Flying The Longest Flight in the World

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series South Africa:

  1. Flying The Longest Flight in the World
  2. Safari in Kruger National Park, Part 1
  3. Safari in Kruger National Park, Part 2
  4. Johannesburg and Soweto Tour
  5. Driving on the Left, Robberg, and Plettenberg Bay
  6. Adventures Along The Garden Route
That's a long flight!

That’s a long flight!

Before we get into a series of posts about all the fun things we did in South Africa, I thought it was worth writing about how we got there, which was on the longest flight in the world*. We were actually thrilled to find affordable seats on Delta for the flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Johannesburg, South Africa, which clocks in at 7,334 miles.

* It was the longest flight at the time we booked it. For the astute fact-checkers, Qantas flew the inaugural Dallas to Sydney flight the same day we left, and clocked in at 121 miles longer. The longest flight ever was almost 1000 miles longer (Newark to Singapore).

Typically flights to Africa from the US all involve a stop-over in Europe, which means two 8-10 hour international flights. We have now taken six intercontinental flights on our trip (Kyle has taken 8!) and we weren’t keen the idea of adding one more for fun. And at only $700 from St. Louis to JoBurg, it was probably the best miles/$ flight we could get in the world.

Even though we typically book most of our flights on miles, we still fly economy (because we have a lot of flights to catch, not just a couple of nice ones). Delta’s economy certainly wasn’t the worst (Air Kroyo takes the nod there), but it certainly wasn’t the best. The legroom  was pretty poor, and the meals were mediocre. However, they did give you three meals (one hot dinner, one sandwich-y thing, and one hot breakfast), which was nice.

What do you do on a flight that long? We typically take an Ambien and try to sleep, but for most flights, by the time you take off, eat the meal, sleep, eat the morning meal, land, you only get a few hours to sleep. We could avoid the meal… but we hate to turn down free, let’s be honest! So the nice thing about this flight is we could take off, eat, watch a movie, sleep for a full 8 hours, eat, watch a movie/read/whatever, eat, land, with time to spare! Fortunately the inflight entertainment was pretty good, with numerous movie and TV options. We both enjoyed Million Dollar Arm, which snuck into theaters sometime while we were traveling.

So, we survived. Sorry this isn’t the most exciting post, but I just wanted to let people know that, despite the saying, when it comes to flying, it’s all about the destination, not about the journey. Coming up, posts actually about South Africa!

Safari in Kruger National Park, Part 1 >>
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2 Responses to Flying The Longest Flight in the World

  1. Wes says:

    $700 is pretty impressive. How long in the air was it? Flying from Tanzania to Hawaii for us is going to be a pretty long travel day/two but on three different flights. We haven’t tried ambien yet, as I usually am like a little kid trying to watch everything on TV and movies while getting a little rest, although we have only done 2 long intercontinental flights so far…not like the 7 you guys have done!