HELICOPTER Sound Aircraft Services (631-537-2202 or 800-443-0031; one-way fare is $375; 45 minutes) departs on Thursdays and Fridays from the Wall Street heliport at 5 p.m. and from the East 34th Street heliportat 5:30 p.m.; returns from East Hampton airport at 5:30 p.m. Sunday or 7:45 a.m. Monday. There’s a six-passenger maximum, so book early. Also available: six-person chartered helicopters for $1,900 each way.
CHARTERED PLANE A twin-engine turbo plane from Teeterboro, New Jersey, to West Hampton takes 25 minutes and costs $2,800 one way through Summit Aviation (800-255-4625, eight passengers).
YELLOW CAB Yes, it’s been done. Taxi rides beyond the city limits are negotiated – try to talk him down to $225.
BLIMP Right now, the only customers the Lightship Group (407-363-7777) has are corporate advertisers. But think about it: For a mere $195,000 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 three 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!
SPEEDBOAT 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 eighteen-foot Yamaha XR1800 from Staten Island Kawasaki (718-447-2020). Weather permitting, you can hit speeds of up to 70 mph and be in Hampton Bays in five hours.
Your other options include:
RAIL Still the cheapest and least likely to incur delays. The LIRR Montauk Line makes ten daily trips (718-217-5477 or 631-231-5477; round-trip fare is $30.50 peak, $20.50 off-peak; two hours and 40 minutes to Southampton). FYI: The Cannonball Express departs Penn Station at 3:58 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and gets you there in two hours. Reserving a seat (718-558-8070) costs an additional $27.75.
BUS 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; round-trip fare is $60; five trips 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 $43; eighteen trips daily) you can bring a pet, in a lap-size carry case, for a $10 fee.
LIMO Starlight Limousine service (800-800-7440) offers a ‘33 Packard that fits four for $400 plus gratuity each way. Not impressive enough? Its 35-foot Hummer can bring you and seventeen friends out over the traffic for $750 plus gratuity one way. Bob Marc Limousine (631-586-2490) charges $750 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.
YACHT A four-day, all-expenses-included charter of a 76-foot Lazzara runs about $18,000 at CharterTime (800-577-0566). A leisurely fifteen knots an hour will take you through Plum Gut and the Fish Tails to the Hamptons in eight hours – a cozy way for six friends to begin the weekend. Perks include catered lunch, a full bar, and private staterooms with beds.
SEAPLANE Pack light (most folks bring only a book or newspaper) and absolutely no hidden golf clubs – apparently this is a big issue 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 $328; 45 minutes to East Hampton Airport) has four departures on Thursday and Friday afternoons and evenings from the East 23rd Street floating marina, and two returns late Sunday afternoon and two on Monday morning from East Hampton Airport. Planes max out at nine passengers, so reserve early.
CHARTERED HELICOPTER You can charter your own whirlybird through Helicopter Flight Services (888-933-5969). The Bell 206 Long Ranger carries five people with light luggage and costs $1,865 each way to East Hampton Airport. Another outfit, Liberty Helicopter Tours (888-692-4354), charters a six-person A-Star for $1,900 each way; and you’re welcome to bring booze onboard.