I compared a $41 coach bus to a $195 luxury bus. The pricier option was better than flying first-class.

    The Hamptons Streamliner (left) is much more expensive than the Jitney (right).

    Elizabeth Blasi

    I rode on a $195 luxury bus and a $41 standard coach bus between New York City and the Hamptons.The Hamptons Streamliner had incredibly comfortable seats, fun snacks, and great WiFi.The Jitney is a little more convenient and still provides the basic necessities for a journey.  

    Hundreds of New Yorkers and tristate elites flock to the Hamptons every summer. According to real-estate agent Jonothan Yarton, some even rent mansions for between $50,000 and $1 million a month.

    Regardless of your socioeconomic status, choosing how to travel from Manhattan to the Long Island destination can feel like navigating a maze of options.

    I recently explored two contrasting bus journeys: the luxurious Hamptons Streamliner (a new partnership between Blade Helicopters and The Jet luxury bus service) and the budget-friendly Jitney coach bus. The Streamliner cost $195 one-way, and the Jitney cost $41.

    Here’s what I discovered about each bus.

    The luxury first-class seats on the Streamliner were on a different level. The Streamliner had motion-canceling seats.

    Elizabeth Blasi

    On the Hamptons Streamliner, I sank into memory-foam HoverSeats with motion-canceling technology. The legroom was so generous that I could fully extend my legs without touching the seat in front of me.

    It felt like I was flying first-class with a 45-degree recline, pop-out footrest, and cashmere blanket. Needless to say, the ride was incredibly smooth and comfortable.

    The Jitney, however, had standard coach-bus seating. It was basic but functional, with enough legroom for my needs and a handy footrest in front of each seat.

    It didn’t offer the same luxury, but for $41, it was perfectly adequate.

    My internet connection wasn’t as strong on the Jitney. I couldn’t work from the Jitney, but I could from the Streamliner.

    Elizabeth Blasi

    The Streamliner’s high-speed internet was a lifesaver. I could work seamlessly, stream videos, and even open design platforms on my laptop.

    In contrast, the Jitney’s WiFi was spotty. I was able to check emails, but anything more demanding was frustrating.

    I noticed many passengers relying on personal hot spots.

    Both buses provided snacks — of varying degrees. The Streamliner was absolutely stocked with snacks and drinks.

    Elizabeth Blasi

    The food and beverage service on the Streamliner was a highlight. Riders can enjoy three complimentary alcoholic beverages and snacks like PopUp Bagels and Sweetgreen salads (depending on your departing time).

    There were also snack-sized bags of chips and cookies to munch on.

    Drinks were served in stylish custom tumbler glasses, and the on-board attendant ensured I had everything I needed. It almost felt like a mobile lounge.

    The Jitney offered a more straightforward service with cold water and a snack. But I wasn’t expecting anything at all, so it was a surprising treat.

    I found the service friendly and efficient across the board. My Jitney bus driver kept everything moving on time.

    Elizabeth Blasi

    On the Streamliner, the dedicated bus attendant provided a high level of service reminiscent of first-class air travel.

    From refilling drinks to answering questions, they ensured my journey was comfortable and enjoyable.

    The Jitney’s attendant was also efficient, checking tickets, handing out water and snacks, and helping as needed. Although it wasn’t as personalized, it still ensured a comfortable ride.

    The bathrooms shouldn’t even be in the same category.The Streamliner bathroom (left) was much nicer than the one on the Jitney (right).

    Elizabeth Blasi

    The bathroom on the Streamliner was a revelation.

    It had all the amenities: ample toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, a backlit mirror for makeup touch-ups, a full-length mirror, and a spacious design for changing clothes. It was more like a high-end powder room than a bus bathroom.

    In contrast, the Jitney’s bathroom was extremely basic but functional in a pinch.

    It had plenty of toilet paper but lacked soap or hand sanitizer, so I had to pack my own. It was practical for emergencies but didn’t offer any degree of luxury.

    The Jitney is likely more convenient for most travelers. The Jitney runs on the hour, so there are plenty of departing times each day.

    Elizabeth Blasi

    The Streamliner runs a few daily trips from Hudson Yards in New York City to East Hampton, Southampton, and Bridgehampton.

    Its exclusivity means the schedule is less flexible. But if the times and stops work for you, it’s perfect if you want a luxurious and relaxed journey.

    On the other hand, the Jitney runs almost every hour with multiple stops in NYC and throughout the Hamptons. It’s ideal if you need a convenient and accessible travel option or if you need to get to far-east destinations like Montauk.

    Both buses have their merits. I’d ride both the Streamliner (left) and the Jitney (right) again.

    Elizabeth Blasi

    After riding the Streamliner and the Jitney, I appreciated them both for different reasons.

    The Streamliner is worth the splurge for its luxurious amenities, comfort, and impeccable service. The journey just felt special.

    But if you’re looking for a cost-effective and convenient way to get to the Hamptons, the Jitney is an excellent alternative. The coach bus offers basic comforts, frequent schedules, and multiple stops.

    For my next trip, I’ll likely do another split: Riding the Streamliner one way for luxury and the Jitney the other for practicality.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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