• Posted on August 10, 2021 in Buses

    7 Reasons a Charter Bus Might Be a Better Travel Choice than a Plane

    When you need to move a large group a long distance, you’ll face the inevitable question: bus or plane? A plane is typically faster, true. But is it cheaper? What about the environmental impact? Which method of transportation is best for your group will depend on what’s most important to you, but here are 7 reasons you may want to consider renting a charter bus instead of flying.

    a charter bus drives into a large, lit-up city at night

    1. Charter buses are more environmentally friendly.

    Most of us worry about our impact on the environment and wonder how we can live more sustainably, and planes are a major source of pollution. According to the BBC, an average domestic flight produces 133 grams of carbon dioxide emissions and 121 grams of non-CO2, high-altitude emissions. Because they’re so high in the air, these emissions can be even more devastating than ground emissions.

    By contrast, the average motorcoach trip produces about 27 grams of carbon dioxide emissions. As newer, more gas-efficient models of motorcoach become available, that number will continue to drop. In the future, we may even see electric motorcoaches that produce zero or almost-zero emissions.

    Sure, you may be thinking, 27 grams is a lot less than 133, but doesn’t a plane carry more people? That’s true–the average domestic flight carries 150-200 people, in contrast to a charter bus’s 55 or 56 people. But if you put 200 people on four motorcoaches, you’re still producing less carbon dioxide per passenger than you would on a single plane.

    2. Charter buses can be cheaper per person.

    How much you’ll save on a charter bus depends on how many people are in your group, but if you can fill or almost fill your bus, you may see substantial savings. Let’s say you want to go nonstop from Atlanta to New York City and back over a long weekend in May. A non-stop flight from Hartsfield-Jackson to JFK will run you about $272 per person (this number will vary, obviously, but it’s safe to say you’ll be in the $200s range.)

    Now let’s compare going from Atlanta to New York and back on a charter bus during that same period of time. Rates will vary between charter bus companies and will depend on how many stops you make, but we found prices from $170-$199 per person. That means you could save anywhere from $70-$100 per person when you opt for a bus.

    Of course, saving money doesn’t mean much if you’re miserable the entire time—but charter buses can be quite comfortable, even more so than planes. Here are a few reasons why:

    3. A charter bus rental only includes people from your group.

    When you buy a plane ticket, you’ll most likely share your space with a lot of strangers. Sometimes this works out great. But when the person next to you has a crying baby, is an overexcited child, or just happens to be in a foul mood, your trip can quickly become an ordeal.

    Or maybe you’re the one who’s traveling with a baby or leading a group of overexcited children, and you don’t want to deal with someone yelling at you because they make noise or need to move around.

    When you’re on a charter bus, you’ll be traveling with only your group. That means if everyone in your group is a working adult or senior citizen, you can enjoy quiet conversation or time on your iPads and laptops. And if you’re with a group of elementary- or middle-schoolers, they can joke around with each other and go for walks up and down the aisles without anyone yelling at them for being too loud or chaotic. Your bus is your group’s space.

    4. Buses can offer more legroom and more comfortable seats.

    Because a bus trip typically takes longer than a domestic plane flight, buses tend to be more comfortable. The seats are often more cushioned than those on planes, and the windows beside the seats are much larger. You can usually find a bit of extra legroom as well. Legroom varies from bus to bus, but some have as much as 36 inches of legroom, as opposed to the 30-32 inches typical of economy plane seats.

    a row of charter bus seats with television screens built-in behind the headrests

    5. You can choose your amenities.

    On a plane, each person has to pay separately if they want to use WiFi, and you can’t control whether you have a TV or a charging port. You just have to hope for the best. On a charter bus, though, you can request WiFi when you make your reservation, and everyone in your group will be able to use it for free. You can also request TVs, DVD players, and power outlets. You may have to pay a little more to get a bus with all of these amenities, but you’ll know without a doubt that your group can watch movies or scroll through Instagram during the trip.

    6. Buses have extra storage space that you don’t have to pay for.

    The overhead storage space on a charter bus is similar to that on a plane. But on a charter bus, you don’t have to pay $30 or more for any luggage that doesn’t fit in that space. Full-size charter buses have undercarriage luggage bays where each person can stash one large suitcase or duffel bag. You can even store large amounts of sports equipment for no extra cost. And your bags go where you go, so you never have to worry about lost luggage.

    7. Charter buses follow your itinerary.

    Want to stop in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country for lunch on your way to New York? You can’t exactly ask a plane to touch down so you can enjoy cornbread and apple butter. But with a charter bus, you’re free to create a customized itinerary and add lots of fun, quirky stops between your two main destinations.

    You also don’t have to worry about finding transportation once you arrive in the city you’re traveling to. Sure, a plane can take you to New York, but once you get there you have to figure out how to get from the airport to your hotel or from your hotel to Broadway. When you have a charter bus, you only have to rely on public transit or rideshares if you want to. If you’re with a group of kids who can’t call cars or safely navigate subway and bus stations, you can simply ask your charter bus to take you from destination to destination.

    Think About Booking a Charter Bus Instead of Flying

    If you care about the environment, want to save money, or value flexibility and customization, a charter bus might be the right choice for your next group trip. A bus ride will probably take longer than a plane ride, but sometimes a road trip with people you like, comfy seats, and WiFi is exactly what you’re looking for. Want to learn more about traveling on a charter bus? Just give Shofur a call at 1-800-436-8719. We’re happy to answer all of your questions.

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