The 8 Longest Flights in the World (+ How to Book)

Spending 18 hours on an ultra-long-haul flight may sound like a grueling marathon to some, but to those with the right mindset (and in the right airline seat), it can be a gratifying adventure.

Here we’ll dig into eight of the longest flights in the world by duration, the routes they cover and the planes that fly them, as well as how you can use points and miles to travel these longest flights in comfort.

What do we mean by “longest” flights?

Answering “What is the longest flight in the world?” is more complicated than you might think.

The world’s longest flights are often ranked by something called the “great circle distance,” which represents the shortest distance between two points along the circumference of a sphere.

However, the great circle distance isn’t equal to the distance a flight actually travels. Flight plans routinely change to accommodate for weather, wind and other factors, so a plane may exceed the great circle distance on a given flight.

Furthermore, the experience of an ultra-long-haul flight is less a product of how far you go than of how long it takes. Thus, we are highlighting the longest flights in the world by duration instead of distance.

Rather than rely on scheduled flight times (which vary for many of the same reasons as distance), we looked at historical flight data to assess which flights actually last the longest from departure to arrival.

While this list includes eight of the world’s longest flights, we left a few out for the sake of variety. You can see what was excluded and why in the ‘honorable mentions’ list below.

An overview of the longest non-stop flights

San Francisco → Bengaluru.

New York-JFK → Singapore

Perth → London-Heathrow.

Dallas-Fort Worth → Melbourne.

Los Angeles → Singapore.

Singapore Airlines 35 / 37.

New York-JFK → Auckland.

Let’s look closer at each of these routes, including recommendations for how you can use travel rewards credit cards to book the journey on points.

The longest flights in the world

1. Singapore Airlines Flight 21: Newark (EWR) to Singapore (SIN)

Serviced by one of Singapore Airlines’ ultra-long-range A350-900 aircraft, flight SQ 21 tops our list as the longest non-stop flight.

It’s so long that the airline only offers business class and premium economy seating — you won’t find regular economy seats onboard.

  • Flight distance: Great circle 9,534 miles; average travel distance of 10,644 miles.

  • Flight time: Scheduled 18:50, average 18:18.

  • Aircraft: Airbus A350-900.

  • Typical flight path: Heading northeast from Newark, SQ 21 follows the coast to Newfoundland and crosses the Atlantic to Europe, passing the Alps and the Black Sea before flying over the Middle East, southern India, and the Bay of Bengal.

  • Fun facts: SQ 21 crosses 13 time zones, and typically flies over more than a dozen countries.

  • Best award redemption options: Book one-way saver awards through the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program for 80,500 miles in premium economy or 111,500 miles in business class (plus mandatory taxes and fees). Singapore Airlines is a transfer partner of the major transferable currency programs, including AmEx Membership Rewards, Capital One Venture Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards® and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

2. Air India Flight 176: San Francisco (SFO) to Bengaluru (BLR)

This flight is numbered AI 176.

  • Flight distance: Great circle 8,701 miles; average travel distance of 9,737 miles.

  • Flight time: Scheduled 17:50, average 17:51.

  • Frequency: Three times weekly.

  • Aircraft: Boeing 777-200LR.

  • Typical flight path: Heading north from San Francisco, AI 176 crosses Canada toward Greenland, frequently entering the Arctic Circle before heading south over Scandinavia, Russia and Central Asia on the way to India.

  • Fun facts: The return flight from Bengaluru to San Francisco (AI 175) has an average flight time of 15 hours and 28 minutes, or nearly two and a half hours less than AI 176.

  • Best award redemption options: You can book one-way awards through the Air Canada Aeroplan program for 70,000 points in economy, 110,000 points in business class, or 140,000 points in first class (plus mandatory taxes and fees). Air Canada is a transfer partner of AmEx Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Venture Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards®, so you can accumulate Aeroplan points by transferring points from those programs.

3. Singapore Airlines Flight 23: New York-JFK to Singapore (SIN)

This journey’s flight number is SQ 23, and it doubles as the longest commercial flight currently in operation by great circle measurements.

Like SQ 21 above, Singapore Airlines only offers business class and premium economy seats on this flight.

  • Flight distance: Great circle 9,537 miles; average travel distance 10,590 miles.

  • Flight time: Scheduled 18:35, average 17:50.

  • Aircraft: Airbus A350-900.

  • Typical flight path: SQ 23 follows a nearly identical path to SQ 21 above, crossing Europe, the Middle East and India.

  • Fun facts: Due to time changes and an evening departure, SQ 23 lands two calendar days after it takes off. However, the return flight from Singapore to New York (SQ 24) typically lands less than six hours after take-off as measured by local times at the origin and destination.

  • Best award redemption options: Book one-way saver awards through the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program for 80,500 miles in premium economy or 111,500 miles in business class (plus mandatory taxes and fees). Singapore Airlines is a transfer partner of AmEx Membership Rewards, Capital One Venture Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards® and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

4. Qantas Flight 9: Perth (PER) to London-Heathrow

This flight, dubbed QF 9, spends more than half of its flight length over the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.

  • Flight distance: Great circle 9,009 miles; average travel distance 9,171 miles.

  • Flight time: Scheduled 17:45; average 17:43.

  • Aircraft: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

  • Typical flight path: QF 9 heads west from Perth over the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, eventually crossing the Middle East and Europe on the way to London.

  • Fun facts: Of the flights on this list, QF 9 flies closest to its optimal geometric trajectory, with the average distance flown exceeding the great circle distance by less than 2%.

  • Best award redemption options: Book one-way awards through the American Airlines AAdvantage program for 60,000 miles in economy, 70,000 miles in premium economy, or 85,000 miles in business class (plus mandatory taxes and fees). American Airlines is a transfer partner of Bilt Rewards.

5. Qantas Flight 22: Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Melbourne (MEL)

At a latitude of 37.8136° S, Melbourne is the most southerly of all the cities on this list (barely beating out Auckland at 36.8509° S.

  • Flight distance: Great circle 8,992 miles; average travel distance 9,249 miles.

  • Flight time: Scheduled 17:50; average 17:34.

  • Frequency: Three times weekly.

  • Aircraft: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

  • Typical flight path: QF 22 heads west from Dallas, traveling over the southwestern United States and sometimes northern Mexico before spending the majority of the flight over the Pacific Ocean.

  • Fun facts: All passengers on Qantas have access to a 24/7 snack bar.

  • Best award redemption options: Book one-way awards through the American Airlines AAdvantage program for 60,000 miles in economy, 70,000 miles in premium economy, or 85,000 miles in business class (plus mandatory taxes and fees). American Airlines is a transfer partner of Bilt Rewards.

6. Singapore Airlines Flights 35 and 37: Los Angeles (LAX) to Singapore (SIN)

Two Singapore Airlines flight numbers — SQ 35 and SQ 37 — fly this route.

  • Flight distance: Great circle 8,770 miles; average travel distance 9,148 miles.

  • Flight time: Scheduled 17:40; average 17:28.

  • Frequency: SQ 37 flies daily; SQ 35 flies three times weekly.

  • Aircraft: Airbus A350-900.

  • Typical flight path: These flights often head west from Los Angeles, spending most of the time over the Pacific Ocean before crossing the Philippines and Malaysia on approach to Singapore. However, some flights head northwest from Los Angeles, passing the Aleutian islands and the coast of Japan before reaching the South China Sea.

  • Fun facts: On days when both SQ 35 and SQ 37 fly, their scheduled departure times are separated by less than 3 hours.

  • Best award redemption options: Book one-way saver awards through the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program for 75,000 miles in premium economy or 107,000 miles in business class (plus mandatory taxes and fees).

7. Air New Zealand Flight 1: New York-JFK to Auckland (AKL)

While this flight is only number seven on our list, it might feel like the world’s longest flight according to your biological clock. Flight NZ 1 experiences the greatest time change.

  • Flight distance: Great circle 8,828 miles; average travel distance 9,109 miles.

  • Flight time: Scheduled 18:00; average 17:26.

  • Frequency: Three times weekly.

  • Aircraft: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

  • Typical flight path: NZ 1 heads west or southwest from New York across the United States, sometimes also flying over parts of Mexico before spending the remainder of the flight over the Pacific Ocean. 

  • Fun facts: This flight often arrives more than 35 hours after departure as measured by local times at the origin and destination.

  • Best award redemption options: As a member of the Star Alliance, you can book round-trip low season awards through the ANA Mileage Club program for 60,000 miles in economy, 88,000 miles in premium economy, or 105,000 miles in business class (plus mandatory taxes and fees). Regular and high season rates are roughly 10-25% higher.

8. United Airlines Flight 101: Houston (IAH) to Sydney (SYD)

While U.S. airlines rank first (United Airlines), second (American Airlines) and fourth (Delta Air Lines) globally in total destinations served, UA 101 is the longest flight operated by a U.S. carrier (and the only such flight on this list).

  • Flight distance: Great circle 8.596 miles; average travel distance 8,895 miles

  • Flight time: Scheduled 17:30; average 17:22

  • Aircraft: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

  • Typical flight path: UA 101 heads west from Houston, traveling over the southwestern United States and sometimes northern Mexico before spending the majority of the flight over the Pacific Ocean.

  • Fun facts: This flight crosses seven time zones.

  • Best award redemption options: Book one-way awards through the United Airlines MileagePlus program starting at 37,500 miles in economy, 70,000 miles in premium economy, and 100,000 miles in business class (plus mandatory taxes and fees).

Honorable mentions

These routes didn’t make the list, but like the others above, they’re served by some of the world’s longest commercial flights.

  • Singapore (SIN) to New York-JFK: Singapore Airlines flight SQ 24 (the aforementioned return flight of SQ 23) averages over 18 hours in the air — that’s long enough to rank third on our list.

  • San Francisco (SFO) to Singapore (SIN): Singapore Airlines flights SQ 31 and SQ 33, and United Airlines flight UA 829, offer non-stop service between these cities. This route has a great circle distance a few hundred miles short of the LAX-SIN flight discussed above.

  • Auckland (AKL) to Doha (DOH): Qatar Airways flight QA 921 flies this route with a great circle distance of over 9,000 miles and an average flight time of just over 17:20. A long flight is a great excuse to book a Qsuite.

Top cards for earning points and miles

Points and miles can be redeemed for award flights, but before you can start using them, you have to earn them. Beyond flying, another way to amass a large number of travel rewards is to earn a welcome bonus for a credit card.

There are trade-offs to spending on a general travel credit card versus a co-branded airline credit card. If you desire more flexibility to book across several brands, stick with a card that earn transferable currencies like Citi ThankYou Points or Chase Ultimate Rewards®. If you are more loyal to one brand or alliance, consider an airline credit card.

This sum of points can typically net you several round-trip flights.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Rates & Fees

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

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Welcome offer


Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $700 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com.

Earn rate


• 5 points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 spent per year.

• 5 points per $1 on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

• 1 point per $1 on other eligible purchases.

• 5 miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

• 2 miles per $1 on all other purchases.

• 5 points per $1 on travel booked through Chase.

• 3 points per $1 on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout), select streaming services and online grocery purchases (not including Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).

• 2 points per $1 on other travel.

• 1 point per $1 on other purchases.

• 10 ThankYou® points per $1 spent on hotels, car rentals and attractions booked through the Citi Travel site.

• 3 points per $1 on air travel and other hotel purchases.

• 3 points per $1 on supermarkets.

• 3 points per $1 on gas stations and EV charging stations.

• 3 points per $1 on restaurants.

• 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

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The more high-end (or ‘premium’) the travel credit card, the more benefits you can enjoy, including airport lounge access or automatic elite status in certain programs. That said, a brand-specific airline card can net you benefits like waived baggage fees, which can have meaningful dollar value.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for: