Just like last year, I’m sitting down at the end of the year to figure out travel expenses for tax purposes. As you know, I’m a huge, lifelong Batman fan. So this time, I wanted to see how I would stack up against The Dark Knight himself.
According to Esurance, Batman drives an average of 5,000 miles every year in the Batmobile Tumbler. Let’s double that to account for the Batpod. Roughly, Bruce Wayne drives 10,000 miles for his job as the Caped Crusader. I’ll assume their calculations are correct, because why would insurance companies ever lie?
Compare that to the 18,282 miles I drove this year in the name of comedy.
Yay! I beat Batman on the ground.
Now, about air travel. I consulted Tony Scott, former airborne traffic reporter for various TV and radio stations in Honolulu, Hawaii. Some of you might remember him from his alter ego, Buzz Bennett. (How Batman of you, Tony!) Tony advised me that he flew about four hours every day, five days a week, averaging 100 mph. Tony would fly twice a day, covering both morning and afternoon traffic. Unlike Tony, Batman only worked at night, lest he develop a telltale facial tan from his mask which would surely give away his secret identity.
(At the end of The Dark Knight Rises, Batman indeed shows up to fight Bane in broad daylight, because at that point he was already planning his Italian retirement.)
So we will use half that daily flight time for the one shift, but pad it a little since he is watching over a bigger city. When patrolling Gotham City, Batman probably logs 2.75 hours of flight time in The Bat every night. He seems to use it primarily to get to town where he then creeps around on foot or via Batpod. At a speed of 100 miles per hour, this comes to 275 miles flown per night. If Batman were to fly 6 nights a week for a full year (minus a week here for errands to Hong Kong, or a week there for a trip to Santa Prisca), this would be 82,500 miles. Admittedly, when Batman is locked up for months on end in a foreign prison he is not accruing any flying miles in The Bat. However, you have to account for roundtrip air travel to Santa Prisca, and in-city hang-gliding with memory-cloth cape, so in the interests of simplicity we will call it a wash.
That seems like a lot, considering the average American flies only 1,055 miles per year. But I flew 161,298 miles this year. Or 6.48 times around the world. Still doesn’t register? I’ve created a handy info-graphic using the international superhero standard of measurement: the Dwight Howard.
Ha ha! I’ve out-Batmanned Batman in 2012. I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings. But no matter what kind of obstacles pop up, I’ll fight harder. I always have.