QUOTE(Piltdown Man @ Oct 20 2008, 11:29 PM) [snapback]128671[/snapback]
You don't want to know!
Well actually, it interests me... ;)
So I just did a quick calculation, taking a Cirrus SR22 (4-seater prop, new generation so quite efficient but still with some "punch" not to spend your life getting to the other side), Orlando to Salt Lake City would take you about 10 hours of flight and one fuel stop, so you'd most likely do that over 2 days.
Some random rental rates I found for that plane quote $300/hour wet, so $3000, 1/3rd of that being the fuel (about 200 gal of avgas at a $5.20/gal average).
That's certainly overdone, so supposing you bought a share in one or found interesting rates you could maybe compress that to $2000. That's regardless of whether you're 1 or 4 on board, so obviously it's more interesting (less scary?) if you're more. But for 2 people you'd count $1000 per person one way, so $2000 return.
Some airline fares I looked up say $230/person for a return.
And with the private plane you can count hotel for the overnight, so there you are, flying privately will cost you roughly 10 times more
than hiring a driver.
Of course there's the priceless fun to have done it yourself, but I guess that while it would be fun once, you wouldn't want to do that every time for the effort, time and cost.
If I redo the calculation with the small 2-seater ultralight we flew 11000km in with a friend of mine, that would be 1/3rd of the fuel cost, the costs due to the plane itself would be a lot lower, so let's say about $700 one way. So the factor is now "only" 3, but then it takes you 20 flight hours over 3 days to get there.
But if you really wanted to get into it, it would take a lot of research to find the best choice - interestingly enough, the operating costs for a PC-12 would also bring it to $3000 for the trip in 6 hours, however that doesn't include rental / ownership cost, only maintenance costs.