Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dear Amtrak

Dear Amtrak,

Thank you.

I've been avoiding flying for years.  The way airlines treat their fat customers pisses me off and, frankly, makes me anxious.  The only person I've shared my worry with has assured me that I'm not fat enough to be harassed, but the airlines apply their anti-fat policies so unevenly, I'd rather avoid the situation altogether.

And then there's the security theater.  The enhanced pat-downs.  No.  I object to all of that bullshit on so many levels, I don't know where to begin.

In my efforts to avoid flying, I've begun to seek out alternatives.  You, Amtrak, were my first consideration.  I did some research into your policies and security.  Your anti-fat policies don't seem as obnoxious or as obvious as the airlines', for what it's worth.  It seems that security measures have been increased recently, but I was assured by an Amtrak rep that if I travel with you, no one will pat me down or, indeed, touch me.

My relief was immense, and I decided to look into using Amtrak for my next excursion.

And then, only yesterday, a link from Shakesville took me to Towleroad which took me to MetroWeekly which said this:
As part of an effort to market its standard discounted family travel program, for the first time, the national passenger rail company included gay families in its materials. In an online ad sent by Instinct magazine to its email subscribers, a photo of same-sex parents with their child is featured.

Two version of the ad, one with a picture of a male couple and another with a female couple, were distributed.  Both versions include the headline: Priceless Family Moments Are Now Affordable.  The ad goes on to promote Amtrak's 50% off campaign for children age 2 to 15 who are traveling with an adult, and directs readers to its gay travel website

Amtrak, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a member of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association.  In began its initial Ride with Pride campaign in 2010.
Thank you, Amtrak.  If I'm able, I hope to make you a staple of my travel plans.

With love,
Frank Lee

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