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PLANES VERSUS TRAINS ~ WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?


HelenaWojtczak 28 | 177  
1 Oct 2008 /  #1
I flew to Poland on 14th Sept and went by train a lot within Poland then from Poznan to Amsterdam, then flew Amsterdam to Gatwick.

What I cannot BEAR about flying is the way you are herded about just like cattle, made to queue and stand and walk for miles from the check in to the plane and from the plane to the exit of any airport, and in between are squeezed in as tightly as possible into a tiny seat, from which they really do not want you to get up unless you absolutely have to go to the toilet. I hate queuing to go through security, where now they even make you take your shoes off, and all through this cattle-processing all the officials look at you like you are a bomber, even if you are arriving in Britain as a white British person with a British passport. The ultimate insult is that we pay good money to be treated like this!

All the queuing, standing and walking make me fed up and so tired. On Saturday I checked in at Amsterdam airport at 1700 and from that moment I was on my feet, standing, queuing and walking, until 1825. There was one long queue of about 250 people to get through security; only ONE of the four x-ray machines was working! I was in this queue from 1730 until 1815, panicking cos my flight was at 1830! But there were people behind me for the same flight, walking up the queue asking was anyone else for that flight.

Arrived at Gatwick at 1840 and it was just one long, dreary corridor after another, down slopes, round corners, on and on and on. Then queuing with about 200 people to show my passport. When I got to baggage reclaim I looked at my watch and it was 1910. I had been walking non-stop for 30 minutes! Must have walked more than two miles. No travelators or escalators. By the time I reclaimed my suitcase and got through customs etc I finally got to the exit at 1930.

That's 1 hour and 25 mins at Amsterdam and another 50 minutes at Gatwick, a total of 2 hours 15 minutes walking and queuing! Ironically, the flight lasted only 40 minutes.

I'm really surprised at how little I hear people complaining about all the walking and discomfort of air travel.

When you get on a train, so long as you are there a half a minute before it leaves, you are on it! When you get off a train, you're out of the exit within 2 minutes. And in between you can stand up, stretch, walk along the corridor, loiter awhile in the corridor or vestibule or bike compartment. You can check out a better seat, perhaps ask to pay the extra for 1st class if you see that will get you a private compartment. You have MUCH more chance of the seat next to you being empty, of getting a double seat to yourself, or even a whole compartment.

On a train, if geezers want to see your ticket or passport, YOU do the sitting and THEY do the standing and walking, not the other way round, like at the airport.

I'd be glad to hear others' opinions.
dnz 17 | 710  
1 Oct 2008 /  #2
I always try to fly to smaller airports, Bristol airport you are out 15 minutes after landing.
sausage 19 | 777  
1 Oct 2008 /  #3
and in between are squeezed in as tightly as possible into a tiny seat

Sometimes, depending on how much luggage you have, it can actually work out cheaper to fly Club Class (on one of BA's routes). Probably not in your case, Helena, as you were probably travelling as light as possible...
OP HelenaWojtczak 28 | 177  
1 Oct 2008 /  #4
Yes, sausage, just the one holdall on wheels and a small backpack as hand luggage.

I will also write about my experiences on the night train sleeper, elsewhere!
djf 18 | 166  
1 Oct 2008 /  #5
Smaller airports are best. Less queueing and the walking distance is reduced.
Guest  
1 Oct 2008 /  #6
I think in Europe we will move more to trains over the coming years as connections get faster and more capacity is added. To put this in context of Poland, I think here the train system has a great potential - but it is not given the right amount of resources to make it really work.

Faster and more modern trains between major Polish cities would certainly have the customer base. I travel quite often between Warsaw and Poznan by train (have not tried the plane) and currently it takes some three hours+. If only there were more non-stop trains, would be great! Also, I personally do not like the closed cabin configuration of the trains and opt for open cabin whenever possible.

What is probably the best thing about trains is the city center to city center availability - no need to take the taxi or bus to go downtown.

Anybody knows if there will be some new fleet of trains for the IC or EX trains in Poland?
OP HelenaWojtczak 28 | 177  
1 Oct 2008 /  #7
Unfortunately I live in Sussex and gatwick is my local airport.

Guest, please see my thread about the sleeper train.
ukpolska  
1 Oct 2008 /  #8
Arrived at Gatwick at 1840 and it was just one long, dreary corridor after another, down slopes, round corners, on and on and on. Then queuing with about 200 people to show my passport. When I got to baggage reclaim I looked at my watch and it was 1910. I had been walking non-stop for 30 minutes! Must have walked more than two miles.

Wow Helena, I fly into Gatwick three times a year when I pop home to Eastbourne and you must have had a bad day because I have never known the travelators not to be working, but I must admit it's a bit of a long way from the terminal to customs; however, two miles and 30 mins... is a bit of an exaggeration eh? ;)
OP HelenaWojtczak 28 | 177  
1 Oct 2008 /  #9
No exaggeration whatsoever. I was checking my watch because my boyfriend was driving up from Eastbourne to collect me.

Oh, that's another thing: we walked for a further 15 minutes AFTER he met me, to find the damned car... and they charged us £4 to park it for just one hour. Never again! Next time I will catch the train to Ebne.
southern 75 | 7,096  
1 Oct 2008 /  #10
It depends.For distances less than 6 hours by train,trains are better.For distances more than 6 hours planes are better.There is gray zone for distances between 6-12 hours where train prices are competitive to plane prices unless there are cheap plane flights.

I noticed that in Germany there are no cheap flights between the german cities and maybe this is a deliberate decision to support the DB.Also there are no cheap flights between german cities and Switzerland,Austria,Czech Republic or Poland which fall into the grey zone of 6-12 hours.

I guess that if sb wants to start a cheap flight between Berlin-Krakow or Munich-Poznan or Hamburg-Prague,he will get into trouble with german authorities and buearocracy.

If you look at polish railway network you can easily distinguish the borders of Germany to Russia in 1914.That is the former german part of Poland has a much more dense railway network than the former eastern part.
OP HelenaWojtczak 28 | 177  
1 Oct 2008 /  #11
PS Well obviously I don't know if it was 2 miles but if you walk nonstop for 30 minutes how far would you have walked? My boyfriend's watch showed 1930 at the point when I emerged at the place where people can meet you. And we definitely landed at 1840, on the dot.
ukpolska  
1 Oct 2008 /  #12
Oh, that's another thing: we walked for a further 15 minutes AFTER he met me, to find the damned car... and they charged us £4 to park it for just one hour. Never again! Next time I will catch the train to Ebne.

Helena, although I respect you enormously, where have you been the last twenty years. £4 per hour has been the rate for at least the last four years. And the total length of the airport is only 2.4 miles and the terminal is only a quarter of that, so where you get a two mile walk god only knows.
OP HelenaWojtczak 28 | 177  
1 Oct 2008 /  #13
I've never been collected by car from Gatwick, always gone by train.

So how far is it then if you walk constantly from 1840 to 1930hrs?
ukpolska  
1 Oct 2008 /  #14
So how far is it then if you walk constantly from 1840 to 1930hrs?

Depends doesn't it, on how fit you are and how old you are...MEooOwwW ;)

So how far is it then if you walk constantly from 1840 to 1930hrs?

Well if you do the sums on these times you were walking for fifty mins lol
OP HelenaWojtczak 28 | 177  
1 Oct 2008 /  #15
Well if you have to be an athlete to use planes they ought to tell you when you book.

Not sure why UKPolska is so obsessed with arguing about how long it took to walk and how far we walked (I say we because there were about 150 of us all walking together-ish).

What about the other points I was making, about how we are made to walk and stand and queue and wait for long periods at airports, and generally treated like cattle rather than human beings? Do you enjoy that, UKPolska? How does it compare with just hopping on and off a train without any searches, security, boarding passes, and queuing? These, surely, are the main points of my posting!
sausage 19 | 777  
1 Oct 2008 /  #16
we are made to walk and stand and queue and wait for long periods at airports

Not to mention getting the train to the airport!
szarlotka 8 | 2,209  
1 Oct 2008 /  #17
Just goes to show the one benefit of years of international business travel to pointless business meetings and conferences that are thinly veiled parties is still having an airline gold card that gives you access to the exec lounges. It's quite relaxing in there...
OP HelenaWojtczak 28 | 177  
2 Oct 2008 /  #18
Not to mention getting the train to the airport!

That bit is EASY and quick and comfortable: turned up Eastbourne station, bought ticket at machine (1 minute) walked to train and boarded (2 minutes) then walked from Gatwick station platform to the air terminal (2 minutes).
ukpolska  
2 Oct 2008 /  #19
I think this is slightly misleading isn't Helena, have you forgot about the change of trains on this line? If you are coming from Hastings there can be up to three changes for this train on a Sunday.

And my Mother was telling me that there is a Rail replacement bus between Lewis and Three Bridges at the moment as she came through there at the weekend.

Not sure why UKPolska is so obsessed with arguing about how long it took to walk

Because I have been through that airport more times than I care to remember, and it's strange that when someone doesn't agree with you then in your interpretation it's obsession.

I guess Helena it's your own preference, but if I travel on holiday I like to get there quicker so I can have more time relaxing. Spending days on a train is the same as watching paint dry for me, I have never even contemplated it.

Another thing is, it is okay for single people but you imagine trying to keep your children occupied on a train for hours, if not days.

Once every two months we fly to Italy for a weekend, which would be totally imposable by train.
We can leave Warsaw at 3pm on a Friday afternoon and be in a Crotone restaurant by 6:30pm, I am afraid a train is just totally out of the equation where time is concerned.
nikttaki 5 | 62  
6 Oct 2008 /  #20
I'm really surprised at how little I hear people complaining about all the walking and discomfort of air travel.

I keep reading and the more I am reading the more I want my yesterdays trip(WAW - LGW - EDI) to happen again :) Long distance walks to gates/terminals/(at times even toilets, LOL) helps to straighten the bones between the flights! :)

Long queues to security? - well, the bast way is to calm down, smile and use your charm and ask somebody to let you in :) hihii :)

Smaller airports are best.

I (will) try to avoid them! LOL they are boring & depressing! ;)

It depends.For distances less than 6 hours by train,trains are better.

no matter what the distance is... planes, planes, planes! planes! lol

As far as I am concerned, planes are great "things" - in terms of a modern way of transport and technik!!!! The power of engines, human's ability to control a plane... always amazing for me!!

I am looking forward to my next air trip! oh, I forgot to add - I am happy that I do not fly directly but need to connect at one of the busiest European airports! LOL!
southern 75 | 7,096  
6 Oct 2008 /  #21
PLANES VERSUS TRAINS ~ WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

Basically trains cannot fly.
szarlotka 8 | 2,209  
6 Oct 2008 /  #22
True but you can't really shunt aircraft either
southern 75 | 7,096  
6 Oct 2008 /  #23
I generally prefer trains because of their transport capacity and privacy.
Robert A 1 | 102  
6 Oct 2008 /  #24
True but you can't really shunt aircraft either

Sorry but you can. An aircraft tug is used to move aircraft from one place to another - they also used to "push-back" aircraft from their parking stands prior to taxing.
szarlotka 8 | 2,209  
6 Oct 2008 /  #25
Yes but you can't let them bang into each other like rolling stock can you?
Robert A 1 | 102  
6 Oct 2008 /  #26
At the airport where I work that is not an uncommon practice!! Scary lol
szarlotka 8 | 2,209  
6 Oct 2008 /  #27
Very. It's not Heathrow T5 is it. I'm there in a few days and I'm getting worried LOL
Robert A 1 | 102  
6 Oct 2008 /  #28
No, I work at LTN for a ground handling agent - they're not known as CircusAir for nothing!!!!
szarlotka 8 | 2,209  
6 Oct 2008 /  #29
Phew. Hang on. I live near the flight path for LTN. ****
Robert A 1 | 102  
6 Oct 2008 /  #30
Maybe if NATS gets its way that may change . .

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