What a 19-Hour Nonstop Flight Can Teach Us About Jet Lag | WSJ

Qantas just completed a record-breaking 19-hour, 16-minute nonstop flight from New York to Sydney. It’s one of three research flights to determine if the routes can be made commercial and–researchers hope–teach us how to avoid the dreaded jet lag.

Photo: James D. Morgan/Qantas

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Comment (906)

  1. I live in Sydney and Ive been waiting for a direct flight to NYC. I cant Stand 12hr flight from Syd to LA then another 6 hours from LA to NYC… its exhausting escpecially how confusing LAX is.

  2. The results can be slightly misleading. Why? the 19 travelers are occupying in a 200+ capacity plane with empty seats. The full cabin creates a logistical issue for exercising, walking around or just standing in the aisles or near the kitchen. I think the A380 can be more suitable for this. Passengers can walk in a circle on the two decks. Of course not together.

  3. I have completely eliminated the 'jet lag' problem at least for myself. I have been flying internationally since 1980 These days I regularly fly between Asia, USA and the UK. I am not sure that the exhaustion is due to time differencies.
    Try sitting up at home in an uncomfortable chair unable to move your legs and often told you cannot get out of your seat, for 10 hours. You might experience the same 'jet lag' symptoms after that, in fact it would be almost torture to try it.
    I found that a lot of the problem was due to lack of sleep. A USA to Asia trip can mean being up or on the plane over 30 hours. Try going without proper sleep for 24 hours or more, even a moderate 5 hour flight means being awake and busy before and after the flight, and getting tired even without the flight
    A luxury solution I have these days is to be able to take an afternoon nap. This puts me into two 12 hour cycles instead of one 24 hour cycle. When I get to the US which is about 12 hour out from Asia, I just extend the nap to become the night sleep and reduce the what was the night sleep to a nap.
    Another luxury solution is I refuse now to fly economy any longer than a couple of hours. The lay flat business class seats are lovely. I enjoy the pampering by the service to but it isn't why I fly business its being able to sleep properly.
    That is how I can arrive after a flight and not feel any problems at all.

  4. Need i state the obvious.. If people will loose their minds and body over a scant 19-20 hour flight, how on earth will anyone deal with a 9 month or more trip to Mars.

  5. 19 hours 16 minutes is very long but there are already non stop flight over 17 hours and from what I heard about this flight is that only had 17 minutes of fuel remaining. The plane also had only a handful of passengers and no baggage so this flight will not be possible with a normal weighted airplane. Still an amazing achievement.

  6. Do they have a way of stowing obstreperous young-uns with the baggage? Or have a minimum age requirement? For unruly adult passengers, do they fit them with 'chutes and maybe slip them out a discharge port? Hypodermic sedative, anyone? Just asking.

  7. 2019: We want to see the potentially damaging health effects of traveling all the way across the world in just 19 hours…

    People from the past when it took > 2 months to sail the Atlantic: Hold my beer

  8. Cool!
    Big things are: cabin pressure, home (mathematical average bi-monthly elevation saturation) (Above Sea Level) ASL, and destination elevation ASL. The first couple days are generically spoken to be the down, with a typical rapid recovery and elevation acclimation…
    just sayin’

  9. I’m sorry but if I’ve paid the thousands of dollars to get this flight the last thing I want is for someone to be telling me when I eat what I eat and then it’s time for exercises, no thanks.

  10. I can’t help but think this is a bit of a publicity stunt. If Qantas REALLY wanted to find out the effects on passengers, they’d have crammed in hundreds of people in economy – 9 abreast, with a seat reclined in peoples’ faces. That’s the true reality of long haul travel.

  11. longest i did was almost a 16 h flight , economy . in the way back i managed a first row seat with pleasant passengers next to me . but yet , you eat , sleep , wake up , watch 2 movies, eat again …then you still have 6 hours to go . its not fun at all ….oh and i read a whole freaking novel in between . never again ..

  12. those people are talking about the economy class, I have the only thing to say them "PEOPLE'S THIS IS NOT THE ECONOMY CHANNEL TO WATCH THIS IS "WALL STREET JOURNAL", and the name itself says MONEY, so why they fly in economy ask a question by yourself"

  13. Customers used to get free alcoholic drink every time you passed into a new time zone. By the time the plane landed the only sober people where the pilot and copilot. Mean hangover.

  14. Maybe flying through edge of space, or a super sonic flight , but cruising at subsonic speed medium altitude in economy ! With screaming kids upgrade ,must be hallucinations

  15. Did they have people in economy sitting in a couple rows adjusting the seats, trying to go to the bathroom while having 2 people asleep blocking the row but don’t want to wake them up?

  16. In business seat who doesn’t sleep? Take the 3x3x3 seat configuration in this 787 and everyone will have great sleep time (I’m being sarcastic). At least should be an A350

  17. Soon, there will be 20+ Hours of Nonstop Flights from Manila to South America, The Manila to Ushuaia Flight will be the Longest in the World with 23-24 Hours of Flight Time, The Another Longest will be Manila to Buenos Aires, Then Manila to Sao Paulo, Then Manila to Montevideo, Then Manila to Santiago, Then Manila to Rio De Janeiro and Then Manila to Lima, Peru, The Possible Longest Flights are: Auckland to London, Auckland to Paris CDG, Perth to New York JFK, Cape Town to Tokyo, Johannesburg to Tokyo, Auckland to Madrid, Auckland to Lisbon, Auckland to Helsinki, Auckland to Warsaw, Auckland to Frankfurt, Auckland to Munich, Auckland to Rome Fiumicino, and Ushuaia to Singapore.


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