Journalist commutes to work by plane to save money

A Wall Street Journal journalist, Chip Cutter, has unveiled his thrice-weekly routine of commuting to work in New York City by flight, a cost-effective alternative to renting a home in the city where housing prices have surged.

Having relocated from New York to Columbus, Ohio, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cutter faced challenges finding affordable accommodation within his budget when his employer mandated a return-to-office policy in 2022.

In response to the housing dilemma, Cutter devised a unique solution—opting to fly to work rather than grapple with exorbitant rents in the Big Apple. The flight from Columbus to New York takes just over an hour and 40 minutes.

“I thought I could keep my expenses — rent in Ohio, plus travel costs — at or below the price of a nice New York studio, or roughly $3,200 a month,” Cutter wrote in the Wall Street Journal, and was quoted by New York Post.

Embracing the title of a “supercommuter,” Cutter sets his alarm at 4:15 am in his Ohio apartment, rushing to the airport for a 6 am flight to New York.

To mitigate travel costs, Cutter strategically utilizes travel miles and hotel points for flight and accommodation bookings.

Initially, he lodged in upscale Manhattan hotels near the Wall Street office, but realizing the toll on his hotel points, he shifted to more economical options in the outskirts of New York, such as South Queens near JFK Airport and the Van Wyck Expressway.

This demanding lifestyle has not been without its drawbacks, impacting Cutter’s social life, and he acknowledges the teasing from friends who jest about his chosen “life of chaos.”

In a LinkedIn post, Cutter candidly reflects on the challenges posed by his unconventional commuting approach.

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