From February 1, 2016, Emirates will fly daily between Dubai and Panama City, which will be the longest scheduled commercial flight at over 8,500 miles. The flight is blocked for 17:35 heading west. Hopefully the flight will be bookable with Alaska miles, and it will definitely be bookable with Japan Airlines miles.
I have a special interest in long flights because when I am flying an ultra-luxurious First Class, I don’t want the flight to end. Eight hours–a typical transatlantic flight–are not enough. I want 12 hours, maybe 16 hours.
Right now the top ten longest flights include five that are bookable with American Airlines miles. That’s important because American has the cheapest award chart, and for a limited time, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® offers 75,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $7,500 in the first three months. One of these flights costs only 67,500 miles in First Class.
- #1: Dallas to Sydney on Qantas: 8,578 miles and 16:55
- #3: Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles on Etihad: 8,390 miles and 16:30
- #7: Abu Dhabi to San Francisco on Etihad: 8,168 miles and 16:15
- #8: Dallas to Hong Kong on American: 8,123 miles and 17:05
- #10: New York to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific: 8,067 miles and 16:15 (my trip report)
What’s the Award Space on These Ultra-Longhauls?
#1: Dallas to Sydney
The longest current flight in the world is operated by a Qantas A380. “That’s awesome!” you might be thinking since the Qantas A380 has a fantastic First Class product.
Yes, but Qantas releases almost no First Class award space on its A380 routes to America.
Right now there is decent economy award space in both directions on the route. And there are exactly two days with a Business Class award seat from Dallas to Sydney in the next 11 months. (Here’s my review of Qantas Business Class on the A380.)
When First Class space does appear, it is usually 8-11 months out and a single seat. It costs only 72,500 American Airlines miles one way.
#3 and #7: Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles and San Francisco
Award space in First Class is pretty good (and sometimes great) on Etihad’s flights to California. You can search on etihad.com as described here. All Guest Seat award space can be booked by calling American Airlines.
The Los Angeles flight is operated by a 777-200LR (trip report here).
Award space is mainly available this week and next Spring, though award space is scattered throughout the calendar. Look for days that say “Miles 144,024.” You will not pay that price because American charges only 90,000 miles one way in First Class between the United States and the Middle East or Indian Subcontinent.
San Francisco is operated by a leased Jet Airways plane (trip report here).
#8 Dallas to Hong Kong
American Airlines has released zero Business and First Class on the route for the next 11 months. It is being very stingy with longhaul premium cabin award space on its own flights at the moment. Thank god for partners.
The award would cost 67,500 American Airlines miles one way.
#10 New York to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific releases tons of Business and First Class award space on its several daily fights from New York to Hong Kong.
The best times to look are in the few days before departure and 11 months out on ba.com. Then book by calling American Airlines.
Tomorrow, unfortunately, there is no First Class space on the route, though one flight has six Business Class seats.
I flew this exact route and loved it. I slept for eight hours early on and enjoyed the service and entertainment for about eight hours. (See my trip report.)
American Airlines miles can book five of the world’s 10 longest flights, each 16 hours or longer. If you can snag one of these flights in Business or First Class, you are in heaven. You’ll enjoy a full night sleep, two full meals, and plenty of time to take advantage of the entertainment options.
Award space varies on the route from zero (AA’s DFW-HKG flight) to very little (Qantas’ DFW-SYD flight) to tons (Etihad’s California routes and Cathay Pacific’s JFK route.)
Right now, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® offers 75,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $7,500 in the first three months. That’s enough miles to book several of these routes one way.