Train vs. Airplane: which is the best option?



From Chicago, there are several ways to reach St. Petersburg, 480 km away. Louis. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines nonstop flights take about an hour and 15 minutes, with recent round-trip fares ranging from $165 to $350. I often take the sleepy cornfield route, which takes about five hours and it leaves me exhausted. But on my last trip, I took Amtrak, a 5-hour, 20-minute, $62 round trip that dropped me off near a downtown hotel.


What can we know when it comes to Train vs Plane?


Compared to flying, I save at least $100 and a stress level; the train does not require security and I can show up minutes before departure. There are no mandatory seat belts or sit-down warnings, and I can access the internet through my cellular data plan when free Wi-Fi doesn’t work, and sometimes with paid wireless Wi-Fi. I’m free to stretch and roam, though that mostly means heading to the bar car to get more tea.


Why switch from a flight of around 75 minutes to a train ride of around 320 minutes? Conversely, time. Considering the journey to the airport (in my case, an hour), it is recommended to arrive at least an hour before departure, taxi from the runway at landing, disembark and travel to the destination (usually an hour), the flight will take about 255 minutes. I accepted the 65-minute difference as the price of productivity and peace of mind.


I’m not alone. In fiscal 2018, Amtrak customers made 31.7 million trips, a 10% increase since 2008. Airlines carry more passengers – American Airlines carried 777.9 million passengers on domestic flights in 2018 – but Amtrak’s recent announcement of the opening of Acela Nonstrop between both municipalities was particularly strong in the Northeast Corridor between hubs like the new Amtrak. about 2 hours and 35 minutes.


Certain environmental metrics also favor trains. The Bureau Of Transportation Statistic found that Amtrak uses about 27% less fuel than domestic flights per passenger — mile traveled in the year 2017, the most recent year for which the figures are available. The US Department of Energy found that intercity trains travel nearly 57 miles per passenger per gallon vs. automobiles in about 40.


Travel search site Hipmunk, which displays train options alongside other flight results, found that on the top 100 Amtrak routes booked in the previous year, train travel was cheaper about 80% of the time. Travelers who chose to go by train saved an average of $132.


In the US, routes are limited and trains are slower than flights (Amtrak generally tops the search results on Hipmunk ranked by “agony”, taking into account travel duration and stops). However, the difference in travel duration of, say, about two hours between Los Angeles and San Diego is certainly offset by commuting to and from airports and submitting to security.


To find out, we searched the week’s fares in mid-October for economy seats on airlines and on Amtrak (as well as the Acela train, which only sells executive and first-class seats). Amtrak allows each passenger to bring two suitcases and two personal items on board.


For the pairs of municipalities below, the equation of flight time more than 3 hours was largely used to account for the displacements from going to the center of the municipality at both ends to arrive at the actual air transit time at the time it takes place. comparison with train travel.


The tipping point appears to be a little less than 300 miles, making long distances more efficient via the airway, especially if your time is limited. Flying from New York to Toronto, about 500 miles away on the ground, for example, takes about 90 minutes, and even if you generously add in 4 hours of travel, it’s still better to fly than to take a 12-hour journey and 30 minutes.


Boston to New York


Given Boston’s Logan International Airport’s proximity to downtown Boston and its many quick public transportation options for traveling there — which takes about 20 to 30 minutes from downtown — we adjusted the equation for flight time over 2 hours and 30 minutes.


Now you know more about the routes of planes and trains, you can choose which one is best for you.