People rely on airlines as their go-to for cost-effective, efficient travel.
Ironically, when asked about what they dislike about traveling in general, people respond with the things they hate about flying.
Reframe Amtrak as the only dignified, respectable travel option.
1. Passenger railways were once the most efficient and glamorous way to travel. That certainly isn’t the case today.
2. Amtrak isn’t doing so hot:
“Amtrak has been unable to move past its legacy of debt, union contracts, and deferred maintenance.” - Forbes
“The consequences of Amtrak’s self-defeating strategy are inescapable.” - Railway Age
3. Amtrak has lost its groove and people are opting for air travel. We can’t win on cost. Or efficiency. We don’t want to use the same marketing tropes like “skip the I-95 traffic with Amtrak!”.
4. We conducted social listening about the trials and tribulations of travel. When asked about what they dislike about traveling in general, people responded with the things they hate about flying:
“Finding space in the over head compartment of the plane for your luggage.” - Veronica Llama, The Odyssey
“The cattle lines to get on and off the airplane.” - “Jacuum”, Travel forum
“I'll say it. I hate TSA. I hate airport security. I hate not being able to take liquids on the plane. I hate the lines.” - “kickstand”, Reddit
5. We’re calling these unpleasantries The Indignities of Travel.
6. The enemy: The Indignities of Travel. The beacon: civilized, sophisticated travel.
7. Amtrak offers amenities that make traveling a little more humane:
convenient station locations
absolute silence in the Quiet Car (fun fact: Amtrak copyrighted the term “Quiet Car”)
Amtrak is the last bastion of civilized travel.
Advertising in the competitors’ spaces: in the subway, in airports, and on major highways like I-95.
To harken back to a time when train travel was coveted and glamorous, we added some flair to the Amtrak cars.