Myth of Air Travel is Fast


Planes fly fast.  They cover lot of distance in very less time.  Yes, I agree but I still don’t think air travel is always fast.

Flying at 750km/hr does saves time but only when you are on a long uninterrupted route.  When picking a flight I consider the total time required for the flight and not only flying time.  If you are in a big city or congested city, you will have to leave anywhere between 1 – 1.5hrs before check-in time.  In Manila, probably 4/4.5hrs (depending where in town you are) in case it is raining.  Check-in time in most places is 1hr before flight time, little more in case of international flight.  If you have a bag to be checked and haven’t web checked in, then you will like to reach a little earlier for hassle free movement and get your desired seat.  Incase you are travelling through Don Muang Airport in Bangkok, then reaching airport 2hr before flight might be advisable if not 2.5hr.  Two alone add 3 – 6hr and your flight has not started yet but your exhaustion has probably started to make inroads, silently.

Another point to be considered is that airports are usually on outskirts of city.  Hence reaching there by taxi is also an expensive proposition.  I remember, in 2008, my taxi ride from Heathrow to Kings Cross, a 40min journey, was for GBP80.  I could have bought one Delhi – Mumbai flight return ticket, a two hour flight, in India.

Now if your flight is of 1hr or 1.5hr duration, you are blocking effectively 4 – 7hrs of your time involved enough to not to do much anything else and not involved that much to say you have done anything considerable.  And do not forget, that after landing, another 40 – 1hr taxi ride awaits you to enable you to reach your final destination.

On the other hand, if you are travelling by a train, you arrive at station only 10 – 15mins before, and also do not have to undertake long taxi rides as train stations usually are in the middle of city.  Trains cover 350mile distance in about 2.5hrs or less, not only faster than effective time required by flight but also at a fraction of cost and comfort levels far superior to planes! A complete win, win, and win.