You’ve done the research, you’ve picked out your destination, you’re ready to book your trip and my gosh you are excited. A quick question. What mode of transport have you decided upon? Did you auto-default to flying? Because flying is faster, easier and cheaper right? With the recent insight of European flights that are actually faster by train than flying, travel search engine Omio has proven this old assumption quite, well, wrong.
Looking at 14 major flight routes in Europe, Omio’s research found that each one was actually faster, much faster in some cases, by train. But how can this be the case? Trains do travel much slower than planes, but upon closer investigation, there is a lot more to catching a flight than takeoff and landing.
Think about it. You’re all packed and ready to go. You set your alarm for around three to four hours before your flight. It takes you at least an hour to travel to the airport, then there’s check-in, baggage drop, security and boarding. You want to give yourself a good two hours for this to feel at ease, you know how stressful the airport can be when you’re pressed for time to make the gate for your flight!
Now compare this to catching a train. You’ve booked your ticket. You’re staying in the center of town checking out the sites and the train station is a quick stroll, cab ride or metro ride from where you are. You head to the station around 30 minutes before your train, grab a coffee at the station cafe and head for your platform. The train pulls up, you jump aboard, store away your luggage, sit back and wait to be dropped right in the city center of your destination. No airport to central city transits, no annoying baggage restrictions, no timely security checks. Just smooth, comfortable, efficient travel.
What are some real-life examples of this? Of the 14 flights that are faster by train, five included the Belgian capital Brussels. The airport in Brussels is well known for being tricky to reach by public transport and the time involved with flying out of the city has only been exacerbated with the recent terrorist attacks, which has seen the check-in time increase from one hour to three for EU flights. The most extreme example shows that choosing the train over flying from Brussels to Paris will save you over four hours in travel time. However, there are also some unsuspecting routes in there too, when traveling by train between Paris and London you can save nearly two hours time, or between Paris and Madrid where you save just over one hour.
There are many other reasons beyond travel time as to why you should consider trains before booking your next flights in Europe. The scenic experience, the comfort, the mentioned lack of baggage restrictions and the potential to actually save money are just a few.
So, you’ve done the research, you’ve picked out your destination, you’re ready to book your trip and my gosh you are excited. And, you’re looking to travel by train, right?