Holidays are Coming - Are You Flying or Driving?

I’m curious whether the security checks and long lines at the airport have changed peoples mode of travel?

The poll is two part.

  1. Are You Flying or Driving?

  2. Are You Choosing to Avoid Air Travel?

What is the typical time lost at the airport before boarding? 90 minutes? Perhaps even 100 minutes? Plus you have the time lost driving to the airport, parking a half mile away, and taking a valet shuttle to the terminal. So, it’s really two hours.

You can drive 120 miles on the interstate in that two hours. If your destination is less than 400 miles away, why go through all that hell at the airport? I don’t mind driving that far. A six to seven hour car trip is not a big deal for me. At least then, I have my car to use and I can carry as much luggage as I want. I can even bring my cousin that 30-06 he wants for deer season. :smiley: Try getting on a plane with that these days. :stuck_out_tongue:

For me at least this is a change. I used to take the express air package to Dallas for a day of shopping and fun. Leave at 6 AM and get home at 11pm. The round trip tickets were highly discounted. They were under a hundred bucks. The trip was fast and it was a lot of fun. This was the days when you could get through the terminal and board the plane in under 40 minutes.

Taking that deal today is absolutely out of the question. I’ll drive the 320 miles to Dallas. Spend the day having fun and spend the night at a Motel 6. Drive back the next morning.

Obviously, trips over 500 miles are easier done by Airplane. I don’t like driving more than 8 hours in a day. I’m not 22 anymore. :slight_smile: I will grit my teeth and fly the unfriendly TSA skies when absolutely necessary.

So, have you started driving more to travel and avoiding planes? How far are you willing to drive?

Well darn it. I thought I set this up for multiple answers.

Something went haywire. I’ll ask the mods to fix it.

Flying for Thanksgiving and Christmas, as usual.
My Mom is 15 hours away by car and my wife’s family is 20. Even if I had the vacation time to spare I wouldn’t want to spend 2 days of it each way in a car.

I actually don’t find flying to be that big a hassle. We always get to the airport as early as practical, and just try to relax and keep our stress levels in check. A couple of books and an iPod and it’s over before I know it. Sure beats endless hours of highway hypnosis.

Of course, I usually make it a point to avoid flying on Wacky Wednesday, but I had no choice this year. I’ll let you know if I’ve revised my opinion after tomorrow.

…because I’m taking the train for Christmas.

My family lives in Chicago, as do I, so I don’t need to travel for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. However, I have a week’s vacation due between Christmas and New Year’s – if I don’t take the time, it won’t carry over into next year – and so I’m taking Amtrak to Boston, then New York, then after New Year’s in NYC back to Chicago.

I’d rather take a train where it’s an option. Decent leg room, decent food, decent view, even decent time.* Where it isn’t an option, I’d rather drive than fly. I’m not afraid to fly, and I’ve flown when I had to, but it’s become a complete hassle. Not just the TSA, but the airlines themselves: the incredible shrinking airline seat, nickel-and-dime fees, etc. I know logically that the airlines’ only goal is to maximize profits, but the not-so-logical part of me believes that the airlines are all conducting a psychology experiment: how crappy they can make the flying experience so long as tickets are cheap, CHEAP, CHEAP before enough people say “enough!”
*Decent time because the train is generally moving except when it’s at a station, even while I eat, nap, read, web-surf, etc. People who look at a train schedule and say “I can get there an hour faster by car” leave out the implicit remainder of that sentence “so long as I drive constantly at 70mph without stopping to eat or use the washroom.” That’s not an attractive option for me. When I have to drive for hours, I don’t do the marathon “Onward at all costs! Stopping is weakness!” thing some drivers do.

Whatchoo talkin’ bout, youngster? My husband and I do all our vacations by car - our longest trip so far was Calgary to Chicago and back - 2800 miles total. We’re in our forties. :slight_smile:

We were thinking about driving to Vegas for Christmas, but the money’s just not there this year. Maybe next year.

Flying for Christmas. I’m sure I’m not going to enjoy the new security measures, and I really don’t like flying, but a train or bus would take way too long, and this time I’ve got non-stop flights on jetBlue. I had one last year, and I actually enjoyed it.

Driving; my destination is in the same city I do anyway. But I have no intention of flying anywhere with the present security nonsense going on; if something or someone is too far to reach without flying, then I’m not going.

Bolt Bus! (Just Christmas) Thank heaven my sister lives a short path train ride from NY Penn Station. The bus sits in just as much traffic as I would in my car, but I can go to sleep, and I don’t get a charley horse.

My in-laws live about eight blocks away. Sure helps the commute. :slight_smile:

Driving for both. Acapulco for Thanksgiving (no idea if any restaurants will offer turkey, though), and then driving to my in-laws for Christmas. I may take a break and fly home to Michigan before Christmas, though.

Changed thread title to Are You Flying or Driving?"

So sue me.

Ellen Cherry
IMHO Moderator

L33t h8er.

I used to love flying but I am so uncomfortable in the seats I don’t want to unless I have to plus if I drive I have my car there for the entire vacation. I’m driving home for Christmas 1100 miles. I enjoy driving so it’s not a hassle for me but as I’m getting older it’s harder to work all day then drive all night so I’ll plan on a couple of hour sleeping by the side of the road and it will still be better then two hours crammed into an air plane seat.

You forgot driving for Thanksgiving and flying for Christmas.

We are driving to my parents for Thanksgiving – they are about 400 miles away. Then we are flying to my wife’s parents for Christmas – they are across the country.

That’s what we do almost every year. However, usually we fly for both trips. This year, because of some unusual circumstances, we need to drive to my parents. It’ll take us about six hours, I’m guessing.

We’re driving to Florida from Maryland for Christmas. If we were to fly, we’ve got a 90 minute (minimum) drive to the airport, plus arriving 2 hours early, plus the 2.5 hour flight (assuming it’s not late) plus claiming luggage, getting a rental, and driving 2 more hours to our destination. Assuming no delays, we’re looking at 8-9 hours for that evolution. If we drive, it’ll be 12-13 hours on our schedule, three drivers taking turns, having our own car, being able to stop for a real meal if we wish, and taking whatever size shampoo we wish.

Plus airfare and car rental for the 3 of us would be at least $2000. Driving - nowhere near that much. And we can take the dogs if we drive, so we don’t have to pay for a pet sitter.

Pretty much a no-brainer.

Driving, but there nothing special special about it… My father lives 35 miles away. My mother lives less than four away.

If I had to go any distance greater than 100 miles, I’d probably take a train.

I have nearly a 3 hour drive.

Driving, we always drive to my moms. Seems silly to fly for less than 500 miles.

Staying home for Thanksgiving but flying for Christmas. I prefer Amtrack but DC to Texas isn’t practical.

Driving, but in this case it’s a silly comparison. We’d actually drive *further *if we were flying somewhere, because the airport’s further away from my house than my local relatives’ homes are.