The 11 Longest Flights in the World (And How to Book with Points and Miles)

Can you imagine flying in an airplane for nearly 19 hours nonstop? Aircraft have come a long way since the Wright brothers first took flight south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in the early 1900s. Airbus and Boeing now manufacture airplanes that can fly an incredible distance without the need to refuel.

The longest flights in the world are always in flux and we saw a number of new records in 2020 due to one-off repatriation flights bringing stranded citizens back to their home countries. For instance, Air Tahiti Nui flew the longest passenger flight ever recorded, around 9,765 miles from Tahiti to Paris in March 2020. Airlines are still adjusting schedules for 2021 and beyond, but here is a list of the current top 11 longest flights (by great circle distance) scheduled at the time of writing.

How to Fly in Business or First Class on Ultra-Long-Haul Flights

Of course, you’ll probably want to avoid sitting in a cramped Economy Class seat for these ultra-long-haul flights that usually span 16 – 19 hours in flight time. Along with listing details about these flights, we’ll give a brief overview of the best redemption opportunities to take these flights in luxurious Business and First-Class cabins so you can get the rest you need for such a long journey. 

Note: The flight times are always in flux depending on winds and available routings to each airline. Listed times should only be used as a guide for the approximate gate-to-gate scheduled flight times.

1. New York (JFK) to Singapore (SIN)

  • Airline: Singapore Airlines
  • Flight Distance: 9,537 miles
  • Flight Time: 18h 50m

As of November 9, 2020, Singapore Airlines’ flight between New York and Singapore was moved from Newark to JFK, thus making it the new longest nonstop flight in the world. However, this move is temporary, and, as of now, the airline plans to move this flight back to Newark in June 2021. At 9,534 miles, the great circle distance from Newark is only three fewer miles, and will reclaim the top spot on this list once the flight is moved back to the Star Alliance hub.

Merlion spitting water in Singapore

How to Book Flights with Points and Miles

  • Flight Number: SQ 23
  • Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
  • Best Redemption: 99,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles one-way in Business Class

You’ll need to use Singapore KrisFlyer miles to book this flight with points and miles. The good news is that it’s possible to transfer points from all major credit card currencies such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citibank ThankYou points, and Capital One Rewards. The one-way saver rate from New York to Singapore is 99k miles in Business Class, which is well worth it for the comfort you’ll experience onboard. At the moment, Singapore Airlines isn’t selling any First-Class seats for cash or miles, but we hope this will change in the future.

Related: How to Transfer Chase Points to Airline Partners

2. Auckland (AKL) to Doha (DOH)

  • Airline: Qatar Airways
  • Flight Distance: 9,032 miles
  • Flight Time: 18h 5m

Qatar Airways is considered one of the best airlines in the world by many so you’ll be in for a treat if you take this ultra-long-haul flight. It’s still uncertain when New Zealand will open its borders for tourists, but this flight is currently scheduled to return flying on October 31, 2021.

Qatar Airways plane flying in clouds, view from window of other aircraft

How to Book Flights with Points and Miles

  • Flight Number: QR 921
  • Aircraft: Boeing B777-200LR
  • Best Redemption: 80,000 American AAdvantage miles one-way in Business Class

If you were to only fly between Auckland and Doha, it’s only 80k American AAdvantage miles for a one-way ticket on Qatar Airways in Business Class. This is an excellent way to use AA miles as you’ll get to fly one of the best Business Class products in the sky using miles that are constantly losing their value for flights operated by American Airlines. Plus, you don’t get hit with any crazy fuel surcharges when booking with AA miles. It should only be around $30 in airline/taxes fees when booking via American.

Related: How Far in Advance Do Award Seats Open?

3. Perth (PER) to London (LHR)

  • Airline: Qantas
  • Flight Distance: 9,009 miles
  • Flight Time: 17h 45m

Australia is another country that has an unknown time frame for opening to tourists. For the time being, Qantas is planning to resume this relatively new flight on October 31, 2021. The flight began operating in March 2018 and was the first scheduled nonstop flight between the U.K and Australia. While there are plans to connect Sydney and London with nonstop flights in the future, those flights are still a few years down the road.

birds flying along the river thames in London, England

How to Book Flights with Points and Miles

  • Flight Number: QF 9
  • Aircraft: Boeing B787-9
  • Best Redemption: 85,000 American AAdvantage miles one-way in Business Class

Another great way to use AAdvantage miles is for this nonstop flight between Australia and the U.K. Once again, by flying on partner airline Qantas, you’ll get some incredible value for your AA miles. Since several airlines have taken away round-the-world redemptions, this can be a great way to piece together your own RTW trip with points and miles if you want to fly directly between the South Pacific and Europe.

Related: Our Guide to Round-the-World Redemptions

4. Auckland (AKL) to Dubai (DXB)

  • Airline: Emirates
  • Flight Distance: 8,823 miles
  • Flight Time: 17h 10m

This flight has been on hold due to the pandemic, but plans to restart the flight are currently scheduled for November 1, 2021, with the flight from Dubai to Auckland starting the day before on October 31, 2021. Of course, this is subject to change due to the ongoing changes with borders opening. I think there’s a good chance we’ll see Emirates start flying this route again eventually and flying from the Eastern U.S. via Dubai can be a great way to break up the long journey to New Zealand.

inflight bar onboard Emirates First Class

How to Book Flights with Points and Miles

  • Flight Number: EK 449
  • Aircraft: Boeing B777-200LR / Airbus A380-800
  • Best Redemption: 247,500 Emirates Skywards miles round-trip in First Class

If you’re starting in Dubai and looking for a round-trip flight, the best way to maximize your miles is to book a Flex saver award for only 247,500 miles. If you’re looking for just a one-way flight from Auckland to Dubai, it can be as low as 168k miles in First Class for the one-way trip. It could be quite difficult to find availability in First Class on this route so you may have to settle for Business Class, which you could potentially book round-trip from New York to Auckland for as little as 260k miles round-trip — stopover in Dubai included. And the good news is that you can transfer all major credit card points to Emirates Skywards miles.

Related: Emirates Skywards Points Redemption - How It's Done

5. Los Angeles (LAX) to Singapore (SIN)

  • Airline: Singapore Airlines
  • Flight Distance: 8,770 miles
  • Flight Time: 17h 10m

Singapore Airlines is still currently flying this popular route between Los Angeles and Singapore. We often suggest flying this route to get anywhere in Southeast Asia as it is the most direct way from the U.S. and you get to fly on a top-quality airline. Best of all, you can combine this flight with a connection to places like Bali or Thailand and include a free stopover in Singapore along the way.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 taking off

How to Book Flights with Points and Miles

  • Flight Numbers: SQ 37 / SQ35
  • Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
  • Best Redemption: 95,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles one-way in Business Class

Transfer Amex, Chase, Citibank, or Capital One points to Singapore KrisFlyer miles and you’ll be able to enjoy spacious seating in Business Class for this 17+ hour flight down to Southeast Asia. It’s only 95k miles one-way at the saver level, but an even better value would be to fly this route as part of a trip to Bali, Thailand, or elsewhere in Southeast Asia for 190k miles round-trip and include a free stopover in Singapore either on your way there or on the way back.

Related: Redeeming Miles with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer - A Complete Guide

6. San Francisco (SFO) to Bangalore (BLR)

  • Airlines: Air India / United
  • Flight Distance: 8,702 miles
  • Flight Time: 16h 30m on Air India / 17h 25m on United

This flight was one of the most anticipated new routes of 2021 as it connects two of the world’s largest tech hubs with a nonstop flight. United announced its plans to launch this route back in September 2020. It was initially scheduled to start on May 6, 2021, but has since been postponed and the inaugural flight will now take off on May 27, 2021. 

While Air India announced plans for new service in November 2020 (after United), Air India beat United to the punch by launching its new nonstop service between San Francisco and Bangalore earlier this year on January 9, 2021. The Air India flight only operates twice per week, while the United flight is scheduled for daily service.

Ramgiri hills near Bangalore, India

How to Book Flights with Points and Miles

  • Flight Numbers: AI 176 / UA 152
  • Aircraft: Boeing B777-200LR on Air India / Boeing B787-9 on United
  • Best Redemption: 136,000 ANA Mileage Club miles round-trip in Business Class

The best way to redeem points and miles for a seat on this new flight will be to book a round-trip ticket using ANA miles. For only 136,000 miles round-trip, it’s the cheapest way you can get to India and back using miles. Luckily, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to ANA Mileage Club so even if you’ve never flown ANA, you may be able to book a flight to India this way.

Related: 8 Best Ways to Spend 200k Amex Points on Flights

7. Houston (IAH) to Sydney (SYD)

  • Airline: United Airlines
  • Flight Distance: 8,596 miles
  • Flight Time: 17h 35m

United is taking a cautious approach to restarting ultra-long-haul service between Houston and Sydney. Currently, the airline is planning to fly this route again starting January 1, 2022. This gives you plenty of time to start planning a trip down under aboard the 7th longest flight in the world. And remember, it’ll be summer down there so it’s a great way to escape “winter” in Texas.

United Airlines Boeing on the taxiway

How to Book Flights with Points and Miles

  • Flight Number: UA 101
  • Aircraft: Boeing B787-9
  • Best Redemption: 120,000 ANA Mileage Club miles round-trip in Business Class

If you can find availability, this 17½-hour flight can be booked for as little as 120k ANA miles round-trip. At the moment, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any availability in Business Class using points or miles on United flights to Australia, but we’re hoping that changes once border openings become clearer. In the meantime, you can find flights for even fewer miles flying ANA via Japan.

Related: A Guide to Miles Redemption with ANA Mileage Club

8. Dallas (DFW) to Sydney (SYD)

  • Airline: Qantas
  • Flight Distance: 8,577 miles
  • Flight Time: 17h 20m

Like the majority of flights on this list, the 8th longest flight in the world is also between the U.S. and Oceania, and it’s also on hold during the pandemic. Qantas plans to resume service between Dallas and Sydney on October 31, 2021. Once it does, you’ll easily be able to connect with partner American Airlines’ wide network via its Dallas hub to the land down under with just one stop.

Sunset view of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Australia

How to Book Flights with Points and Miles

  • Flight Number: QF 8
  • Aircraft: Boeing B787-9
  • Best Redemption: 55,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles one-way in Business Class

Hold your horses! Did I just say 55k miles one-way for a 17+ hour flight in Business Class from the U.S. to Australia? Yes, indeed, Alaska Airlines miles are some of the most valuable miles you can have from a U.S. airline. Alaska is a brand-new member of the Oneworld alliance and, so far, its award chart hasn’t been altered. You can still potentially get these amazing redemptions. To put things in perspective, I did a quick check and only found one potential date available at the time of writing. We’re hoping seats become more available later in the year, but only time will tell if Alaska devalues its award redemption chart after officially joining Oneworld.

Related: How to Use Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

9. New York (JFK) to Manila (MNL)

  • Airline: Philippine Airlines
  • Flight Distance: 8,520 miles
  • Flight Time: 16h 30m

This relatively new route on Philippine Airlines is the quickest way to get from the East Coast to the more than 7,600 islands in the Republic of the Philippines. It’s quite amazing that you can transport yourself from the cold New York winters to an island paradise on the other side of the world in under 17 hours. It’s unclear when this route will resume daily service. For now, there is an extremely limited schedule and it appears daily flights may resume June 1st, but I would guess that will be pushed back to later this year.

Sunny day and blue sky in Manila, Philippines

How to Book Flights with Points and Miles

  • Flight Number: PR 127
  • Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
  • Best Redemption: 95,000 ANA Mileage Club miles round-trip in Business Class

Philippine Airlines is not a member of any major airline alliance. Instead, it has a few random airline partners, one of which being the super valuable All Nippon Airways. Using ANA miles will be the easiest way to redeem for a flight on Philippine Airlines in respect to access due to the ability to transfer Amex points to ANA. However, it could be quite difficult to book as you can’t search for availability online and must call the ANA call center. At only 95k ANA miles round-trip, it may be worth it to try finding seats with ANA. If you happen to fly Philippine Airlines a lot and have racked up their own Mabuhay Miles, it’s only 56k miles one-way for Business Class.

Related: How to Transfer Amex Points to Airline Partners

10. San Francisco (SFO) to Singapore (SIN)

  • Airlines: United Airlines / Singapore Airlines
  • Flight Distance: 8,446 miles
  • Flight Time: 17h 10m on United / 16h 40m on Singapore Airlines

Nonstop flights from San Francisco to Singapore are still being flown during the pandemic on Singapore Airlines and United currently plans to restart flights on this route as of June 3, 2021. I could definitely see this date being pushed back until later in the year, but since both airlines are Star Alliance carriers, you’ll have plenty of options to connect from elsewhere in the U.S. to this most direct route from the U.S. to Singapore.

Airplane flying above skyscrapers in Singapore

How to Book Flights with Points and Miles

  • Flight Number: UA 1 / UA 29 / SQ 31 / SQ 33
  • Aircraft: Boeing B787-9 on United / Airbus A350-900ULR on Singapore Airlines
  • Best Redemption: 136,000 ANA Mileage Club miles round-trip in Business Class

Once again, ANA Mileage Club has the best rates for this route. At the moment, you won’t find any Business Class availability, since Singapore Airlines has suspended this option for partner airlines and United is only offering Economy seats for points on this route for now. We do believe this will change once travel picks up again and if you want to secure a seat in Business Class on Singapore Airlines now, you can always transfer credit card points to Singapore KrisFlyer and book flights for 95k miles one-way.

Related: The Climate Impact of Flying - How Bad is It and What Can I Do?

11. Atlanta (ATL) to Johannesburg (JNB)

  • Airline: Delta
  • Flight Distance: 8,439 miles
  • Flight Time: 15h 25m

The oldest flight on this list is also Delta’s longest. It’s been around since June 2009 and will be getting a bit of an update in 2021. Service is planned to resume on June 5, and it will now include a stop in Cape Town before returning to Atlanta. The circle route will allow Delta to fly its passengers to both major cities in South Africa with a streamlined schedule. The longest flight in distance will be the outbound nonstop flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg even though it’s a longer flight time on the nonstop flight returning from Cape Town to Atlanta.

Zebra on a safari in South Africa

How to Book Flights with Points and Miles

  • Flight Number: DL 204
  • Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
  • Best Redemption: 165,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points one-way in Business Class 

Since Delta has variable pricing for points redemptions, it’s hard to say what the best possible redemption would be for this route. Basically, don’t expect it to be cheap. At the time of writing, the lowest number of miles I was able to find for Delta One Suites was 465k SkyMiles one-way. According to Virgin Atlantic’s chart, these same flights could be available using Virgin points for only 165k points one-way.

However, finding availability using Virgin points could be a challenge. Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles are also an option, but since there is no award chart there either, it’s anyone’s guess as to how many miles this flight would cost, if you’re able to find any availability at all, booking via Air France/KLM Flying Blue. In short, it will be a challenge to find a deal using points and miles to fly on Delta’s longest flight.

Related: Miles Redemption with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club - How It's Done

More Ultra-Long-Haul Flights on the Horizon

Before the pandemic, there were plans for a few other ultra-long-haul flights. Air New Zealand had planned to start flying between Newark and Auckland in October 2020. This flight has obviously been postponed and it currently isn’t on any upcoming schedules. If it does eventually take off, it will land near the top of this list at a total of 8,810 miles. What will take the cake though is a planned Qantas flight between Sydney and London at 10,575 miles. This flight was tested in November 2019 and could begin regular passenger service in 2022 or 2023. 

At Chatflights, we search for premium flight redemptions such as these ultra-long-haul flights on a daily basis. If you’re looking for some help finding availability or just have a few questions about how to redeem credit card points or frequent flyer miles for comfortable flights, feel free to chat with us at any time.

Stay on top of the latest deals, get inspiration for your next destination, and discover the latest quirks of the airline industry. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Recent Posts