benoist-travel-time-map

When people read the story of the first airline flight, they often wonder at the travel time of 23 minutes for a short trip across the bay. Why on earth would people pay for a 23 minute flight?

The reason becomes clear when you understand what travel options were available in 1914. Back then, there was no such thing as a “quick trip across the bay.” With no bridges and brand new automotive technology, a drive was an uncomfortable 20 hours! A somewhat more luxurious rail trip could range anywhere between 4 and 12 hours, and even the direct route across the water by steamboat would take you more than two hours.