Longest flight experiences

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Bob Dylan

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I overnighted at the Frankfurt Airport in the 90's, waiting to catch a morning flight out, back to Dallas.
A 10 1/2 hour flight. My longest ever! We got in early to DFW, and there was no gate for our widebody, so we sat parked on the tarmac for 30 minutes. Even in Business class, 10 1/2 hours is at the limit of what I want experience in jet travel. If I ever had to travel to Australia, I would intentionally book through Honolulu verses a non-stop from Dallas or the West Coast.
Longest Flight I ever was on was Qantas between San Francisco and Sydney! ( in Coach!!)
 
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Longest flight for me was between Portland and Maui, about 6 hours. All told, between flights and layovers, it was about 14 hours from the beginning of the journey to the end. Three flights, one between Pullman/Moscow (WA/ID) to Seattle, a long layover, then another flight between Seattle and Portland, another long layover, and then Portland to Maui. Going back it wasn't near so long because the layovers were pretty much non-existant. I hardly had time to get off the plane in Portland and get on the one to Seattle, and barely had time to get off in Seattle and back to Pullman/Moscow. I believe it was about 9 1/2 hours total, with, again, 6 of that between Maui and Portland.
 
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I never had experienced jet lag until I flew from Honolulu to Dallas. We got in at 5:30am. My timeclock was already screwed up from such a short trip there and back. I hadn't earned anytime off from new job with AA, but my parents had flight benefits by way of me, and they flew to Honolulu and were staying there for a week. So, I had never been to Hawaii, and I all I had to was show up, and my room and board was taken care of by my parents, who had been to Hawaii before. I even had a free trip, my Welcome Aboard pass.

I got to HNL on a Friday afternoon. Stayed over Friday night. Then took a flight out Saturday night, back to Dallas, arriving Sunday morning at 5:30am. My shift at work that Sunday was an afternoon shift that began around 1pm.

I had never experience jet lag like that before. I was warmed over death.

After that experience, I would never travel that many time zones, unless my return trip involved a day off to rest up.
 

jis

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My longest flight so far several times was Newark to Singapore or vice-versa clocking in at around 18 hours and 45 mins. It was always in Premium Economy or Business since the plane did not have any other accommodation. This was Singapore Airlines when they flew the route using a specially equipped Airbus 340-500ULR.
 
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My longest flight was a tie between JFK and TLV in 1971 (when they were flying 707s on the route) and IAD - PEK in 2017. Both flights were 12 hours. When I repeated my trip JFK - TLV in 1989, they were flying 747s and the flight only took 10 hours. (I also think the political situation had changed to the point they could make a more direct flight. On the 1971 flight, we had to twist and turn to avoid flying over the Iron Curtain.)

I also had a 16+ hour flight from JFK to Narita (Tokyo), but we had a stop in Anchorage where they let us off the plane to stretch our legs and buy unbelievably expensive snacks in the airport transit lounge.)
 

WWW

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My longest was JFK to Honolulu - American Airlines 707 in coach (with a bonus 2+2 seating middle seat empty)
Duration was supposed to be 10 hours a few minutes actual 11 hours 35 minutes - Original flight plan was
JFK to Portland OR and then across the open water - due to extreme head winds was diverted way south over
Mexico - just couldn't get a break from those winds - it was that or a mainland fuel stop.

But nothing compared to New York - South Africa or Australia to Europe which easily beats Australia Texas.
Most European flights from the US benefit from the shorter over the pole routes.

Compare long distant air travel to long distant train travel the Siberian Express has to take the prize but not
currently available.
 

jis

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I also had a 16+ hour flight from JFK to Narita (Tokyo), but we had a stop in Anchorage where they let us off the plane to stretch our legs and buy unbelievably expensive snacks in the airport transit lounge.)

I flew NRT - JFK on one of the early non-stops flown by Pan Am using a 747SP, which then was the only commercial aircraft that could reliably make it non-stop. This was back in the mid to late '70s.

But nothing compared to New York - South Africa or Australia to Europe which easily beats Australia Texas.
Most European flights from the US benefit from the shorter over the pole routes.
Which US - Europe flight flies over the pole? I am not aware of any. Even SFO - SVO is over northern Greenland at its northmost point on the Great Circle route.

Here is a nice tool to play aroud with to see what the shortest routes look like for a particular itinerary. It shows the San Francisco to Moscow route below:

 

WWW

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Literary license - not exactly over the pole or its magnetic equivalent more like bisecting Greenland - the great circle arc tends to drift
further south from east coast cities and further north from Pacific northwest
 

jis

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OTOH EWR - SIN takes much less of a literary license to legitimately claim trans-polar, though truth be told, of the eight times I flew on that flight it actually flew trans-polar route only twice. The other times were eastbound over Europe and India and westbound across the Pacific. The exact route taken on a particular day depends a lot o which way the wind blows.

Of course now the actual trans-polar routes are mostly out of bounds for many airlines as a result of the political situation involving Russia.
 
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Ziv

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I fly from DC to Bangkok via Tokyo every couple years. 14 hours going from IAD to Narita, 13 hours coming back. Economy. I used to do a 2 hour layover and fly the same day from Narita to Bangkok. My last trip I broke up that travel day by staying in Tokyo for 3 days. That helped a lot. Tokyo is expensive but it is a GREAT city to visit!
 

jis

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Longest Flight I ever was on was Quantas between San Francisco and Sydney! ( in Coach!!)
I have done San Francisco to Sydney and back several times on United. All on 747-400, including one time with a re-fueling stop at Nandi, Fiji because of too much load and head wind heading to Sydney.

BTW, QANTAS does not have a "u". It stands for Queensland And Northern Territories Aerial Service. It was founded in Longreach, Queensland. There is a QANTAS 747 plinthed there in recognition of that.
 

Bob Dylan

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I have done San Francisco to Sydney and back several times on United. All on 747-400, including one time with a re-fueling stop at Nandi, Fiji because of too much load and head wind heading to Sydney.

BTW, QANTAS does not have a "u". It stands for Queensland And Northern Territories Aerial Service. It was founded in Longreach, Queensland. There is a QANTAS 747 plinthed there in recognition of that.
Thanks, a typo by my Old fingers, I do know better!( and actually Coach wasn't that bad back in the day on 747s when they had Movies, Music and Fed and Watered you properly and gave you Pillows and Blankets!)
 

jis

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DFW - NRT on AA 777 several years ago. At the time most carriers were still using west coast hubs to reach Japan, so DFW was a bit longer.
I regularly did EWR - NRT on UA 747-400s in the late 90s, usually on the way to Bangkok or Singapore and then onto Kolkata. Just burning UA miles collected on business trips. I even did that once in UA First Class. Once while traveling on Business Class misconnected at Tokyo and got to experience ANA Business Class to Bangkok.
 

como

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My longest was JFK to Honolulu - American Airlines 707 in coach (with a bonus 2+2 seating middle seat empty)
Duration was supposed to be 10 hours a few minutes actual 11 hours 35 minutes - Original flight plan was
JFK to Portland OR and then across the open water - due to extreme head winds was diverted way south over
Mexico - just couldn't get a break from those winds - it was that or a mainland fuel stop.

But nothing compared to New York - South Africa or Australia to Europe which easily beats Australia Texas.
Most European flights from the US benefit from the shorter over the pole routes.

Compare long distant air travel to long distant train travel the Siberian Express has to take the prize but not
currently available.
Atlanta to Johannesburg is about 15 hours and the return flight was 16. In coach. The Atlanta - Johannesburg flight was two rows from the back in a middle seat.
 
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I regularly did EWR - NRT on UA 747-400s in the late 90s, usually on the way to Bangkok or Singapore and then onto Kolkata. Just burning UA miles collected on business trips. I even did that once in UA First Class. Once while traveling on Business Class misconnected at Tokyo and got to experience ANA Business Class to Bangkok.
I should have added "west coast hubs to reach Japan with 2-engine planes", as the ETOPS regulations were just being relaxed back then.
 
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My longest flight was from Singapore to San Francisco with a brief (1 hr) stop in Hong Kong to change crew, resupply, and refuel. Singapore Airlines 777 in Business Class; nice plane and good service.

I almost had a mis-adventure during the stop in Hong Kong. Everyone had to get off the plane during the service stop. The time was close to Midnight; I was tired; my ears became mostly plugged as we descended for landing. The Flight Attendant provided instructions as to what to do when we got off the plane. I did not hear those well. Thought, OK, I will follow the "herd" and go where they go. I walk slow; the herd got way ahead of my and I lost sight of them. I came to an intersection and there was a corner that I should have turned to get to the gate waiting area to re-board the plane. Not realizing that, I went straight, came to passport control, and went through that (welcome to HK). Seeing the next place was luggage pick-up, I realized that I had made a mistake. (A large one.) I didn't go through the doors (that would have been worse). Tried to explain my situation to 2 or 3 of the agents who were puzzled what to do. One of them contacted a Singapore Airlines employee who arrived. I explained to him what had happened. He took me in tow and ushered me out of the area and to the gate area, found me a seat, and firmly said "Sit here. Don't leave your seat until someone tells you to." Just before boarding was to begin, a gate agent told me to follow him and got me to the door of the plane where a Flight Attendant escorted me to my seat. To say that I was embarrassed about what happened would be an understatement.
 

blueman271

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My longest trip was from Norfolk-Singapore. The trip included 2 connections, 5 airports, and took around 24 hours total.
 
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The longest flight ever, was of course, by Dirigible, over 24 hours in the air...from Germany to South America...


Dallas to Sydney, Australia on Qantas is 8,596 miles and 17 hours

Coming is Non-Stop service from DFW to Melbourne, Australia using the 787 with a flight time listed as 17:05 flying 8,992 miles.


 

mcropod

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It's not really possible to get to or from Oz by air without a long journey. I prefer to enter an leave via Melbourne which is located in the SE of the country even for a north-west destination - Singapore (about eight hours) or Doha (about fourteen). Both those flightpaths take about five hours just to get out of Oz.

I combined two fourteen-hour longies on my last OS trip by flying to Philadelphia from Melbourne via Doha. I took a one-day stopover on my way there, but not on my return. Qatar Air is my airline of choice. Their Doha- Auckland run of about 17 hours for our Kiwi friends is a super-longie.

When we came to Oz as migrants in the mid-1960s from Scotland, it was by plane rather than the boat journey which was the more common way the Oz government used at the time for we assisted-passage migrants. After a BEA Vickers Viscount prop-jet flight from Edinburgh to London and a couple of days in the English capital, it was a Qantas 707 which took the following path: London, New York, San Francisco, Hawaii, Fiji, Sydney. It was absolutely the same plane for the full journey, and we left our gear on it and de-planed for the 45 minute stops each landing - including at about 0300h onto the tarmac in Fiji while being watched by a white-skirt clad policeman.

We were in economy-class seats for the duration, which took about 24+ hours airtime, but less on the calendar because we were chasing the sun. That's definitely the longest flight I've been on. It was probably muuuuch longer for my oldies who had to wrangle we four kids throughout.

After arrival in Sydney we were taken the one hour last leg to Melbourne on a TAA 727.
 
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