Amtrak Takes Aim at Air Travel With Comedic O'Hare Ads

Ads appear in X-Ray bins

By Andrew Greiner
|  Friday, Jan 15, 2010  |  Updated 7:45 AM CDT
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Livid customers recount their experiences aboard an Amtrak train that was delayed almost 24 hours.
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Amtrak, the national passenger rail, is trying to woo customers to its tracks who are used to flying to their destinations by installing tongue-in-cheek advertisements at one of the country’s busiest airports.

The company’s O’Hare ads have been placed inside those grey bins used to store your shoes, coats, belts and other stuff while it ambles through the TSA’s X-Ray machines, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Advertisements play on the uncomfortableness of air travel with slogans like: "Wear mismatched socks -- we'll never know;" and “"Upgrade to Coach."

They’re trying to paint train travel as a luxurious alternative to flying.

"Our goal here is to get a smile from passengers and also get them to think twice about going through the frustration of flying, or driving," Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told the Chicago Tribune. "Amtrak most often is the most comfortable way to travel. Some would say more civilized."

Apparently has overlooked stories about uncomfortable train travel, like  “The Train to Hell,”  trip that ended up trapping passengers for days aboard a carriage from Sacramento to Chicago.

The California Zephyr arrived 19 hours behind schedule.

Or the Amtrak train bound from Denver that arrived 23 hours late.

Or the San Antonio to Chicago train that derailed in St. Louis last week, temporarily stranding 176 passengers and a crew of nine.

Sure air travel is a hassle, but we’ve never heard of plane being stuck in a snow drift for 24 hours.

Just sayin’.

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