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June 9th, 2008
05:13 PM ET

Why drive when you can fly?

Kelly Daniel
AC360° Staff

With gas over $4 a gallon, everyone is looking for ways to cope. American Airlines just announced they are raising the price of domestic flights by $20 round trip. (And this is only a few short weeks since they started charging $15 for the first piece of checked luggage.)

But could it be more eco-friendly to take a commercial airliner than to drive?

It all comes down to miles per gallon per person – not something we tend to think about when deciding between a coupe and a minivan. And although an airliner may only get 2.4 gallons per nautical mile, that’s split among all the passengers. It can actually be greener to fly than to drive long distances.

Cheaper may be another story, particularly as airlines pile on the fees.

You can read how Miles O’Brien crunched the numbers and also read some tips he got about squeezing every mile out of your gas tank here.


Filed under: 360° Radar • AC360° Staff • Economy • Environmental issues • Kelly Daniel
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Dear all,
    most of us know that the oil companies hunger for more profits and better control, are the real reasons for the war in Iraq. As well as the Darfur conflict and many other conflicts in the world. The political charade before the war was just made up ideologically to get as many behind as possible to be able to launch the plan to go to war. (they learned about the price rise from the Kuwait crisis)
    If you remember 2:nd world war, then US oil companies made a tremendous huge profit from exporting oil to all, including Nazi Germany, since Standard oil and their associate daughter companies controlled the most part of the world production. Germany had only some 5 % oil from other sources. The war would have been over and done with within weeks if the oil would have stopped pouring. It even went that far, that the US oil companies continued to sell oil to the Hitler after USA join the war in Europe !!!
    Don’t you have some good and honest journalists at CNN who take a thorough look at the Oil industry and their financial roots and the web in which they are intertwined with other cooperation’s in the finance and corporate world ?

    Best Regards

    June 10, 2008 at 8:23 am |
  2. tony

    Greener?I think u should smell the air next time you'r near an
    airport.They cause most of the fumes in big citys us truck owners
    get blamed for.Ride the bus in you want to be greener.The high
    fuel prices everybodys complaining about has done more to help
    this country to get greener than all the politicians put together.

    June 9, 2008 at 11:55 pm |
  3. jim

    Overall flying is cheaper than driving if you book tickets in advance. Fly low cost airlines. As for gas crisis. I wonder why there is resistance to converting cars to run on Compressed Natural Gas.CNG. CNG cost from 87 cents a gallon th $2.87 in California. The price in California is high due to the state taking advantage of the situation with gas. The Federal government should subsidize this. If only 20 % of the cars in US ran on CNG, there would be a dramatic drop in demand for oil.

    June 9, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    Fly – no thank you. What goes up eventually comes down and I don't want it coming down before its suppose to. But like Cindy – I'd rather drive to see the wonderful sights along the way. Back in the day, families would load up their camper each summer and take the kiddies on a vacation to see part of the country We have a beautiful country and lots of friendly people – its a shame to miss all that by flying over it. If you have a hybrid car its still a doable vacation and you'll be surprised just how much you learn and the images you see that will stay with you forever.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 9, 2008 at 8:46 pm |
  5. Dawn

    We In Canada have been paying more than $5 per gallon for awhile now......I suggest you all get a smaller car, take the bus when you can, and of course make a new budget if you must drive!! This is a time, or should I say THE time to CHANGE the way you live.

    By the way I love the show Anderson!!

    June 9, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  6. Cindy

    Why drive when you can fly!? Well because you get to see a lot more beautiful sights if you drive! And flying you are stuck seeing the back of a seat. OK...and some people are scared to fly!

    Cindy...Ga.

    June 9, 2008 at 5:23 pm |