POMONA, Calif. --A California mother was devastated after she says she and her five children were forced off an Amtrak train in the middle of the night.
Karina Copado said she had traveled on the Amtrak at least 20 times and loved it - until Wednesday night, when her family was removed from the train while on their way to visit family.
Copado said it all started after she was informed by the conductor she and the children would have separate seating because the train was full.
"I say, 'Well, these are kids. How are you going to give me tickets over there and over here? Like, I need them all together,'" she explained.
Copado said they then all crammed together in two seats and claimed she was given the option of staying in the lounge cart or having to get off on the next stop.
"At that lounge room, late at night, it is nothing but a bunch of people who have had too much wine and beer. It's lit up all night because I've been in there in the middle of the night," she said.
Copado and her children decided to get off the Amtrak in Palm Springs, in the middle of a sand storm, and waited for her husband to arrive.
Amtrak said it was investigating the matter and would provide a full refund.
A spokesperson told Eyewitness News passengers who want to travel together need to be on the same reservation. Copado explained she booked separate reservations due to pricing but was told the crew would be informed they were all traveling together.
"What they put me through last night has put me in tears, even again right now if I have to go back and replay it in my head," Copado said. "It can put me in tears in seconds, and I want them to put a smile back on my face."
The Amtrak spokesperson added that Copado chose to get off the train because she chose not to be accommodated temporarily in the lounge car.