Meal service, two concepts

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Brightline Select complimentary food and beverages. Not too shabby!

I’ll keep my remarks brief—which is unusual for me—and let the photos do most of the talking.

The lead photo (top) depicts the complementary food offered as part of Brightline’s new Select service, described in detail a little further down.

The photo below depicts food offered on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited. The photo was emailed to me with this comment from a long-time friend and colleague, long-retired from Amtrak:

“Food ‘service’ is a messy pile of clutter caused by packaging materials and boxes. It’s a dehumanizing experience. Food is OK, but limited.”

Capitol Limited meal service, a.k.a. Cheap Recycled Airline Pickings or a “Delta Happy Meal.”

Once you’re done digesting the photo of the Capitol Limited’s “cuisine” (or perhaps “engaging in an involuntary protein spill,” as the late George Carlin called vomiting), read this Brightline Select service description:

Designed for leisure and business travelers seeking a premium travel alternative, the new Select service is the latest iteration of the innovative guest experience on the only hospitality-focused passenger rail service. Select service is now available and bookable on the enhanced Go Brightline app.

“We are reimagining train travel based on the feedback and interest of our guests,” said Brightline President and COO Patrick Goddard. “It’s more than connecting cities and people but providing a hospitality focused approach to transform the journey. The new Select service has been thoughtfully designed and implemented, from the wine selections to the on-board food offerings.”

Brightline Select service begins from the moment guests arrive with inclusive station parking. The enhanced Select Lounge in the three South Florida stations will offer curated** food and beverage items throughout the day. From opening to 11 a.m., the Select Lounges will offer an unlimited complimentary breakfast spread with warm, freshly baked goods by Zak the Baker, fresh whole fruits, yogurt parfaits, fruit cups and daily freshly squeezed orange juice until 11 a.m. Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., guests traveling on Select will enjoy seasonal healthy offerings and a self-serve wine and champagne station. After 3 p.m., Select Lounge guests can enjoy self-service beverage stations offering champagne, wine and beer, along with imported Italian charcuterie and cheese, and freshly-baked bread. Freshly brewed Illy coffee, assorted teas and an assortment of PepsiCo products and bottled water are also available throughout the day. During the weekends, the lounges will feature special surprises for guests, like a mimosa or a Bloody Mary station.

Business services and amenities are also available in the Select Lounges, including independent workstations, complimentary wireless printing and scanning, stationary supplies, iPad usage, magazines and newspapers.

Select ticket holders receive escorted pre-boarding* from a dedicated attendant to the platform that will feature grab-and-go-items, such as snacks, wine and accessories. Onboard service will include complimentary scented cold hand towels, magazines, headphones and kids bags for those 12 and under. Chargers are also available upon request. On board, service will include fresh pastries and assorted breakfast items in the morning and a specially curated bento box during the afternoon and evening.

The New Select service pricing will launch at $30 per short segment between Miami and Fort Lauderdale or Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and $35 per long segment between Miami and West Palm Beach.

Brightline also rolled out its Smart+ service, which includes one complimentary snack and alcoholic beverage onboard per leg. Envisioned as an option for business and leisure travelers alike, Smart+ is $25 per short segment and $30 per long segment.

Smart service is $20 per short segment and $25 per long segment. All three levels of service offer guests free wi-fi onboard along with power outlets/USB ports, large multi-task tray tables at each seat, a variety of food and beverage options for purchase and comfortable, large leather reclining seats.

Not bad for a short-distance trip, eh?

* “What is pre-boarding? Getting on before you get on?”—George Carlin

** Editor’s Note: Contributing Editor Frank Wilner comments: “A prize to whomever best defines whatever “curated food” means. In its verb form, one definition of “curated” is “to take charge of a museum or organize an art exhibit.” In its noun form, one definition is “a member of the British clergy.” Good grief, who writes this stuff? Who edits it? Who approves it? 

Categories: High Performance, Intercity, Passenger Tags: , ,