A consumer blogger discovered it was cheaper to travel home to Essex from Sheffield via Berlin than to take the train.
Jordon Cox, 18, from Brentwood, Essex, was in Sheffield for a lecture and found a one-way train ticket home would cost £47.
He opted instead to fly from East Midlands Airport to Berlin and then fly from Berlin to Stansted.
Mr Cox said the journey, on 20 January, saved him about £8.
He admitted it was not an environmentally-friendly way to travel or the quickest.
It took him 12 hours to get home compared with the three-and-a-half hour train journey.
“Obviously it isn’t for everyone. Some people will just want to get home, but if you like travelling and saving money then it’s a great way to do it.
“The scenery was also 10 times better than any train trip would have been.”
Mr Cox, who blogs on the Money Saving Expert website, took a train from Sheffield to Derby and then a bus to East Midlands Airport, from where he flew to the German capital.
He said the trip gave him time to visit the centre of Berlin, which he probably would not have been to otherwise.
The blogger said the two flights, bus fares, his train to Derby, train fares in Berlin and lunch in the German capital cost £44.07, while the train trip plus bus fares and a sandwich would have cost £51.79.
How flying can be cheaper than rail
Going from Bournemouth to Liverpool by air can work out £40 cheaper than going there by train – as long as you’re prepared to go via Mallorca.
Analysis of flights and rail services shows how people who are prepared to spend longer travelling and go potentially thousands of miles out of their way can cut the costs, at the expense of their carbon footprint.
A rail ticket from Bournemouth to Liverpool Lime Street on 7 April 2016 would set someone back £113 today, according to thetrainline.com booking service.
Starting at 14:45 BST and with a change at Birmingham New Street the five-hour 266-mile journey works out at about 43p per mile.
However, someone willing to set out earlier, take a bus to Bournemouth Airport then fly at 09:10 BST to Mallorca and on to Liverpool John Lennon Airport could will pay £72.31, or 3 pence per mile once the bus at the other end is taken into consideration.
The only catch is it means going a long way around, 2,642 miles in total.
It is a similar story with other flights. Going from Birmingham International to Edinburgh Waverley by rail on 2 February 2016 costs £66.51, or 22p per mile. But fly from Birmingham and stop off in Dublin and the cost is £25.91, or 5 pence per mile.
Whether the environmental impact is justified by the cost is a matter for debate.