Have been reflecting on the value of the so-called budget airlines. Took Southwest Airlines from San Francisco to Los Angeles return. The fare was $US 100. Add $20 for various airline charges and taxes. Then add the cost of getting to and from the airport. Using public transport, the cheapest option, cost another $67.30. Add another $10 each way for a meal because the airlines does not supply food. And tips for baggage handling. Total: about $208. Driving takes about as long as the total journey time for the flight, assuming the flight is on time. So for shorter flights of up to 75 to 90 minutes, it probably makes sense to hire a car. That’s if you like driving and navigating. The SW pilots impressed me the way they dealt with 50-mile-an-hour winds at Oakland airport. But service was minimal, despite the advertisements in the inflight magazine describing the “outstanding customer service”.