Train or plane – which is really cheaper – SonntagsZeitung


Whether it's a long weekend of Easter, a trip to the city in the summer or a shopping trip before Christmas – the idea of ​​a trip abroad has the same effect on many consumers: look for flights. Skyscanner, Kayak, Momondo and the airlines themselves provide practical overviews and, in most cases, a comfortable booking.

Often it would be worth extending the horizon a bit and looking for other modes of transport. Because often the plane is not the cheapest way to travel. This is shown in a study conducted by the Omio comparison portal for SonntagsZeitung. The result: for the most popular destinations in the city, such as Basel, Geneva and Zurich, the train is always worth it.

For the investigation, the comparison platform data team calculated the average prices for the respective routes by averaging the last six months based on user queries. Omio has 27 million users per month across Europe. "For this period, you can see that the train as a means of transportation is cheaper, on average," a spokesman said.

At Easter it is flown as usual in summer

For example, the one-way trip from Zurich to Vienna by train costs on average 125 francs – if you fly, you pay an average of 271 francs. The journey is also much longer. A flight from Basel to Hamburg costs on average 221 francs, while the train travel costs only 150 francs. Again, the train takes much longer. This is not always the case. Paris or Milan, for example, can be reached more quickly by train.

However, more and more are flown. The data portal Flightradar 24 reported on Thursday from Maundy a record day with more than 200,000 registered flights. So far, these figures have only been reached in the summer months or before Christmas. "Our traffic figures show a steady increase in demand for air travel," says the airline. Swiss, There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, there are many cases where flies are cheaper. Omio calculated means. With a little luck – and if you're flexible with your travel dates – you might find a flight that makes up for the same-day train.

In addition, the price range for air tickets is significantly higher than the train. If you book only a few days before departure, the ticket can cost several hundred francs – this is not so extreme with train tickets and has an impact on average values.

One of the reasons travelers generally think of air travel is that flight reservations are easier.

Only a small impact on prices can be due to the fact that they are prices for simple routes. In the past, airfare was much more expensive, even if you did not book your return flight. But since low-cost airlines have started offering cheap outbound flights, they offer Lufthansa cheaper fares on individual routes in Europe.

One important reason travelers generally think of air travel is that flight reservations are easier. Especially for international train travel, it is often difficult to get an overview of the offers from overseas suppliers. This is also due to the railways 'online reservation service, which is generally more confusing and complicated than the airlines'. "The difficulty lies in reconciling open, non-binding, static-priced systems such as those in Switzerland and Germany, and closed systems with mandatory reserves and dynamic prices like those of France and Italy," said SBB spokesman Raffael Hirt .

O SBB work to simplify the purchase of international tickets. Customers should also be able to view savings offers from other countries and compare prices over several days. The focus is on the four neighboring markets. 95% of the international tickets sold by SBB relate to these countries. The new distribution system should be put into operation by 2020.

In Sweden, long distance train travel is undergoing a boom because part of the population is abandoning air travel under the slogan "flygskam" (shame). SBB also expects demand for international rail travel to continue to rise for this reason. "We are clearly assuming that the trend towards greater environmental awareness will continue, and that will have a much greater impact on the choice of transportation today than today," says Speaker Hirt. Railways also consciously position themselves as an alternative to flying. French operator TGV Lyria has adapted the prices on the routes that fly a lot, the prices of the air connections – including the Geneva-Paris route.

The market share of the TGV is 45 and 86 per cent

The example of France shows that the train can make airlines very difficult. High-speed trains have been pushing airlines since its introduction in 1981. The area where the TGV has advantages over air traffic has increased from 500 to about 800 kilometers, according to a study by the Paris University of Technology – the trains were growing faster and traveled the country at more than 300 kilometers per hour. The market share of the TGV is between 45 and 86 per cent, depending on the duration of the trip.

According to consulting firm SCI traffic the area where the train gets time and comfort on the plane is about 300 to 500 miles across Europe. In addition, train operators have learned from airlines and today offer a kind of business class, loyalty programs and lounges. It does not look as dramatic in Switzerland as in France. But SBB also wants to recruit passengers on flights. "On the route between Switzerland and Milan, railroads have gained ground thanks to the shorter journey through the Gotthard Base Tunnel," says Speaker Hirt. With new high-speed trains, competitiveness in international traffic can be further enhanced.

This text is from the current edition. Now read all the articles in the SonntagsZeitung e-paper: App for iOS – App for Android – Web App (Sunday newspaper)

Created: 04/21/2019, 08:05 clock


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