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Shortcut or am I not too BRIGHTline?


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Hey Guys. Heading out on a cruise tomorrow (but not on RC so won’t have a live blog) so decided it would be try something new. 

As we always fly Southwest on vacation (companion pass and BWI Based its an easy choice) we have to fly in Fort Lauderdale as our gateway to south Florida. This time we’re arriving today around 1 so we’ve got some time to kill. 

Our normal course of action would be to just hop in an UBERXL, which normally with tip sets us back ~100. This time though we’ve got an extra family friend so 5 people and large suitcases we might have needed two. After hearing some friends (not the Phoebe and Chandler variety) we decided to try the Brightline train. 

The Brightline Train (now being called Virgin Trains USA) opened in January of 2018 with service between Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm. There’s a plan to expand the line to Orlando which would be a great fit if they could wind it up to Port Canaveral and then over to Orlando proper. 

While many have had trouble with the website, we didn’t have any trouble getting tickets booked for the five of us. The Fort Lauderdale station is a few miles north of the FLL Airport just north of the Las Olas Blvd. area. We’re going to take two separate uberX’s up to the station. 

Seats can be selected in advance which gave us the opportunity to make sure we were all together. Brightline has two classes of service, Smart which is a standard train seat with WiFi and power and food available for purchase. Their other option is Select which features a seat two inches wider 21 vs 19 as well a many other great features

alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included, snacks included, chargers available to borrow for your device, one free day of garage parking, conference room access, early boarding, and my favorite a Pre-departure lounge with food and drink to wait until boarding. 

Pricing seems to stay pretty low on this route with Smart tickets being as low as 15$ between the two stations, for our date there were two options available for Select a less flexible 21$ and a fare that can be changed at no costs up to an hour before for 25$. As we were flying in from Maryland, I decided to that the flexibility was worth the 4$ per person. 

We’re booked on the 3:39 train so I’ll be sure to report back this afternoon. 



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The Brightline was a great idea. It’s a simple Uber ride up from the airport and once you walk inside the station you instantly notice you are not in Amtrak country anymore. 

Access is controlled to the terminal by scanners.

The select lounge is also gate controlled. We noticed on several occasions people trying to “tailgate” in with other people walking in  

There was ample seating along both sides of the window. Wifi was also available for free in the terminal and was plenty fsst


When we first arrived they were between more substantial snack times. There were fruit,chips, and Clif LUNA bars available. About halfway through our stay they brought our Charcuterie which was quite good. 

a few minutes before our departure an announcement was made, we Went down to the track and were welcomed aboard the front car  


seats in the select car are in a 2-1 configuration. Some of the seats are setup around tables, but just know that if you are looking to sit across from someone it means one of you will be riding backwards. After we departed Fort Lauderdale we were greeted by a very friendly car attendant named Kae who was available to make mixed drinks, sodas, and also had snacks  


When we arrived at the Miami station we were greeted by a beautiful new station right in the middle of downtown, claimed our luggage, and were on our way. 


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10 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

After looking at your photos I can see why the Virgin Trains route I was looking at in the UK was pricing out at $159/person for a 7 hour trade ride..seems a little nicer than I expected!

Yes. But considering I’ve paid more than double that 159 for the three hour ride to New York on the Acela this seemed like a bargain. There’s often really good fares into West Palm Beach airport, so next time if one of those lines up with a cruise we may fly in there and train down, so much more peaceful than an Uber on 95 south. 

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