Train Travel: Business vs Coach from BWI to New York

If you’re looking for a quick and convenient way to get from Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport to New York City, the Amtrak is a great option. In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about taking the train from BWI to New York. We’ll cover how to purchase tickets, what amenities are offered, and what you can expect once you reach Penn Station. So whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, read on for all the information you need to make your Amtrak journey a smooth one!

For this trip I took the Northeast Regional train both directions.

BWI Station

The Amtrak station is conveniently located within a 5 minute drive of BWI airport. There is a free shuttle that runs every 10 minutes between the two.

There’s an indoor waiting area for the train that has clean bathrooms, coffee, and some basic snacks to grab. There’s clear signage on when your train is arriving, and which track it will be on. Fortunately there’s only two tracks at this station so it’s pretty easy to navigate.

Coach vs Business

Like me, you may be wondering if the upgrade to Business is worth it. I took Coach class to NYC and Business class on my return to BWI to give you the full scoop. 

On my northbound leg I found the seats to be as comfortable and large as a domestic first class airline ticket. I had plenty of leg room (and I’m 5’9), ample space for my bag at my feet as well as overhead space for my luggage.

There were overhead lights, back seat pockets, and outlets (no USB ports on NE Regional). The bathroom was clean, with space to change clothes if needed.

Returning I took Business class, the only notable difference was a foot rest, maybe a little extra leg room, and my seat was reserved. There were also curtains, but I’ve always found that a good sleep mask does the trick, and that way I don’t interfere with other riders’ sleep schedules. The seats themselves appeared slightly newer, but the overall size and comfort in my opinion was exactly the same.

Penn Station

The train arrives at Penn Station in New York, and is conveniently connected to the subway, located within a 5 minute walk of Times Square. Simply put, it’s easy to get moving to your next destination.

Upon your return, you will enter Penn Station and similar to the airport, there are TVs with your train status and platform number. You’ll see escalators where everyone lines up that will take your down to the platform. There is only one car for Business class and it’s located at the end of the train, not the front.

Overall, I found the overall experience to be significantly better than navigating the airport and the stress that comes with it. The train ride was (mostly) smooth and comfortable. The staff at both stations and onboard were pleasant and welcoming. For my next trip to New York City, I will definitely be onboard the train.

Read more: Neurodiversity and Travel, Tips for the Highly Sensitive Person.

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