bikes, and the Wayfarer needs work. What I’m most irritated by is the ambiguity of the information I received. And the unprofessional attitude of the agent.