I paid $168 for a 10-hour Amtrak business-class ride from New York City to Niagara Falls. It wasn't worth it — next time, I'll stay in coach.

Insider's reporter took a 10-hour train ride from NYC to Niagara Falls in business class.
Joey Hadden/Insider
  • I booked a business-class ticket on an Amtrak train from NYC to Niagara Falls, New York, in 2022.

  • For $168, I sat in a business-class seat with a tray table, an outlet, and a complimentary drink.

  • I thought the ride was okay, but not much different from coach. I wouldn't pay extra for it again.

Last year, I spent 10 hours in business class on an Amtrak train from NYC to Niagara Falls, New York. I paid $168 for my ticket, which was $100 more than coach, which costs around $68.

The author in front of the Amtrak train
The author in front of an Amtrak train in Niagara Falls, New York.Joey Hadden/Insider

Source: Amtrak

I upgraded based on my experience traveling on Amtrak. In the past, I've spent 85 hours on Amtrak trains going up and down the East Coast, reviewing accommodations from first class to private rooms in sleeper cars.

The author in various Amtrak accommodations with an orange background
The author on previous Amtrak rides.Joey Hadden/Insider

Read more: I've traveled in 4 types of Amtrak train cars, from business class to a private bedroom. Here's what each is like, and which offers the best deal.

I previously took business class on Amtrak from Baltimore to NYC. But that ride was under three hours, and I wanted to see what it was like on a longer route. I tried it again going to Niagara Falls.

The author sitting in a business class seat on Amtrak Acela
The author in a business-class Amtrak car.Joey Hadden/Insider

Read more: I traveled in business class on an Amtrak Acela train for the first time. Here are 6 things that surprised me about the trip.

My journey began at NYC's Penn Station. I arrived at 6:45 a.m. for my 7:15 a.m. train. Amtrak suggests arriving a few minutes before your departure, according to their website.

Penn Station on a cloudy day
The entrance to Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station in NYC.Joey Hadden/Insider

Source: Amtrak

Penn Station's Moynihan Train Hall has an exclusive lounge for Amtrak riders, but it's only free for first-class passengers. Business-class passengers may enter for a $50 fee.

Entrance to Amtrak Lounge
An escalator inside Moynihan Train Hall leads to the lounge.Joey Hadden/Insider

Read more: I traveled through NYC's new, $1.6 billion train hall on a recent Amtrak trip, and I'm so glad I'll never get lost in Penn Station again

I've been in this lounge while traveling in first class and thought while there was a variety of complimentary drinks and snacks, it's not worth the $50, in my opinion.

The snacks at Metropolitan Lounge
In the author's experience, the lounge has snacks from nut bars to chips and hummus.Joey Hadden/Insider

Read more: I traveled first-class on an Amtrak Acela train and thought the perks were cool — but not worth the $270 price tag

I instead went to the main waiting area for all passengers with a train ticket that day.

Insider Moynihan Train Hall
Inside Moynihan Train Hall.Joey Hadden/Insider

In the waiting area, I saw benches in front of screens with train schedules. I found it crowded on a Sunday morning, but after a few minutes of standing around, I grabbed a seat.

Amtrak waiting area Penn Station
The waiting area for ticketed customers.Joey Hadden/Insider

I didn't receive priority boarding as a business-class ticket holder. Once on the train, I noticed the business-class car configuration was two seats on one side of the aisle and one seat on the other.

Seats in business class on the Amtrak train
The entrance to the business-class car.Joey Hadden/Insider

My seat was not assigned, but I snagged a spot in the single row.

Seat in a business-class Amtrak car
A single seat in Amtrak's business class.Joey Hadden/Insider

I noticed that the chairs appeared to be big and I thought they'd be comfy and plush. However, once I sat down, I thought they felt stiffer than expected.

Seat in a business-class Amtrak car
A double seat in Amtrak's business class.Joey Hadden/Insider

However, I was impressed by the amount of leg room and aisle space I had in my seat.

Seat in a business-class Amtrak car
The aisle from the single row of seats in Amtrak's business class.Joey Hadden/Insider

An Amtrak representative told Insider that their business-class seats are about 20 inches wide with 42 inches of leg room.

Seat pitch in a business-class Amtrak car
The author's leg room in the business-class seat.Joey Hadden/Insider

My seat reclined slightly, like most trains I've taken. I also had an outlet for charging devices.

Seat recliner in a business-class Amtrak car
The seat recliner with the outlet in the background.Joey Hadden/Insider

Like other Amtrak trains, my seat came with a tray table, too. I was able to rest my laptop and phone on it in front of me, which made it easier to pass the time.

Seat back in business class on the Amtrak train
The seat-back tray table opened and closed.Joey Hadden/Insider

The train departed on time, but a couple of delays along the way made us arrive about an hour later than scheduled in Niagara Falls at 5:50 pm.

Window in a business-class Amtrak car
A view out the window of the Amtrak.Joey Hadden/Insider

On the way, a drink was included in the price of my business-class ticket, but a meal was not. I got a Diet Coke and brought my own snacks, but a cafe car was also available to all passengers to purchase meals, drinks, and snacks.

The author's snacks on the train
The author's snack and soda on the train.Joey Hadden/Insider

To get my complimentary drink, I had to go to the cafe car. I didn't see attendants checking in with passengers or delivering any meals or snacks.

Seats in a business-class Amtrak car
A view of the business-class Amtrak car.Joey Hadden/Insider

Business-class passengers had a private bathroom for the car, but I didn't think it was any different from lavatories I've experienced in other train classes. I noticed the trash was overflowing.

Bathroom in a business-class Amtrak car
Inside the business-class bathroom.Joey Hadden/Insider

After traveling for 10 hours in a train car without a clean bathroom, I thought the business-class experience was not worth the extra $100.

The author sits on the train.
The author sits on the train.Joey Hadden/Insider

Read more: I've traveled over 950 miles on business-class trains in the US, Canada, and Europe. Here's how they rank from best to worst.

Amtrak issued the following statement in response to my experience. "We are constantly evaluating ways to improve the customer experience, including further differentiating the classes of service across the network. Customers will begin to see some of the changes this year."

An Amtrak Acela at Baltimore Penn Station
An Amtrak train with business-class seating.Joey Hadden/Insider

Aside from bigger seats and a free drink, business class didn't feel very different from coach to me. Next time, I'll save my money and ride economy.

The author in a business-class Amtrak car
The author inside the train.Joey Hadden/Insider

Read more: I compared the best business-class trains I've ever taken in Canada and Italy, and my favorite cost half the price

Read the original article on Insider