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The Case for Booking an Ultra-Long Flight

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© Illustration by Brown Bird Design After reading this, you'll want to spend 18.5 hours in the air. Maybe.

By Sarah Khan, Condé Nast Traveler

A bevy of newly launched flights—all of them 15 or more hours long!—are testing the limits of passenger endurance. The upside? They’ll spare you the nuisance (and time suck) of a layover, so you can get to where you’re going faster. Here’s how to do them right:
Newark to Singapore, Singapore Airlines

Hours in the air: 18.75

Time saved: At least five hours, and a connection in Frankfurt.

The seat to get: Any in rows 19–22 of business class: It’s like a mini cabin of just 16 people.

Perk that makes it bearable: You can reservespecial meals (char siu wonton noodle soup, pecan-crusted veal) ahead of time online.
Chicago to Auckland, Air New Zealand

Hours in the air: 16

Time saved: Four hours, plus a layover in California at LAX or SFO.

The seat to get: The Economy SkyCouch, three seats that fold into a sofa, is a solid alternative to biz class.

Perk that makes it bearable: A killer selection of movies and shows, including all 1,032 minutes of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.
Houston to Sydney, United Airlines

Hours in the air: 17.5

Time saved: At least two and a half hours, and a stop in either Dallas or on the West Coast.

The seat to get: Premium economy seats have three extra inches of legroom—which makes all the difference.

Perk that makes it bearable: In-flight ice cream sundae service! We say the more sprinkles you eat, the shorter a flight feels.
N.Y.C. to Nairobi, Kenya Airways

Hours in the air: 15

Time saved: Five hours (or more), and no circuitous route through Europe or the Middle East.

The seat to get: One of the 30 lie-flat business-class seats is the way to go; row 5 is farthest from the lavatories.

Perk that makes it bearable: Cabin mood lighting that helps combat jet lag so you won’t be too bleary-eyed when you encounter your first lion.

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