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Your Take on Convenience vs. Cost: How Do You Choose?

Posted By Jim On 02/15/2008 @ 6:13 am In Personal Finance,Your Take | 3 Comments

A few weeks ago we booked our tickets to Hawaii, where we will be spending our honeymoon, and we had a quick little $60 decision to make. On the way back, we have the option of two flights:

  • $390: Departure at 11:50pm, arrive at 6:30pm, or,
  • $330: Departure at 10:50pm, arrive at 7:30pm.

The two flights were similar otherwise (the first had one extra stop, but you never deplaned and second flight had a longer layover) so the difference was in just the flight time and departure times. The first flight was $60 more expensive but we were able to stay in Hawaii an additional hour and we arrived at home an hour earlier. So, which flight did we choose?

We chose the more expensive flight. This was probably one of the first times in which I’ve chosen convenience over cost when the two choices were so similar. In this particular case, there were reasons to pick the more expensive flight outside of the characteristics:

  • Landing at 6:30pm: We will be tired from our trip and having an extra hour of “home” time before going back to work the next day will probably help tremendously.
  • Fewer hours total: This was the only real trade off, paying $30 an hour to save that travel time really cuts down on fatigue.
  • Later departure: By leaving at around midnight Hawaii time, it lets us enjoy the full final day in Hawaii. It also let us have a nice leisurely dinner prior to our departure. If we were to leave at 10:50pm, we’d feel compelled to arrive at the airport by at lets 9:30pm, which means we’d have to leave our dinner by 9 (depending on how far away it was). If we plan on having a nice dinner, that means we have to eat by 7… so for a little extra we can take our time and have more breathing room.

How do you go about deciding whether to take the cheaper option or the more convenient option?

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