Dread the hassles involved with connecting flights? Relief may be on the way: Some airlines are offering nonstop marathon flights that can cut travel time substantially.
China Airlines, for instance, has a nonstop flight from Taipei to New York that's a whopping 16-hour journey; it's available only from November 1 through April 1, when tail winds give the planes the boost they need to make the 7,795-mile trip. And in July, United Airlines began offering a flight from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport direct to Hong Kong, a 7,788-mile journey. United operated the new service three days a week through the end of October this year.
Aside from the obvious convenience, what's most attractive about these new nonstop flights for many business travelers is their hefty time savings. "Before, travelers had to make a stop and change planes," says United Airlines' Joe Hopkins. "This way, travelers can save anywhere from three to five hours."
Still, airline officials are careful to point out that business travelers shouldn't expect to see a spate of exceptionally lengthy flights in the near future. "We don't see this as a trend," asserts Hopkins. "It's really a unique thing to do."