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The world's longest flight doesn't travel in a straight line and people are confused about it

This flight flies non-stop for an excruciating 19 hours covering a distance of 9,537 miles.

The world's longest flight doesn't travel in a straight line and people are confused about it
Image Source: TikTok/Travel with DJ

Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 10, 2022. It has since been updated.

Lengthy flights often test the patience of the passengers and cause great discomfort and difficulties. And if the flight doesn't make stops or layovers, it can be even more overbearing. The world's longest non-stop flight flies between New York and Singapore and covers a distance of 9,537 miles. As excruciating as this 19 hours flight sounds, people are more baffled about the route it takes to reach the destination after a person on the flight shared its bizarre route.

People on TikTok are questioning and wondering why this flight appears to fly in a curve rather than a straight line which would mean reaching the destination in a shorter time. Travel With DJ informed people on TikTok about his discovery of the flight that flies from John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport and lands at Singapore Changi Airport. His video shows the path of this flight actually goes north around Greenland, flying across the North pole then south over Russia and China to reach the destination.

People were completely confused, mentioning that it would make more sense if the flight was directly in a straight line over Africa. One user commented, "Why don't they just fly straight east?" Another added, "bro took a world tour." However, there were several people who understood the logic behind this curved route and one of them commented, "These comments are a perfect example of why we need school." Another added, "A lot of you don’t understand geography and that scares me."


The video gathered over 6.5 million views and thousands of comments from confused TikTok users. The route when looked at on a flat map may seem outrageous but there is a logical explanation behind it. According to One Monroe Aerospace, most flights from the United States to Asia choose "curved" routes because they are not only safer but also quicker contrary to popular opinion. Since Earth is not flat, flat maps can be perplexing. It is, in fact, spherical. As a result, straight lines do not provide the shortest distance between two points. 

A curved route will provide the fastest and most fuel-efficient flight for a commercial airline going from the United States to Asia or elsewhere. Moreover, these curved routes are safer than straight routes. Commercial airlines usually use a Northern bent route across Canada and Alaska. As a result, they spend less time over the Pacific Ocean, which allows for emergency landings if necessary, reported LadBible. 


One TikTok user tried to explain, "For those who are wondering, the planes fly to the top of the sphere at its circumference is smaller, thus traveling lesser distances & saves fuel." Another added, "I for a split second wondered why it flew so far, then used a single brain cell and realized." 

The TikTok account explains several routes and wonders about traveling. They have also done a video on the world's longest shipping route from Pakistan to Russia covering almost 20k miles. This also perplexed users who wondered why it took the long way…which in fact is a misconception again. People often envision the earth to be flat when thinking of a map and forget that the spherical shape of the planet demands curved routes. 

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