I can’t teleport and neither can you. Sadly, this means that we have to rely on the more conventional means of travel. Sure, going somewhere by car is cool enough, but you know what’s cooler? Flaunting your mastery of laws of physics and defying birds by flying. That’s right, travel by airplane is really great and here’s why you should choose air travel for your holidays.
- Flying Is Super Safe
Flight doesn’t sit right with people for many reasons. Maybe it’s the fear of falling, maybe they don’t like the idea of being so high up in the air in a pressurized titanium sausage. However, flying is actually much safer than, say, driving a car.
There’s only 1 in 9,821 chance of dying in a plane crash. Compare that to 1 in 114 for car drivers and one in 654 for car passengers (while riding a car, smartass). That’s because there are piles of regulations meant to make air travel safe. The guy (or gal) piloting your cloud-piercer has to have 250 hours of flight time in addition to 1,500 hours of flight time needed for an airline transport pilot certificate. They also need a minimum of 40 hours of instrument flying (that is, flying in low visibility conditions via input provided by instruments rather than Mark I Eyeball) experience both in-air and through simulation. No wonder you might have heard about a pilot shortage – it takes that long time to become one!
And the planes have to be meticulously checked in MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul), with the quality of maintenance improving – and becoming more rigorous – all the time. There are reams of paperwork involved in replacing any part of the plane – and the entire thing has to routinely(ish) undergo near-total disassembly.
- No Faster Way To Travel
Flying might not feel that fast at first glance. You have to get to the airport a good hour before the departure. You have to go through tedious checkpoints and take your shoes off. You are forced to sit on uncomfortable benches (if there are any) while waiting for your flight – and it isn’t always on time.
By the way, if an airline messes up – your flight is late, cancelled or left without you onboard since it was overbooked – there are EU regulations in place to make them pay out compensation for the trouble. That’s right: in addition to all the stuff that belongs to you as an (now angry) air passenger facing flight disruption – food, water, phone calls, even shelter and transport – you can get up to 600 euros in compensation. Incidentally that’s what flight compensation company Skycop deals in. If your flight is disrupted – hit us up, the service is free if we don’t win!
And still, flying is faster than making the same trip by boat or by car, especially with destinations that are increasingly far off. There’s no faster way to go from Europe to Japan than flying – those 12 hours can’t be beat. Sure, it might be faster to go from, say, Kyoto to Tokyo by one of Japan’s famous shinkansen, but not all countries enjoy speedy trains – and trains can’t go everywhere.
- Planes Can Go Anywhere
Train is probably man’s best invention for moving freights and people over long distances with minimal hassle and monetary investment. However, trains aren’t magical (yet) and they need a huge infrastructure investment beforehand. Meanwhile, planes only need landing strips at both ends of the trip – they really don’t care what inconvenient terrain is in the way (except for mountains, maybe).
That’s why planes are great for travelling between countries, reaching far off places – some places in Siberia get mail and commuters by helicopter – and going to island retreats. After all, building a railway tunnel under the English Channel is still considered a great feat of engineering. Meanwhile, nobody is talking about the airport in Palawan (The Philippines) because there’s nothing special about building one on a tropical island.
- Planes Are Comfy
Yes, we will moan and groan endlessly about the constraints on a plane. Truth be told, the regional airlines operated by budget airlines aren’t the most comfortable things for travelling – it’s very much the embodiment of “you get what you pay for.” They’re unlikely to be as comfortable as trains.
On the other hand, plane travel blows buses and cars out of the water. You have your own comfy seat, you can go for a walk around and getting some bathroom time is trivial. Plus, you don’t get as fatigued and smelly as on a bus – especially since you’re covering the distance a lot faster. Plus, once you’re up in the air, you at least have the potential of buying food, even if anything you buy off the catalogue is the exact opposite of “you get what you pay for”.
- You Might Get Social on A Plane
When you get on a plane, you’re obligated to turn your phone off. And since not that many flights offer wi-fi these days (and those that do demand you to pay), you’re forcefully disconnected from our 24/7 online rut. Just think about it: you won’t have to endure Facebook, Twitter and other apps of self-inflicted misery for a few hours! That is almost a holiday onto itself.
However, you’re also surrounded by other spontaneously offline people. And the shared misery/bliss of flying can make you social. Start a conversation about the ridiculous prices of airline food, comment that your onboard entertainment looks like it was torrented before the flight, or maybe discuss the drought affecting the lands you’re flying over. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find your next relationship! There’s a reason why outfits like Flight Club and Airintroduction are cropping up – of that Air New Zealand gives you the option of setting up a dating profile six months in advance so you could be seated with someone you have something in common.
After all, wouldn’t it be nice to both find a new friend and have a story to shut up your uncle that keeps going about how people are so impersonal in this digital age?