So Who Owns the Longest Flight?

What was the world’s longest commercial flight came to an end. Singapore Airlines just discontinued their non-stop flight from Singapore to New York (Newark). It was a monster at nearly 19 hours. According to Wikipedia, this flight was so long that the airline installed special lockers for corpses in the event of tragedy aboard the aircraft.

Since the airline also discontinued their Singapore-Los Angeles flight, the new longest distance flight is now owned by Qantas flying Sydney to Dallas, comparatively tame at a little more than 15 hours. For avgeeks who just love to be in the air, consider Delta Air Line’s flight from Johannesburg to Atlanta. While the distance is about a hundred miles less than Qantas, it actually takes almost 17 hours. For those who are curious, flights from Dubai to the U.S. also are generally longer than the Qantas flight in terms of hours, as are many other flights primarily to Asia.

So, the distance winner is Qantas while the time in the sky winner is Delta. Regardless, all of these flights have to be downright painful sitting in an economy middle seat in the back.


  1. the real painful ones are EK on their 77W or AA’s new DFW-HKG … 16+ hours on 3-4-3 economy, much worse than any other plane type (unless you’re talking about 3-3-3 A330, but those are rare)

  2. I had really wanted to fly on the Singapore flight but never did get a chance! Oh well – the longest flight I was on was almost 18 hours because of delays and weather that caused us to circle. It was JFK-HKG. At least I was in first! 🙂

  3. The Johannesburg – Atlanta flight I was on (2001; South African Airways) was 22 hours. I was in a middle seat in coach, between two large men who kicked and elbowed me the entire flight.

  4. A new longest flight is coming. I think it would be 4th or 5th though. LAX-JED on Saudia from Q2 2014

  5. I flew ATL-JNB a few years ago but they had a refueling stop in Dakar. If that’s still the case, should that really count? We got to get off and stretch our legs in a lounge for about an hour, so that’s a lot different in my book than being on the plane for the whole 17 hrs.

  6. I just booked DL 200 ATL-JNB in Bus Elite. What is the best seat for 2 passengers traveling on 777-20? Also FYI during the ugly years of apartheid I believe the longest flight was JFK-JNB as SAA had to fly around the bulge of Africa.Airspace was protected & they could not fly across the continent. The average flight going was 18 hrs going & 19.5 on the return when faced with headwinds

  7. @deltaplat, AFAIK it is a nonstop flight both ways, a bit longer on the return because of winds.

    @Tennisfan, my husband and I flew this aircraft SYD-LAX. Delta’s 777 features 1-2-1 BE seating with all-aisle access. The window seats are angled away from the windows and the interior seats angle away from each other. Great seating for flying alone, not as good for a couple that wants to snuggle. We were still comfortable with the inside seats next to each other. Personally prefer row 6 because of less foot traffic but all the seats are nice.

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