There’s no meal or beverage service, but you’ll hardly notice on America’s new, shortest-scheduled flight. Traversing about 62 miles and lasting just 16 minutes, from takeoff to touch-down, United Airlines has begun daily service between San Francisco and Santa Rosa in Northern California’s Sonoma County wine region.
On its website, United is offering today’s departure, with a scheduled journey time of 45 minutes, for $399 one way or $797 roundtrip. Advance fares are as low as $298 one way and $413 roundtrip.
The same distance can be driven in about 1 hour and 20 minutes, in good traffic.
An even shorter U.S. flight was formerly available in Hawaii, from Hoolehua, the main airport on the island of Molokai, to Kalaupapa on the same island, a distance of only 8 miles. Kalaupapa is otherwise inaccessible except by boat or a cliff-side trail that descends 1,700 feet. The small airline that flew this route ceased operations in 2013.
Even that flight, however, was much longer than the current world’s shortest flight. Scotland’s Loganair flies between the Orkney Islands of Westray and Papa Westray, with a scheduled flight time of two minutes to cover 1.7 miles.
The world’s longest nonstop flight was inaugurated this year, according to The Telegraph. Qatar Airways flies from Doha, Qatar, to Auckland, New Zealand, a distance of 9,028 miles, in 16 hours and 23 minutes.
Among U.S.-based airlines, United claims the longest flight, too. In partnership with Singapore Airlines, it currently flies from San Francisco to Singapore (8,446 miles). On Oct. 27, United will launch a Los Angeles-Singapore route (8,700 miles), and on January 18 it will begin flying to Sydney from Houston (8,596 miles).