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What's faster? Watch us race across England by plane and train

May 06, 2022
4 min read
What's faster? Watch us race across England by plane and train
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National Train Day is fast approaching in the U.S., and The Points Guy U.K. team has found the perfect way to celebrate. Thanks to the likes of Francis Bourgeois’ viral TikTok videos as well as the environmental benefits that train transport offers, riding a train has never been so popular. To celebrate National Train Day across the pond, The Points Guy U.K. is putting trains and planes to the ultimate test.

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British airline Flybe has recently made its debut back into the world after having been off-grid for the past two years. The re-launched brand has reconnected London Heathrow (LHR) and Leeds Bradford (LBA) as a flight route after British Airways dropped it from its schedule.

In our most recent video, Nicky races Liam from Piccadilly Circus, London to Nicky’s family home in Leeds, which is situated halfway between the train station and airport in Leeds. Liam went by train from Kings Cross in London to Leeds, and Nicky took the Flybe flight from London Heathrow to Leeds Bradford Airport.

Related: Plane vs. Train: Watch the TPG UK Team Race From London to Paris

The test looked at the value, the ease of getting to the station or airport, the comfort on board and who could get to their destination the fastest. The key question: Is taking the train both more environmentally friendly and quicker?

You can watch the whole experience and find out who won right here on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/yyTjcAdCYcs

Nicky Kelvin – Plane

I traveled on the Bakerloo line from Piccadilly Circus to Paddington and connected onto the Heathrow Express train to Heathrow’s Terminal 2. I took Flybe flight BE752 on a De Havilland Canada Dash 8 to Leeds Bradford airport scheduled to depart Heathrow at 9:45 a.m. My mom and dog picked me up from the airport to race to the finish line at my family home in North Leeds.

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We paid:

  • Flybe ticket: 54.99 British pounds ($67.95).
  • Tube and Heathrow Express: 27.50 British pounds ($33.98).
  • Lift from mom: Free!
  • Total: 82.49 British pounds ($101.94).

I loved the speed of the actual flight, which clocked in at 41 minutes and is, in isolation, far quicker than the train. There was a refreshment service on board providing tea, coffee and biscuits for all passengers, which was a lovely touch. The Dash 8 aircraft was small but very comfortable, and the views from the sky are unrivaled!

It was not all rosy, however. Delays are not uncommon at Heathrow airport. Even if a flight leaves its stand on time, a busy airfield and associated air traffic and other holdups can mean lots of time is lost just taking off.

There are also, of course, more hurdles to jump through, including the check-in, boarding and security processes (although these were all smooth at Heathrow that day). It’s worth noting that some people may not like the smaller and noisier propeller planes used on this route.

Liam Spencer – Train

Liam traveled on the Piccadilly line from Piccadilly Circus to Kings Cross St Pancras to catch the 8:33 a.m. LNER train service from London Kings Cross to Leeds. He then took a taxi to the finish line.

We paid:

  • First Class LNER train ticket: 58 British pounds ($71.67).
  • Tube: 2.50 British pounds ($3.09).
  • Taxi: 15 British pounds ($18.54).
  • Total: 75.50 British pounds ($93.30).

I found the first-class seat on the train to be incredibly comfy, with a huge tray table and tons of room to stretch out. There was also an extensive breakfast and drinks menu that the ticket price covered. I had poached eggs with smashed avocado, which was delicious. The crew serving me was also very friendly. Overall, it was an extremely efficient service that got me into Leeds slightly ahead of schedule.

There were a few downsides, including the lack of entertainment if you didn’t bring your own. Although complimentary Wi-Fi was provided, it was not particularly strong and cut out often.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more