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Chicago analysis: driving vs. flying

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: June 4, 2010 - 1:00 PM

Muxhut takes us to task for flying to Chicago instead of driving (previous commenting thread). Here are the pros and cons of each:

Carbon footprint: bus to light rail to MSP airport. Flight to Chicago. Trains to hotel. All things that were gonna roll with or without us. VS Driving and using 1.5 tanks of gas.

Advantage: RandBall.

Time: About 4.5 hours door to door for flight; VS at least 6.5 driving, depending on how many deer you hit in Wisconsin.

Advantage: RandBall.

Cost: Roughly 100 dollars for gas, plus wear and tear on a car, plus 4 billion to park anywhere of consequence in Chicago, plus tolls, plus whatever awful meal you have to eat along the way. VS 179 dollar flight and 14 dollar three-day transit pass.

Advantage: RandBall.

Intangibles: Not having to drive to or in Chicago, where a one-hour traffic delay can happen at any time; guaranteed good decisions if adult beverages are consumed; people watching and secret picture taking of folks in Blackhawks gear while on the train; writing an entire post on a Blackberry would be dangerous in a car, but convenient on a train, as we just proved.

Advantage: RandBall.

Conclusion: When traveling alone, always fly to Chicago. Two people, it's still a good idea. Three or more the cost-benefit of a car starts to level the playing field, even with all the other factors. We always used to drive to Chicago. Then we got smart. Your thoughts?

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