I paid $168 for a 10-hour Amtrak business-class ride from New York City to Niagara Falls. It wasn't worth it — next time, I'll stay in coach.
I booked a business-class ticket on an Amtrak train from NYC to Niagara Falls, New York, in 2022.
For $168, I sat in a business-class seat with a tray table, an outlet, and a complimentary drink.
I thought the ride was okay, but not much different from coach. I wouldn't pay extra for it again.
Last year, I spent 10 hours in business class on an Amtrak train from NYC to Niagara Falls, New York. I paid $168 for my ticket, which was $100 more than coach, which costs around $68.
I upgraded based on my experience traveling on Amtrak. In the past, I've spent 85 hours on Amtrak trains going up and down the East Coast, reviewing accommodations from first class to private rooms in sleeper cars.
Read more: I've traveled in 4 types of Amtrak train cars, from business class to a private bedroom. Here's what each is like, and which offers the best deal.
I previously took business class on Amtrak from Baltimore to NYC. But that ride was under three hours, and I wanted to see what it was like on a longer route. I tried it again going to Niagara Falls.
Read more: I traveled in business class on an Amtrak Acela train for the first time. Here are 6 things that surprised me about the trip.
My journey began at NYC's Penn Station. I arrived at 6:45 a.m. for my 7:15 a.m. train. Amtrak suggests arriving a few minutes before your departure, according to their website.
Penn Station's Moynihan Train Hall has an exclusive lounge for Amtrak riders, but it's only free for first-class passengers. Business-class passengers may enter for a $50 fee.
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I've been in this lounge while traveling in first class and thought while there was a variety of complimentary drinks and snacks, it's not worth the $50, in my opinion.
Read more: I traveled first-class on an Amtrak Acela train and thought the perks were cool — but not worth the $270 price tag
I instead went to the main waiting area for all passengers with a train ticket that day.
In the waiting area, I saw benches in front of screens with train schedules. I found it crowded on a Sunday morning, but after a few minutes of standing around, I grabbed a seat.
I didn't receive priority boarding as a business-class ticket holder. Once on the train, I noticed the business-class car configuration was two seats on one side of the aisle and one seat on the other.
My seat was not assigned, but I snagged a spot in the single row.
I noticed that the chairs appeared to be big and I thought they'd be comfy and plush. However, once I sat down, I thought they felt stiffer than expected.
However, I was impressed by the amount of leg room and aisle space I had in my seat.
An Amtrak representative told Insider that their business-class seats are about 20 inches wide with 42 inches of leg room.
My seat reclined slightly, like most trains I've taken. I also had an outlet for charging devices.
Like other Amtrak trains, my seat came with a tray table, too. I was able to rest my laptop and phone on it in front of me, which made it easier to pass the time.
The train departed on time, but a couple of delays along the way made us arrive about an hour later than scheduled in Niagara Falls at 5:50 pm.
On the way, a drink was included in the price of my business-class ticket, but a meal was not. I got a Diet Coke and brought my own snacks, but a cafe car was also available to all passengers to purchase meals, drinks, and snacks.
To get my complimentary drink, I had to go to the cafe car. I didn't see attendants checking in with passengers or delivering any meals or snacks.
Business-class passengers had a private bathroom for the car, but I didn't think it was any different from lavatories I've experienced in other train classes. I noticed the trash was overflowing.
After traveling for 10 hours in a train car without a clean bathroom, I thought the business-class experience was not worth the extra $100.
Read more: I've traveled over 950 miles on business-class trains in the US, Canada, and Europe. Here's how they rank from best to worst.
Amtrak issued the following statement in response to my experience. "We are constantly evaluating ways to improve the customer experience, including further differentiating the classes of service across the network. Customers will begin to see some of the changes this year."
Aside from bigger seats and a free drink, business class didn't feel very different from coach to me. Next time, I'll save my money and ride economy.
Read more: I compared the best business-class trains I've ever taken in Canada and Italy, and my favorite cost half the price
Read the original article on Insider