Qantas recently announced plans to fly non-stop from Sydney to London by 2022. With 17,016km separating Sydney and London, this route would become the world’s longest commercial flight. The flight time would be an ambitious 20 hours and 20 minutes.

But would you be prepared to fly for more than 20 hours without a stop, in order to shave a few hours off the trip?

A recent poll of AFF members reveals that just 13% of frequent flyers would prefer a non-stop flight. 23% of members would not even consider spending that long on a plane. An overwhelming majority of members – 64% – would only consider booking the flight in Business or First class.

Many of the members who voted “yes” dislike Qantas’ current stopover in Dubai. They find the need to disembark, clear security and wait around, to be an inconvenience.

Personally I would prefer a direct flight to London. I find getting off at Dubai, going through security again and hanging around for a couple of hours more of a pain than a welcome break. At least to have the option of a straight through flight would be a great improvement imho.

Qantas customers will no longer need to stop in Dubai from March next year, as Qantas will re-route its London flights via Singapore. But the extra stop still reduces the time available for sleeping. One member travelled on Singapore Airlines’ 19 hour non-stop flight when it used to operate between Singapore and New York. This aircraft was configured with Business class only. They enjoyed the lengthy quiet time during the middle of the flight and had a great sleep.

I’ve done the 19+ hours flight SIN-EWR return and they were two of the most relaxing and enjoyable flights I have ever done. An hour or so longer would be a doddle.

Some members would not consider booking such a long flight, even in First class.

No way in any class. My preference would 3 x 7 hour flights or even 4 x 5 hour flights with a few hours on the ground.

I also voted no as I would realistically never choose a flight of that length in any class. As others have said stopovers and “getting there” is as much a part of the fun as the final destination.

Others would consider this flight, both for the novelty and the convenience. But they would only do it in the comfort of a premium cabin. They also believe an arrivals lounge would be essential. Some members speculate whether a premium-only cabin configuration would work best for routes like Sydney-London and Sydney-New York.

I wouldn’t consider it in Y. But I would consider it in J and F. Maybe QF should configure these ultra long haul flights with F and J seats only

There are currently no commercial aircraft capable of economically flying between Sydney and London with a full payload. But the Airbus A350ULR and Boeing 777X aircraft, currently in development, may be able to make the distance.

As well as London, Qantas is considering flying non-stop to destinations such as New York, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town and Paris in the future.

Would you book a 20+ hour non-stop flight? Have your say HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]