Trains and planes still don’t beat automobiles

Jessica Rothschuh

Many Students prefer the adventures of road trips


Delta Air Lines recently expanded its SimpliFares program, offering online customers tickets up to 50 percent cheaper than previously.

“We’re expanding SimpliFares based on feedback from our customers, who are calling for simpler, more affordable everyday fares,” said Delta’s chief executive officer Jerry Grinstein in a press release.

The day after the expansion, Delta reported its online ticket sales doubled the amount sold on an average day. Daily online sales revenue reached $10 million for the first time since it began selling tickets online in 1996.

With students planning spring vacations, decreased airfares may affect students’ decisions to fly.

Vinit Jagdish, an economics instructor, said Delta’s lower fares will affect students’ choices, either directly or indirectly. Students who don’t choose to fly, he said, will still benefit from the dropping airfares.

“Lower fares in one (sector) should perhaps trigger lower fares in another,” Jagdish said. However, he said the low prices will not last long.

“It’s probably something that you’ll see in the short term,” Jagdish said. He said he is skeptical about prices staying low during summer because the demand is higher, and the airlines can charge higher prices.

Jagdish said if he were traveling to Florida for spring break, he would fly. He said students should factor the time cost into their transportation decisions.

“The day or two it might take you to get to Florida is very, very costly,” Jagdish said. “I’d want to get out to the beach as quickly as possible.”

Similarly, senior biology and psychology major Kevin Hoy said his decision whether to fly is not based only on the price of the airline. Even a cheaper airfare may not outweigh the price of a rental car, he said.

“I fly and drive,” Hoy said, “but I only fly if I have to. I prefer to drive.”  Though driving takes longer, Hoy said he likes to be able to stop and sightsee or throw the football around on the way to his destination.

College students’ preferred method of vacation transportation seems to be the road trip.

“It’s more of an adventure to drive,” freshman zoology major Natalee Baragry said.

But if airline prices continue to drop, Baragry said she would consider flying.

“Then I could afford it,” she said.

Contact student politics reporter Jessica Rothschuh at [email protected].