Sound Aircraft Services (631-537-2202 or 800-443-0031;
one-way fare is $435; 45 minutes) departs on Fridays from the Wall
Street heliport at 5:15 p.m. and from the East 34th Street heliport
at 6:15 p.m.; returns from East Hampton airport at 5:30 p.m. on
Sunday or 7:45 a.m. on Monday. There's a five-passenger maximum,
so book early. Also available: five-person chartered helicopters
for $2,100 each way.
3. Yellow Cab
Yes, it's been done. Taxi rides beyond the city limits are
negotiated try to talk him down to under $350.
Right now, the only customers the Lightship Group
(407-363-7777) has are corporate advertisers. But think about it:
For a mere $200,000 a month (three-month minimum), this ride can
be yours. It would take three hours to get to East Hampton Airport
at a cruising speed of 32 mph, carries four passengers (or two parents
and two children), and is at your disposal 24/7. Price includes
crew, maintenance, helium, hangar fees, and hotel accommodations
for the ground crew. And it lights up at night. Oh, the amenities!
For more information, visit www.lightships.com.
No one in the city rents high-performance speedboats
for more than a day, but for less than $20,000 you can buy your
own twenty-one or twenty three-foot Yamaha LX2000 from Staten Island
Kawasaki (718-447-2020). Weather permitting, you can hit speeds
of up to 70 mph and be in Hampton Bays in an hour and a half.
Still the cheapest and least likely to incur delays. The
LIRR Montauk Line makes five daily trips (718-217-5477 or 631-231-5477;
round-trip fare is $38 peak, $26 off-peak; two hours and 40 minutes
to Southampton). FYI: The Cannonball Express departs Penn Station
at 3:58 p.m. on Fridays and gets you there in two hours. Reserving
a seat (718-558-8070) costs $30 ($17 seat charge; $13 ticket). For
more information, visit www.mta.nyc.ny.us.
This can take anywhere from an hour and a half during off-peak
times to three and a half hours or more during the rush hours. There
are two rival services now. Hampton Luxury Liner (631-537-5800,
$28 one-way, $52 round-trip; daily), the new kid on the L.I.E.,
is positioning itself as a first-class alternative to the Hampton
Jitney. The buses are the same size, but with half the number of
passengers there's more legroom, and every row has its own TV screen
for the in-transit movie. On the Jitney (631-283-4600 or 800-936-0440,
round-trip fare is $47; twenty-four trips daily) you can bring a
pet, in a lap-size carry case, for a $10 fee. The Jitney's Ambassador
Service offer leather seats, more legroom and an attendant serving
complimentary refreshments and snacks ($35 one-way, $60 round-trip).
Starlight Limousine service (800-800-7440, www.starlightlimo.com)
offers a '33 Packard that fits four for $450 plus gratuity each
way. Not impressive enough? Its 35-foot Hummer can bring you and
twenty friends out over the traffic for $900 plus gratuity one way.
Bob Marc Limousine (631-586-2490, www.bobmarclimo.com)
charges $700 one way for a ten-person stretch with hot tub, so you
can pull over and wait out the traffic with a dip. It's also equipped
with PlayStation and three TVs and DVD players.
A three-day, all-expenses-included charter of a
100-foot motor yacht runs about $18,000 at CharterTime (800-577-0566,
leisurely fifteen knots an hour will take you through Plum Gut and
the Fish Tails to the Hamptons in eight hoursa cozy way for
six friends to begin the weekend. Perks include an on-board chef,
a full bar, and private staterooms with beds.
Pack light (most folks bring only a book or newspaper) and
absolutely no hidden golf clubsapparently this is a big issue
(there's a 20 lbs max.) and the crew has gotten quite good at uncovering
hidden woods and irons. Sound Aircraft Services (631-537-2202 or
800-443-0031; one-way fare is $365; 45 minutes to East Hampton Airport)
has three departures on Thursday (3, 5, 7 p.m.) and four on Friday
(1, 3, 5, 7 p.m.)from the East 23rd Street floating marina, and
two returns late Sunday afternoon (4:30 and 6:30 p.m.) and two on
Monday morning (7:15 and 9:15 a.m.)from East Hampton Airport. Planes
max out at nine passengers, so reserve early.
11. Chartered Helicopter
You can charter your own whirlybird through Helicopter
Flight Services (888-933-5969, www.heliny.com).
The Bell 206 Long Ranger carries six people with light luggage and
costs $2,245, plus landing fee, each way to East Hampton Airport.
Another outfit, Liberty Helicopter Tours (888-692-4354, www.libertyhelicopters.com),
charters a seven-person A-Star for $2,100 each way; and you're welcome
to bring booze onboard.
From the 2002 New York Summer Fun Guide