Don't miss out! Join the thousands of people who subscribe to our once-daily email or our free miles and points Facebook group with all the best travel news. Points With a Crew has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points With a Crew and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
On any given weekday, Amtrak runs roughly 20 trains between Boston and New York a day, with a mix of Northeast Regional trains and Acela Express trains. It really is a convenient and quick way to get between the two cities. I recently took a quick trip up to New Hampshire to visit my family, and I opted to travel in Amtrak Acela Business Class in both directions. A few months ago, I reviewed Acela First Class and Northeast Regional Coach Class, so this review should round out the types of service you should expect on this route.
(READ MORE: Amtrak NYC to Boston Review)
(READ MORE: Amtrak Boston to NYC Review)
The seats in the Amtrak Acela Business Class cars are in a two by two layout, with generous pitch, especially when compared to the Northeast Regional. The seats are also leather, which is nice, but I do find the cloth seats on the Northeast Regional to be slightly more comfortable. Sort of a “six of one, half dozen of the other” situation, as 5 hours in either of them starts to get a little uncomfortable. My only other gripe with these seats is that stupid tray table. Maybe it’s operator error, but I can never seem to put them away without making a racket.
As usual, I bolted for the Quiet Car–seriously, it’s really that good.
Amtrak Acela Business Class Restrooms, Food, and Service
In Amtrak Acela Business Class cars, there are two bathrooms: a handicap accessible restroom in the front, and a smaller restroom in the back. As per the norm, the bathroom was sort of a mixed bag on this trip. The first time I went to use the bathroom, it was sort of dirty, with paper towels and toilet paper on the floor; however, by the second time I used it, the conductor had come through and tidied up, or that’s what I assume.
In terms of food, the Cafe Car has a pretty wide selection of light meals and snacks, and around New Haven, my stomach started to grumble, so I got up to check it out. Like grocery shopping when you’re hungry, I think I walked away with a bit more than I usually would. Remember, if you have the Amtrak Guest Rewards World credit card, you’ll get three points per dollar when making purchases in the Cafe Car.
Service on this train was pretty standard for Amtrak–the usual “welcome to Amtrak” announcement at the beginning of each trip, and then announcements at each station stop. We were stopped for about 10 minutes outside Penn Station without any update which is sort of annoying, but in the grand scheme of things, not a big deal.
Amtrak Acela Business Class Conclusion
As I’ve said before, I’ve done this trip dozens of times over the past few years, and could probably do it in my sleep by now. I had a relatively ordinary experience, minus a 10 minute delay outside Penn Station. My only complaint for this trip would be the overall cleanliness of the restrooms, which is the norm for Amtrak it would seem, especially based on previous trips. So now that I’ve reviewed all the class services (except Regional Business, which isn’t very different from Regional Coach), I’d have to say that Amtrak Acela Business class, when the price is right, is my favorite way to travel. The seats are slightly roomier on the Acela and you get between the two cities about 45 minutes to an hour faster.
For this trip, Nick and I were able to use a companion coupon, which we both have thanks to the Amtrak Guest Rewards World credit card, so a $234 round trip per person was actually just $117. That was only $19 more than a comparable Northeast Regional ticket, which is a great use of a companion coupon in my opinion.
Header image courtesy of LocoSteve, via Wikimedia Commons.
Points With a Crew has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points With a Crew and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Other links on this page may also pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them
Well who do you blame for paper towels and toilet paper on the floor? Sure sounds like some riders are slobs.
Thanks Sam for these three reviews of your experiences with the different Amtrak class options. Much enjoyed your take. (I am still a little puzzled on just what the actual benefits are supposed to be from one class to the next.) Yet might tempt us at last to use the upgrade certificate (that comes with the card) Oh, and your post reminds me also to take advantage of the companion pass that comes with the cc.
Maybe it’s a camera angle thing, yet my recollection of Amtrak travel is the leg room is rather nice, even in coach. (compared to flying, for sure, and no middle seats or SWA “cattle car” experiences). And then there’s the Amtrak reclining options (again, even in coach — I’ve been able to sleep rather well in them… (maybe not a “flat” lay out, but not bad — at least in my thus far limited experiences.)
PS: As an idea for this series, maybe you or Dan might one day help us out with updating past posts on travel with the room-ette and sleeper car options. We’re thinking to do a long run from cvs to sea this august…. or maybe parts in between. Yet wondering too if there are tickets to be had that permit multiple stops, etc. (Spouse so wants to meet me in Montana…. 🙂 ) Thanks again for this series.
Legroom is pretty good in coach, it also depends on the type of Amfleet car you get. If memory serves, there are two configurations: long-haul (59/60 seats) and short-haul (84 seats). Obviously the long-haul have even better legroom, but I’ve found the short-haul spacious enough on the Northeast Regional.