- The time involved.
Even on a two-hour flight, you end up killing most of the day. There's the time to get to the airport parking, check in, wait for the plane, get on the plane, wait for takeoff, and then similar waits on the other side. Simply taking a plane somewhere adds at least three or four hours to the travel, and for something like Detroit, even though it's twelve hours on the road, it's a win when compared to the six hours of time spent when travelling by air (because of the other headaches I'm about to list).
- Walking around time.
When you drive somewhere, if you want to take a break and get out and walk around, there's nothing stopping you (other than perhaps the lack of a handy freeway exit Right Now). On a plane, you're stuck in the machine, and there's nowhere you can go. If you're as tall as I am, even trying to walk around within the plane is a headache (sometimes literally), as there's stuff where my head wants to be.
- The Crying Baby Express.
There are no crying babies in my car. There's almost always one on the plane.
- The Structure.
When you're flying on a plane, the airline (through the flight attendants) try to keep your time "filled" so you don't get bored and grumpy. It actually has an opposite effect for me. By the time the stewardess has walked past for the fourth time asking me whether I want coffee or tea, I'm ready to commit mayhem. Just Leave Me Alone! I wouldn't even mind if they didn't serve food, as long as they let me bring my own. It's not as if airline food is special.
To really illustrate this, here's the schedule on the trans-atlantic flight I took to London:
- First pass of the drink cart.
- "Coffee or tea?"
- Second pass of the drink cart.
- Everyone getting up and going to the john.
- Finally, two hours of quiet.
- Drink cart for breakfast.