I’ve traveled to Boston several times in the past few months and have tried both JetBlue’s cheap fares and Amtrak’s comparably priced Acela service. Coming from Manhattan, it a real toss up between the two. It’s much easier to get to Penn Station for the train. There’s no security hassle and I can actually get a comfortable seat and do some work. Unfortunately it takes longer. Getting out to JFK, costs $40 and by the time you get through security and settled (I mean crammed) in your seat you got about 20 minutes were you can turn on the laptop and get something done. Though, flying gets you there in half the time as the train.
Now is it just me, but if Amtrak offered WiFi service I wouldn’t even bother with flying and all its hassles. I imagine most business travelers doing the Boston/Philadelphia/D.C. routes would make that choice as well. It’s ridiculous that Amtrak goes into bankruptcy every few years, but can’t capitalize on its advantages over the airlines when it comes to regional travel. It’s not an issue of technology either. There are senior citizens driving around in RV’s that use cellular or satellites for Internet access.
If Amtrak made the investment, they’d certainly see a return on it.