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Consumer Briefs TRAVEL

Amtrak offering $100 drink credit

August 05, 2007|From Times Wire Services

Amtrak is trying to gin up new business by offering $100 in free alcohol to customers on some overnight trains, including West Coast trips.

The national passenger rail company is making the unusual offer to promote a new high-end service being offered on a trial basis for certain sleeper car trips.

Members of Amtrak's guest rewards program -- the railroad equivalent of frequent fliers -- can get a $100-per-person credit for alcohol from November to January.

The offer comes on top of the dinner wine that is included in the cost of a ticket for GrandLuxe trips on the California Zephyr between Chicago and San Francisco; the Southwest Chief between Chicago and Los Angeles; and the Silver Meteor between Washington and Miami.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving questioned whether $100 in free alcohol was too much.

"This sounds like a lot of credit toward possible overindulging," MADD spokeswoman Misty Moyse said.

GrandLuxe offers separate cars, with their own private dining and lounge sections, attached to regular Amtrak trains. Tickets for such trips cost from $789 a person for a two-day, one-night trip on the East Coast to $1,599 or higher for three days and two nights of travel to or from the West Coast.

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