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Qantas will test our endurance with a 17-hour trip from London to Perth

Screaming babies, sick passengers, and a bathroom line the length of the plane. You are on a long haul flight, and the pain is neverending.

Now Qantas is looking to test the limits of human endurance further with the announcement of a non-stop 17-hour trip from Perth to London. The journey will be undertaken by the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and carry up to 236 passengers.

The 14,498km flight will officially be the longest flight in the world and is set to launch March 2018. The current longest journey is from Dubai to Auckland, covering a measly 14199km. Pfft, that’s nothing, mate!

Federal Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said the flight would boost employment and tourism in Australia, adding that the UK is our third largest source of international visitors. Last year 660,000 visitors came from the UK, spending $3.7 billion on our shores.

There is some history behind the route too.

In 1947, Qantas created the “Kangaroo Route” between the UK and Australia. Back then, it involved nine stops and took four days. Damn, I honestly don’t think I would have made it.

Going back further, sailing ships made the journey in up to four months in the nineteenth century. And if you think planes are uncomfortable, I suggest you read a little about those who travelled in “steerage”. We’re talking no ventilation, no light and no cushions. Just a straw mattress and a candle (if you were lucky).

Artist's depiction of travelling in steerage

We have nothing to complain about. 17 hours on a plane – that’s a breeze!

And if you’re wondering how to pass the time, BBC News has some suggestions. For example, you could watch every episode of Game of Thrones and still have half an hour to spare! You could probably get through Books One and Two in the same amount of time. Those things are like doorstops.

For our European readers, you may be wondering what you can do in Perth. Well, you could visit the lovely Kings Park, check out Fremantle Harbour or maybe visit the Perth Mint.

Perth also has a lovely island, but for the sake of branding I’d like to suggest a name change.

The current name – Rottnest Island – or ‘Rotto’ as people like to call it, isn’t particularly alluring. It got the name from a Dutch bloke who discovered it and it literally means “rat’s nest”. For the record, they weren’t even rats – they were quokkas.

And ‘Quokka Island’ sounds a lot better to me.

Just think, Londoners, you could be there in seventeen short hours.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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