Group Travel Comparison: Charter Bus vs. Short Flights

If you are coordinating a trip for a group that is too far for a carpool but still only a short flight away, you may want to consider taking your group trip in a luxury motor coach.

If you cringe at the thought of spending thousands of dollars to get your group from point A to point B, the charter bus alternative can give you the comfort of flying with the convenience of driving. When you stop and look at the two side by side, you’ll find advantages in convenience, in-transit experience, and cost.

Let’s begin with a case study. Imagine you taking a group of 20 on an overnight trip from Norfolk to D.C. and back. Should you book a short flight for your group or charter a bus?

(All numbers explained below)

Charter bus vs. Short flight

Travel Comparison – Group of 20 Roundtrip between Norfolk and D.C.



With flights, everyone understands that a plane can travel faster than a car, but it’s not quite as simple as that when it comes to short flights. In our example, a flight from Norfolk to D.C. may only take 50 minutes in the air, but factor in the drive to the airport, getting through security, and baggage claim, and you have almost the full 3 hours it takes to drive there by bus.

When you take a charter bus instead of booking your group for a short flight, here’s some advantages you’ll find:

  • No security lines
  • More complimentary baggage space
  • More scheduling flexibility – we work around your schedule
  • No layovers ever
  • No ending up 15th in line for take off

Your “short flight” is usually going to spend more of your travel time on the ground than in the air. For trips that are too far to carpool comfortably but are still short flights, a charter bus may actually save you time!

In-Transit Experience

Part of the appeal of air travel is the comfort and freedom of not being in the driver’s seat. The chairs are more comfortable than a pair of crammed rental mini-vans. You can multitask more easily, getting work done on the way. Certainly, an hour in the air sounds more appealing than 5 or more hours in a car.

The advantage of a charter bus is that it gives you all the amenities of flying and more. For example, Fun Tours provides buses from 20-55 passengers (see our bus options) that include complimentary WIFI and DVD players, and the 38-passenger and 55-passenger buses include charging ports for every seat and clean lavatories. In short, you won’t be missing any of the amenities or conveniences you would find on a plane to help make the most of your travel time.

Saving Money

Depending on the destination and size of your group, there’s a good chance that you will find a charter bus to be much more cost efficient. For example, to do a round trip from Norfolk to D.C. with a group of 20, you’re looking at a starting point of about $4,000-$4,200 in ticket costs alone. In addition, you’ll have taxi services for your group of 20 to get you to your hotel and back depending on where you stay.

Using the same example of a round trip between Norfolk and Washington D.C., the base price is $1,950 plus the driver’s hotel and $200 per day. In total, you’re looking at about $2,500 total for your travel arrangements. For only an hour more travel time, you’re saving at least $1,500 while still avoiding the nightmare of coordinating a 20-person carpool. You get the comfort of flying (and more) with the cost and convenience of ground travel.

Whether your group is going on a corporate trip, a student trip, or any other kind of trip, it would be our pleasure to help you get there conveniently, comfortably, and of course, affordably.