Once, the decision between car travel and plane travel was an easy one to make. Unless there were major obstacles such as great distance or the need to transport a lot of supplies for the trip, most people found plane travel preferable to car travel. Following the Airline Deregulation act of 1978, flying became affordable to many people and it became the preferable way to travel. However, now that airfares have risen dramatically due to laws and requirements put into place after 9/11, the dramatic increase in the cost of jet fuel and the decreased amount of items you are permitted to travel with unless you are willing to pay a large upcharge travel preferences are no longer so clear cut. Each method offers specific benefits so it is important to consider all the factors involved in a trip prior to deciding on the best mode of travel. There are several main factors that are most important to consider when
While many may think air fare is always more expensive this is not necessarily the case. In order to determine the price for both types of travel consider costs for each trip. Sometimes there are budget sites which may help bring down the cost of airfare by eliminating taxes, surcharges and fees for baggage handling. When traveling by car if there is an overnight stay then gas mileage alone will not provide the total cost. In general however, for shorter distances car travel is usually cheaper than airfare. For extremely long distances such as cross country travel, over-night stays, meals on the road and the price of gas may result in the time spent on car travel not being worth the difference in price.
While aircraft today have smaller and less comfortable seating you can still recline and sleep, snack or walk around while traveling. When traveling alone this can be a benefit since when driving alone taking a break to sleep or walk around necessitates stopping or staying over somewhere. Driving alone also means staying in one position and remaining alert at all times. Car seats may be found to be more comfortable and when traveling with others who can drive, drivers can switch off and sleep, eat, read or play games along the way.
Overall, when traveling long distance, flying is far faster than driving. However, this is only accurate when there are no delays or cancelations. When there are layovers, especially more than one layover, there is an increased risk of not making a connecting flight based on the previous flight’s arrival time. When people are traveling for an important event and must arrive on time, this builds in a degree of uncertainty that can cause concern. Additionally when flying a long distance at the last minute, often the only flights available are those with more than one connection making emergency travel a gamble.
Also, airlines no longer offer free flights or significant financial rewards when a late flight results in missing a connection. At best, travelers might be given a meal or drink voucher for their trouble. Long distance car travel, while usually more under the travelers control has its own downsize. The longer the distance the more likely there will be some type of car trouble. Car travel may be more difficult depending on weather or time of day it is necessary to travel. For example, planes fly at all hours of the day or night and can frequently fly in light to moderate rain or snow storms. These factors, however, can seriously affect a driver who is responsible for control of the vehicle.