Air Travel

The longest flights in the world

It was like a revelation the first time I saw the ad pop up online. The news was so powerful that it literally gave me pause as I stopped what I was doing, checked the fine print, and then, started making calculations in my head.

The longest flights in the world

Philippine Airlines was starting direct flights from Manila to New York and back again.

That couldn’t be more significant for me and my travel schedule, as I’ve lived in the Philippines the last two-plus years but was born and raised in Connecticut, an easy car ride from New York. In fact, I return each and every year flying into John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, or, sometimes, Newark airports for six weeks or so visiting the family and catching up on my U.S. errands.

However, I’m usually forced to take a less-than-ideal route (no matter where I’ve lived in Southeast Asia), including flights to South Korea, Japan, or Taiwan for a layover before hopping aboard another flight back to NYC. In total, that means about 19 or 20 hours of total flying time with a 4-6 hour layover in between. BRUTAL!

But, with this new flight that rolled out October 2018 from Philippine Airlines, I can hop aboard a new Airbus aircraft, sit my ass down, and deplane only when I’m in New York, more than 9,000 miles and a world away.

The flying time? An astounding (and slightly frightening) 16 hours and 40 minutes.

But, believe it or not, that’s not even the longest flight in the world. There are a just a couple of routes that are longer. There can be two reasons for that: the departure and arrival countries are just even farther apart in total mileage than New York and Manila, or they use a slightly slower aircraft and/or take a slower route.

With the 16 hours, 40-minute flight as a high bar, let’s see what other flights around the world exceed that flying time:

19 hours – Singapore to New York. This once a day flight from Singapore’s Changi Airport to Newark Liberty Airport from Singapore Airlines covers 9,500 hours with an A350-900ULR, which has first class, business class, and premium seats but no economy class!

17 hours, 40 minutes – Auckland, New Zealand to Doha, Qatar in just over 9,030 miles. This used to be the world’s longest commercial flight until the Singapore to New York route above.

17 hours, 30 minutes – Houston, TX to Sydney, Australia is almost an hour longer than the Philippines-Manila flight, but shorter at “only” 8,596 miles (because of the southern position of Australia).

17 hours, 20 minutes – Perth, Australia to London’s Heathrow Airport is just over 9,000 miles.

17 hours, 5 minutes – Auckland, New Zealand to Dubai, UAE in 8,824 miles.

17 hours – Los Angeles to Singapore, 8,770 miles.

16 hours, 50 minutes – Dallas/Fort Worth to Sydney Australia on an Airbus A380.

There are a slew of flights that take 13, 14 or even 15 hours.

The best part about my new favorite route from Manila to New York? Not only does it cut down on total travel time by up to 10 hours or so and offer wonderful convenience, but it only ran me $578 one way! Incredible!

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Norm Schriever is a blogger, Amazon best-sellling author, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His work appears in the Huffington Post,, Good Morning America, The Anderson Cooper Show on CNN, NBC, MSN, Yahoo,, and media all around the world.
Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of overstudying. After expatriating to Costa Rica in 2011, he started traveling the world and documenting what he saw. He now lives in Southeast Asia, writing his heart out and working with local charities.

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