The rule for using ‘in’ or ‘on’ for transport is:
– independent or special transport uses in
– services use on
* It is not about being inside or on top.
An easy way to think about this is:
Does the transport usually do this journey, even when I am not here?
If it does, it probably uses ‘on’.
Independent transport vs. service
|boat (private boat)||boat (ferry)|
|plane (private plane)||plane (normal plane from airport)|
Exception: bicycles are independent transport, but use on.
|She came to the party in a taxi.||They went to Blackpool on the train.|
|Jules travelled to the island in her boat. (*private boat)||Darlene went to France on the ferry.|
|I left my wallet in the plane. (*my plane)||I left my bag on the plane. (*normal plane)|
|Francis went to the shop on her bicycle.|