Sunday, September 16, 2007

Train vs Air Travel in Europe

This post is just an observation I have made. When travelling between major European cities, one will almost always save time if one chooses to take a train ride that may take twelve hours instead of a flight that takes one or two hours. This is not just due to having to show up at the airport early to catch ones flight. (I have never had to wait long at security at the Basel airport.)

One saves time because of the schedules. i.e. Consider a weekend trip to a city. I have noticed in my travel planning that the flight schedules for the weekend leaves one with the choice of flying on Friday afternoon at about 16:00, or flying the next morning around 9:00 or 10:00. (This is mostly the easy jet schedule as easy jet has one of their main hubs in Basel.) This means if you want to spend a full Saturday or Sunday in the city of your choice, you have to take Friday afternoon off work or else you loose half of Saturday to travelling as you land usually just before lunchtime. It is in my experience very difficult to find flights that either leave later on Friday, or earlier on Saturday.

The solution is taking a ten to twelve hour train trip instead of a one hour flight. I prefer Citynightline. The city night line leaves Basel around 22:00 , and is usually in the destination city around 9:00. This way one does not have to take Friday afternoon of work, plus one has the entire Saturday morning in the destination city. The added advantage is saving on hotel costs. You only have to pay for a hotel room for Saturday evening and you get to full days in destination city. The Citynightline usually will leave around 21:00 on Sunday and I'll be back in Basel fully rested 7:00 with plenty of time to get to work. It is about as expensive to fly, more or less, as to take the Citynightline in a double room, though you can always take the less expensive tickets on the Citynightline and then you will save time and money. Though I do not think you would be as rested if you do not have a bed on the train overnight.

Well, this is just my experiences.

Here is the Citynightlinepage and the Easyjet page if you want to do the comparisons yourself.


Anonymous Mel said...

City Night Line is an awesome way to travel.

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Blogger Jade Graham said...

It is in my experience very difficult to find flights that either leave later on Friday, or earlier on Saturday. travel in europe

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