The Rise of 20-Hour Long Flights

  • Published: 11 December 2018
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    Animation by Josh Sherrington and Jorrit van Ginnkel (
    Sound by Graham Haerther (
    Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster

    Special thanks to Patreon supporters Alec M Watson, Andrew J Thom, Arkadiy Kulev, Chris Allen, Chris Barker, Connor J Smith, Daddy Donald, Etienne Dechamps, Eyal Matsliah, Hank Green, Harrison Wiener, James Hughes, James McIntosh, John & Becki Johnston, Keith Bopp, Kelly J Knight, Ken Lee, Kyle, KyQuan Phong, Manoj Kasyap Govindaraju, MyNameIsKir, Plinio Correa, Qui Le, Sheldon Zhao, Simen Nerleir, and Tim Robinson

    Music by

    Select footage courtesy the AP Archive

    Footage Attributions (all clips Creative Commons, copyright free, or cleared with owner):
    Cathay Pacific 777 landing shot courtesy PDX Aviation
    a350 landing shot courtesy ZurichAirportSpotter
    UPS footage courtesy UPS
    Singapore Airlines a350 footage courtesy Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Aviateur European Plane Spotted
    Virgin Atlantic a340 footage courtesy Runway Fun
    Qantas 787 footage courtesy Aviation Insider

Comments • 3 402

  • Wendover Productions
    Wendover Productions   9 months back

    As I mentioned at the end, I also did a video on the longest duration commercial flight in the world on my other channel, Half as Interesting--a little collaboration with myself. Check that video out here:

    • Lincoln Loud fan432
      Lincoln Loud fan432  2 months back

      fun fact the sinapore airlines lax to singapore was originally operated by united on united's 787-9 before singapore airlines took over in 2018

    • bruno žunić
      bruno žunić  2 months back

      Turkey is not Europe

    • Bob Smith
      Bob Smith  2 months back

      Thanks for pronouncing Melbourne correctly mate!! 👏👏👏

    • Deipatrous
      Deipatrous  4 months back

      Historically "Asia" starts at the West Coast of Turkey. In fact, Asia was the name of a swamp on that coast.

  • Tango Man
    Tango Man  11 hours back

    I assume y'all know WHOM to thank for the low Fuel cost that enables such non-stop flights to still be economical.

    • Jerry Gundecker
      Jerry Gundecker  19 hours back

      Do you know what happens to your luggage once you check it in at the desk?
      Neither does British Airways.

      • Anthony He
        Anthony He  2 days back

        I thought it was Cathay Pacific’s Polar One with 744

        • Vannila_1c3
          Vannila_1c3  2 days back


          • Captain Moose
            Captain Moose  3 days back

            Can you cover cargo costs and why air shipping packages internationally is so expensive even for small packages

            • KIRAN GOUDA
              KIRAN GOUDA  4 days back

              U forgot the
              NEWDELHI-SANFRANCISCO Route and it's the longest distance and it's flown by AIR INDIA BOEING 777-300ER

              • Caolan The Wulf
                Caolan The Wulf  5 days back

                I'd rather die

                • User Name
                  User Name  6 days back

                  I wish we could be put to sleep for the duration of the flight instead of sitting in a seat for as long as about 19 hours being bored!

                  • Arl Tratloandletmealonewithureshitads

                    longest airtime for me was just over 26hrs, from North Germany, via Frankfurt-Singapore.Auckland... longest time in a airplane was 16hrs, in a MD-11 from KLM, Amsterdam-Lima, with fuel stop on Bonaire ( Dutch Antilles), longest fligth was also Amsterdam - Lima 14.5hrs in a 777( if i remember right)..
                    best flight was in Singapore and Lufthansa A380, worst in a 767 between Paris and Philadelphia... dont ask, best food also Singapore and LH, Airfrance and KLM close behind... i flew from Cuzco to Lima, 45 mins in a airplane and i have no idea what type it was...
                    most scary moments was,
                    1# the moment we was on the tip our right wing, and having the touch down 5 secs later ( on my very first flight) in Paris
                    2# the moment we droped 400ms in a airhole over Belguim..
                    3# watching the runway we was suposed to land, from the seat next to the ile in a 767, ca the last 1 minute of the approach to the first wheel touching the runway... sidewinds.. first ever applauding in a airplane for me.... that pilot knew what he was doing...
                    4# flying from Paris to Philadelphia with Airfrance, its December 2001, chatting in the transfer bus stoped everytime, when it approached a United Airlines plane ( AF and UA have a cooparation), but started again after passing it... 1 day later they arrested the guy on a BA flight with the shoe bomb, also all German aiports there close because of heavy snowing.. i didnt saw a single snowflake for 2 months...

                    • Anirudh Kumar
                      Anirudh Kumar  1 weeks back

                      This is dumb!
                      Staying in a plane for more than 10 hours!

                      How in the hell can someone tolerate such a nuisance?!

                      Long flights just seem like an inconvenience to me. Anything longer than 6 hours honestly is just not worth it. I'd take 3 short flight than a long 10+ hour flight, even if it costs me extra.

                      • jamesa1995
                        jamesa1995  1 weeks back

                        Qantas is a poorly managed airline consistently losing money, and is more expensive than airlines like Singapore airlines. Their service is good though but for most price will win out

                        • jamesa1995
                          jamesa1995  4 days back

                          @KasabianFan44 that also includes their subsidiaries, jetstar makes a reasonable profit

                        • jamesa1995
                          jamesa1995  4 days back

                          @KasabianFan44 it has a profit in the couple hundred millions to then have a loss in the couple of billions in the last decade alone
                          quick google search will give you there profit and loss

                        • KasabianFan44
                          KasabianFan44  6 days back

                          “Consistently losing money” - may I ask for a source on that please?

                      • QuarioQuario54321
                        QuarioQuario54321  2 weeks back

                        From what I can tell, a nonstop Auckland-London will not exists for well over 10 years.

                        • Stepup Boy
                          Stepup Boy  2 weeks back

                          After I watching this video, I finally figure out of some reasons here. Why Emirates can't launch flights from Dubai to Panama? Firstly, distance from Dubai to Panama is 13821km or about 8200 miles. That means it's a long haul flight for Emirates, about 17h 35m for direct flight. Secondly, Panama City is a main leisure destinations in Central America, not for business destinations. While Dubai is a mixing city between business and leisure destinations, I don't think their flight could it work for Emirates because flying in economy class on ultra long haul flights is notoriously expensive especially leisure budget travellers. We will noticed that economy class on ultra long haul route will be half empty. They need to make a stop via somewhere in Europe before reach to Dubai from Panama City to avoid expensive payloads. The same reason goes for Lima, Peru, which is also much further from Dubai, approximately 19 hours for direct flight.

                          • Ben Morgan
                            Ben Morgan  2 weeks back

                            As someone who lives in Australia, I can confirm this

                            • Phillip Mulligan
                              Phillip Mulligan  2 weeks back

                              Every time I see a video of hypersonic flights that last 20 minutes from New York to Melbourne on YouTube, I just laugh. If they only know how astronomically expensive such a flight would be to operate as a transportation company. The complexity and logistics of such hypersonic vehicles are on a different planet. It would make a flight on a private chartered luxury business jet super cheap. Supersonic travel is ultra expensive due to extra fuel and frequent highly specialized maintenance. Hypersonic ballistic flights would be impossibly expensive except for the very few billionaires. Such hypersonic vehicles are best used for pushing booster payloads into orbit, not from surface to surface destinations. The costs would be absurd.

                              • alan6832
                                alan6832  2 weeks back

                                This is so ungreen. What would Greta Thornberg say? They also need a stretch version that trades some range for increased capacity, since carrying 4000 miles of fuel is not fuel efficient, so planes should refuel within 2000 miles whenever possible. This also allows passengers to stretch their legs, thereby reducing legroom requirements, which again increases efficiency.

                                • Buffalo Me
                                  Buffalo Me  3 weeks back

                                  $0.85 a gallon for jet fuel, less than the cost of gasoline in any country, even in Venezuela, where it’s $1 a gal.

                                  • GWS
                                    GWS  3 weeks back

                                    "Because people are more sensitive to time than boxes."

                                    *Amazon Prime has entered the chat*

                                    • Brick Life
                                      Brick Life  3 weeks back

                                      I live in Australia and i have never and hate qantas

                                      • funkyleah
                                        funkyleah  3 weeks back

                                        *I used the fuel to carry the fuel*

                                        • Karthik Patali
                                          Karthik Patali  4 weeks back

                                          Air India operates the world's longest flight in the shortest time

                                          • Kal_Jor_El
                                            Kal_Jor_El  4 weeks back

                                            Are you pursuing any degree in Aviation? Brilliant research and execution.

                                            • Robert Burnett
                                              Robert Burnett  4 weeks back

                                              By the way, airline speeds haven't increased in 50-60 years. And airport boarding had increased by hours. Example..."Cheers", 1980s: Sam had just one hour to get to the Boston airport. A friend said, "You have time, Sam ". Wow.

                                              • Robert Burnett
                                                Robert Burnett  4 weeks back

                                                Any flight over 4-5 hours means premium econ. for me. No nudging of elbows and leg relief. I have a modest income. But worth the extra dollars.

                                                • Isaac Tierney
                                                  Isaac Tierney  4 weeks back

                                                  Surprisingly, I’ve found that most direct flight are cheaper than connections.

                                                  • SpiffyDiamonder
                                                    SpiffyDiamonder  4 weeks back

                                                    It’s always Newark

                                                    • Tickle Dad
                                                      Tickle Dad  4 weeks back

                                                      I flew Newark to Singapore.
                                                      Not as bad as it may sound.

                                                      • Thermalburn
                                                        Thermalburn  4 weeks back

                                                        I think we're good on distance, we need to figure out how to make these trips quicker. Flying is like being in a bus. Even a 2 hour flight is enough to drive you mad

                                                        • Niklas Enblom
                                                          Niklas Enblom  4 weeks back

                                                          I’m an aviation enthusiast but spending 19 nonstop hours in the air seems to be a bit of a stretch for me.

                                                          • ZJFilms
                                                            ZJFilms  4 weeks back

                                                            Hawaii to ZURICH via Vancouver next week. 15 hours of travel time, not to bad compared to other flights you mentioned.

                                                            • FastCarsNoRules220
                                                              FastCarsNoRules220  4 weeks back

                                                              20 hours? I only flew a 12 hour flight from Manila to Los Angeles once in my life, back when my family and I were migrating from Singapore to Canada, and I already feel like I don't want to go back to Asia anymore just because I couldn't handle it...

                                                              • Y Sun
                                                                Y Sun  4 weeks back

                                                                20 hours long haul in an economic seat= hell! Before I can afford a business class that’s not going to be my option!

                                                                • 230968
                                                                  230968  4 weeks back

                                                                  The earth is certainly not flat. About time flat earthers shut up.

                                                                  • M&M Playz
                                                                    M&M Playz  4 weeks back

                                                                    The longest flight I have ever was on Emirate was Dubai to New York jfk (sorry for the bad grammar)

                                                                    • Crazy Life
                                                                      Crazy Life  1 months back

                                                                      WOW, wonderful information.

                                                                      • just lea
                                                                        just lea  1 months back

                                                                        Not even if they paid me. Jesus

                                                                        • Peter Kitching
                                                                          Peter Kitching  1 months back

                                                                          Btw BA flys more than 1 a day to Australia

                                                                          • sn3192
                                                                            sn3192  1 months back

                                                                            it's strange, but i personally prefer a flight where you get to stop halfway. the change in pace and another set of takeoff and landing just make the journey less boring

                                                                            • Tyler Blask
                                                                              Tyler Blask  1 months back

                                                                              i just came back from vacation in hawaii and the picture of hawaii was right where i stood

                                                                              • K M
                                                                                K M  1 months back

                                                                                They need to go super sonic again.

                                                                                • phunkyfeelone
                                                                                  phunkyfeelone  1 months back

                                                                                  Everybody pissing and moaning about being in Economy for 16+ hours and saying they fly Premium Economy or Business - remember, you're in a metal tube in the sky with 2 people controlling your destiny - i'm just happy to make it to the other end.

                                                                                  • phunkyfeelone
                                                                                    phunkyfeelone  1 months back

                                                                                    I've done the Sydney-Dallas flight a couple of years ago, made worse by a mad run to clear customs, run to the other terminal, and try to get a connecting flight to Mexico at the're a puddle of human at the end of it.

                                                                                    I still think the goal is an electric motor for take-off, with the fuel engines kicking in at cruising altitude. The fuel sources can act as a safety reserve for each other, plus you're not burning massive fuel during thrust. It would also allow for additional range.
                                                                                    I'm sure they already have a prototype of this working, but just throwing it out there.

                                                                                    • Random Guy
                                                                                      Random Guy  1 months back

                                                                                      Correction on SQ21&SQ22: 17h30m-19h.

                                                                                      • FranticChicken
                                                                                        FranticChicken  1 months back

                                                                                        these plane videos hit different even tho i hate flying it’s so uncomfortable 😂

                                                                                        • Fala Lala
                                                                                          Fala Lala  1 months back

                                                                                          Just got off a 16-hour flight with a stop in Taiwan, in economy, hated it... But thank you for the explanation on the economic aspects of long flights. I always thought it would be cheaper to fly non-stop.

                                                                                          • msnjmswrdl_
                                                                                            msnjmswrdl_  1 months back

                                                                                            Manchester UK to San Francisco CA was a fuck off flight, felt like smashing the window and jumping out

                                                                                            • David Hood
                                                                                              David Hood  1 months back

                                                                                              Still waiting on Toronto to Melbourne...