Friday, July 22, 2011

Is It Cheaper to Fly or Drive?

Enter your travel information (dates, car model, number of nights in a hotel while driving, number of hours driving per day, rental car cost at destination if flying, airfare cost, transportation cost to get to airport, baggage fees, etc.), and find out here with the Fly or Drive Calculator.

HT: Newsalert

Update: The comparison is based on the out-of-pocket monetary cost only, and does not account for the higher "time cost" or "opportunity cost" of traveling by car, as Morganovich points out in the comments. 

12 Comments:

At 7/22/2011 11:33 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

i notice that they don't include a "time value" field in this.

your time is worth something. it may be cheaper to drive 8 hours than fly 2, but what about the loss of 4 hours of work?

half a work day is pretty valuable for many.

 
At 7/22/2011 12:48 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"i notice that they don't include a "time value" field in this"...

Exactly M, yet they included some inane alledged carbon count as if that actually meant something...

 
At 7/22/2011 12:58 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I tested this on a trip I take frequently and the results were almost exactly right. For this trip it was 3.5 hours diffeence in time and $650 difference in cost.

The carbon count may not mean anything to juandos, but others consider it a legitimate (if externalized) cost. At $6 a ton, it does seem trivial as a decision discriminator.

 
At 7/22/2011 1:14 PM, Blogger NormanB said...

Time cost is a big factor. A traffic columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, being his super-liberal self, was arguing for people to drive slower in order to conserve fuel (and save the planet). I figured out that the fuel cost savings at the lowere speeds were the equivalent of the minimum wage, about $7 per hour and asked him if he would print this and if peo[ple thought they should be, in effect, working for that little. Never saw it.

 
At 7/22/2011 1:38 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Pretty cool Website. Here are my results. I was going to drive anyway with a couple of stops on the way, but flying would be cheaper if I had to take the time off from work.

Fly

Door-to-Door, each way
7 hours, 4 minutes Door-to-Door, each way
Total Cost
$1,126.42
CO2 Impact: 4,086 lbs.

Drive

23 hours, 18 minutes
each way
Total Cost
$533.56
CO2 Impact: 2,386 lbs

 
At 7/22/2011 1:45 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"At $6 a ton..."...

Who's paying or who extorting from whom this $6/ton of this supposed carbon?

Who's dumb enough to pay attention to this supposed carbon crapola?

 
At 7/22/2011 4:15 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I think but I'm not sure this $6 is a figure that is or ahas been quoted, based on the European trading scheme. It may be lower now due to the general economic malaise. It is no diffeent from figuring a price for SO2 under the American system which has been in place for some time. It is little different from pries established by auctioning off fishing or hunting rights.

It is crapola because the market is "artificial" - enforced by government rules. But if you think about it, so are all markets: without government rules you could just steal what you need.

Carbon Emitters and sulfur emitters and mercury emitters, and sewage emitters need space to put their waste, so they use it.

If we think (and the rules say that) no one owns the sky then they can do that with impunity. But if we think (and the rules say that) everyone owns the sky equally, then the emitters cannot use it without imposing a cost on others.

Even if we think the sky is not owned, and the emitters are free to use it, they may STILL impose a cost on others if what they put in the sky does not stay there.

Either way, it is perfectly reasonable to assume disposal of waste has a price. We may not (yet) agree on the price, but it is not reasonable to assume there is no price and the whole idea is crapola.

 
At 7/22/2011 5:04 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

The carbon count may not mean anything to juandos, but others consider it a legitimate (if externalized) cost. At $6 a ton, it does seem trivial as a decision discriminator.

Only idiots would consider carbon emissions because they do not matter.

 
At 7/22/2011 10:06 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"half a work day is pretty valuable for many."

Yeah, but add back the value of maintaining your dignity to the driving cost.

 
At 7/22/2011 10:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"It is no diffeent from figuring a price for SO2 under the American system which has been in place for some time. It is little different from pries established by auctioning off fishing or hunting rights. "

There's a world of difference. S02 is an actual pollutant with demonstrable harmful effects, C02 isn't.

If I buy hunting or fishing rights, I have something to show for my money. Paying C02 offsets pay some scammer to plant trees, or some city to coordinate their traffic lights to reduce idling time.

None of this makes an iota of difference in the meaningless number that is the global temperature of the Earth. It is a scam, pure & simple.

 
At 7/23/2011 10:24 PM, Blogger Ian Random said...

Interesting how big the difference is for some trips. The one I wanted from Oregon to Ohio, actually comes out cheaper to fly. A few years ago when I priced that trip, I was thinking that airlines look at the price of driving that distance as the minimum charge for a flight.

 
At 7/25/2011 4:47 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Forget the carbon count (aka: the AlGore "I-let-you-breathe-tax) and the time value factor. what everyone is forgetting in their MBA exercise in their model is the "Junk Touching From TSA Value," or JTFTSAV. I think there's function on all financial calculators made after 2010.

 

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