I’m writing this post while going 70 miles per hour down I-35. It’s not as dangerous as it sounds…
Vonlane is a new premium bus service that wants to change the way you travel between Austin and Dallas. Spoiler alert: I’m sold.
The concept is simple enough- traveling by plane between the two cities is not fun. By the time you drive out to Bergstrom, park, go through check-in/security, and actually get off the ground, you have a solid 15-20 minutes of paid wi-fi to get anything done. The trip ends up taking about as long as it would have to drive, and business travelers struggle with the loss in productivity. Enter Vonlane.
Let’s start with how easy it is to book your trip. Their site is super user friendly and you can book a seat within minutes of hitting their homepage.
You can arrive as late as 10 minutes before your trip, check any large bags with the driver (for free), and hop on a bus unlike anything you’ve been on before. The seats are as wide or wider than any domestic first-class seats, and I couldn’t reach the seat in front of me if I tried. How far do the seats recline? The answer is, far enough that I accidentally fell asleep on my trip from Austin yesterday.
But it’s actually the service that really makes Vonlane special. When you step onto the bus, you’re greeted by a ‘flight attendant;’ she’ll walk you to your seat and offer to take your coat, which will be hung in a closet rather than stuffed into an overhead bin. You’re then presented with a menu that includes complimentary soft drinks, and food catered from the same companies that cater private jets. I indulged.
The menu then goes a step further to offer essential travel items like noise-canceling headphones, and cushioned lap desks for your computer. They’ll even provide you with a toothbrush and paste if you left yours at home.
I was actually more productive in the three-hour trip today than I typically am at my own desk; less distraction I suppose! I highly, highly recommend this for business travelers in Austin, and with pricing similar to that of flying between the two cities (around $100 each way), I’d actually recommend it for personal travel as well.
Busses leave from the Hyatt Regency on Town Lake several times throughout the day, and they drop you off in Dallas at a hotel near the Love Field Airport. Give them a try on your next trip to Dallas; I promise you’ll love the experience.