Thursday, August 02, 2007

This is not a good idea

This has all the makings of a stupid idea.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Amtrak is trying to gin up new business by offering $100 in free alcohol to customers on some overnight trains.
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 between November and January.

The offer of free drinks comes on top of the dinner wine that is already included in the cost of a ticket for GrandLuxe trips on the California Zephyr—chugging between Chicago and San Francisco—the Southwest Chief between Chicago and Los Angeles, or the Silver Meteor between Washington, D.C., and Miami or Orlando, Fla.

At about $6 for a house wine or $7 for a top-shelf scotch, that credit could fuel a long ride. The credit would not go nearly as far for, say, a $250 bottle of Dom Perignon—also available.

Christina Messa, vice president of marketing for GrandLuxe, said the drinks promotion is part of an effort to revive some of the luxury of old-fashioned, cross-country train trips.

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

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

GrandLuxe offers separate cars, with their own private dining

Doesnn't Amtrak have enough of its own problems to solve before hitting the bar. Like trying to become independently viable and free of the taxpayer's purse?

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