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Braybuddy
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Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:53 am

 
bennett123
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:47 am

I think MOL should let him fly for free  
 
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moo
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:03 am

This is one of the reasons that, after 27 years of not driving, I decided to learn to drive. £100 or more a trip last minute with no guarantee of a seat or even a train just got to me in the end.

Haven't looked back. The UK rail network is (and always has been, even when nationalised) not worth the money they ask.
 
qm001
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:31 pm

Certainly proves a very useful point! (relatively speaking)
I wish there was still a flying boat service on the African Lakes!
 
SCQ83
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:50 pm

It is certainly interesting, that has happened to me a few times.

This comes true specially in Central or Northern Europe where train tickets are very expensive (if you don't have any discount card or pass).

I think an extreme example is Switzerland or Norway. For instance I just checked SBB and a single ticket Basel-Zurich with no discount is 33 CHF (29.84 EUR) which is 82 km. by car and 55 min by train.

On the other hand Basel Airport offers great fares with the on-going competition between easyJet and Swiss, and even Ryanair (and BSL is only a city bus ride - and fare - from the city). Same for Oslo with all the Norwegian-Ryanair fight.

So for somehow living in Basel, it is likely cheaper to fly somewhere for the weekend than going to Zurich for the day and take a meal out (if you count how expensive eating out in Switzerland is!) and do some leisure activity.

The corollary is that if you are an aviation fan, you better live in a wealthy country. Air travel is a global industry (so fares are not stablished in relation to the local purchase power, like trains are) and in wealthy countries people travel more, so there is more competition overall which further lower prices.
 
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moo
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:57 pm

A season ticket (12 months) for Norwich - London costs £9,000.

I could buy a second hand car for £3,000, rent a car parking space for £1,500/year, and pay £2,000 in fuel and still come up several grand better off than a season ticket on the train. Travel time is pretty much the same as well (train is about 30 minutes faster).

When I used to live on the other side of the country, any train from London to Bristol between 4pm and 8pm was standing room only.
 
JAmie2k9
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:37 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 5):

Not disagreeing but upkeep or car and tax/insurance and the gap is smaller.

Trains are pricy in the UK but the only reason is that most European counties pay a higher subsidy to the operators to offset so costs.
 
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speedygonzales
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:40 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 5):
A season ticket (12 months) for Norwich - London costs £9,000.

That's insane! In Germany you can get the BahnCard 100 for 4090 € a year, and that gives you unlimited country-wide travel on DB.
Ignorance kills. :tombstone:
 
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moo
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:48 pm

Quoting Jamie2k9 (Reply 6):
Not disagreeing but upkeep or car and tax/insurance and the gap is smaller.

Tax £160, insurance £350, MOT £40, Annual service £300.

Doesnt come close to making the difference up.

And taht ignores the fact that the second year I won't be spending £3000 on a car...
 
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moo
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:49 pm

Quoting speedygonzales (Reply 7):
That's insane! In Germany you can get the BahnCard 100 for 4090 € a year, and that gives you unlimited country-wide travel on DB.

Yeah, theres no such thing in the UK - if you need to travel on more than one route regularly enough that a season ticket makes sense, then you pay for two season tickets.
 
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eurowings
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:40 pm

Quoting Jamie2k9 (Reply 6):
Trains are pricy in the UK but the only reason is that most European counties pay a higher subsidy to the operators to offset so costs.
Quoting moo (Reply 5):
A season ticket (12 months) for Norwich - London costs £9,000.

I could buy a second hand car for £3,000, rent a car parking space for £1,500/year, and pay £2,000 in fuel and still come up several grand better off than a season ticket on the train. Travel time is pretty much the same as well (train is about 30 minutes faster).

I think the very reason why the UK rail fares at peak time are so expensive in South East England is because demand outstrips supply for the commuter lines into London. It's a mechanism to reduce the amount of people on the overloaded rail network. Many who work in London don't want to live there. Outside the South East trains can be fairly inexpensive, I live in Birmingham and pay about £750 a year for unlimited travel in the whole of the West Midlands.

The London issue is not such a problem in Germany (my former home), where a) employment/commerce is more polycentric and not concentrated in one huge city and b) the cites are more affordable/desirable to live in.

[Edited 2016-01-28 06:45:33]

[Edited 2016-01-28 06:46:08]
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
JAmie2k9
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:40 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 8):

Fair enough but point still stands either the taxpayers pay or people who use the service pay full cost.

You have easily 40-50% direct funding from Government in across Europe, I don't see George willing to fund railways anytime soon.
 
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moo
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:31 pm

Quoting Jamie2k9 (Reply 11):
Fair enough but point still stands either the taxpayers pay or people who use the service pay full cost.

You have easily 40-50% direct funding from Government in across Europe, I don't see George willing to fund railways anytime soon.

The issue I have isn't that its expensive, its that its expensive and poor value for money. Give me expensive but good value for money and I wouldn't have bought a car.
 
seat64k
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:45 pm

This is one of my pet peeves. Some years ago I went on a trip to Edinburg. Since I was on leave I could choose at least my departure times based on fare, and still the cheapest was £140 from London to Edinburgh, and £50 or so back. WTF? Easyjet: £39 return.

Quoting eurowings (Reply 10):
I think the very reason why the UK rail fares at peak time are so expensive in South East England is because demand outstrips supply for the commuter lines into London. It's a mechanism to reduce the amount of people on the overloaded rail network.

I don't think the overland rail is overloaded at all. The carriages might be overloaded, but that's what you get when you run a two carriage train during rush hour (looking at you, FGW). Paddingtong has congestion problems (I'm sure others do too) but what do you expect when they leave trains on the platform for 20-30 minutes?

Quoting eurowings (Reply 10):
Many who work in London don't want to live there

Many who work in London can't afford to live in London, or can't justify the expense given the (lack of) valule.
 
vv701
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:59 pm

Quoting Jamie2k9 (Reply 11):
I don't see George willing to fund railways anytime soon.

In the last fiscal year George paid out £3.8 billion in railway subsidies to the operating companies. This excludes a subsidy of just over £1 billion towards the construction of Crossrail.

Of course the EMA-TXL-STN flight was subject to Air Passenger Duty while the rail journey would have been tax free.

http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_...ce-statistical-release-2014-15.pdf
 
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eurowings
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:12 pm

Quoting seat64k (Reply 13):
I don't think the overland rail is overloaded at all. The carriages might be overloaded, but that's what you get when you run a two carriage train during rush hour (looking at you, FGW). Paddingtong has congestion problems (I'm sure others do too) but what do you expect when they leave trains on the platform for 20-30 minutes?

Depends on the line. I can't speak for lines out of Paddington but there isn't much spare peak capacity on lines like south of Birmingham on the West Coast Main Line and the trains are all 11/12 coaches running at very frequent intervals. Despite this, almost all trains are full south of Milton Keynes with commuters in peak hours.
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WaywardMemphian
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:47 pm

I priced a flight from Copenhagen to London for June 8th of this year for $9 USD on Easyjet this morning. The notion of doing Europe by train is best is kinda taking a beating right now.
 
KaiTak747
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:56 pm

I'm not sure how he managed to get an FR ticket for £20 return, that doesn't even cover the APD!
 
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moo
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:01 pm

Quoting KaiTak747 (Reply 17):

I'm not sure how he managed to get an FR ticket for £20 return, that doesn't even cover the APD!

Actually, it does - the rate for a flight under 2,000 miles in the lowest class of travel (basically a seat where the pitch doesn't exceed 40 inches - sounds about right for a standard Ryanair flight) is £13.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rates-and-allowances-excise-duty-air-passenger-duty/rates-and-allowances-excise-duty-air-passenger-duty
 
richierich
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:02 pm

Ugh, this is sad and exposes an ugly truth. Rail fares are not right-priced, and the balance is all wrong.

Many years ago, I was in Paris looking to get to Toulouse, and time was not a factor. I really wanted to take SCNF and was willing to take an eight hour ride to take in and enjoy the French countryside. But the cheapest train fare, when looking a month or two out, was more than four times the cost EasyJet wanted from ORY. Multiply that by two of us, and we had to enjoy the French countryside from 30,000feet on a short one hour hop to TLS.

Sad, because if the trains were equal price to air, I would have chosen that option on that trip. People have to make choices like this everyday all over Europe, and it does not surprise me that some have figured out nonsensical itineraries by air to get where they need to go just to save money.
None shall pass!!!!
 
ardian
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:43 pm

Awesome, but sad at the same time. Here in The Netherlands, the ticket prices for our Dutch railway are quite high as well.
 
Ferroviarius
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:11 pm

Quoting richierich (Reply 19):
Ugh, this is sad and exposes an ugly truth. Rail fares are not right-priced, and the balance is all wrong.

That is absolutely true, richierich, for tourists who will use a train once or twice, only. Frequent train travelers will, in many countries, not have to buy these expensive tickets but rather have some kind of passes, which will drastically reduce the fare. The most prominent example might be these "Bahn Cards 100" in Germany, which grant free train use during one year for 4,090.-€ (2nd class) and 6,890.-€ (1st class) and can be completed with options to use urban transit systems for free. One can also get partner cards or cards for children at considerably reduced fares.

For tourists not living in Europe and touring Europe for a number of days or even some weeks, a Eurail ticket will be the cheapest option. See www.eurail.com .

Best,
Ferroviarius
 
heathrow
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:31 pm

I recently flew YDQ - YVR - LAX - DFW - CMH - MSP - DTW - YYZ for cheaper than a non-stop YVR - YYZ. It's possible if you're willing to endure travelling for that long.
 
tomcat
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:56 pm

The UK rail may be expensive, the traffic keeps growing a descent pace. Between 1995 (the year of privatisation / liberalization) and 2014, it has grown about 120%. That's an average growth of 4.2%. The money to be made with a job in London is well worth the price of the ride it seems.
 
DAL763ER
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:25 pm

Quoting heathrow (Reply 22):
I recently flew YDQ - YVR - LAX - DFW - CMH - MSP - DTW - YYZ for cheaper than a non-stop YVR - YYZ. It's possible if you're willing to endure travelling for that long.

For the kid's story and this one, it's also a matter of how much do you value your time? Even if you can endure a day of travel, is it worth giving it up for $100? I used to like connecting for the fact that I'd get to travel. And in most cases it would be cheaper. But nothing beats a direct flight, even if a little more expensive.
 
starrymarkb
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:45 pm

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 24):
For the kid's story and this one, it's also a matter of how much do you value your time? Even if you can endure a day of travel, is it worth giving it up for $100? I used to like connecting for the fact that I'd get to travel. And in most cases it would be cheaper. But nothing beats a direct flight, even if a little more expensive.

Yes, and to save £7.. Mind you I see it all the time at work, get customers wanting a route taking twice as long and involving multiple changes because a direct bus is 20p more.

I wonder how much time he invested in finding this saving. UK Min wage is £6.70 per hour so more then one hour of research and he'd be worse off!

Given he works for a site that promotes extreme couponing I'm surprised he didn't do megabus or even megatrain (which is available on the route he was taking)
 
FlyingHollander
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:48 pm

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 24):
it's also a matter of how much do you value your time?

It really depends on the type of trip I'm making.

For a shorthaul flight within Europe I'll definitely pay 50-100% (€50-€100) more for a nonstop flight or for better timings. These are usually shorter trips, so I want to make the most of my time and pay for as few hotel nights as possible.

For longhaul flights to the US I almost always take the cheapest option. My whole day is gone anyway, no matter if it's a 12 or 20 hour trip. And either way I'm going to feel miserable when I arrive anyway. For a €700-€1000 flight I would never consider paying more than €100 extra for a quicker flight option.
If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much.
 
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FredrikHAD
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:49 pm

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 24):
For the kid's story and this one, it's also a matter of how much do you value your time?

Absolutely, but the kid got a visit in Berlin and "heathrow" got a tour of the entire US. If you have the time and a taste for "adventure", you may consider it worth it.

On the other hand, this system doesn't do much to save the environment. Sadly, only the opening post even mentions that aspect (and in a negative way if I inpterpret the OP correctly), even if some indicated this with their preference to train.

/Fredrik
 
sailas
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:27 pm

Interesting video. I have flown HEL-TMP and TMP-HEL a lot of times, simply because it was cheaper than going by car or train.
Airlines been on: AY, LX, SR, OS, SK, KF, EZY, FR, BA, LH, AF, TG, DC, FC, TK, KL, BT, CX, QR
 
tropical
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:55 pm

Many 'walk-in' train fares in the UK can cost several hundred Pounds for a one-way ticket. If one can book in advance and travel outside of peak hours, prices are not too bad, but otherwise the UK has some of the most expensive fares in the world, and at times so ludicrously high it can be cheaper to hail a black cab and pay the meter fare even if travelling hundreds of miles.

It's a complete farce,
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:08 pm

Interesting article. But like many of these sorts of articles it assumes that time is free.

A direct train will not only be faster but can also provide the ability to get work done. Also if I need to be at place X by time Y then that can make a huge difference.

So yeah, this is an extreme edge case article and not really that applicable to what most of us would consider normal travel.

Now if it were me? I'd probably consider doing the flights as then I'd get to spend a chunk of a day visiting Berlin which is neat. But if I just wanted to get home I'd jump on the train and get home the quicker way.

Disclaimer: I'm both an avgeek and a train geek. So I love both forms of travel. :p
 
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Vasu
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:11 pm

This is insane, but unfortunately I am not surprised at all... unfortunately for the overpriced train journey I usually do (Kent to London) there is no flying alternative!
 
frostyj
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:24 pm

My rail ticket to Stansted next week will cost more than my flight home. This does not surprise me.
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ua900
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:11 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
The environmentalists will love this:
Quoting FredrikHAD (Reply 27):
Sadly, only the opening post even mentions that aspect (and in a negative way if I inpterpret the OP correctly), even if some indicated this with their preference to train.

Why not, after all, the kid did the right thing and took a train   

•Train from airport to Berlin city centre: £5

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 30):
Interesting article. But like many of these sorts of articles it assumes that time is free.

He's a teenager. Minimum wage laws aside, his time likely *is* free. Big difference compared to a working adult, but a very creative way to see new places, so why not commend him for a change?
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klmtom
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:20 am

For me to get the train from NWI to ABZ, it would cost £150 and take 9+ hrs, however flying KL to AMS and onwards to ABZ it would cost me £130 and take 4hrs (incl. transfer times) at the most, no-brainer! Flying direct however, can cost up to £300!!

rgds, klmtom
 
Viscount724
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:12 am

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 1):
I think MOL should let him fly for free

There must be dozens of examples where similar LCC connections via points in Europe are much cheaper than the often very high UK train fares. Nothing new.
 
frostyj
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:18 am

Quoting klmtom (Reply 34):

Or just fly from Stansted to Dublin and then to Aberdeen. It will be £30.
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ZaphodHarkonnen
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:16 am

Quoting ua900 (Reply 33):
He's a teenager. Minimum wage laws aside, his time likely *is* free. Big difference compared to a working adult, but a very creative way to see new places, so why not commend him for a change?

Read the following lines.   If I had the time I would definitely consider a few hours in Berlin with that route. Especially as I haven't ever visited the place.
 
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FredrikHAD
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:31 am

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 30):
Disclaimer: I'm both an avgeek and a train geek. So I love both forms of travel. :p

Is that really possible (or legal)? I thought the two were mutually exclusive  

/Fredrik
 
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moo
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:34 am

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 30):
A direct train will not only be faster but can also provide the ability to get work done.

If, *if*, you get a seat. Pick the wrong times (a 4 hour block in the morning and a 4 hour block in the afternoon/early evening) and you can find yourself standing for the duration of the trip.

I used to travel from Bristol to Rugby regularly, and the number of times that the Virgin train to Birmingham New Street had turned up already completely packed, with the conductor announcing that the train wouldn't depart the station until enough people had de-boarded the train was just ridiculous. No accommodation made for the people forced to get off, you just had to wait for the next train (two hours later) and hope it wasn't in the same situation.

The train situation in the UK is appalling. Not allowed to travel in a normal car or a coach without your seat belt on, but the train operators can pack you in to a train to the point where you can't turn around.
 
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lapper
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:16 am

I don't see why he didn't take the coach. Would have been cheaper still.
 
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moo
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:42 am

Quoting Lapper (Reply 40):
I don't see why he didn't take the coach. Would have been cheaper still.

And taken north of 12 hours  
 
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lapper
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:05 am

Quoting moo (Reply 41):
And taken north of 12 hours

National Express for Monday states approximately 6 hours with 1 change. There's also a direct service (searching Sheffield to Stansted still).
He can get to Brentwood (his home town) still with one change and a 7 hour journey for £28. No sightseeing in Berlin inlcuded.

I personally would refer to fly rather than spend 7 hours on a coach and I know that there are people on this forum for whom anything over an hour on the road is a stretch.
 
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PatrickZ80
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:31 pm

Quoting ardian (Reply 20):
Awesome, but sad at the same time. Here in The Netherlands, the ticket prices for our Dutch railway are quite high as well.

But still cheaper than flying.

I did a little investigation myself, a W6 flight EIN - GDN - GRQ vs a train ticket Eindhoven - Groningen. The train was still cheaper. Even the Thalys Amsterdam to Brussels was cheaper than a FR flight AMS - DUB - BRU or a U2 flight AMS - LGW - BRU.

I remember when I was in Thailand I went to Chiang Mai. Getting from Bangkok to Chiang Mai I flew AK DMK - CNX for something like € 15,-. Very cheap already. Back to Bangkok I took the train and eventough it took me a whole day (more than 12 hours on the train) the train was still cheaper than the flight. I believe it was something like € 6,- to get from Chiang Mai to Bangkok by train and this even included a meal.

If trains in Thailand can be that cheap, then why can't they be in Europe?
 
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FredrikHAD
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:47 pm

Quoting PatrickZ80 (Reply 43):
If trains in Thailand can be that cheap, then why can't they be in Europe?

Well, if you want Thai workers on Thai salaries doing the job at their safety standards, it may be possible. I have no idea abut train safety in Thailand, but I can only assume that if train travel is so much cheaper, there has to be a differences in cost, and that usually translates to those factors.

/Fredrik

Edit: It seems there were 106 deaths in Thai railways 2012 over 7,566 million passenger kilometers, equating to 14 deaths per billion pax-km. Sweden has 6, UK, 6.5 and the US 9.1 (stats from 2005)

[Edited 2016-01-30 13:22:26]
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:32 am

Quoting richierich (Reply 19):
Sad, because if the trains were equal price to air, I would have chosen that option on that trip. People have to make choices like this everyday all over Europe, and it does not surprise me that some have figured out nonsensical itineraries by air to get where they need to go just to save money.

Yes, but of course it also happens in airline pricing. I have really enjoyed the following article. Quote: "We have collected and analysed prices for more than 1.4 million flight tickets involving 63 destinations and 125 airlines and have found that common sense violation i.e., discrepancies between what consumers would expect and what truly holds for those prices, are far more frequent than one would think."

http://arxiv.org/abs/1509.05382

"Testing for common sense (violation) in airline pricing or how complexity asymmetry defeated you and the web"
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:13 pm

Quoting FredrikHAD (Reply 38):
Is that really possible (or legal)? I thought the two were mutually exclusive

:p If it's wrong then I don't want to be right.  
 
Zombus
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:14 pm

May I still add that one important point is missing in the whole discussion (and in the article itself): we're comparing walk-up train fares with booked-ahead airline tickets. That's not a sound comparison. A more balanced comparison would be to compare advance reservation train fares with advance reservation airline tickets. Or alternatively, walk-up train fares with walk-up airline ticket fares. Even at FR, walk-up fares could easily be in the three-digit figures range. The financial advantage would be completely void.

I found that if you plan ahead and reserve tickets in advance, trains in the UK don't have to be ridiculously expensive. Same as airline tickets, I'd say. Plan ahead, save money. Walk-up, pay dearly.

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Anecdote:

I considered doing something like this once, about a decade ago. Back then, Ryanair flew between my hometown airport (GRQ) and London, and between London and the airport closest to my parents (MST). I found that GRQ-LON-MST would be about two euros cheaper than the full-fare train ticket, and (behold) about 15 minutes faster. HOWEVER:
- I would have to make air reservations months ahead to get the cheapest tickets (and in the Netherlands there's no such thing as advance reservation for train tickets and/or associated discounts).
- I would have about 30 min. transfer time in LON on separate tickets (risky)
- I was comparing to full-fare train tickets. I held a student discount card at the time, entitling me to at least 40% discount, or even free travel during weekends.
- I was comparing city center to city-center by train to airport-to-airport by air.

All things considered, the financial and temporal advantages were there only because I really wanted to see them. In reality, the advantages are either nonexistent or very impractical. In the end I never took the flight option and always went back and forth by train, mostly due to financial constraints. Today, I wish I had coughed up the 30-something euro for the flight combo just for the kicks and awesome story to tell. Ryanair no longer flies to either GRQ or MST.
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SCQ83
Posts: 5436
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:33 pm

Quoting Zombus (Reply 47):
May I still add that one important point is missing in the whole discussion (and in the article itself): we're comparing walk-up train fares with booked-ahead airline tickets. That's not a sound comparison. A more balanced comparison would be to compare advance reservation train fares with advance reservation airline tickets. Or alternatively, walk-up train fares with walk-up airline ticket fares. Even at FR, walk-up fares could easily be in the three-digit figures range. The financial advantage would be completely void.

That is arguable. Fares with Ryanair in odd routes in low season tend to be very low until 1 week before departure (then fares spike). I flew CRL-PMI last week for 12 euros and I bought it like two weeks ago.

Also I noticed fares to SXF are ultra cheap around those dates. You can see many Ryanair flights to Berlin for those prices until very close to departure.
 
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PatrickZ80
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RE: Ryanair Via Berlin Cheaper Than UK Rail Trip

Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:20 pm

Quoting Zombus (Reply 47):
Today, I wish I had coughed up the 30-something euro for the flight combo just for the kicks and awesome story to tell. Ryanair no longer flies to either GRQ or MST.

But you can still pull this trick if you want, altough you have to fly W6 instead of FR and transfer in GDN. GDN is being served from both GRQ and MST. However, I think the train is still cheaper.

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