Train Vs Plane? Transport Decisions in Europe

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I took a flight on Vueling airlines from Milan to Paris Orly. The plane cost $38.50. That is cheap until you factor in the train to the airport in Milan which was 13 euros per person and the 40 euro Uber to get to the Park Hyatt Paris. The flight was at 9:30AM so I didn’t get to sleep more in the serene Park Hyatt Milan bed. Having to deal with airport security, boarding, and deplaning also takes hours.

The alternative is to take a train. I once took an overnight train from Prague to Amsterdam and slept the whole way. I also took the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and enjoyed that experience. The train from Milan to Paris is a long 14 hours but the respite from the chaos of airports and taxis would have been a welcomed change. On crazy trips like this one, it is nice to take a time out from the chaos.

TPOL’s TIPS:

  • If the distance is far and you’re not in a hurry, I would opt for the train.
  • If the cities are close, I would opt for the train.
  • If the price is equal, I would opt for the train.
  • If it isn’t summer, you should be able to buy a ticket at the train station.

Bottom line, I like trains.

Train>plane
Buy smart, train even more!

 

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. Well… you also have to cross the Alps and change trains at the Switzerland-France border. It’s a 14-15 hour journey. If it was closer to 5-6 hours, train is the winner hands down.

    • Crappy, incomplete post. I write these things in real time and sometimes I don’t thoroughly explain my rationale. I’ve edited it.

  2. i second what “james” said … how can you have a train v. plane discussion without ever bringing in the train time ?

    4 hours is the usual over/under line between those 2 modes of transport.

  3. If you can get the train for under 70 Euros pp, it’s a pretty ride. Like the above, though, I’m not sure it’s any quicker.

  4. And the sentence about the price of the train from Paris to Marseille makes it even more confusing of a post, since you’re apparently comparing a train vs. plane from Milan to Paris. Aside from the time considerations noted by the above commenters, what was the cost of the train from Milan to Paris? Also, although trains tend to be more central to a downtown city area, there’s always the cost of getting to the train station. Did you drunk-blog? Haha

  5. 8 hours. thats the drive/train, fly line for me. 2 hours from my door to airline take off, 2 hour flight time, and 2 hour after bullcrap/delay possibility.

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