Flying makes travel to faraway destinations more manageable, but the quick travel method comes with some drawbacks. The decision to drive or fly depends largely on the trip itself, including the distance and route. When planning your next business or leisure trip, weighing the pros and cons of flying helps decide if you should take to the skies or hit the open road.


Flying shortens the travel time to your destination. A plane travels much faster than a car or train. The time savings becomes more significant the farther you travel. If you're only flying to the next state, you won't shave much time off of the trip when you factor in arriving early at the airport, going through security, waiting for your luggage and picking up a rental car. A longer trip, such as traveling across the country, shrinks from multiple days in the car to just one day of travel on a plane.


Air travel shifts the work from you to the airline. The airline loads your luggage and gets you from your departure city to your destination. You sit back in your seat instead of worrying about traffic, directions and pit stops. During inclement weather, you don't have to worry about driving a car on slippery roads or through heavy rain. Air travel allows you to relax more than driving because you don't have to constantly stay alert to avoid an accident.

Airport Hassles

The airport itself causes headaches for some air travelers. Long lines at ticket counters and the security checkpoint often require travelers to arrive at the airport at least two hours before the plane departs. Increased security measures mean you may need to walk through special scanners or have a pat down from a security agent. Some people feel uncomfortable with those measures. During layovers in large airports, travelers often need to get from one gate to another in a different part of the airport in a short amount of time. Lost luggage is another potential hassle at the airport that makes air travel unappealing.


Cost is often another con of air travel, but the impact depends largely on how many people are traveling and how far you are traveling. The cost to travel by car doesn't increase significantly with more people since because is often the largest expense. Each extra traveler for air flight increases the cost significantly because you're paying for another ticket. For long distances that take multiple days to drive, the cost of flying may not be too much more. The drive would include a large fuel cost, hotel fees and meals on the road. If you're traveling alone, the cost of one airline ticket for the long distance is likely less than the car travel expenses. Even if the flight costs more than driving, the convenience and time savings is worth it to some travelers.