Since I have relatives in both Sri Lanka and New Zealand, I have taken some pretty long flights and I can tell you that they are not fun, though the people I feel most sorry for are the flight staff. I thought that they must have two sets of staff with one set replacing the other half way through but I see some of the same people working the whole time. Maybe they have some place to take a nap from time to time.
As planes became capable of much longer flights, I wondered what the record was. It turns out that the record for longest flight was held by Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Newark that was 9,500 miles over the North Pole and averaged 18 hours, though it could go up to 21 hours depending on weather. The second longest was between Singapore and Los Angeles that lasted nearly 17 hours over the Pacific Ocean.
These flights were on planes that had just 100 seats and were all business class, costing around $8,000 for the round trip.
Since these flights were over unpopulated areas not allowing for emergency landings, the awkward question of what to do if someone died in flight was discreetly handled by having a special compartment to hold a corpse, but there has not been any occasion to use it so far.
Both those Singapore Airlines flights have now ceased, making Qantas Airways’ Sydney to Dallas flight the current champion at 8,600 miles.
I have traveled on many long international flights and in my experience if you must take a long flight, Singapore Airlines is your best choice, dead or alive.