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FoxtrotSierra
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What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:29 am

Recently Bahrain was in the news, and that got me wondering about one of the flights that QR used to operate before the blockade, DOH-BAH. This flight was insanely short, 30-40 min I believe, with half or less of that used in actual cruise flight. But by driving, the same trip is around 5 hours. What are some other notable flights that are ridiculously short by inflight time, but too impractical to drive? (ie. 5+ hrs.)
 
DaufuskieGuy
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:38 am

new haven to phl is 5 hours in traffic and < 1 hour flight
 
777klm
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:48 am

HNL-OGG :lol:

Seriously, OSL-BGO comes to mind. 50 by plane, 7hrs by car.
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Someone83
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:49 am

There is a few examples in Norway. Scheduled flying time Kirkenes-Vadsø is 25 minutes, i.e. actual flying time is less something like 20is minutes, Driving is 3,5 hours. And there is a lot of outher examples in Norway, ofter 5-7 hours by car or 40 minutes by plane
 
zkncj
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:52 am

AKL-WLG is 250NM which takes around 35-50 minutes in an A320 subject to wind and traffic, to drive this route it would take around 10-12hours by Car.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:53 am

ADL-PLO is a 50-minute flight or a 7-hour drive, due to needing to negotiate the Spencer Gulf.

CNS-WEI is a 336NM, 1:25 flight in a Q400, but a shocking 18+ hour drive (per google maps) thanks to the atrocious roads in Far North Queensland.
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afterburner33
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:07 am

zkncj wrote:
AKL-WLG is 250NM which takes around 35-50 minutes in an A320 subject to wind and traffic, to drive this route it would take around 10-12hours by Car.


That's some slow driving - last time I did that trip, it took 7.5 hours. Even Google Maps suggests it should only take just under 8 hours (depending on stops of course). Also my last WLG-AKL flight took around 1hr 15min without any significant delays.

I would suggest that WLG-CHC is (at least currently) worse - approximately 1 hour on an A320, but a 10 hour drive, including a 3 hour ferry crossing. The drive will improve when SH1 reopens, but that's how long it takes now.
 
bananaboy
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:28 am

There's no definitive answer as it really would depend on your willingness to take the extra time to drive, costs, time pressures, reasons for the trip and so on. For instance, if I wasn't in a rush or needed to take a ton of stuff from London to Edinburgh, I'd consider the train or driving. If I'm going for a morning and just need a laptop, I'll fly. There's no absolute answer.

I guess though that the biggest differentials between land and air travel would be where high terrain or water are in the way (like your Doha to Bahrain example). So, some more examples off the top of my head...

Christchurch to Wellington 10hrs vs 50 mins
Glasgow to Belfast 5hrs vs 45 mins
Montevideo to Buenos Aires 6hrs vs 45 mins
Bergen to Kristiansund 10hrs vs 45 mins
Zagreb to Dubrovnik 6hrs vs 1hr


Mark
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Bostrom
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:30 am

Stavanger-Aberdeen (SVG-ABZ), a 1 hour flight or a 30 hour drive…
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:56 am

FoxtrotSierra wrote:
Recently Bahrain was in the news, and that got me wondering about one of the flights that QR used to operate before the blockade, DOH-BAH. This flight was insanely short, 30-40 min I believe, with half or less of that used in actual cruise flight. But by driving, the same trip is around 5 hours. What are some other notable flights that are ridiculously short by inflight time, but too impractical to drive? (ie. 5+ hrs.)


Any flight people are willing to pay for is not too short. As long as the prices cover it.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:01 am

bananaboy wrote:
There's no definitive answer as it really would depend on your willingness to take the extra time to drive, costs, time pressures, reasons for the trip and so on. For instance, if I wasn't in a rush or needed to take a ton of stuff from London to Edinburgh, I'd consider the train or driving. If I'm going for a morning and just need a laptop, I'll fly. There's no absolute answer.

I guess though that the biggest differentials between land and air travel would be where high terrain or water are in the way (like your Doha to Bahrain example). So, some more examples off the top of my head...

Christchurch to Wellington 10hrs vs 50 mins
Glasgow to Belfast 5hrs vs 45 mins
Montevideo to Buenos Aires 6hrs vs 45 mins
Bergen to Kristiansund 10hrs vs 45 mins
Zagreb to Dubrovnik 6hrs vs 1hr


Mark


But are they not each separated by water with no bridge access. I would consider Houston to Austin a better example.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:04 am

Los Angeles --> Orange County.

Does UA still operate this flight? It's painfully slow at rush hour to drive (making this far) and a little too short for flying.
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:09 am

Guayaquil, Ecuador - Quito, Ecuador. 30 minutes flight, 7-8 hours drive. It can be operated sometimes as much as 30 times per day. Guayaquil- Lima, Peru is a 1:30 flight and 25 hour drive as well.
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:09 am

Two very popular destinations: London to Amsterdam. If you remove the time difference, it is only a 40 minutes hop but 6 hours to drive not including the queue on the Channel Tunnel and the usual traffic.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:24 am

What about Westray to Papa Westray? 2 minutes flight, 59 minutes drive+ferry ride.
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:25 am

The sweet spot where surface transportation loses ground is about 4 hours of travel time on any ground mode. Below that, both car and rail remain very competitive.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:03 am

Someone83 wrote:
There is a few examples in Norway. Scheduled flying time Kirkenes-Vadsø is 25 minutes, i.e. actual flying time is less something like 20is minutes, Driving is 3,5 hours. And there is a lot of outher examples in Norway, ofter 5-7 hours by car or 40 minutes by plane


That's because Norway is a very mountainous country. A plane can go in a straight line, a car cannot. Therefor the distance traveled by car is much further than the distance traveled by plane. Therefor you can't compare them.

I've looked up your example, Kirkenes to Vadso. That's 35 kilometers by plane versus 165 kilometers by car. And keep in mind that on those mountainous roads you can't exactly drive very fast, I'd say an average speed of 60 to 70 kilometers an hour is very realistic.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:12 am

I agree with banana boy.It really depends on the type of journey.I don't live in America but one always hears about the 'driving season' where families take off I need their cars to a holiday destination.I think it's the same anywhere really.Taking the above London-Scotland as an example.

I have flown countless times for business with an overnight bag.I have taken the train with my kids when we are staying with friends.I have driven up with friends - and paragliders/luggage- in my pre children days.Its horses for courses.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:54 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
Someone83 wrote:
There is a few examples in Norway. Scheduled flying time Kirkenes-Vadsø is 25 minutes, i.e. actual flying time is less something like 20is minutes, Driving is 3,5 hours. And there is a lot of outher examples in Norway, ofter 5-7 hours by car or 40 minutes by plane


That's because Norway is a very mountainous country. A plane can go in a straight line, a car cannot. Therefor the distance traveled by car is much further than the distance traveled by plane. Therefor you can't compare them.

I've looked up your example, Kirkenes to Vadso. That's 35 kilometers by plane versus 165 kilometers by car. And keep in mind that on those mountainous roads you can't exactly drive very fast, I'd say an average speed of 60 to 70 kilometers an hour is very realistic.


Domestic flying in Iceland is similar. Reykjavík to Akureyri is 45 minutes by air, 4.5 hours by car. Reykjavík to Egilsstaðir is 50 minutes by air but 7 hours+ by car. This is because main roads hug the coast and have to follow fjords and mountain passes to avoid the central highlands.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:10 am

YYC-YEG - 30 min by air, 2.5 hrs by car.

YLW-YVR - 45 min by air, just a tad over 4 hrs by car.
Last edited by ACDC8 on Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:10 am

Norway, as has been mentioned, has a lot of this. Ehich is the prime reason, along with being a rich country, norwegians fly so much. Oslo-Stavanger is a 40 minute hop by plane, but can easily take 8-9 hours to drive depending slightly on season. Oslo-Bergen and Oslo-Trondheim is much the same, although slightly less so. That is why all these realtively small city pairs are so high (top 10?) on the most travelled by air lists in europe.
Bergen-Ålesund is 230km by air, about a 25 minute hop, but nearly 8 hours and a plethora of ferries by road.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:57 am

Dublin to Manchester, roughly a 6-7 hour drive including the ferry, less than 25 minutes actually in the air, and operated numerous times a day by a mix of ATR72 and A320 by Aer Lingus, and 737s by Ryanair.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:03 pm

There are literally a gazzilion such flights. Draw a 200m circle around most major airports and you will find air routes inside that circle.
LIS-OPO is 150nm with a highway linking both cities and there are about 20 daily flights. SIN-KUL has about 30 daily flights.

vinniewinnie wrote:
The sweet spot where surface transportation loses ground is about 4 hours of travel time on any ground mode. Below that, both car and rail remain very competitive.

That very much depends on the part of the world. In India, 4 hours on the ground doesn't take you very far while in Europe it takes you to a completely different country :) Then there are other factors such as price of gas, parking costs, reliable ground transportation. One reason why the LCC's took off so fast in Europe is because ground transportation is ridiculously expensive for even a short drive.
Last edited by airbazar on Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:04 pm

I've done Bergen to Stavanger in 19min airborne in a 737-800.

With a car, according to google maps, thats 5h 5min with one toll and one ferry-ride.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:40 pm

I would say all of the Ireland to Britain flights fall into this category, good tailwind and an easyjet and ryanair flight to Liverpool from Belfast or Dublin will only take 35 minutes compared to a ferry and arduous drive.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:10 pm

Just flew YVR-SEA on AS, on a 737-800 nonetheless. Talk about a quick flight but a long, long drive with traffic and a sometimes slow border crossing.

zkncj wrote:
AKL-WLG is 250NM which takes around 35-50 minutes in an A320 subject to wind and traffic, to drive this route it would take around 10-12hours by Car.

I fly BHE-WLG once every year or so and that's a flight that would otherwise require a darn boat but is only like 20 minutes in the air ;)
Last edited by sw733 on Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:11 pm

ACA/UA used to fly IAD-BWI back in the 90s. It's 30 min by air, 4.6 billion hrs. during rush hour by car but 50min-1hr. otherwise.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:25 pm

ACDC8 wrote:
YYC-YEG - 30 min by air, 2.5 hrs by car.

YLW-YVR - 45 min by air, just a tad over 4 hrs by car.


I'd add YYC - YXC. 55 min by air, about 5 hours by car. 432 km through the Crows Nest pass, 419 km through the national parks. Beautiful drive though, especially through the parks.
And there is a flight between YCG and YYC too. Hour and 5 minutes by air or 7 hours of driving.
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:41 pm

Mangs wrote:
I've done Bergen to Stavanger in 19min airborne in a 737-800.

With a car, according to google maps, thats 5h 5min with one toll and one ferry-ride.


I assume that in the winter, the car drive can be impossible some days if there is heavy snowfall. In extreme cases, OSD-UME in Sweden that normally takes 4-5 hours can be impossible by car but doable in 50 minutes scheduled time in a BAe Jetstream.

/Fredrik
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:46 pm

I take SAN - LAX often. 40 minutes flight tome
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:50 pm

ORD-MSP, 35 minute cruise phase, probably 7 hours in the car. The flight is so short, it feels ridiculous. But it is 400 miles on the road.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:52 pm

Bishkek to Osh in Kyrgyzstan is a 30 minute flight at most, and is 11 hours by car.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:59 pm

bananaboy wrote:
I guess though that the biggest differentials between land and air travel would be where high terrain or water are in the way (like your Doha to Bahrain example).

I think we should accept that the spirit of this thread was plane vs car, not plane vs [car + boat.]
Quite simply, as soon as you add water or a boat into the equation, it becomes no contest.
Unless.... you are travelling from port to port, i.e. Dover to Calais. Neither Dover nor Calais boast an international airport, so at either end the journey becomes complicated e.g. [car + plane + taxi] versus boat.

Getting back on topic....
bananaboy wrote:
There's no definitive answer as it really would depend on your willingness to take the extra time to drive, costs, time pressures, reasons for the trip and so on. There's no absolute answer

One thing that has barely been mentioned is passenger numbers. Unless a.net only consists of single men who only think about themselves (which is indeed possible), what about families?
If it becomes a choice between a single airfare (for myself) vs driving in a car with only the radio for company, I vote aircraft.
If there are four of us travelling, incurring four airfares, against the much cheaper cost of road fuel, maybe the road-trip is more attractive.

As you say; there is no definitive answer.
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:03 pm

HRE - VFA 1 hr flight
9 Hrs by car
12 Hrs by bus
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:14 pm

vinniewinnie wrote:
The sweet spot where surface transportation loses ground is about 4 hours of travel time on any ground mode. Below that, both car and rail remain very competitive.


I concur with you on the 'sweet spot' but there are promotional airfares (especially between JHB and SZB) that will make me fly because the difference is affordable.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:28 pm

I mean, I’m pretty unwilling to drive for more then 3 hours at a time, but flights aren’t usually that short.
Why is flying so expensive? And why is flying well so much more?
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:53 pm

Since I hate being in the car more than just about anything on the planet I would say no distance is too short to fly.

Anecdotally I've flown ATL-JAX-ATL 4 times. The drive is between 5-6 hours. I've done the flight in as little as 39 minutes.
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:07 pm

YYC-YVR. About 1 hour in the air to get there, but almost 11 hours by road. If there is bad snow, you either won’t be able to go at all by road or it will take forever.
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:09 pm

Frankfurt to Luxembourg (FRA's shortest international flight at 96 nm) in Lufthansa https://flightaware.com/live/flight/DLH394 takes less than 30' in the air but train and road connections are surprisingly long and bad for central Europe.

Some routes in the Balkans. E.g. Zagreb to Dubrovnik is less than 1 hour flight but +6 hours drive and 2 border crossings (b/c of Neum in Bosnia).
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:18 pm

DaufuskieGuy wrote:
new haven to phl is 5 hours in traffic and < 1 hour flight


How is one hour "too short by plane"? And there is scheduled air service on this route. Curious how you came up with this.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:20 pm

airbazar wrote:
SIN-KUL has about 30 daily flights.


As someone based in SIN, SIN-KUL is just that for me- too long by car, no high speed train, and too short for air travel.

The actual flight time's 30 minutes but you'd spend 2 hours getting to SIN and checking in, and when you land in KUL it's another hour to the city. Driving is 5 hours so that's no fun either.

And that's why I dread going to KUL and I bet there are folks in KUL who'd feel the same about SIN for that very reason.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:23 pm

Easy. Chicago *to* New York.
It's 12 hours+ on the road.
I've been on flights many times where it was less than 90 minutes wheels up to wheels down.
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:27 pm

N776AU wrote:
Since I hate being in the car more than just about anything on the planet I would say no distance is too short to fly.

Anecdotally I've flown ATL-JAX-ATL 4 times. The drive is between 5-6 hours. I've done the flight in as little as 39 minutes.


Just using your post as an example, Sir, but no one is accounting for the ground time connected to flying. A 4-5 hour drive, ATL-JAX is easily that much time door-to-door on an airliner. Your tolerance for wasted time to fly is admirable. I used to regularly travel from Hartford to Montreal, it was often quicker to drive, due to not spending 45 minutes to the airport, 1+15-1+30 checking in, security, then clearing in Montreal, collecting a bag, going to the rental car counter, driving to the office. All of which was another 45-1 hour. It’s TRAVEL time, not in vehicle time that matters.

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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:32 pm

SAN-LAX has already been mentioned. TPA-JAX, FLL, MIA, are all short hops, but are 3, 4 and 5 hours drive times.

Personally, I used to have a ~3 hour limit of drive time, but with security/cramped seats/greyhound experience I'm more of a 5-6 hour limit these days and even then it depends how long is needed at the destination. If more than a couple days I will drive anyway.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:38 pm

FRA-TXL or MUC-HAM are good examples here in Germany.

Frankfurt to Berlin takes a good 5:30 to 6:00hrs by car in decent traffic conditions and even on "high speed" trains you'll need at least 4hrs.
The flights often take less than an hour, add to that the proximity of TXL to central Berlin and you'll see why demand on that route is so high that now, after AB's demise, LH upgauged 2 daily rotations to B744.

Munich to Hamburg is an arduously long 7:30 to 8:00hrs car trip under very good traffic conditions (but you'll have to pass some of the most notoriously congested areas in the country) and at least 6hrs by train.
Flights take not much more than an hour though.
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:38 pm

YVR-YYJ ( Victoria ) : 30 mins by air 4-5 hours by car as you must drive on a ferry for a 1 hr 40 min crossing, add to that traffic and distance to the ferry terminals on each side of the crossing, if there are ferry waits, the drive can be more like 6-7 hours one way.
 
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:59 pm

SAP to TGU: 3:45 by road, 25 minutes by air. SAP to LCE: 2:45 by road 20 minutes by air.
SAP to GUA: 8-9 hours by road, 40 minutes by air. SAP to SAL: 30 minutes by air, 7-8 hours by road.

And so it goes on every Central American city pair. Long times on the road and a breeze by air.
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Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:01 pm

Everyone realizes to go out of Qatar requires a border crossing or two due to the isolation imposed by the Saudi border? Delays can be long.


vinniewinnie wrote:
The sweet spot where surface transportation loses ground is about 4 hours of travel time on any ground mode. Below that, both car and rail remain very competitive.

I like your logic. Due time to get in and out of LAX and other congested airports, I put it at 6 or 7 hours.

I used to fly BDI-JFK in odd hours as pre-TSA I could be dropped off 15 minutes before door close and make into Manhattan before traffic. If fares we're friendly...

I never fly LAX to the Bay area as between parking delays, OneWorld way, TSA, baggage delays, rental car delays (common, imitate DFW's speed), and costs, it is easier to drive and no waiting for the bag.

Not to mention for traveling with kids, it is cheaper. Just don't buy ice cream on a long car trip...

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SheikhDjibouti
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:59 pm

Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:10 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Just using your post as an example, Sir, but no one is accounting for the ground time connected to flying. A 4-5 hour drive, ATL-JAX is easily that much time door-to-door on an airliner. Your tolerance for wasted time to fly is admirable. I used to regularly travel from Hartford to Montreal, it was often quicker to drive, due to not spending 45 minutes to the airport, 1+15-1+30 checking in, security, then clearing in Montreal, collecting a bag, going to the rental car counter, driving to the office. All of which was another 45-1 hour. It’s TRAVEL time, not in vehicle time that matters.

GF


:checkmark:
There are two things that happen when you get old.
1. You start to lose your memory.
2. What was I saying again?
 
Mangs
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:09 pm

Re: What distance is too short for a plane but too far by car?

Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:19 pm

FredrikHAD wrote:
Mangs wrote:
I've done Bergen to Stavanger in 19min airborne in a 737-800.

With a car, according to google maps, thats 5h 5min with one toll and one ferry-ride.


I assume that in the winter, the car drive can be impossible some days if there is heavy snowfall. In extreme cases, OSD-UME in Sweden that normally takes 4-5 hours can be impossible by car but doable in 50 minutes scheduled time in a BAe Jetstream.

/Fredrik


Yeah, the storms there can be pretty wild 8-)

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