Last year, we saw the maiden voyage of several major long-haul flights, connecting far corners of the globe like never before. It’s a new golden age of travel, with non-stop trips such as the Air New Zealand Chicago-to-Auckland route and the Kenya Airways New York-to-Nairobi flight. Travelers can get to faraway destinations in one convenient – albeit long –flight. No connections. No transfers. All direct.
Many times, the length of a flight can steer people away from going on an amazing journey. Spending anywhere from 12 to 17 hours on a plane sounds intimidating to experienced and novice travelers alike. But these airlines have innovated new ways to make the flight as comfortable as possible, using new technologies as well as stepping up their onboard services.
So there’s no need to worry! These flights are less stressful than you think, and they’ll get you there refreshed and energized for the amazing experiences that lay ahead of you. So lean back, select your in-flight entertainment, and enjoy the ride!
Air New Zealand
Chicago – Auckland
Distance: 8,183 miles | Duration: 15 hr 55 min
In Business Premier, passenger seats turn into a flat bed — Photo courtesy of Air New Zealand
Getting to New Zealand just got easier for Americans living on the East Coast, with a direct route from Chicago O’Hare to Auckland. Passengers can enjoy the added comforts that come with the 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. You’ll find amenities such as the Economy Skycouch, which provides extra room for couples or for parents traveling with children, and Premium Economy, which gives passengers leather seats that have extendable leg rests in the reclined position.
For passengers in Business Premier, the adventure through New Zealand begins onboard with Kiwi meals curated by renowned chefs Peter Gordon and Michael Meredith. Business Premier seats also lie flat and come with a thick memory foam mattress allowing passengers to get a good sleep on board.
JFK – Hong Kong
Distance: 8,249 miles | Duration: 15 hr 20 mins
You won’t go hungry when flying with Cathay Pacific — Photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific
When developing Flight 831 from JFK to Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific was created with spaciousness in mind. The massive Boeing 777-300 is designed to make every passenger from Economy to First Class feel as though they have ample room to stretch out, with ergonomically designed seats that help support areas that usually get sore on long-haul flights.
Every class is served two meals – a three-course dinner and a hot breakfast – and snacks including a cup of ramen noodles that’s available at any time during the flight. And with a long list of television shows, movies, games and publications to choose from, this 15-hour flight will fly by!
Newark – Singapore
Distance: 9,537 miles | Duration: 18 hr 45 min
Leaning back in Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy seat — Photo courtesy of Singapore Airlines
This is currently the farthest flight in the world, taking passengers from Newark to Singapore on an Airbus A350-900ULR. It may be the longest flight in the world, but it is the fastest way to travel between these two major cities, and with flights offered every day, there is plenty of flexibility for travelers.
Technology on board helps make this long haul as comfortable as possible with higher ceilings, larger windows, a wider body and lighting developed specifically to reduce jet lag.
Perth – London
Distance: 9,009 miles | Duration: 17 hr 20 min
Qantas Premium Economy designed by David Caon — Photo courtesy of Qantas
Considered the “shortest and fastest version of the Kangaroo Route” in Qantas history, the non-stop flight between Perth and London is the first direct link between Australia and Europe using a Western Australian hub. This flight puts the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to the test as it’s the longest flight in the world for this plane model.
The Premium Economy seats are designed by David Caon who focuses on how people use the space around them. The results are innovative seats that cradle passengers perfectly and help maximize space with features like extra wide tray tables that fold out of the arm rest.
Los Angeles – Dubai
Distance: 8,339 miles | Duration: 16 hr to 16 hr 5 min
The Economy Class cabin on the new Emirates Boeing 777-300 ER — Photo courtesy of Emirates
There’s a lot to say about the comfort that Emirates provides on their long-haul flight between Los Angeles and Dubai. But the standout amenity is the ice Digital Widescreen entertainment system which is offered in all classes. They’ve got over 1,000 channels of entertainment as well as 1,700 hours of video and audio sourced from 100 countries around the world.
And considering the meals are prepared by gourmet chefs, this 16-hour flight feels like an extended dinner and a movie!
Houston – Doha
Distance: 8,048 miles | Duration: 15 hr 50 min to 16 hr 30 min
Qatar Airways’ Qsuite allows groups of travelers to sit face-to-face in a private cabin — Photo courtesy of Qatar Airways
Passengers flying from Houston to Doha with Qatar Airways enjoy above industry-average seat space with Economy Class seating offering up to 34 inches of legroom and a 3-3-3 configuration, instead of a 3-4-3. Everything about this flight is indulgent. From gourmet cuisine to over 4,000 in-flight entertainment options on their Oryx One on-demand system, Qatar Airways is all about luxury and comfort for all classes.
Most unique of all is the Qsuite offered in Business Class. Doors in the Qsuite offer privacy like no other, and the suites have adaptable panels so you can face other passengers. It’s great if you’re traveling with friends, family or business colleagues.
London – Santiago
Distance: 7,236 miles | Duration: 14 hr 50 min
A peak inside British Airways’ Club World — Photo courtesy of British Airways
This flight path is one of the most convenient connections between Europe and South America. Using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, this British Airways flight offers four classes making it an accessible flight for all kinds of travelers. In Club World, British Airways’ Business Class, the seats recline flat into a bed, but even Economy travelers enjoy ergonomically designed seats with extra lumbar support.
JFK – Nairobi
Distance: 7,351 miles | Duration: 15 hr
Kenya Airways Economy seating still provides spacious accommodations for passengers — Photo courtesy of Kenya Airways
This Kenya Airways flight from JFK in New York to Nairobi is the first non-stop flight between East Africa and the United States, opening up new possibilities for travelers going to African countries. Travel to Kenya alone has grown over 20% in the past two years with 70% of those being leisure travelers.
For this flight, Kenya Airways uses the newest wide-body Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which gives passengers in both Business and Economy extra room.
Los Angeles – Abu Dhabi
Distance: 8,390 miles | Duration: 16 hr 25 min
Cuddle up in Etihad Airways’ luxurious Residence 3-room suite — Photo courtesy of Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways is an airline known for its customized services, which you’d want to take advantage of during a long-haul flight from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi. Even in Economy you have options, such as Economy Space, which allows you to book a seat with extra room, and Economy Neighbour-Free, where you can book an entire row.
But if you’re looking to fly in style, Etihad Airways offers apartments completed with a bed, armchair and a shower. The Residence, a step above First Class, offer 3-room suites, making the 16-hour journey like an overnight stay in a luxury hotel.
Vancouver – Melbourne
Distance: 8,192 miles | Duration: 16 hours
Air Canada’s new Premium Economy cabin on the 787 Dreamliner — Photo courtesy of Air Canada
Canadians can now escape winter and head non-stop to Melbourne, Australia ,thanks to this 16-hour flight with Air Canada. The same goes for Australians who want to experience the best winter attractions and ski resorts that North America has to offer.
The cabins have been designed with a “contemporary sophisticated” look. And though the vibe is minimalistic, the service is anything but. Business Class travelers are treated to fully flat beds and 18-inch touchscreens for in-flight entertainment. Even Premium Economy offers comfortable seating, with seats that are 19.5 inches wide and recline 7 inches.