Preferred length of long haul flights?

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Jul 1, 2002
In last weekends "The Age" , the travellers check column discussed the length of long haul flights, with the possibility of non-stop 20hr flight from Europe being very close to real, and that premium travellers prefer this option to having a stopover somewhere.

I'd be just interested in what others think about this, and which would you rather, non-stop to Europe for from Australia, or do you prefer a stop?

Personally, if I'm travelling for 21 hours, an extra hour or two for a stopover makes very little difference to the overall travel time. Whether I'm in the J cabin or the Y cabin I prefer overnight flights to be around 11-12 hours. I find 7 hrs too short (eg SIN-East coast), although day flights are fine at this length. Once I get beyond 12 hrs I am itching for a decent stretch/walk! My theory is in 12 hours you have time to have a meal (or two), grab 6-8 hours sleep, and also watch a movie or do some work on the laptop.

Any other thoughts? Anyone done one of the 17hr sectors from SE Asia to US?

Alan in CBR

Apr 2, 2004
I'm still in two minds about this. On the odd occasions when I have been in J or F, I think I would have been happy to stay aboard all the way (in fact once, in F, I did stay aboard during the BKK refuelling).

However, most of my travel is in Y. When travelling to Europe it is a real lifesaver to be able to shower and relax in the Qantas Club in either SIN or BKK. I wonder though whether I would still feel that way if I could arrive 3 or 4 hours earlier.

I don't see anyone (or at least not many) choosing to go from SYD to LAX via HNL or NAN rather than taking the non-stop. True, SYD-LAX and v.v. are only 14 or 15 hours, but I tend to think the principle is the same.

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Sep 24, 2004
As long as seating not too cramped and have ability to walk around a bit in flight then absolutely would take a nonstop from Aust to Europe (assuming price okay, schedule convenient etc).

I have taken the longest nonstop commercial flights (both time SQ LAX-SIN and distance SQ SIN-EWR vv) and didnt find them a problem at all.

I certainly go out of my way to avoid (as much as possible/practical) US if travelling to europe. And while SIN, BKK & HKG are easy transfers it is harder pyschologically having a short transit knowing that only half way (or maybe less depending on final destination).


Jul 31, 2003
The break in either Singapore or Bangkok on the way to or from London is a Godsend. I have been fortunate that in a number of my trips on BA I have had a full or partial upgrade from WT+ to J. Therefore the room is not at issue. Nevertheless the opportunity to go for a wander and really stretch the legs, have a really good sit in the smallest room and even grab a REAL Asian style meal at a noodle bar is priceless for me.

Plus the air is different in the terminals. You get a chance to take a much better gulp of air than in the artificial world of the steel cylinder.


I'm with 12 - 14 hours max, and I can't comment on Y class.

In J or F, the opportunity to walk around on solid ground or even break it up by sleeping in a bed somewhere is worth the delay.

Its all about a journey for me, not just travel.



Aug 27, 2004
LT Gold
I would consider it only in F. If in J and definately in Y I would want to stop after the 12-14 hour mark. I like to take a shower, stretch the legs and collect a fre duty-free peice offerings for the family.

Also, by stopping along the way you have the opportunity to use two different flight sectors (change flight number or just break the same flight number into two "coupons") and collect more SC's and FF points :D . But unfortunately I can't do that this time (LHR-MEL), but that is another story altogether.
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