Picture this: you’re about to endure a 6-hour
flight, and right now, before departure, you’re sure that you’re gonna be bored to tears.
After all, it’s 6 hours of sitting still in your seat with only short bathroom breaks!
Sounds tough, but how about doing that for 18 hours instead?…
Nope, I ain’t kidding. Such flights do exist, and they’re becoming increasingly popular.
You see, however surprising it may be, people nowadays prefer to get from A to B without
any unnecessary stops. But how did it all start? Surely such long flights haven’t
been around for too long? Actually, the first long-haul flight took
place 18 years ago! On March 1, 2001, Continental Airlines had its first non-stop trip covering
a distance of 7,332 miles. In the late morning, the aircraft left Newark and headed north.
It traveled over the northern part of the US, then Canada, and flew over the North Pole.
Then the plane went over Russia, Mongolia, and China, and a staggering 16 hours later,
it landed in Hong-Kong. Businesspeople all over the world were elated
by this new development since it opened so many possibilities for fast travel. A lot
of business travelers have frequent trips to these two leading financial centers of
the world. But before 2001, there hadn’t been any non-stop commercial flights that could
make such trips more convenient. Funny enough, just several days after the
first flight from Newark, United Airlines started their own service to Hong Kong. But
since their planes departed from JFK airport, this air company set a new record because
the distance was about 2 miles longer. Nowadays, the champion of long-haul travel
is Singapore Airlines with their flight from Newark to Singapore. Just imagine: the longest
commercial flight in the world lasts 18 hours and 45 minutes and covers a distance of 9,528
miles! Would you be up for such a long flight? Let me know down in the comments!
Well, if long-haul flights are so frequent nowadays, why do people still search for connecting
flights? That’s a good question, and the answer is money. (Go figure!) !) Let’s have a look
at an ultra-long-haul flight, say, from Singapore to New York.
For these flights, Singapore Airlines uses an Airbus A350-900 ULR (which stands for ultra-long-range).
There are only seven of such airplanes in the world, and they can cover a distance of
9,700 miles without making a pit stop! But while the standard type can carry 253 passengers
on board, its ultra-long-haul version seats only 161. You may think that’s kinda weird,
but the thing is that there are no economy passengers on these flights. At all! Business
passengers occupy 67 seats, and 94 cater those in premium economy.
You see, more passengers and more seats mean more extra weight for the aircraft. And carrying
more weight leads to using more fuel, which means… (Come on, think hard)… pit stops!
See how it’s all connected? Anyway, passengers in business and premium classes pay more for
their tickets. So in the end, airlines don’t lose anything from operating such insanely
long flights halfway around the world. But if you believe that an 18-hour flight
is the limit for long-haul travel, think again! Qantas Airways is planning to start non-stop
flights between Sydney and London by 2022. This idea has been dubbed “Project Sunrise.”
If they succeed, this aerial marathon across the Indian Ocean will last for 20 hours and
20 minutes! Bring some playing cards with you…
Qantas has organized a deal between Boeing and Airbus to create an airplane that could
fly for more than 20 hours without being refueled. The aircraft would be able to carry extra
fuel that could be used in case of emergencies and headwinds. Well, that’s good to know!
Sooner or later, one of the two major aircraft manufacturers will create this plane. But
can the airline convince potential passengers that flying for 20 hours straight is a good
thing? Well, Qantas is planning to offer its passengers the most important thing on long-haul
flights, and that’s comfort. First, the airline will tempt travelers with
a sleeping berth situated in the plane’s cargo hold. Plus, there will be an onboard gym for
some in-flight exercise. You’ll also have an opportunity to relax after your workout
at an onboard bar! (If you’re of age, of course!) And if you’re traveling with kids,
everybody will give you annoyed looks – I mean, you’ll be able to leave them at the
onboard nursery and hit the gym. Or the bar. Well, doesn’t all that sound fantastic?
And since long-haul flights are gaining popularity and providing their premium passengers with
comfort, budget airlines are still trying to cut their costs. A new solution suggested
by Italian aviation designers might be the key to even cheaper airfare.
At first sight, Skyrider 2.0, the latest airplane seat, looks pretty uncomfortable. You lean
on this construction rather than sit normally. I bet that after using this “perch,” a regular
budget airline seat will feel as comfortable as a business class one! Luckily, these seats
are made for short-haul flights, but still… By the way, the first version of these “seats”
had even less padding. On the other hand, such seats will let budget
airlines fill their planes to the brim. There will be significantly more people and less
baggage since the design doesn’t look as if you can fit your bag under the seat in front
of you. As a result, airlines will be able to increase their efficiency and profit.
The truth is that different designers have been trying to work out ways to maximize seating
for years. But so far, none of the offered designs have looked appealing to travelers.
Besides, aviation authorities haven’t approved the perching seat idea yet. And if they’d
like my opinion, well, nevermind… In any case, for now, we still have to fly
long hours without all those awesome amenities and airplane seat innovations. Actually, in
case you were wondering, here are the top 10 longest flights you can book today!
The 10th spot is taken by Etihad Airways’ flight from Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles. A plane
has to cover a distance of over 8,000 miles, and the trip itself takes 16 hours and 30
minutes. Oooh, we’ve only just begun, my friend…
Delta Air Lines occupies the next position: a trip from Johannesburg to Atlanta takes
16 hours and anywhere from 27 to 40 minutes. That’s about 12 to 20 diaper changes for
the screaming baby in the middle seat behind you!
Number 8 rightfully belongs to the flight from San Francisco to Singapore operated by
United Airlines and Singapore Airlines. If you decide that you need to get to one of
these two destinations, a direct flight will get you there. Just try to decide ahead of
time what you’re gonna do for 16 hours and 35 minutes!
Next up is the flag carrier of Australia’s Qantas Airways with its flight from Dallas-Ft.
Worth to Sydney. The plane covers a distance of over 8½ thousand miles in 17 hours and
15 minutes. Yeah, I hear that lots of kangaroos want to visit Texas.
United’s planes travel from Houston to Sydney in 17 hours and 20 minutes. That’s probably
so the kangaroos can see more of Texas before heading back home!
And the same United Airlines used to fly 8,700 miles from Los Angeles to Singapore in 17
hours and 15 to 50 minutes. But since November 2018, Singapore Airlines have taken over this
route. The fourth spot goes to Emirates: this airline
has a flight from Dubai to Auckland, which takes 17 hours and 20 minutes to complete.
My butt gets tired just thinking about this. The flight from Perth to London by Qantas
is among the top 3 longest flights: the plane travels a whopping 9,000 miles in 17 hours
and 40 minutes. There are movies on these flights, right?
The silver medal goes to Qatar Airways, which operates a flight from Doha to Auckland. It
takes 17 hours and 45 minutes to get from Western Asia to New Zealand.
And you’ve already heard about our reigning champ of long-haul flights: Singapore Airlines
with its almost 19-hour trip from Newark to Singapore.
Of course, you should understand that some of these longest flights in the world may
vary from season to season and often depend on weather, airport traffic, and climate conditions.
But that doesn’t change the fact that passengers have to spend lots and lots of hours sitting
on a plane. Sooo, we close to inventing teleportation yet? No? Ok, guess I’ll keep waiting… So what’s the longest flight you’ve ever taken?
Ready to sign up for one of these long-haul flights from Tedium to Monotony? Share your
experience in the comment section below! Don’t forget to give this video a “like,” share
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