These are the 13 Longest Flights You Can Take in the World

Endurance is needed to cross continents and oceans on these flights to see the world.

 man sleeping in plane
Updated May 28, 2024
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Some people might prefer a layover to touch solid ground and take a walk before catching that last leg, but not everyone.

Ultra-long flights are in demand, with several routes currently running around the planet that easily surpass 16 hours in the sky. And with fuel costs so high, these flights aren't cheap — though you could earn travel rewards to lessen the load.

If you're planning an overseas trip and want to test your endurance under pressure — literally — here are the longest flights you can take.

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New York to Singapore

Andrey Armyagov/Adobe Airbus A380 Singapore Airlines Limited

Could you handle flying for 18 hours and 45 minutes? People regularly do on this flight from New York to Singapore. This one set the record for the longest in 2018 when Singapore Airlines officially launched the route.

Hop on a plane from John F. Kennedy International Airport, and nearly a day later, you'll land at Singapore Changi Airport and step out into the bustling cosmopolitan city.

Singapore Airlines' international flights have onboard suites. Beyond first class, they offer beds and special menus in case you want a full meal and a night's sleep on the flight across the Pacific.

Auckland to Doha

Lukas Wunderlich/Adobe Emirates Boeing 777 airplane at Munich airport

Given the nature of travel, the longest flights in operation aren't just international, they're intercontinental.

Take Qatar Airways' direct line from New Zealand to its base in Doha, Qatar, which resumed in September 2023. Clocking in around 18 hours and five minutes, it's a 9,000-mile trip.

Check out the natural attractions in New Zealand or the museums and resorts in Qatar, or both if you have time in both destinations.

Dubai to Auckland

Ryan/Adobe  Air New Zealand Boeing 747-419 ZK-NBT

Not to be outdone by its Gulf neighbor, Emirates has its own massive travel route. Consider it a kind travel and leisure competition between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The 16-hour flight delivers people from Dubai International Airport across the Indian and Pacific oceans to Auckland.

And if you're flying into the Middle East, Dubai is a perfect connecting location to other cities in the region (or a short flight over the Mediterranean into Europe).

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Perth to London

Markus Mainka/Adobe British Airways Airbus A320 airplane

Here's one that crosses from the equator and three continents. Fly from a former British colony to the heart of the United Kingdom.

Qantas Flight 9 trip takes people from Perth to Heathrow Airport in a bit over 17 hours.

The flight takes passengers on a Boeing Dreamliner. There are economy seats, sure, but also more luxurious business class options that can make a long flight more comfortable.

Auckland to New York

Felix Pergande/Adobe Aerial New York City with airplane wing

It's another New Zealand route that makes it to the top five.

New Zealand's direct route to New York is the fourth-longest airplane route currently in operation, covering 8,828 miles in total. Passengers log approximately 17 hours and 35 minutes of flight time.

Los Angeles to Singapore

krunja/Adobe airplane flying over Singapore city in morning time

The flight from Los Angeles to Singapore comes in just minutes under the 17-hour mark.

The direct route means there’s not much to see while in the sky, but Singapore Airlines' onboard amenities give you a chance to sleep in privacy before you land at Changi Airport, one of the busiest transit hubs in Asia.

Dallas to Sydney

theartofphoto/Adobe status of flight departing to Sydney Australia

Yes, several of the longest flights involve the island nations in Oceania. And it's not limited to New Zealand.

Qantas runs flights out of Australia's biggest city, Sydney, heading east over the Pacific and into Texas. With no stops and an eastward path, expect to take a nap on this 17-hour and 20-minute flight.

Houston to Sydney

tonefotografia/Adobe beautiful Asian woman is reading magazine in airplane

Texas is quite big, so of course there are multiple direct routes between Australian and Texan cities.

United Airlines takes you from Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Sydney in approximately 17 hours and 45 minutes.

If you're leaving Sydney and want to see Space Center Houston instead of the historic destinations in Dallas, this is the Texas route for you.

San Francisco to Bengaluru

Markus Mainka/Adobe United Airlines Boeing 737-800 airplane

This 17-hour, 45-minute route also links two of the world's tech centers.

You might know Bengaluru better as Bangalore. United Airlines' flight out of the Bay Area takes you directly to the South Indian metropolis.

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San Francisco to Singapore

Skórzewiak/Adobe Airplane landing at Singapore mirrored in terminal

If you really love spending time in the air, plan more trips to and from Singapore. This trip from the Bay Area to the city takes 17 hours or more, depending on weather and carrier.

New York to the Philippines

ronniechua/Adobe Philippine Air Lines on the Tarmac of Narita Airport

Here's another route guaranteed to rack up frequent flier miles. Philippines Airlines takes you west out of JFK, across North America and then the Pacific Ocean to Manila.

The flight clocks in at just under 17 hours. You can do the same route with some layovers, but if you're in a hurry, this direct flight is the quickest way to cross 8,520 miles.

Atlanta to Johannesburg

Skórzewiak/Adobe plane landing in Johannesburg with signboard

After a hiatus, Delta Airlines resumed these flights in late 2021. This transatlantic route takes travelers from Delta's headquarters in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport to Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport.

It takes 15 hours to fly the 8,400-plus miles. Once you're in South Africa, you can also hop on a short connector to Cape Town if you want to see more of the country.

Jeddah to Los Angeles

Markus Mainka/Adobe Los Angeles International Airport LAX Logo sign

Clocking in at slightly over 16 hours, this flight links two west coast cities of different nations.

Saudi Arabia's Saudia airline handles this nonstop route, although regional giants Emirates and Qatar Airways offer connecting flights along the same path.

The Saudi port city is the entryway to the country for millions of Muslims who make the Hajj to Mecca every year.

Bottom line

Alena Ozerova/Adobe teenage girl travelling by airplane

Long-haul flights are becoming more common as more airlines launch new routes.

If you've racked up points from your trips and want to splurge on a big vacation when you step up your travel game, these might be the way to go. 

Some even longer flights are in the planning stages to launch in the coming months and years. Whenever you fly these world-rounders, just be ready for some intense jet lag once you land.

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Nicholas Slayton

Nicholas Slayton is a journalist and editor based in Los Angeles. His writing can be found at The Daily Beast, Paste Magazine, Architectural Digest, Shelterforce, and other outlets.