Tiffany Takes the Train

I fly. I don’t take trains. With a little convincing of the pros and cons by my Twitter traveling friends, I have opted to take the Acela Express First Class from Boston to New York City in lieu of earning more frequent flyer miles on American.

Acela First Class

Please don’t laugh. I am scared of trains. It has been an unspoken fear since I was a kid. They’re fast. They don’t wait. They are precise. 13:29 is my departure time. Not 13:20, nor 13:40.  

I’m a first time passenger. AAdvantage Platinum status has no place here. I feel like I have a sign on my back that says “NEW”. The ticket lady is extremely patient as I ask where to check my bags. “Bring them with you, she tells me. The attendant in First Class will assist you.” I like this. So here I am, on the train. Me, train-fearing Tiffany is on her way.

Tiffany Takes the Train

First impression: It’s full, and there are barely two seats together. What do these people know that I do not? It’s like they’ve known this secret for years. They all seem relaxed quietly working on laptops on Acela’s complimentary wireless.

The seat configuration is much like Business Class on AA. Spacious, tray table, lots of leg room, and the warmed mixed nut dish is already on my tray. I’m nervous and anxious. The train has departed. I am on it. Here we go.

First Class Lunch on Acela

The affable Donn, the train attendant, quickly puts me at ease. Drinks are served, and he takes our lunch orders. (Today’s choices are a small plate of sushi/Oriental pasta, arctic cod, veal chop or vegetarian.)

Blackberry, laptop and iPad in hand, I’m ready to work and tweet. I accidentally ask my husband “what time we land.”

Acela Wi-Fi

The scenery from Boston to New York is grand with beautiful ocean and landscape views. The horn blows in the background. I feel like a kid. I’m finally relaxed. Before I know it, I hear the conductor: “Next stop, Penn Station, New York. If you’re not from here, don’t get mad!” he says with a laugh.


Donn, Acela Express

But wait!  We just got started. Anxiety begins to set back in.  Can I get off in time? It’s departing for Philadelphia precisely at 16:59!

Acela Express First Class Pros: No security lines. Food & drink included. Access to Club Acela. Cons: wireless internet access was slow. Train can be bumpy using laptop.

Trip cost: $363 RT peak times.

PS: I’d definitely take the train again.

Follow me on Twitter @LuxeTiffany

7 Comments on “Tiffany Takes the Train

  1. I do not mind trains especially when I am going somewhere that is close, but far enough where I do not feel like getting stuck in traffic.

    Europe is the best place for trains because it is so much more officiant over there and the trains go everywhere, at least most trains have wireless now.

    Do you do reviews independently? I would love to know how you ended up in your position, sounds like a great opportunity, I recently graduated but travel is always something I have loved. Good post!

  2. I may have to consider train travel again for domestic trips, especially with the addition of the new airline fees that keep piling up.

    I was always a fan of train travel through Europe but had previously only had bad experiences on Acela/Amtrak. Perhaps its time for another look.


  3. trains are good but only for short durations, flights are still preferable if the distance is slightly longer, i mean a few hours in a train is more than enough.

    sorry to hear the connection was slow, but i guess atleast you liked the food?

  4. Pingback: Hollywood Social « Tiffany Travels

  5. Great post. I’ve traveled all over Europe and Asia on trains, for business and pleasure. The people you meet, and the sights you see are priceless.
    As a regular commuter between Boston and New York City, I travel on Acela frequently – what a luxury from the hassles of driving and parking once in the city. And with free wifi and the freedom to make calls, I can continue to be productive or just simply nap. We need investment in more high speed trains and service throughout the US.

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