“I can’t remember much about the early flights, except that it was ages before we got into First Class.”
Phil Collins, Musician
Advantages & Disadvantages of Domestic Flights
Domestic flights have become quite popular over the past decade. They are a convenient way to get around inside country borders.
Yet, there apart from the many advantages of domestic flights, there are also some problems related to them.
In this article, the pros and cons of domestic flights are examined.
Advantages of Domestic Flights
- Domestic flights can be cheap
- Fast way to get around
- Reliable transportation method
- Good for business trips
- Pretty safe
- Domestic flights can be convenient
- Some people like flying
- You may be able to unplug
- Stress reduction
- Good for people who do not want to drive long distances
Domestic flights can be cheap
One advantage of domestic flights is that they are usually rather cheap compared to using a train or even your car. Depending on your country, you would have to pay multiple times more money for going by train than by plane. Of course, prices for flights greatly vary across the year and even across the week.
For instance, if you have to go by plane in the early morning on money, chances are that you have to pay much more for your flight compared to other times during the day or the week since there will be many people who use the plane for business trips and with an increasing demand for business trips, prices also increase significantly.
Thus, although domestic flights can be quite cheap, make sure to pick the right time to really get cheap prices.
Fast way to get around
Domestic flights can also be a quite fast way to get from A to B within country boarders. For instance, if you have to travel longer distances within a country, it would take you many hours or even days to make it to your destination by train or by car.
However, by using domestic flights, you can get from A to B within just a few hours. Therefore, you can save plenty of time by using domestic flights instead of other means of transport.
Reliable transportation method
Compared to other transportation options, planes are also a quite reliable method to get around. In many cases, planes will have higher punctuality compared to trains and therefore, you will be able to make it to business meetings or other important occasions in time more often.
Good for business trips
Especially for business trips, domestic flights are a great way to get from A to B since you can save plenty of precious working hours and you can also save energy compared to driving by car and having to focus on the traffic.
Moreover, your company will usually pay your flight, which further gives you an incentive to use this comfortable transportation method.
Flights are generally pretty safe. Thus, you will have a lower chance to get involved in serious accidents if you take a plane compared to using your car.
Therefore, also from a safety perspective, domestic flights will have an edge over using your car or going by train. Hence, if your safety is important to you, you might want to go for domestic flights and avoid other transportation methods.
Domestic flights can be convenient
It is also quite convenient to use domestic flights. Since you do not have to wait too long at the airport and will also get to your destination quite fast, your overall level of convenience will be much higher compared to using your car where you have to pay attention to the traffic all the time and where you have to drive quite long hours until you will finally reach your destination.
Some people like flying
Some people also really like flying. They like to watch the clouds and enjoy the change in perspective that using a plane makes possible.
Hence, if you are one of those people who really enjoy going by plane, your day may also become much better by using domestic flights compared to using alternative means of transport.
You may be able to unplug
Another benefit of using domestic flights is that you can unplug from everything that bothers you right now. For instance, if you have stress at work, you can unplug from this stress since you will not be able to answer any calls.
Therefore, if you need a break, you might want to decide to go by plane instead of using a train in order to have some hours off.
Since you will be able to unplug for a certain period of time, your overall stress level might also drop significantly. Of course, this is only true if you like going by plane.
If you suffer from fear of flying, chances are that you will not enjoy your time at all and using other alternative means of transport might be better for you.
Good for people who do not want to drive long distances
Especially for long distances, domestic flights are a great way to get around since you can save plenty of time compared to other transportation methods. In many cases, those sorts of domestic flights are often also much cheaper compared to using your car.
Disadvantages of Domestic Flights
- Domestic flights are not good for your health
- You might not be able to work
- You will not be available on your phone
- If you are late at the airport, you miss your flight
- Pretty confined space
- Diseases may spread easily
- Some people are afraid of flying
- Air pollution
- Particle pollution
- Global warming
- Endangerment of species
- Bad conscience
- Greenwashing of domestic flights
- May not make sense for short distances
Domestic flights are not good for your health
If you use domestic flights quite frequently, your risk to suffer from cancer will also increase substantially. Studies have shown that due to the high radiation levels related to flying, pilots and also passengers who fly quite frequently will often have a lower life expectancy since they will suffer from cancer much more often.
You might not be able to work
Another problem with domestic flights is that you will not be able to work. Especially if you are on a business trip and you have to get a lot of work done in a rather short period of time, you may lose precious time by flying since you will not have a working internet connection and you will not be able to work as efficiently as if you go by train instead.
You will not be available on your phone
Moreover, you will also not be able to answer phone calls during your flight. If you have important things to discuss with your clients that need to be discussed right now, domestic flights may not be the way to go for you and you may want to use the train instead.
If you are late at the airport, you miss your flight
Another downside of domestic flights is that you have to be on time. If you are late, you will miss your flight, which may imply many additional issues with it.
By using your car instead, even if you are late for a few minutes, you might have no problem at all since your car will for sure be waiting for you 😉.
Pretty confined space
Another downside of domestic flights is that you will only have a pretty confined space since the space between you and your seatmates will be quite limited.
If you use a train instead, chances are that you will have more space and your overall convenience level might increase.
Especially if you suffer from claustrophobia, flying might not be the way to go for you at all.
Diseases may spread easily
Since the distance between you and your neighbor is quite limited in planes, you might also catch the flu or other infectious diseases by using domestic flights.
The closer people are to each other, the higher the risk that bacteria can spread from one person to another and therefore, flying might not be the way to go when it comes to the avoidance of diseases.
Some people are afraid of flying
Some people also suffer from a fear of flying and if you are one of those people who are quite scared once they enter a plane, chances are that there might be better alternatives for you, especially if you are just traveling rather short distances and going by train or by car might not be a big deal.
Since planes use plenty of fossil fuels, they also significantly contribute to air pollution. In turn, if our air quality becomes worse, chances for serious pulmonary diseases like lung cancer and asthma increase in the long run.
Thus, in order to reduce the air pollution issue, going by train instead of using domestic flights might be much better for all of us.
Particle pollution is another problem that is implied by domestic flights. In the combustion process of fossil fuels, large amounts of fine particles are emitted into the air.
Those fine particles can be quite bad for our health, not only for our lungs but they can also cause additional public health problems like cardiovascular issues.
Hence in order to avoid those health issues for the general public, you might want to refrain from using planes for short distances.
Global warming is one of the biggest environmental problems we as humanity have to deal with and this problem is exacerbated by using planes due to the significant levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
Therefore, if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, you might also want to avoid domestic flights and go for other alternatives instead.
Endangerment of species
Global warming not only has severe adverse effects on us humans, it also leads to the endangerment of myriads of species all over the world since the natural habitats of many animals and plants will be destroyed.
Hence, in order to protect our animals and plants from extinction, you may also want to avoid using the plane as often as possible.
If you use domestic flights too often, you might also suffer from a pretty bad conscience since you know that it is quite harmful to our environment and you might not be able to justify your behavior when your children will ask you what you have done to protect our environment.
Therefore, in order to avoid a bad conscience, just try to avoid using the plane for short distances whenever you can.
Greenwashing of domestic flights
Even though there are some carbon offsetting programs in place which officially aim to offset your negative effect from flying on our planet, quite often, those campaigns are mainly brainwashing and offsetting carbon emissions in an efficient manner is not possible in most cases.
May not make sense for short distances
For rather short distances of a few hundred miles, it might not make sense to use domestic flights at all. In many countries, you will be faster by using an express train instead.
Moreover, you might also be able to get more of your work done in time by using alternative transportation methods and avoiding to use domestic flights.
Top 10 Domestic Flights Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Domestic Flights Pros||Domestic Flights Cons|
|Fast way to travel||Expensive during certain times|
|Good for business trips||You can not make calls|
|Domestic flights can be cheap||Difficult to work in planes|
|You can unplug for a while||Flight anxiety may prevent you to take a plane|
|Possible stress reduction||Domestic flights can be bad for your health|
|Quite reliable||Particle pollution|
|Safe method to get around||Air pollution|
|Some people like flying||Global warming|
|Can be convenient||Bad conscience|
|Good for longer distances||Not really senseful for quite short distances|
Should You Use Domestic Flights?
Domestic flights can be a fast and convenient way to get from A to B. However, there are also many problems related to the use of domestic flights and you should carefully evaluate whether domestic flights make sense for you or not.
In my opinion, especially for short distances, trains will often have an edge over domestic flights and you can also protect our environment by refraining from domestic flights and using valid alternative transportation methods instead.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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