Luxury bus companies offer leather seats, free Wi-Fi, conference rooms, and travel attendants.
Due to increased security procedures and the uncertainty of airline scheduling and departures, traveling by air is a time-consuming venture.
Even when the trip is a short one, say from Chicago to Detroit, a traveler is usually asked to show up 90 minutes before departure time to get through security. Often, the flight does not take off on time (sometimes, not at all), and the entire procedure of getting to the desired destination can be much longer than anticipated.
The way to avoid such unwanted time consumption, at least for short trips, is to take the bus. But not just any bus.
Business travelers would scoff at the idea of getting onto a regular cross-country bus, like the ones offered by Greyhound, but now business travelers can access luxury busses that travel popular short-trip routes like Chicago to Detroit, Indianapolis or St. Louis; New York to Boston, Philadelphia or Washington, or Nashville to Atlanta.
The companies that offer this sort of luxury service prefer to be called motor coaches rather than buses, but that’s just terminology. The difference is the comfort offered, the time involved, and the reliability of travel.
A company named LimoLiner travels seven days a week between Boston and New York, offering luxury seating and loads of space for a traveler who wants to get where he is going for a lower cost and a much more pleasant travel experience. Similar companies go between big cities in Texas, or the major metropolitan areas in Florida.
In the case of LimoLiner, the bus has only 28 seats, leather seats with personal TV monitors and free Wi-Fi that works with more regularity than Wi-Fi on flights. There is a trip attendant serving drinks and snacks, and the trip itself is only bumpy when the bus hits a significant pothole.
“We are competing for the train traveler or possible the airline traveler,’’ said LimoLiner President and CEO Mark Richardson in an interview with Yahoo! Travel. “We are not competing with bus carriers.”
In Florida, RedCoach travels between Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Tampa. The seats are luxurious, they recline without interfering with the passenger behind, and the seating includes 110-volt outlets for computer access, as well as Wi-Fi and TV monitors at each seat.
With hardwood floors in first class, Vonlane offers luxury business travel from Dallas to Austin, a 200-mile ride. The service includes a leather seat that includes its own desk, sandwiches that are free along with the snacks and drinks, no change fees on tickets that are completely refundable with 24 hours’ notice. The price is approximately $100 one way, and the route is covered four times daily from Monday through Friday.
It’s more luxurious than any first-class seat I’ve ever been in,” said John Alday, the chief executive of the Cima Solutions Group, an information technology company, to the New York Times.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.