Following the trend of all the airlines offering perks to promote their brand, Amtrak, the national passenger rail company is also aspiring to boost its business. Their style is by offering $100 in free alcohol to customers on some overnight trains. Although this is just a trial basis, the scheme goes like this – 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 – which travels 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, Florida. At about $6 for 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.
An Amtrak spokeswoman, Karina Morero, said the goal is to entice people to try the new, high-end sleeper car service. Even Christina Messa, vice president of marketing for GrandLuxe, said the drinks promotion is part of an effort to revive some of the luxuries of old-fashioned, cross-country train trips. But to contradict all this, Mothers Against Drunk Driving questioned whether $100 in free alcohol was too much. Now every mind is going to have its own views. So let’s wait and watch the response to this ‘alcoholic campaign’!