$69 Each Way Between Dallas and Houston Through the End of May — on Vonlane
Y ou can secure a trip between Dallas and Houston for only $69.00 each way on Vonlane through May 31, 2015; and you can even choose seats towards the front which are both window and aisle seats, as there is no seat next to them.
If you are traveling with up to five fellow passengers, you can book a private conference room with doors which close for $399.00 — which lowers the fare to as low as $66.50 per person; and the private conference room includes tables.
Either way, you get to enjoy the following amenities:
On-board attendant and galley
First-class seating with ample legroom
Complimentary snacks and meals
Closet for the attendant to hang your coat or jacket
Complimentary noise cancelling headsets
Satellite television and Radio
110v electrical outlets throughout
No middle seats
You are probably wondering to yourself: “What the heck is a Vonlane?!?”
It is not an airline or a train; rather, Vonlane is a luxury bus service — similar to those found in Argentina, where there are extensive routes of luxury bus travel. Furthermore, there are only 16 seats aboard the bus — not including the private conference room in the back — so that you do not feel cramped.
Instead of using airports, hotels are the “bus stations” — which include DoubleTree Love Field in Dallas; Hyatt Regency in Austin; and Sheraton North in Houston. Regular rates are $100.00 each way — and the private conference room suddenly becomes a better value when you are traveling with five other people, as the regular rate is still $399.00. Compare that to the lowest round-trip airfares I can find between Dallas and Houston and Dallas and Austin at $163.00 for 70 minutes of flight time each way and $97.00 for 50 minutes of flight time each way respectively…
…but unlike those airfares — which are obtainable at least 21 days in advance — you can book a trip originating as soon as tomorrow on a bus operated by Vonlane without paying a higher rate.
Here are the approximate travel times on the two routes between the cities served by Vonlane:
Dallas and Houston: Three hours and thirty minutes
Dallas and Austin: Three hours and fifteen minutes
Imagine that: you can stay overnight at one of these hotel properties; check out of your room; stroll on downstairs to your bus; travel to your destination; and stay at a different hotel or have a business meeting without having to endure airport security checkpoints or waiting at gates…
…and instead of the lounge at the airport, you can enjoy the lounge at the hotel while awaiting your bus — if you qualify to use the lounge at the hotel, of course.
Vonlane currently serves only three cities in Texas with two routes; but what if service was extended throughout the United States and Canada? It could give domestic airlines a run for their money — especially if overnight trips become available where you can save money on a hotel room without wasting productive time traveling.
LuxBus America offers similar services between Anaheim, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego
RedCoach — which has been in the luxury-bus business in Argentina for 20 years — offers similar services to at least a dozen destinations within the state of Florida; and was been to topic of this article pertaining to how this segment of travel is growing: “It launched in Florida in 2010 after Cirigliano and her parents, vacationing in Miami, discovered that a side trip to Orlando would force them to either spend exorbitantly on airline tickets or rent a car and negotiate Florida’s unfamiliar and crowded freeways for several hours”
I have not been a passenger aboard a bus operated by Vonlane, as my last bus experience was aboard Megabus — but would you consider using the service offered by Vonlane instead of an airplane? Do you know of any other luxury bus service worth noting?