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.
Last updated June 1, 2023 | By Nicholas Slayton Edited By Michele Zipp
 man sleeping in plane

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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. There are ultra-long flights in demand, with several routes currently running around the planet that easily surpass 16 hours in the sky. With fuel cost so high, these flights won't be cheap and will eat into your money.

If you're planning an overseas trip and want to keep your journey to just a single plane ride, your endurance is impressive. Here are the longest flights you can take.

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 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 in Singapore Changi Airport, stepping out to the bustling and cosmopolitan city. The airline's international flights also have suites on the plane, too. Beyond first class, they offer beds and special menus, in case you want a full meal and a nap 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. 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 the New Zealand city. 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.

Perth to London

Markus Mainka/Adobe British Airways Airbus A320 airplane

Here's one that crosses from the southern to northern hemispheres, across three continents and from a former colony to the heart of the United Kingdom. Qantas Flight 9 trip takes people from Perth to Heathrow Airport in around 17 hours.

After going on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it relaunched earlier this year, taking passengers on a Boeing Dreamliner. There's economy seats, sure, but also more luxurious business class options that can make a long flight more comfortable.

Pro tip: Want to travel abroad for a summer vacation? Here's how to travel in luxury using points.

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. Just confirmed last month, New Zealand's direct route to New York's JFK will begin flights this September. When those planes take off, it will be the fourth-longest airplane route currently in operation, covering 8,828 miles in total, with approximately 17 hours and 35 minutes of flight time.

Los Angeles to Singapore

krunja/Adobe airplane flying over Singapore city in morning time

Singapore Air's flight comes in just minutes under the 17-hour mark. Obviously 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 when the sun goes down.

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 from Australia to 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 a space center exhibition instead of the historical destinations in Dallas, this is the Texas route for you.

San Francisco to Bengaluru

Markus Mainka/Adobe United Airlines Boeing 737-800 airplane

You might know Bengaluru better as Bangalore. United Airlines' flight out of the Bay Area takes you to the South Indian metropolis. This 17 hour and 45 minute route also links two of the world's tech centers.

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. Currently Singapore Airlines is operating the route while United Airlines is restarting its own flights by the end of April.

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. It 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 Johanessberg

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 travel more than 8,400 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

Saudi Arabia's Saudia airline handles this nonstop route, although regional giants Emirates and Qatar Airways offer connecting flights along the same path. Clocking in at slightly over 16 hours, this flight links two west coast cities of different nations.

The Saudi port city is also 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, these might be the way to go. Make sure to book your trip with a credit card that gives you the most travel rewards.

Some even longer flights are in the planning stages to launch in the coming months and years, such as Auckland to New York City. Just be ready for some intense jet lag once you do eventually 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.