Why fly? challenges Scottish businesses to save money and benefit the environment by using trains instead of planes for business travel between Edinburgh and London.
The report compares air and rail business travel for business on the Edinburgh-London route, and concludes that rail travel is a superior product to air, with key selling points of:
Given that a large number of air passengers travel for business purposes between Scotland and London, the overall impact of business travel on the environment is significant. While the common view may be that air is the more time-effective choice for business travelers, this report’s conclusions resolutely dispel this as a myth, particularly in light of the five advantageous attributes of rail:
- Competitive pricing – 81% of flights between Edinburgh and London have a cheaper rail alternative, particularly when businesses negotiate bespoke bulk fare rates, which is not possible with air travel, or purchase the ‘Scottish Executive’ ticket by East Coast
- Journey times – air is only 20 minutes faster than the 05:40 Flying Scotsman to Heathrow
- Seamless travel – typically, an air journey is disrupted by multiple mode switches when traveling between city centres, (such as cars, buses, taxis and trams) and requires extensive queuing and security checkpoints, whereas rail travel is seamless journey necessitating only 5 minutes for pre-boarding time
- High-quality travel environment – including more personal space and a desktop for working, and even complimentary food and drink for first class journeys
- Productive use of travel time – the layout of rail carriages, particularly into sets of four facing seats, provides opportunities not only for individual work, but collaboration and meetings as well; additionally and unlike flight, there is ample space for laptop use, electrical sockets for electronic devices, Wi-Fi availability, and use of mobile phones is typically permitted in most rail carriages, leading to 80% of business rail passengers stating that they are productive on their journeys.