Skip to main content

Qantas Airways will test if people can endure 20-hour flights to Australia in coach

Qantas Airways will test if people can endure 20-hour flights to Australia in coach


How many hours of crushed knees does it take before the madness sets in?

Share this story

Planes Fly At Sydney Airport As Boeing 737 MAX 8 Operations Are Suspended In Australia
Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Australian airline Qantas Airways has announced plans to start testing 20-hour direct flights from New York and London to Sydney as early as this October, starting with mostly empty planes of employees, according to Bloomberg.

The flights — if they’re enacted on a commercial level, not just as tests — would be the longest direct flight offered by any airline. To start, Qantas will fly roughly 40 passengers and crew. The test flight crews will be medically examined, presumably make sure that they’re not going to try to eat people after being cooped up in a small metal can for 20 hours straight (along with, presumably, the more ordinary health factors of a long journey).

The airline is testing the health effects of the flights first

Qantas has been planning these trips for a while, and it once considered offering amenities like bunks, beds, and even a gym on the nearly day-long flight, although that plan was nixed back in June in favor of offering an area for passengers to stretch their legs.

These first tests will be conducted using Boeing Dreamliners, although Qantas is still figuring out what models of planes it’ll use for the eventual commercial flights, should they happen. It still needs to figure which planes can make the trip once a full load of passengers and luggage is on board.

Qantas is hoping to offer the first commercial trips on the route as early as 2022 if things go well with these tests. So if you truly hate the idea of taking a connecting flight, then this might be the flight for you. Just make sure to bring a good book (or three).