Sydneysiders might call it ‘the route nobody asked for’ but if you’re willing to stop gloating about State of Origin then Qantas is willing to launch you from Brisbane to Chicago in a single bound.
Even better? While some (us) expected Qantas to palm this slightly less booked (when you compare it to Sydney or Melbourne) route off with an old 747, those undertaking the fourth-longest passenger flight in the world will be doing so on a ‘jetlag defying‘ 787-9 Dreamliner.
The 14,326 km route should take about 16 hours and 20 minutes, saving Australian passengers travelling return to Chicago about six hours (compared to today’s shortest possible route).
It’s also set to bump Queensland’s visitor numbers up to 360,000 US visitors a year by 2027, and — as we reported earlier this year — give savvy Australian travellers easier access to a whole new zone of America (Chicago is one of the busiest airports in the world) including ‘cowboy country’ hotspots like Michigan and Wyoming.
The only downside is you’ll have to fly to Brisbane to do so, whose business and first-class lounges might still give picky luxury-lovers PTSD (if you had the misfortune to visit them before they were updated in 2016).
As for the red-eyes that beat it? Look no further.
1. Singapore Airlines: Singapore — Newark (18 hours, 30 minutes)
2. Qatar Airways: Auckland — Doha (17 hours, 50 minutes)
3. Qantas: Perth — London (17 hours, 25 minutes)
4. Qantas: Brisbane — Chicago (16 hours, 20 minutes)
This is all part of a growing trend whereby airlines cut out out the middle man (or in this case, layover), which should in turn (read: eventually) lead to more comfortable seats and faster flight experiences for all (not just those that can afford supersonic jets).