Chart: It may be cheaper to fly this summer than drive

May 04, 2011
Fares from Washington DC:

    Is it cheaper to drive or fly this summer? Airfares are higher on some routes, yes, but gas prices are way up. Airfarewatchdog.com looked at several routes at random and calculated some (but not all) costs associated with both methods of transport. We found that especially if just one person is traveling, flying is still cheaper (or it's a toss up). Not included, of course, are items such as airport parking, meals, value of frequent flyer miles earned, number of people in the car, and other variables. We realize, of course, that for many people cost is not the main factor in deciding how to travel.

    Airfares include taxes and fees, based on lowest available at airfarewatchdog.com on 5/3/11. Rental car rates include taxes, based on lowest available weekly rate available at autoslash.com. All fares and rates subject to change.

    ROUTE

    AIRFARE

    FIRST CHECKED BAG

    COST OF FUEL (miles roundtrip)

    CAR WEAR & TEAR

    (based on IRS allowance of 51 cents/mile)

    RENTAL CAR

    Phoenix-San Diego

    $98 (US Airways, Southwest)

    $25 on US Air only

    $112 (710 miles)

    $362

    $167 (Enterprise)

    Chicago-Duluth, MN

    $258 (United)

    $25

    $148 (936 miles)

    $477

    $265 (Hertz)

    Atlanta-Panama City Beach, FL

    $138 (Delta)

    $23 online, $25 at the airport

    $92 (580 miles)

    $295

    $200 (Thrifty)

    New York-Portland, ME

    $108 (JetBlue)

    $0

    $104 (630 miles)

    $321

    $466 (Thrifty)

    Salt Lake City-Jackson Hole, WY

    $273 (Delta)

    $23 online, $25 at the airport

    $88 (550 miles)

    $281

    $232 (Hertz)

    Los Angeles-Las Vegas

    $18 (Spirit $9 fare club)

    Ranges from $20 (online, fare club only) to $45 (all customers, airport gate check)

    $84 (530 miles)

    $270

    $178 (Hertz)

    Washington, DC-Hilton Head Island, SC

    $273 (US Airways via Charlotte)

    $25

    $184 (1160 miles)

    $591

    $214 (Dollar)

    Comments