We take air transport for granted nowadays, but what are the advantages and disadvantages of traveling by plane? In this post, we take a look.
Pros and Cons of Air Travel
Whether you like flying or not, when it comes to the pros and cons of flying, there are plenty of both.
On the one hand, air travel is the quickest way to get from A to B. It’s also an ideal means of transport that is relatively safe and comfortable, thanks to advances in technology.
On the other hand, flying can be expensive, stressful and detrimental to the environment.
There's no denying it is one of the most popular forms of transport for both business and pleasure, and has brought the world closer together in many ways, but nothing is perfect!
In this guide, we'll list 10 advantages that traveling by plane offers, and balance those out with 10 disadvantages. By the end, you should have a good idea of whether or not flying is the right choice for your next trip.
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Air Transport Advantages:
Let's kick off in a positive way, and look at airplane advantages and the benefits of making a journey by plane.
– One of the best advantages of airplanes, is that when you need to get somewhere fast, flying is often the best option. It can get you across the country or around the world in a matter of hours. If you have a choice between flying and driving, flying will almost always get you there faster.
For example, as I write a lot about Greece, I'm often asked how to travel from one place to another. Many people who want to get from Athens to Santorini are surprised to find that to fly rather than take a ferry is quicker, and often cheaper!
– With wider seats, more legroom, and in-flight entertainment, flying can be a very comfortable experience. On international flights anyway! When you compare it to other forms of transportation like buses or trains, it’s often much more pleasant.
– One of the key advantages of air transport, is that planes are designed to get you from Point A to Point B as quickly and efficiently as possible. They can cover large distances in a relatively short amount of time. Even when you factor in the time it takes to get to and from the airport, flying is often just as quick but usually quicker as other forms of travel including high speed trains.
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– For some people, flying is a chance to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. When you're up in the air, it's easy to forget about your troubles down on the ground.
– I think it was Superman who said, “Statistically, it’s safer to fly than to drive.” Flying is one of the safest forms of transportation, making it one of the best advantages of planes. In 2015, there were over 35,000 commercial flights per day in the US, and only 21 accidents .
That means that your odds of being in a plane crash are about 1 in 8 million . With modern technology and safety protocols, the chances of an accident or plane crashes are very low.
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– One of the pros of planes, is that flying is often the most convenient option, especially when traveling long distances. It can save you time and hassle, and get you where you need to go with minimal fuss. When compared to driving or taking a train or bus, flying is often much more convenient.
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– With more people flying than ever before, there are now more options for flights to unique and hard-to-reach destinations. You can fly almost anywhere in the world, and there are usually multiple flight options to choose from.
– Flying can be a great opportunity to network with other professionals either on long haul flights or shorter flights of just a few hours. If you're traveling for business, you'll often find yourself sitting next to someone who could be a valuable connection.
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– For some, flying is an adventure in and of itself. Travelling by plane is a chance to explore new places, meet new people, and experience the world in a whole new way.
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– Flying can be a lot of fun, especially if you're traveling to somewhere you've never been before. It's an opportunity to explore and have new experiences. Here's a look at the plane we took to Con Dao in Vietnam!
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Disadvantages of air travel:
Travelers who are making arrangements to travel long distances by plane might also want to keep some of the disadvantages of flights in mind:
– One of the biggest disadvantages of flying is the cost. It can be very expensive to purchase a plane ticket, especially if you're flying internationally. Sure, budget airlines might offer some cheap flights, but they often come with their own set of problems (more on that below).
2. Time Commitment
– Flying can take a lot of time, especially if you're flying to a far-flung destination. You have to factor in travel time to and from the airport, as well as time spent waiting at the airport itself.
– Even for hardened travelers, flying can be a hassle, especially if you're dealing with delays, cancellations, or lost baggage. It can be frustrating to deal with the logistics of air travel, and it's not always a smooth or easy process.
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– Flying can be inconvenient, especially if you have to travel on short notice. It can be difficult to find a flight that fits your schedule, and you may have to deal with unforeseen delays or cancellations. You also need to make sure your plane tickets, passport, and other documents are in order. And did we mention the long lines at security?
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5. Missed Connections
– One of the biggest headaches of flying is dealing with missed connections. If your flight is delayed or canceled, it can throw off your whole travel schedule. When buying tickets, you should leave plenty of time between connecting flights!
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6. Jet Lag
– Jet lag is a real problem for many people who fly frequently. It's a disruption of your body's natural sleep cycle, and it can be difficult to adjust to a new time zone. If your air travels involve a long journey, you're likely to experience some jet lag.
Related: How to minimize jet lag
7. Baggage Fees
– Many airlines now charge baggage fees, which can add up quickly if you're traveling with multiple bags. It's important to check the baggage policy before you travel to avoid any surprises, especially if using a budget airline.
8. Security Lines
– One of the biggest hassles of flying is dealing with security lines. They can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you're running late for your flight. One tip is to get to the airport early so you have plenty of time to clear security.
9. Crowded Flights
– One of the disadvantages of travelling by plane, is that flying can be cramped and uncomfortable, especially if you're on a crowded flight. It's important to book a seat in advance so you can avoid being stuck in the middle of the plane. What is the best seat on an aisle of a plane?
I prefer to sit near the window so that I can take advantage of the view during takeoff and landing, but some people prefer to sit on the aisle so they have easy access to the lavatories.
10. Environmental Impact
– Finally, it's important to consider the environmental impact of flying. Air travel is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, so if you're looking to reduce your carbon footprint, flying is not the best option. If you want to be a responsible traveler, consider offsetting your emissions by planting trees or investing in renewable energy.
The bottom line is that there are both advantages and disadvantages to flying. It's important to weigh the pros and cons before you decide whether or not to take a flight. And if you do decide to fly, make sure you're prepared for the hassles that come with it!
Advantages and disadvantages of air transportation – Conclusion
Overall, the advantages of flying outweigh the disadvantages. While it can be expensive and inconvenient at times, flying is a very safe and efficient way to travel. It offers access to unique destinations around the world, and it's a great way to network with other professionals. For some people, flying is an adventure in and of itself, and it's a great way to explore new places and have new experiences.
10 Tips For Flying long distances
Now we've seen some of the advantages and disadvantages of air transport, how can you make the most of your journey by air? These tips for traveling by plane will help you get the best out of your flight:
1. Choose your seat wisely –
When booking your flight, be sure to choose a seat that is comfortable for you. If you're traveling with a partner or friend, book seats together so you can chat and pass the time more easily. If you're flying solo, consider an aisle seat so you can get up and stretch your legs when needed.
2. Bring a good book –
Flying can be a great opportunity to catch up on some reading. Be sure to bring a good book (or two!) to keep you entertained during the flight. If you get bored easily, consider bringing a Sudoku puzzle or other brainteaser to keep your mind sharp.
3. Stay hydrated –
It's important to stay hydrated when flying, as the dry air can be dehydrating. Be sure to drink plenty of water (and avoid alcohol) during your flight. If you're traveling with a reusable water bottle, fill it up before you board the plane.
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4. Get up and move around –
Sitting in a cramped seat for hours can be uncomfortable, so be sure to get up and move around when possible. Take a walk up and down the aisle, do some stretches in your seat, or take a trip to the lavatory.
5. Wear comfortable clothing –
You'll be more comfortable on your flight if you dress in comfortable clothing. Avoid constricting clothing, such as jeans or tight dresses, and opt for loose-fitting clothes that won't restrict your movement. It's also a good idea to wear layers so you can adjust to the changing temperature on the plane.
6. Bring snacks –
If you get hungry during your flight, be sure to bring along some snacks. It's often more expensive to buy food on the plane, and the selection is usually limited. Pack some snacks that you enjoy and that will tide you over until you can eat a proper meal.
7. Bring a travel pillow –
If you're flying long-distance, consider bringing a travel pillow to help you sleep. A good night's sleep on the plane can make a big difference in how you feel when you land.
8. Keep your valuables close –
Be sure to keep your valuables close to you at all times while on the plane. If possible, keep them in a carry-on bag so you can have easy access to them. If you need to put them in the overhead bin, be sure to keep an eye on them throughout the flight.
9. Plan ahead –
If you're flying long-distance, it's important to plan ahead so you can avoid jet lag. Consider what time zone you'll be landing in and try to adjust your sleep schedule accordingly.
10. Sit comfortably –
If you're going to be sitting on the plane for a long time, it's important to be comfortable. You may want to consider upgrading to a premium seat with more leg room if you have the option.
Do you have any thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of air travel? Let us know in the comments below!
Dave is a travel writer who spends most of his time traveling around and writing about Greece. As well as putting together this guide on the advantages and disadvantages of travelling by plane, he has written hundreds of blog posts containing travel tips about destinations and adventure activities all around the world. Follow Dave on social media for travel inspiration from around the world: