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Fly or Drive Calculator™

Wondering whether to fly or drive on your next trip? Compare the cost and time of flying or driving to help you figure out the most cost and time effective way to travel. To find out which is right for you, simply fill out the calculator below.

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Additional Information & Notes

  • For entertainment purposes only.
  • For use in the continental United States only.
  • Portions of this calculator are powered by Google Maps, under license from Google Inc.
  • Driving cost is calculated using the 2010 AAA Average Operating Costs Per Mile estimates. The AAA estimates factor in the following costs: fuel, maintenance, and tires.
  • In estimating transportation costs to and from airports, this calculator uses the following rates: taxi service at $3.00 +$2.50/mile with a 20% tip, shuttle service at $0.50/mile and airport parking at $15/day.
  • Flight times and costs are estimated using's proprietary databases and algorithms.
  • 1 hour and 30 minutes are added to each departure flight time and 45 minutes to arrival flight time to account for arrival, check-in, boarding, baggage claim and airport exit.
  • For overnight car trips, each hotel room is estimated at $75/night with up to 2 travelers per room.
  • For driving, CO2 emissions for gasoline is calculated at 8.8 kg CO2/gal tailpipe (source) + 2.21 kg CO2/gal upstream (source). Diesel is calculated at 10.1 kg CO2/gal tailpipe (source) + 2.42 kg CO2/gal upstream (source).
  • For flying, CO2 emissions is based on data from the GHG Protocol Mobile Combustion Tool (source). Calculation uses Radiative Forcing Index of 1.9 based on TRADEOFF Project (source).
  • This calculator does not currently support battery electric, hydrogen, or compressed natural gas vehicles.
  • Estimated plane ticket prices may be less accurate for trips planned less than 2 weeks in advance.
  • Put the Fly or Drive Calculator™ on your website with the Fly or Drive Widget. For a custom solution or more specific licensing needs, contact us.
  • For more information also see the Fly or Drive Calculator™ FAQ.
  • Concept and calculator Copyright © 2009-2012, All Rights Reserved. Patents Pending.
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Comments (283) 

Chris says...
Cool tool! I guess I should drive to DC next time!
- Over 1 year ago. Thursday, May 19, 2011 4:56 PM

Jamie O'Hara says...
You are missing a number of Airports, I would ordinarily fly out of El Paso, TX. However this city of over 600,000 does not seem to exist on your clever calculator.
- Over 1 year ago. Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:35 AM

Erik says...
How about if it showed a more relevant driving cost? Registration, insurance, vehicle taxes, etc are not a per trip cost. Even if they were pro-rated for the period of the trip (which still wouldn't work because they still apply if the car is moving or not) then the cost would change between a 1-month trip and a 3 day trip. Which it doesn't. Also, these fees are far different depending on make, model, year, state, age and driving records, not just basic car class. This tool is as useless as a paper hammer.
- Over 1 year ago. Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:50 AM

Nate says...
Nice! One comment - with two travelers, the driving cost seems to double, but adding a second person to the same vehicle only adds a negligible amount - maybe a little extra food cost for longer driver. Very handy tool to have.
- Over 1 year ago. Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:11 AM

Julie says...
You have not addressed the most pressing concern for myself and you and the planet....the carbon cost. Actual fuel consumption. Damage to the upper atmosphere. Now that I do need to know! There's cost (monetary and convenience) and then there is the true and everlasting cost. Get a grip folks, you don't have to be somewhere else tonight if you wake up this morning feeling a little out of sorts and think a "holiday" might make you happy. Travel less, enjoy it more, stay on the surface of the planet, and hey take the train!
- Over 1 year ago. Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:21 AM

alan k says...
The driving calculation is broken. It says it will cost me over $450 to drive from DC to South Carolina, 580 miles. They way I calculate, it is 580 miles/22mpg * $5/gallon = $131. Where do you come up with $450?
- Over 1 year ago. Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:26 AM

anonymous says...
Needs more airports. In particular, I wanted FWA.
- Over 1 year ago. Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:30 AM

MK says...
What about rental car costs at your destination? I don't see that taken into account anywhere?
- Over 1 year ago. Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:42 AM

mia says...
Driving cost is way off.
- Over 1 year ago. Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:55 AM

Gerry says...
Calculator is incorrect. 1800 to drive from MD to Florida and back? I get 1200,and that is overestimating. And Julie, take your liberal extremism somewhere else. No one came here to see their carbon footprint. We came here to see what costs less for us and our family. My car could spew thick black smoke the whole way to Florida and I wouldn't care (from a carbon footprint standpoint) as long as it was the cheapest method of travel.
- Over 1 year ago. Tuesday, May 24, 2011 10:14 AM

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