Plane Trips are Porthole to Porthole Travel Tip
This is the main reason I stay on the ground.
I did fly to Israel and back to Greece, but there was no choice. I left the Hostel in Tel Aviv at 4 AM, arrived at the Hostel in Athens 12 pm.
Eight hours travel time, 2 1/2 hours in the air.
I should be on the ground for the next few years in Eastern Europe, at sometime cross Russia to Asia.
I find it totally more expensive to fly, too.
Three hours by air is about 1500 statute miles. I defy you to find any form of transportation that can cover that amount of distance. You have a real point about that if the trip is under 500 miles though. I recently flew 466 miles in 4 hours door-to-door, and this is with a toddler and checked bags. Everything had to happen perfectly thought for that to happen, but we do it about every 2-3 months.
Flying is expensive, but only if your time is worth nothing. I roughly budget my time at $30 per hour, so a 10 hour bus ride "costs" me $300 of my time (any time you are doing one thing while wanting to do something else). That 10 hour bus ride is about 5 hours door-to-door, or a $150 savings of "wasted" time.
(I base the cost of my time on about 80% of my salary).
If I do everything perfect than air travel is great. I can make 1000's of mistakes with a bus trip and still keep in budget.
Wages, if a person is making over 25 dollars per hour and is self employed, then planes become better. I am not sure which is more comfortable, I am always more beat after 24 hours of plane than 24 hours of bus.