Cost of Flying vs. Driving

WCCO’s Terri Gruca ran the numbers of flying vs driving to some popular destinations from the Twin Cities (and Omaha) to see whether it’s cheaper to drive or fly. For example, here are the numbers for Chicago based on the current cost per mile driving reimbursement from the IRS vs flights she could find:

Chicago, IL
• Drive:
806 miles x 48.5 cents= $390.91

• Fly:
One person–$123 + $60= $183
Two people–$246 + $60= $306
Three people–$369 + $60= $429
Four people–$492 + $60= $552

So in this case, if you’re not rolling 3+ deep, you’ll come out ahead flying over driving.

Chances are pretty good that you can get to Chicago faster by plane than car, but that depends how close your final destination is to the airport, flight delays, etc.

And flying eliminates any chance of spending a few $hundy$ on waterparks and go-carts in the Dells.

4 thoughts on “Cost of Flying vs. Driving”

  1. I ordinarily strongly prefer to fly, even in cases where the cost is about the same. Partly because of money, partly because of time, mostly because of the convenience (or not) of having a vehicle at my final destination and how much shit I have to get from here to there.

    So, yeah, I usually fly. But a couple weekends ago Missy and I drove to Chicago and it was such a relief to just throw our stuff in the backseat and go. So I guess it’s a matter of which conveniences are more important to you, and that could be different depending on the purpose of the trip.

  2. What about transportation once you get to your destination?

    I see the $60 was added to cover Transportation to/from the airport. Obviously cab fare is going to cost a lot more than 50 cents per mile, but I guess it may not be more than parking. I suppose there’s always public transit too.

    It looks like maybe you could fly two people and get a rental car for a couple of days for less cost than driving.

  3. I’ve driven a number of times – usually because it’s just so convenient, there’s a breakfast spot I like in the Dells, our car gets great gas mileage (Ford Focus), and we tend to encamp in the burbs instead of downtown, so we get a cheaper hotel and are closer to the people we know near Chicago (who live in the northern and southern areas). Then again – we also haul four in the car most drives, so we’re well on the other side of the flight v. drive curve.

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