With the cost of airfare surging, it can pay to consider alternative transportation. Here I'm talking trains. The folks at The Traveler's Notebook point out that this is particularly true if you are taking a short hop.
Admittedly, going by train can take longer. But given post-9/11 realities, if you fly you have to show up an hour early and then there's waiting for luggage after.
So if you were flying, say, from Boston to Philly the flight itself would be more then two hours; by train the trip is five. Factor in early arrival for security plus baggage claim and the difference is not so great.
Now consider that a cheap flight will run you $265 vs. $157 for Amtrak. That’s a 43 percent savings, and you cut the price another 10 percent-15 percent if you are a student, AAA or NARP member, or are in the military.
After taking a quick study of current airlines fees and comparing them with Amtrak, Traveler's Notebook came up with a list of 21 cheaper trains. For us here in the Hub of the Universe, they found two others besides the Boston-Philly run.
From Boston to Portland, Maine, airfare will run you at least $353; Amtrak $48; and a flight to New York is $155, by rail $118. And for the New York trip, don't forget the cheap Chinatown vs. free Wi-Fi, seats-as-low-as-$1 bus rivals, which slaughter Amtrak on price.