In today’s article, we finally give a fitting conclusion to a battle of epic proportions that has been raging for decades. The mighty showdown between Trains Vs Flights for domestic travel in India!
Almost every one of us has nostalgic memories of train journeys taken as kids. The packed lunch boxes of yummy home cooked food, the cousin gang with handheld video games that had Tetris, and not to forget, packing dozens of Tinkle and Enid Blyton books for a two-hour journey. The memories associated with train journeys can’t be beaten!
However, plane journeys were something of a novelty back then and how we bragged about our first super-short domestic flights to anyone and everyone who would listen to us. The posh looking air hostesses who greeted us, the smart pilots with their stiff uniforms and caps, and not to mention the free sandwiches and drinks served on board. Taking a flight trip was the ultimate bucket-list during our childhood days.
So, how do flight journeys compare with trains today? Let’s find out.
- Fare Comparison
While this may seem like an easy win for trains, it isn’t often so. With more and more domestic airlines entering the market, and increased competition among them, flight tickets are now more affordable than ever before. Especially, when you take advantage of the numerous sales offered by carriers and book your tickets well in advance.
Let’s illustrate this with an example. You can score Delhi Mumbai flights for as low as 1800+ INR when you book two months in advance. The second-AC fares for the same route is also around the same price range, give or take a couple of hundreds of rupees.
Winner: Push (It all comes down to your travel dates and routes)
- Travel Time
This one’s a no-brainer. Until super-fast bullet trains become a reality all over the country, flying is less-time consuming. This is a crucial factor especially when you’re travelling to business meets and other time special events.
- Baggage Allowance
Remember the train journeys of yesteryears when your mom used to pack nearly a room-sized suitcase to carry aboard? It remains the same even today. There are no restrictions on how many bags you can carry on trains.
However, with airlines looking to cut down on flight tickets, most domestic carriers don’t let you check-in any baggage for free. If you want to do so, you have to pay extra.
Winner: Trains (If you have plenty of luggage, then book a train ticket or pay for a premium airline that comes with a generous baggage allowance).
- Security Restrictions
There are several security restrictions when flying. You can’t carry liquids on board a flight, and you have to stand in a long security-check queue before you can reach your boarding gate.
With train journeys, the security is a bit relaxed, and there are not much of restrictions as to what you can carry aboard. However, dangerous chemicals, fireworks, and other hazardous substances are banned on both. Another benefit is that you don’t have to stand in long queues to reach your compartment.
Airlines have a slight edge when compared to trains in this round. Whether you’re flying on a budget carrier or a premium one, you’re assured of a few essential amenities like clean toilets, comfortable seats, and so on.
When it comes to trains, apart from the luxury express ones, others are not up to the mark. You may have to deal with clogged toilets and watery meals, depending on the compartment you’re travelling in.
Well, it looks like it’s a draw. But, we would like to remind you that, “the journey is as important as the destination.” So, irrespective of whether you’re flying or travelling via trains, it’s ultimately the views and the company that makes all the difference.
Pack your bags, gather your friends, and just keep travelling!