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For those who like to hippity-hop around Europe by plane...

For those who like to hippity-hop around Europe by plane...

Old Jun 1st, 2021, 05:27 PM
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For those who like to hippity-hop around Europe by plane...

There is talk and some action to reduce or ban short-haul domestic and cross-border flights where train service is available as an alternative.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...european-treks
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Old Jun 1st, 2021, 07:32 PM
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That would be fantastic. We all need to consider our environmental footprint when we travel. It might also encourage further research into how we can make plane travel more environmentally responsible.
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Old Jun 1st, 2021, 08:55 PM
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Some very short flights have already been scrapped. There used to be an Antwerp/Amsterdam flight...
Problem is that flights for short distances can be (a lot) cheaper than trains. They've recently increased rail fares between Belgium and the Netherlands, for example. I know my kids want to take the train as much as possible, but often it's just too expensive compared to, say, a Ryanair.
Now that people can start traveling again, some airlines are still offering extremely low ticket prices.

If I want to take the train from Antwerp to Amsterdam today it would cost met 39 euro one way.
For 33 euros I can fly Ryanair to Barcelona this Sunday.

Scrapping the tax breaks for airlines would be a start. Why is there VAT on train tickets and not in airline tickets?


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Old Jun 1st, 2021, 09:51 PM
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Yes, that's good news!

And hope to see more night trains restarting.

s
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 04:42 AM
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Works for me. We hippity-hop around Europe by train already.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 05:11 AM
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We take trains and were looking at the flight from Glasgow to Islay but would rather take the ferry. The journey is part of the adventure.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Melnq8 View Post
Works for me. We hippity-hop around Europe by train already.
Can you hippity-hop by train if you don't leave the ground? I would say 'zoom' except that word has been taken.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 06:55 AM
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I don't know about the slow trains, but the high speed trains almost all lose money. Maybe shifting traffic off flights will help them to break even. I don't know anyone who enjoys taking short flights, and the only shortish flights I have taken in Europe have been connecting flights on arrival, the last time being when I started a trip to France in the Dordogne in 2011--we connected at CDG for a short flight to Toulouse. I looked into taking the train, but it was going to cost more, and posed some risk that we might not make the connection on time (or would have taken a lot longer for later train). If you eliminate all the short haul flights, that pretty much means you have to roll the dice on connecting flight to train, or stay close to your entry airport.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 07:06 AM
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I've always preferred trains for shorter flights in Europe for several reasons. First of all, often the airport is up to an hour travel out of the city -- and costs money to get there. Then you often have to be there up to 2 hours before the flight. So already there is 3 hours added to the travel time. Then there are the logistics and cost of getting to your hotel from an airport at the destination, not to mention having to wait for ages if you have a checked bag.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 08:14 AM
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Cost comparisons are missing the point... This is about cutting the Continent's carbon emissions from transportation by 90% and the larger goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050... 2019 European Green Deal.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
Cost comparisons are missing the point... This is about cutting the Continent's carbon emissions from transportation by 90% and the larger goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050... 2019 European Green Deal.
I'm all for cutting carbon emissions, but when faced with the options, many people will choose the cheapest.
Airlines received a huge amount of government aid during the past year. They don't need to offer bargain basement rates. It's ridiculous that a 1,5 hour train ride is more expensive than a 1400 km flight. So cut VAT on train tickets, and add it to airline tickets.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 09:42 AM
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I loved the trains in Europe. The buses/vans are also options for those on a budget.

One question: What would this do for a flight from Belfast to Glasgow/Edinburgh? To EDI, it was only 30-45min, but would the water body allow a "bypass" of the law?
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Old Jun 3rd, 2021, 07:26 AM
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There will come a time when you don't have the choice between plane and train fares on many routes as a flight option no longer exists. Aviation accounts for 10x the CO2 emissions that rail travel does. Absent some world-changing technological innovations, countries within Europe that want to achieve their carbon emission goals will make decisions like cutting short-haul flights where rail is available and probably reviewing their financial aid to airlines.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2021, 07:46 AM
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The thing is that travelling by train can be quite expensive from one country in Europe to another one, thats why many people would use the plane still. Even though there should be more options to buy train tickets and discounts or promote more travelling by train. Stil in many places in Europe there is not a very good rail system like going from North Spain to other parts of Europe by train or Portugal. That can be quite tricky but I woudl love to have more train connections.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2021, 10:03 AM
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"... thats why many people would use the plane still."

Once again, the point is that the short-haul flight may no longer exist.

Per the Bloomberg article (at the link), the EC is committing $7B to rail infrastructure in the countries within the bloc.
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 12:01 PM
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Jean, for some reason I’m not able to reply to your last comment on my ‘three weeks in northern Italy by train’ post. Just wanted to thank you for your information and the links. Sorry to interrupt this thread.
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Old Jun 7th, 2021, 08:56 AM
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I never take flights short distance anyway and completely disagree with the notion that just because a train crosses borders, it becomes expensive. I've never seen that and I've taken plenty of trains across borders.
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
Cost comparisons are missing the point... This is about cutting the Continent's carbon emissions from transportation by 90% and the larger goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050... 2019 European Green Deal.
It's about propaganda.

Very few locals take those flights. It's mostly people connecting from well outside Europe.

If you're connecting in Paris to Lyon and they cancel the Paris to Lyon flight you'll connect in London or Frankfurt.

If you don't believe it's all about propaganda there was a very interesting statement out of Germany. The politician was upset people flew to Ibiza from Germany instead of the train. Well that would be a pretty wet train ride.

The other telling thing is they're upset about cheap prices. Well hiking the price to 50 or even 100 isn't going to stop most people. It'll only stop the poor. They should admit they're upset the poor travel.

The final point is the more they do this. The less people see Europe being one large community and Brexit becomes the first domino for real. Brexit in part was the poor feeling the EU was all about screwing them.
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 03:41 AM
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Everyone's definition of "short" is different. I usually consider a flight if the train ride would be more than 5 or 6 hours. That's still going to be a 'short' flight. My thinking being that even if the actual flying time from one place to another is less than an hour the whole trip (to/from airport, security, etc, boarding and de-boarding) is rarely going to be less than 5 or 6 hours. And train trips of 5-6 hours are usually considerably more expensive than a flight between those two points would be. So even though I'm all for reducing carbon emissions if I'm looking at a huge cost saving I'm afraid I'm going to go with the cheaper and at least tell myself I'll do something else to help the environment. I think most people, whether they know it or not, think like that. So until they can get train and flight prices more similar a lot of people are going to choose flying. Governments will need to do something with taxes, subsidies or something. And for train trips longer than 5-6 hours I'd need an incentive more than cost to get me to take a day long train trip if I can do the same journey in half a day on a flight.
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