The fact that airlines consider having the longest flights on their portfolio a bragging right can only be a source of bemusement, if not sleep deprived rage, to sorry passengers that sign up to more than 17 hours in the air.
Qantas has a better idea of the shape of things to come. It’s set to launch the shortest long haul flight ever, between London and Perth, in March 2018. They’re confident they can fly the 9,008 mile Kangaroo Route that they introduced back in 1947, that once took four days and nine stops, in under 16 hours.
We take a look at the world’s longest available flights.
Auckland to Doha – 9,032 miles with Qantas
New Zealand’s Auckland to Dubai (9,032 miles) takes 18h and 20m. Passengers are consoled for this odyssey with a toothbrush, ear plugs, eye shade and the ‘Blippar’ app for media entertainment. There’s also free Wi-Fi.
Craft: Boeing 777-200LR
Best feature: free Wi-Fi
Find cheap flights with Qantas with Netflights.
Auckland to Dubai – 8,824miles with Emirates
Up to 484 passengers can travel in the four classes of service available on this journey from Polynesia to the Arabian Peninsula. It takes 17h 15m. First and business means gourmet food and flat lying beds. The other 371 have to make to with smaller seats with unconvincing sounding ‘soft cushioning’ and ‘lumbar support’.
Craft: Airbus A380
Best feature: a decent 35kg baggage allowance (economy)
Find cheap Emirates flights with Netflights.
Los Angeles to Singapore – 8,770 miles with United Airlines
There’s long and there’s long. Los Angeles to Singapore might be less mileage than Qatar’s Auckland New Zealand but it takes 25 minutes more. Air speed is influenced by a whole variety of things, like headwinds and drag. The fleece lined slippers and Saks Fifth Avenue pyjamas are a nice trip to the 17h 55m ordeal.
Craft: Boeing 787-9
Best feature: the free pyjamas
Find cheap United flights with Netflights.
San Francisco to Singapore – 8,446 miles with United Airlines
In many ways, United is way behind other long haul air carriers in terms of food and drink, amenities and quality of seating. For example, only beer and wine are complimentary, no sleeping clothes are provided and seats don’t recline enough. That said, the in-flight entertainment options are excellent to get you through just under 18h of flying.
Craft: Boeing 787-9/Airbus A350
Best feature: masses of overhead storage
Dallas to Sydney – 8,578 miles with Qantas
Economy seats have both Australian, US and USB outlets and meaning that you can work and play to your heart’s content. The best feature has to be the adjustable headrest and foot net make all the difference for the 17h and 10m of fly time.
Craft: Airbus A380
Best feature: Marc Newson designed seats