If you’re going to spend 15 hours of your life on a flight, you might as well do it on an awesome double-decker superjumbo jet.
Qantas is now operating the world’s longest commercial air travel route on the planet’s biggest passenger plane. The flight is a 15-and-a-half-hour trip between Dallas-Ft. Worth and Sydney via the airline’s enormous A380 jumbo jet. It’s the longest scheduled commercial flight in the world, and it operates six days per week. (Every day except for Tuesday.)
Yesterday, the first Qantas A380 landed at Dallas after an epic 8,578-mile journey from Australia. The completely full inaugural flight had 484 passengers onboard. We expect those folks would normally be exhausted and bleary-eyed after 15-plus hours on a plane, but this isn’t just any ol’ aircraft. The A380 boasts an impressive list of innovations, from fuel efficiency to roomier seats (although the seat pitch in economy hasn’t increased, more overhead space reportedly helps passengers feel less claustrophobic) to a quieter cabin. The plane is cleaner and more efficient than older aircraft models: It burns 17 percent less fuel than comparable jumbo jets. The cabin experience is quieter, and take-off noise has been reduced by half.
Prices are what you might expect for nonstops on this kind of aircraft. Qantas Senior Executive Vice President Vanessa Hudson told ABC News that economy tickets start at about $1,900 roundtrip. Premium economy will run you roughly $4,000. Business class starts at $7,000. And first class costs $12,000 to $13,000.
Qantas and its A380 Dallas-to-Sydney flight bumps Delta’s Atlanta-to-Johannesburg route to second place in the race for longest flight on Earth. Previously, the world’s longest flight was a 19-hour journey between Singapore and Newark, but Singapore Airlines dropped the route in 2012.
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(Photo: William West/Getty Images)