Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Air Travel - Advantages and Disadvantages

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Humanity never lost its ability to dream and always wanted to achieve that which was impossible at first. Flight is one such thing. Countless myths and legends are based around the idea of flying - like that of Daedelus and Icarus. History of flight is extensive and filled with incredible mishaps and breakthroughs. 

From initial efforts in ancient China to Leonardo Da Vinci's flying machine and to the legacy of Wright brothers - who are known for the first recorded flight in 1903. All of these developments are significant in illustrating the strong desire humankind had, the urge to stop being bound to the ground and explore unseen heights.

Ever since humanity learned to fly air transport improved by leaps and bounds, in massive increments.

Aerial vehicles have particular uses now — military and transportation.

Many varieties if air transport were developed over the years — helicopters, planes that range from small ones like Cessnas to huge airliners like the Airbus and to military marvels like the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird (it holds the record as the fastest aircraft for about 40 years at this point).

The less conventional ones – hang gliders, hot air balloons, zeppelins, blimps, and parachutes - can also be used as a means of transportation, but for the sake of this article their characteristics will not be included in the advantage/disadvantage rundown.

When it comes to traveling, every kind of transport comes with its set of pros and cons. 

What are the advantages of air transport?

Speed, Mobility, and Punctuality

Airliners are not balloons or blimps. The have a streamlined design, and powerful jet engines allow them to reach tremendous speeds. Cruise liners travel at around 80% of Mach 1 (M1 is the speed of sound – 1,236 km/h; 768 mph).

No land vehicle can come close to air transport regarding sheer speed and consistency.

Maglev (magnetic levitation) trains and railways can get very fast, but they're still not there yet and won't be for quite some time.

Speed is a factor not only due to jet engines, but there are also no roads or limiting factors in terms of mobility. The route is a direct line from point A to point B. There is no delay in procuring clearance, and there is no concept of traffic. No railways, no roads, no additional construction of any kind is required, apart from the airstrips.

On the other side of mobility spectrum, there are helicopters. They only need a small landing pad to take off as do some VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicles like Harrier jets.

Planes and helicopters are used in agricultural applications (spreading pesticides or other pest deterrents to save a harvest of crops) and to combat raging forest fires.

Air transport is a prompt and convenient way to travel and transport goods.

What are the disadvantages of air transport?


It's no surprise plane travel reached luxury levels regarding price. However, it can still be possible to travel on a budget and get cheap tickets, and sometimes, students can travel for even less than that. Booking is vital if you're looking for a low-cost travel fare if you didn't book a ticket in advance and you intend to make a long-distance trip on short notice, be prepared to pay a premium for it.

Since only a limited number of passengers can be taken onboard of a jumbo jet, the price has to reflect it.
Since it's also this expensive, air transportation is not used to move cheap and sizable goods.

Rigid Safety Protocols and Procedures

Comfort and security come at a price. Domestic and international terrorism always has been a valid concern to increase the safety.

Not to mention that many things can go wrong.


The time of experimentation and development for air vehicles is over; they entered a stability phase with further developments having efficiency as their goal. Airplanes have probably become the safest way to travel.

Machines can get broken; that is why tons of safety measures get taken to avoid such mishaps. They do occasionally happen and put air travel in a precarious spot. Commercial flights can be regarded as the safest way to travel.

Many rules and regulations get implemented before, during and after the trip. To limit the human error, many electronic devices are used to aid pilots. Every conceivable situation gets considered and accounted for: emergency landings, weather effects like ice and snow, thunderstorms, mechanical failures, decompression, human factors, terrorism and other precautions to improve safety.

When compared to other modes of transportation, air travel has the smallest number of accidents when the distance traveled gets taken into account.


You have the opportunity to take a nap, get some more done on a laptop, listen to music or watch an onboard movie. You are free to consider the beauty of rainbows, adjacent clouds and look for the answer to the question: “What is the best essay writing service?”

Limited Weight Clearance & Small Carrying Capacity

You won't get to bring everything with you; it's simply not possible with limited space and weight clearance.

Health Hazards

There are also health disadvantages to account for. It’s not uncommon to feel sick when taking off and setting down. So its advisable to order some altitude sickness medication from Express Pharmacy.

By traveling to a different time zone, you can be subjected to jet-lag, fatigue, and intestinal problems; exposure to radiation, the psychological and emotional aspects (excessive travel can negatively impact your relationships with other people) are a possibility as well.

Frequent air travel increases the risk of deep-vein thrombosis. Space between seats is made smaller to accommodate more passengers, and it's sure to become a massive problem for tall people.

And, as a bonus - turbulence, loudness.


Even though speed is a significant advantage, there is still some downtime to expect when preparing for flights. Indirect flights will have you sitting at the terminal for hours on end.

Can't Enjoy the Scenery

Observing your environment from a high vantage point will get dull in time. What is great about railways and cars is that you can easily enjoy your surroundings at a comfortable rate.

Not Environmentally Friendly

No transport is truly eco-friendly, and aircraft are no different. Jet fuel, production of jet fuel, manufacturing and maintenance of planes, airport shuttles and so on, everything leaves a carbon dioxide footprint. Impacts of flight account for a small number of global emissions, though.

It is unlikely that air travel will become entirely "green" in the near future, but there may be further developments which are directed to lessen the effects of CO2. However, there will be nothing as substantial as electric cars (Tesla and hybrid vehicles) to the automobile industry.

You Can Lose Your Luggage

If you traveled by plane a few times, chances are you already had experienced this.

Happens often if you fly internationally and indirectly (as in, change flights).

Nobody is safe from losing their luggage. The biggest and strictest airports in terms of security always have massive amounts of passengers, a slip up is bound to happen, especially if you are changing planes and airlines.

There are many ways the baggage sorting system can fail — either a mechanical malfunction, a delay that puts an additional strain on the sorting system or label simply falling off. Many ways things can go wrong, but usually, they tend to be sorted out promptly by the airlines. So if you lose you luggage, there's a good chance you will get it back, but there is no accounting for the extreme anxiety you might experience due to the occurrence.

Contributed by Robert Everett

Freelance writer currently based in Chicago, solving students career and university problems, having interest in marketing and business. 

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