frmrCapCadet
Posts: 1643
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

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

Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:20 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 think that is about right.
Things that need factoring in and some apply both driving and getting to the airport:
Likelihood of facing bad traffic or bad weather
how close you are comfortable with challenging the "two hours early rule"
border crossing
Needing a car at the other end
how many are traveling

I used to prefer flying from Seattle to Spokane. Today few in my extended family ever fly. You have to get to the airport, airport recommends 2 hours early, you have to get off of the plane, and then rent a car or take taxi or other ground transportation. Some business people do find flying quicker and easier, but many don't. It is a 4:15 hour drive, and about the same flying unless you are close to SeaTac and can avoid the traffic. For many it is 90 minutes to the airport.

With Uber and being close to SeaTac I have a friend who probably could leave home and be at an office in downtown Spokane in less than two hours. I can't.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
Zudnic
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:42 am

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

Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:25 pm

BOS-EWR. I'd rather negotiate one of those Norwegian fjords people have mentioned than New York traffic.
 
User avatar
United_fan
Posts: 6486
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2000 11:11 am

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

Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:39 pm

When I was going to PHL,I figured it would be like 5-6 hours,and I would have to leave after working all day . Then I would have to get a room. That plus gas & tolls,I ended up flying Eagle ROC-PHL. Around 1 hour for ,like $330. Down & back in 1 day. Not driving 12 hours round trip.
Champagne For My Real Friends,and Real Pain For My Sham Friends
 
cledaybuck
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:07 pm

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

Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:42 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
Agreed. Not to mention, if I drive, I can leave when I want not when the airline has a flight scheduled. For those reasons, my personal driving time crossover would be somewhere around 7-8 hours, if a non stop is available. If I have to connect that can push it to 10+.
 
User avatar
Loew
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:00 pm

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

Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:48 pm

Nice European example is also HEL-TLL (Helsinki - Talinn) flight. Both cities stand almost directly on the opposite sides of the Gulf of Finland. Air distance between both cities is just a mere 100km, scheduled flight time is 30 minutes. There is also a car ferry service, which increases travel time significantly to some 3 - 4 hours. Now, these two options are quite easy, Estonia and Finland are both part of the EU, as well as Schengen area, so there are no border passport checks, as people can move freely between both countries.

However should the ferry not operate due to rough seas, and you also happen to be scared of flying, the actual road distance between both cities is more than 700km, with travel time attacking 9 - 10 hours, not including the time needed for the border check, as the road takes you through Russia, which also means a need for a Russian visa.

This example highlights an infrastructure problem in the northeastern part of the EU, Scandinavian countries as well as Baltic states are poorly connected to the rest of the EU, due to the Baltic sea being in the region, separating these countries effectively from the rest of the continent. Should you want a road only route between Helsinki and Talinn, that would keep you inside the EU an Schengen area, the distance rises to insane 4680 km, taking you from Estonia to Finland, via Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden.
Last edited by Loew on Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
 
Antarius
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

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

Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:52 pm

SAN-LAX.

16-19 minute flight. But the traffic can be so bad, I'd rather fly.
2017 :SIN |HKG |LAX |DFW |HOU |IAH |MAF |LBB |DCA |IAD |ORD |BOS |DEN |LHR |MAD |HNL |ITO |OGG |PHX |DOH |JHB |KUL |DEL |BLR |CDG |ORY |NRT |CGK |BTH |ICN |INV |ABZ |LCY |LTN |SFO |PHL |SJC |SLC |MIA |TPA |PBI |CLT |FLL |CUN
 
UALFAson
Posts: 837
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:41 pm

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

Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:54 pm

AirAfreak wrote:
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.


I did that once when I was living in L.A. to attend a job fair at a SNA-area hotel. Granted, I was using my mom's standby passes, so it wasn't as if I was paying, but it was cheaper and faster for me to drive to LAX, park in the lot for a couple of hours, and catch the free hotel shuttle bus to and from the hotel. When checking in at SNA, the gate agent was confused and asked where I was continuing to past LAX. I guess they don't get too many people flying just between the two cities!

And no, with the drawdown/retirement of the EMB-120, UAX no longer flies LAX-SNA, ONT, or some of those other crazy short hops.

izbtmnhd wrote:
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.


Hahaha! This made me LOL! Because I've taken 4.6 billion hours to drive between the two and been panicked the whole time about making my flight!

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 would agree that 4-5 hours of drive time is where flying becomes a potentially viable option depending on cost. There was a huge discussion on here recently about whether WN would start BNA-CVG service as part of their CVG growth. It's about 4-5 hours between the two cities, but then you also have to add in the benefit of having a car once you get to each city plus being constrained to airline schedules that might only offer service once or twice a day.
"We hope you've enjoyed flying with us as much as we've enjoyed taking you for a ride."
 
desertjets
Posts: 7625
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

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

Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:09 pm

I think my car vs. plane distances have changed pretty dramatically over the years. When I had my first grown-up job I lived north of Syracuse, NY and would visit my brother in DC fairly regularly (3-5x a year). I did the drive once, over Thanksgiving, and that was a pretty brutal affair. Baltimore and DC rush hour traffic a few days before Thanksgiving added probably 90 minutes to an already longish 7 hour drive. After that I almost exclusively flew. It helped that at the time there were multiple non-stops between SYR and IAD and DCA. SYR-DCA was a quick flight, both airports were easy to get into and out of and the schedule always worked well. Plus at the time $200 for a round trip was a pretty decent deal. Later I moved back to VA to go back to school. I did the drive back to Syracuse to visit my girlfriend just once. The drive was a bit closer to 9 boring hours. After that I flew, even making a 90 minute drive from CHO to RIC to catch a flight and still make a connection. But the presence of cheap fares and easy airports to get into and out of made a difference.

Now to present day living out west I actually prefer to drive. I have family in DEN and PHX Most times I (and now we) will drive. With two people it is a very doable 7-8 hour drive with pretty predictable stops. The big difference is that airfares are relatively more expensive, now that we are older we aren't all that content hanging around with family 100% of the time, and the airports at the other end aren't so easy to get into and out of.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
trent768
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:32 pm

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

Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:44 pm

For Indonesia, the craziest example is HLP-BDO. This is actually an old route that has been tried by many airline before, but I think it will be successful this time.

Actually, Jakarta to Bandung is just around 130 km by car (depends from which part of Jakarta you are) but the traffic was so insane that it'll take 6-8 hours just on the highway alone; 4 hours if you're lucky but it can be as long 10 hours if the big guy up there really wanna mess with you. FYI, Bandung is the center of creative industry in Indonesia with many top-tiered Indonesian university. To makes things worse, the toll-road that connects Jakarta with Bandung is also shared with Jakarta's satellite residential cities and Industrial cities. The toll-road also leads to the Northern Trans-Java route, a very important logistic route for the capital.

When I started college in 2009, it only took like 2 hours driving. Then people switch to the train, but it still takes about 3,5 hours because of the mountainous terrain. So IW re-starts the route this year with a daily AT7 service, a flight that is only 104 km by air.

I've used this flight one before in 2012 with Merpati's MA60 before they went out of business and it only took around 15-20 from engine start to shutdown lol!
 
dfwjim1
Posts: 1632
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

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

Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:57 pm

The time of the year also needs to be considered. For example, Southwest flies between OAK and RNO which is about a one hour flight gate-to-gate. In the summer the drive between the two cities takes between 4 and 5 hours on I-80. However in the late fall, winter and early spring, snowfall over the Sierras can easily make the drive twice as long or even impossible.
 
eamondzhang
Posts: 294
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:23 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:00 am

Although not insanely short, but SYD-MEL is another example when the plane ride is 1h in the air (1h 35m TTL) while the driving is 11hr upwards.

Michael
 
YIMBY
Posts: 279
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:32 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:38 am

airbazar wrote:
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.


You are right, there is a myriad of examples of short flights in Europe. (though you probably meant 200 km or 200 nm)

Most of them are used, however, for connecting traffic (excluding terrain-limited routes where obviously also p2p traffic is attractive). If you continue to fly elsewhere, it makes more sense to start with plane than train, even if it costs more and takes more time. Sometimes the last tickets are sold cheaply to point-to-point travellers, so it make sense for them to fly, too.

I do not know LCC's flying ridiculously short flights.
 
ZKOXA
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:47 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:58 am

There are lots of really short flights in NZ, but I find the most ridiculous to be WLG-PMR, takes around 15-20 minutes and takes around 2 hours to drive.

ZKOXA
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss
 
User avatar
intrance
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:35 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:55 am

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


Used to fly those routes on the Jetstream. The more interesting example is Torsby - Hagfors (TYF-HFS). While it is pretty much an intermediate stop on the way to Stockholm (ARN), the flight time can be down to about 6 minutes while going by car is about 50-60 minutes. Also used to do Torsby - Stockholm which was about an hour and by car also 4-5 hours depending on if you ignored speed limits or not.
 
vinniewinnie
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:23 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:58 am

airbazar wrote:
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.


Yes but it’s not as if in India, everyone flies. That’s a misconception. There are still many more people that take surface transport modes, which are sometimes 10 to 20 times longer in terms of time, but also to 10 to 20 times cheaper. You could therefore add income in the mix as a variable that influences modal choice.

As for your explanation of why LCC took off, I would not explain in it by expensive ground transportation. Gas might be cheaper for example in the US, but distances cancel the benefit of cheaper gas.
LCC created their own new demand. They created opportunities that didn’t exist before. Rail transport barely got scratched by LCC, nord did car travel.

All in all it’s time that mainly affects choices. Distance does not really matter as you can have long distances that can take the same time as short distances.
 
User avatar
XLA2008
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 8:53 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:55 am

Nearly all UK domestic flights... and perhaps even flights to western France where you can travel with your car on the train...
| A.J-B |

“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.“
 
rta
Posts: 1391
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:01 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:15 am

Miami/Orlando might be an example, but honestly the drive isn't that bad.
 
User avatar
FoxtrotSierra
Topic Author
Posts: 368
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:06 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:21 am

rta wrote:
Miami/Orlando might be an example, but honestly the drive isn't that bad.


Yeah, I've personally driven this one many times, but I've flown this one even more. I usually end up flying this for one of two reasons:

1. I feel like flying somewhere on a really quick trip but don't want to burn a lot of money or time. (First world problems, I know)
2. I'm flying AA, in which case I am ALWAYS routed MCO-MIA-XXX.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 14298
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:24 am

SFO-MMH flying time is about 39 minutes, driving time is 5-6 hours if the direct roads are open, but in winter when you want to go, 8 hours or more.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
rta
Posts: 1391
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:01 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:31 am

FoxtrotSierra wrote:
rta wrote:
Miami/Orlando might be an example, but honestly the drive isn't that bad.


Yeah, I've personally driven this one many times, but I've flown this one even more. I usually end up flying this for one of two reasons:

1. I feel like flying somewhere on a really quick trip but don't want to burn a lot of money or time. (First world problems, I know)
2. I'm flying AA, in which case I am ALWAYS routed MCO-MIA-XXX.


I fly this one (or between FLL) somewhat often too, particularly if I'm alone. While door to door time is only slightly better by flying, I ultimately find it much more relaxing and productive.

But this is mainly possible because fares are so cheap (I've seen as low as $40 per way). I'd never spend $250+ to fly Chicago to Madison whose distance is even shorter than Miami to Orlando, but ends up having the same flight time.

Edit: Another one might be Chicago/Detroit. Flights frequently come in close to an hour, but the drive (going around the lake) is easily 4-5 hours. Not sure about fares though
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 1655
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:46 am

YIMBY wrote:
I do not know LCC's flying ridiculously short flights.


Shortest LCC flight I could find was Ibiza - Valencia flown on Ryanair. Ground transport in this case means the ferry, and Ryanair even manages to be cheaper than the ferry sometimes.
 
Opaque
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:22 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:28 pm

This one must be right up near the top for contrast between flight and driving time:

Masamba, Sulawesi to Rampi, Sulawesi (Indonesia) 12 - 15 minutes by air (Cessna Caravan) or 48 hours by "road" (actually it is a dirt track used by scooters and motorbikes.) Increase that to 72 hours, including two nights camping on the mountain, when it rains heavily.
 
uta999
Posts: 354
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:10 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:33 pm

We used to fly the Lydd Airport (Kent) to Le Touquet (France) car ferry air service, back in the late 1960s.

It was a 15 minute flight with the car. Now it's a 2h 35m drive through the hole.

It would have been a struggle for a car back then.

http://www.silvercityairways.com/aircraft.htm
Your computer just got better
 
jmmadrid
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:00 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:39 pm

One aspect that has not been taken into consideration in this forum where americans are over-represented is that in other countries not everyone can drive and not everyone has a car. Driving your own car door-to door at a schedule that fits you can be efficient in many cases, but if the choice is between trains or buses and planes then it's a very different assesment, even more so if you take into consideration fellow passengers' behaviour on the different means of transportatiin.
 
amirs
Posts: 1205
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 7:20 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:07 pm

TLV - AMM
Is a 15 - 20 minutes in the air, it’s basicsllu taking off and lining up to the arrival runway.
It will probably take 5 hours to drive
 
User avatar
N14AZ
Posts: 2765
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:19 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:28 pm

Writing these lines from a hotel in Can Tho, Vietnam, Mekong delta. Unfortunately, there is no flight to Ho Chi Minh City. 3 1/2 to 4 hours by car. Asked a vice chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee two days ago and he said “it’s too short”. Really a pity, I am convinced they could fill an ATR42 and people (like me) would be willing to pay for it because the car drive is a PITA.

I was told that there were flights between Can Tho and Saigon in the past, when it took even longer (before they build a bridge near Can Tho and you had to take a ferry) but just for three
months...
 
User avatar
gatibosgru
Posts: 712
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:48 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:35 pm

CGH-SDU can easily take 6 hours by car during congestion, but there are flights almost every 15 minutes that take about 40 mins.
@DadCelo
 
Frenchify
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:19 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:28 pm

What exactly defines "too short" for a plane to fly? What an absurd statement.
 
teachpdx
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:51 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:29 pm

PDX-GEG is a 6 hour drive, 1h5m flight.
PDX-BOI is a 7 hour drive, 1h15m flight.

I’ll drive pretty much anywhere in the PNW vs. flying (unless paid for by my company) because flying is more expensive... especially with multiple bodies. Personally, I won’t look at flying until something like PDX-SFO... which is 9-10 hours in a car but is less than an hour and a half gate to gate.
From my college days in Oklahoma, I remember OKC/TUL-DEN being a toss-up. 10 hour drive vs. 1h20m flight.
So generally, traveling by myself, it needs to be about a 9 hour drive before I look at flying.
 
inferno
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:15 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:58 pm

In the Philippines, super short flights are common even on aircraft as big as an A330. You just can't practically connect all the islands by car/rail.
 
khowaga
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:07 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:06 pm

rbavfan wrote:
I would consider Houston to Austin a better example.


I flown AUS-IAH and AUS-DFW for day trips. In terms of the state allotted mileage reimbursement of $0.535 per mile, it comes out about even if I’m traveling by myself (depending on where, exactly, I’m going in the area), especially if it would have involved an overnight stay otherwise.
 
SCQ83
Posts: 3542
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:32 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:14 pm

Málaga-Melilla is 113 nm.

Gran Canaria-Layounne (Western Africa) is 125 nm.

Gibraltar-Tangier is 38 nm. http://flightaware.com/live/flight/RAM9 ... /LXGB/GMTT Thursday's flight was 19 min.
 
pezzy669
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:30 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:15 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
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.

GF


I have flown ATL-JAX-ATL a few times and have also driven it probably 20 times.

Flying:
Uber to train - 5 minutes
Train to ATL - ~20 minutes (drops off right in terminal).
Airport Time - 1 hour - (Pre-Check - this gets me to gate right around boarding at T-45) - lets say 1.5 hours without precheck.
Flying Time - 1 hour
Exit airport time - 30 mins.

So we are looking at 4-4.5 hours. The downtime in the airport and in the air gives opportunities to sit down, boot up and do some work. Yes there is possibility of mechanical issues or weather delays which could tank the whole trip.

Driving

Google Maps (no traffic and no stops) - 4:56-4:58 minutes
Bathroom stops - 2 stops x 5 minutes = ~10 minutes assuming you are only using quick on/off rest areas which is not always possible.
Fueling at start and at arrival = ~10 minutes (I can make it to JAX on 1 tank but I will be ~20 miles from needing to fillip when I get there)

So we are looking at ~5:20 minutes best case scenario that does not even account for the possibility of hitting the horrific traffic south of Atlanta in Henry County that could easily add 30-45 minutes to the trip time, potential accidents, construction, speeding tickets, etc. Not to mention it is all lost productivity time where you are just sitting whittling the hours away staring at billboard hell and there is absolutely zero scenery or anything interesting to see the entire drive while having to maintain focus on piloting a 3000+ lb automobile for 5+ hours.

I would prefer to possibly save ~1 hour on the whole trip and arrive rested and relaxed. Every time I drive it I am exhausted from sitting in the car for so long both when I arrive in JAX and when I arrive back in ATL.
 
SyracuseAvGeek
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:37 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:25 pm

AZO (Kalamazoo) - ORD ; 22min flight, 2.5hr drive with no traffic. SYR - YYZ ; 45min flight 5hr drive
"I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list."
 
Austin787
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:39 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:42 pm

With flying, one must also account for travel to/from the airport, security lines, airplane taxi times, and maybe baggage claim wait. For very short flights, these can add up to be longer than the actual flying time. For routes like AUS-DFW, AUS-IAH, SAT-DFW, and SAT-IAH flying may only save a few minutes over driving depending where in the cities you start from or end in. Of course flying saves more time if the highways are congested.

Shortest routes I have flown without connecting to/from a longer flight:
AUS-DFW (to attend a conference at a hotel across from DFW): 40 minute flight; 3.5 hours driving
LAX-LAS: 48 minute flight; 4.5 hours driving
CHC-ZQN: 50 minute flight; 6-7 hours driving
YVR-YYC: 1 hour flight; 10.5 hours driving
SYD-MEL: 1.5 hour flight; 8-9 hours driving
PVG-PEK: 1.5 hour flight; 5 hours by train

Short flights over water:
HNL-OGG: 15 minute flight
DUB-LCY: 50 minute flight
TPE-HKG coming in December: 1.5 hour flight
 
User avatar
GE90man
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:10 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:09 pm

HKG-CAN: I’ve done it in 40 minutes an A330, I don’t remember how long it took to drive though, I’d assume it would take a bit more time
 
User avatar
ryanflyer
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:02 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:21 pm

One that people don’t tend to think about, is San Francisco to Los Angeles. Less than an hour flight and 8-10 hours drive in good traffic. Also Kodiak to Anchorage. That’s an easy hour long Dash8-100 flight, but on the ferry that’s an overnight 10-12 hour trip!
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 1655
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:29 pm

inferno wrote:
In the Philippines, super short flights are common even on aircraft as big as an A330. You just can't practically connect all the islands by car/rail.


But I assume there are ferries which is also ground transportation. I agree it would be impossible to bridge all the islands like the Florida Keys, but a ferry can easily take you from one island to another.

In the Netherlands we also have a row of islands along the northern shore, they're called the Wadden islands. None of them are bridged, but all of them are connected to the mainland by ferry. There even are some ferries between the islands. Same goes for northern Germany where the Wadden islands extend into. Surprisingly almost all German Wadden islands have an airport and OLT is flying between those islands and the mainland. In the Netherlands this is not the case. Not only do only two islands have an airfield, those airfields aren't served by any airline. They're for general aviation only. Seems like the Dutch rely more on ferries than the Germans.
 
LABA
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:35 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:45 pm

I've done LA-SF multiple times by road. LAX-OAK (closest for me both sides) is not a huge difference time-wise and If I add family to picture, the cost savings/flexibility is super.

But then, I like driving a lot.. a lot and post dinner departure to arrive midnightish (5 hrs flat) is a nice drive.
 
DTWorld
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:34 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:01 pm

DTW-IND. I haven't flown it (done the reverse from an IROP a few years ago), but it's about 45 minutes in the air, or a six-hour drive. I have an aunt who lives in Carmel, and I often dreaded the drive while in college for Thanksgiving because of the driving time where any decent, meaningful conversation reserved for Thanksgiving dinner among my sister/parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins was all wasted on the drive down to keep my sanity. The drive isn't all too scenic either.
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 9338
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:06 pm

I think it's partly cultural. For example my company will send my colleagues and me across the country (metropolitan France, 1000Km North to South and East to West), with our company cars, sometimes it's justified as we bring lots of hardware, but other times not really, yet the only time one was offered to take the plane (to go from Paris to Barcelona), he didn't accept and instead drove 4 days total. I've done 3 plane trips so far, but that was to go to Casablanca, not realistic to do it by car. One time I was literally working at the airport, as my company was building stuff right next to the terminal, and even then I went by car : 5 hours driving on Sunday, work Monday, 5 hours driving on Tuesday. 2 hotel nights. The maths just don't add up. Personally, being paid to drive on nice roads, I don't mind !
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Planetalk
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:12 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:16 pm

I'm not sure I'd call 40 minutes insanely short, there's loads of flights between major destinations of that length, in europe for example, you can go a long way in 40 minutes in a plane. I don't really understand why people are mentioning places 90 minutes apart on a plane in this context.

Below 30 minutes - now we're talking! Just check out Colombia, loads of these. The terrain means that there's a lot of journeys where the actual straight line distance is nothing but due to driving through the mountains flying is far better than driving. e.g. Bogotá - Medellin, straight line distance 134 miles, usual flying time 27 minutes, drive time 10-12 hours. Bogotá - Pereira, straight line distance 111 miles (!), flying time 24 minutes (that's wheels up to touch down, I've done it), drive time 8 hours. Plenty more in Colombia. Must be an interesting place to be a pilot with all the terrain, high altitude airports, and appalling weather, they earn their bucks.
 
777PHX
Posts: 445
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:36 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:05 pm

Four shortest I've flown:

HNL-LIH - 75 miles, 20ish minute flight.
ORD-MKE - <70 miles, 20ish minute flight.
STL-ORD - 250ish miles, 45 minute flight.
DUB-LHR - 280ish miles, 50ish minute flight.
 
User avatar
TripleDelta
Screener
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:13 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:11 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
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).


There are more. Zadar (ZAD) - Pula (PUY), roughly four and a quarter hours by car, 20 minutes by air. Though the Adriatic Sea between them has a lot to do with it (even though they're both on the mainland).
"Well, none of it makes any sense. You just have to send in the right number of forms" - Radar, MASH 4077
 
User avatar
keesje
Posts: 10243
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:29 pm

For day tripw I did 350-400KM ones by car. In the early morning it's OK. Going back in the evening & hitting traffic / bad weather it was too far, looking back. The fun was gone..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Yflyer
Posts: 1454
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:05 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:44 pm

LABA wrote:
I've done LA-SF multiple times by road. LAX-OAK (closest for me both sides) is not a huge difference time-wise and If I add family to picture, the cost savings/flexibility is super.

But then, I like driving a lot.. a lot and post dinner departure to arrive midnightish (5 hrs flat) is a nice drive.


Mythbusters once did a race to answer the question of whether it's faster to fly or drive for a journey of around 400 miles. Both teams left the studio in San Francisco at the same time. Tory drove to the airport, while Grant and Kari started driving to the finish line in Los Angeles. By flying Tory beat them there, but only by 10 minutes. For all intents and purposes that's a tie, since the outcome could have changed if Tory's flight had been only slightly delayed, or if Grant and Kari had gotten more favorable traffic.
 
Chuska
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 4:59 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:15 pm

SEA-PDX! For the amount of frequency AS has on this 129 mile route, must take forever to drive it.
 
paullam
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:08 am

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:37 pm

Luang Prabang —> Vientiane comes to mind. It’s about 30-40 mins in an ATR but takes 13 hrs and more by car due to mountains being between both cities.
717 733 735 737 738 744 752 763 77E 77L 77W 788 789 | 318 319 320 321 332 333 343 346 388 | AT75 AT76 | C152 C172 C182 C210 | CR2 CR7 | DH8C | E190 | F70 | PA31 | RJ1H | SF34 | ASK21
 
User avatar
ScroogeMcDuck
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:50 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:41 pm

FAI - ANC

Flight time: 35-45 minutes
Drive time: 6 hours

The scenery is amazing if you drive.
 
xijiayu
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:40 pm

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

Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:47 pm

HEL-TMP. 15-20 minutes flight, but 3 hours on the road.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos