Could You Endure 20 Hours In Coach? Qantas Plans To Find Out

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The world’s longest commercial flight is 9,534 miles from Newark to Singapore and takes anywhere from 15 to 19 hours depending on winds. Nineteen hours is a long time to spend anywhere consecutively other than a womb or a grave, both of which provide more legroom than coach, but Australian airline Qantas wants to know if we can possibly tolerate any longer.


Qantas is going to test direct flights from Sydney to both New York and London, which will take about 20 hours, according to Bloomberg. The tests will occur with 40 people, most of whom work for the company, because who in their right minds would pay for that kind of punishment?

Sydney to JFK in New York is a distance of 9,950 miles, or 416 miles longer than the Newark-Singapore flight. But should these flights actually be put into revenue service, Sydney-London would take the crown for the longest commercial flight at a whopping 10,573 miles.

Currently, getting between Australia and the east coast requires a stopover in Los Angeles or San Francisco. While it would, in theory, be nice to avoid the stopover because one flight instead of two reduces the risk of delays and is better for the environment by avoiding another takeoff which is the most polluting part of the flight, I’m not sure my legs or ass could physically tolerate 20 straight hours of my knees being jammed against the seat in front of me. Sure, I’d do a 20-hour flight with pleasure in business or first class, but coach is a whole other story.

Qantas is just experimenting for now, but I fully expect them to follow through on this because no airline passes up an opportunity to make flying worse.

Former Senior Reporter, Investigations & Technology, Jalopnik



You sooks need to get over a long haul flight time. As a veteran of dozens of Aus to Europe flights I see a trip to US of 13 hours a short flight. I’d be happy to spend 20 hours flying to London or New York as there is no ginning around at LAX or Singapore or Dubai.

On another note, you have no idea of how much value there is in a trip to Australia. For an excellent hotel in most big cities you’re going to pay AUD$250 - $300 a night. That’s US$169 - $203. Dinner at a regular hotel restaurant, proper food not a BLT, AUD$ 25 and there’s NO TIPPING because we pay our folk a living wage. Prices all include GST (your prices are all PLUS sales tax) so you know what you’re up for. This place is almost free with your Super Dollar.

Gold Coast beaches - you can swim in them, no sewerage flowing there and they are netted for sharks. And they go for miles. Well, kilometres.

And, you can try your hand at driving on the wrong side of the car and road. Just don’t kill us when you slide around a hairpin on the wrong side.

When are you coming?