World's longest nonstop commercial flight takes off this week

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Torture, and you pay for it? Nice idea…


Do they not do LA to Bangkok anymore*? I did that on Royal Thai and I’m pretty sure it was 18 hours. I was in coach, and felt the need to stand up an walk about occasionally, but between eating and movies (I think I watched 3 or 4, with a few TV shows added in) it wasn’t much of an ordeal. The hard part was landing in the morning and having to stay awake the full rest of the day in order to beat jet-lag.

*Guess not. Which is fine. No one should travel to Thailand anymore, since it has become a dictatorship.


The longest flight and it’s only 19hrs long? Amateurs

The world’s longest airplane flight took place in 1958, when two aircraft mechanics spent 64 days above the southwestern U.S. in a tiny Cessna with no amenities.

Learn more about it from the excellent Futility Closet podcast :slight_smile: And yes that flight was entirely without landing.


It’s incredible that the first thought we all have in reading this story is to either marvel or recoil at what a long flight that is.

It barely even registers for us that you can get on a plane in Singapore and get off in New York 19 hours later.

Imagine telling someone in 1800 that you could go across the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Middle East, North Africa, and the entire Atlantic in less than a day, and the biggest problem would be that your legs and back would be pretty uncomfortable when you arrived.


Sure. And imagine telling someone from 2000 years ago that books are so common now we burn them.

The thing about the Singapore-New York flight is that it’s just a marginal increase on something already very common. At any given moment there are over 1,000,000 people flying somewhere. This is the world we live in, not some hypothetical other world in which we routinely mingle with folks from other centuries.

Aside1: it’s interesting the route you listed. I don’t know which way the plane goes, but as a denizen of the Pacific I naturally assume the route would be across the Phillippines, past Hawai’i and across California to NY, not the other way (with the added bonus that the earth would be spinning under the plane, rather than chasing it all the way).

Aside2: I’ve flown IAH-AKL several times, which can be about 15 hours depending on the wind. It sucks. Movies, food, sleep, walking about, brushing teeth … they all help the time pass, but it still sucks.


My flight to Japan earlier this year was tiring, but i did hit on the best way to travel. Always book the aisle seat. I typically prefer the window seat for domestic flights but being in the aisle for international flights is nicer since you can stretch your legs with more ease. Most of the time i didn’t even need to get up, just stretching out toward the aisle when it was free was pretty handy.


Yes, that’s precisely the phenomenon I’m talking about. Our takeaway from being able to travel from Texas to New Zealand in around half a day in incredibly safe circumstances is that it sucks because it’s kind of boring even with movies and fresh water and food on demand.

(just to be clear, I’m lumping myself in this category, because that’s my first gut reaction as well)

It is? Ok. Good thing I made reference to the need for imagination, huh?

The shortest distance between Singapore and New York is almost directly north-south over the pole



Is that the route the flight will take?

Yes, according to airlineratings

That makes it so much more amazing in that event. Over the goddamn north pole! And we’ll complain about how the in-flight system only has the theatrical cut of Blade Runner and not the director’s cut.


here I’ll just download it mysel



The only movies available when flying over the north pole will be Xmas movies


Evelle: Gale? Um, Junior just had a - an accident.
Gale: What’s that, pardner?
Evelle: He had hisself a little ol’ accident.
Gale: What do you mean? He looks okay.
Evelle: No. You see, moving though we are, he just went and had hisself a little 'ol rest stop.
Gale: [sniffs the air] Well, that’s natural.

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19 hours? Still doesn’t beat the double sunrise flights that QANTAS* used to fly
*corrected. Thank you phillip_brown_j Of course the “commercial”-ness of those flights, like the wartime flights by BOAC flagged mosquitoes from the UK to Sweden was largely theoretical, seeing as how they were flown by military pilots on military aircraft.

It’s Qantas (Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services)


It appears that the A350-900 ULR is also the answer to the question how the west coast tech billionaire bro frat members who a buying boltholes in NZ to escape the [insert scenario of choice] apocalypse plan to get there in the event.
Maybe the airplane spotter community can poke around a bit.

My elderly mother flew London to Perth a few months ago. She came out of it hating anything connected with aviation. By the time I picked her up in Melbourne she was a mess.

Last time we flew to Europe we had a three hour break in Hong Kong. Its enough to get some food, move around and exhaust yourself to hopefully sleep on the next leg.

These ultra long distance flights have to carry a lot of fuel, which means offloading baggage, and because the fuel is denser than humans and their stuff, they have room to spare. There has been discussion in aviation circles about providing a breakout area in the hold so that people can chill out and move around for a bit.

I hope that gets built.

My grandfather flew on that. Somewhere we have the certificate they handed out to passengers.

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