Like anything else, it depends. I travel from Chicago to Kansas City on a regular basis. I fly when needed, but I prefer to take Amtrak. To me, the 1.5 hours the plane spends in the air is irrelevant, and is the smallest amount of time in the calculation.
Amtrak gets me from downtown Chicago to downtown Kansas City.
Southwest airlines gets me from Midway airport to Kansas City International.
I have to include the much longer trip to Midway and the much longer trip from KCI (confusingly coded MCI).
Getting on the train is ridiculously easy. They announce boarding, check my ID, take my ticket, get on train, take seat.
The airplane…not so much. To board Southworst, I have to have my bags x-rayed, take off my shoes, etc and show up at least an hour ahead of time to get a decent seat.
While Amtrak pretend to enforce baggage limits, I’ve never had to check my huge backpack. I wear it onto the train and put it in the overhead bin. When I arrive, I take it down, strap it on and walk off the train.
The airplane? Waiting around for my backpack to show up, hoping against hope that they haven’t managed to rip some part of it.
And the seats? On Amtrak, the seats are comfortable and have tons of legroom. I can open my laptop, an impossibility on a Southworst flight.
All told, the downtown to downtown time for taking “The Greyhound Bus of the Air” is about five hours, and dramatically more expensive and uncomfortable than the seven hours spent on Amtrak’s “Southwest Chief”. All the other little things, like being allowed to bring my cooler with my own choice of food and beverages, an outlet at my seat (I managed to edit a 4 camera, 2 hour concert shoot on my return trip from Kansas City).
It’s a civilized way to travel.