While there aren’t as many folks flying now, we’re on track to recovering back to 2019 flight passenger numbers. With this return of travelers, some of whom are new to flying, there are some questions out there for those folks going from coast to coast.
So, if you need to know how long the flight from LA to New York is, or just want some tips on how to make that flight smoother, we have the answers you need.
Flying Time from LA to New York
Flying from Los Angeles to New York is a long trek. You’ll be going from one coast of the United States to the other throughout your journey. Because of this fact, you should get yourself ready for a long journey. In total, a straight flight from Los Angeles to New York will be 2,451 miles.
How long your flight will take depends on whether you’re taking a direct flight or if you have a layover somewhere. Straight flights will always be shorter since you won’t have to get catch a connecting flight, but direct flights tend to be more expensive.
In total, a direct flight from Los Angeles to New York takes an average of four hours and forty-seven minutes. That time just represents how long you’ll be in the air, not any boarding time or time spent waiting at the luggage claim.
Flights with just one connecting stop take much longer comparatively. To give flyers a chance to reach the connection, it’s not uncommon for airlines to have one or more hours between flights. That way, if the first flight is a little late coming in, folks can still possibly get their connection.
Overall, these flights will take around eight hours on average. The extra three hours represent not just the logistics of a connection flight, but also because you won’t have your connection on the straight line connecting the two cities. You’ll have to go off-course to land at your first stop before your connecting flight gets you through the last leg of the journey.
None of this time accounts for other time sinks with the airport, like transportation there or time spent going through security. So, as part of your travel plans, expect to spend some time getting to the airport and going through security, too.
Getting Ready for Your Flight
If you want to reduce the chances of stressing out about your flight, here are some tips you can use to get prepared for your flight from Los Angeles to New York:
- Have a valid ID and passport on you when you get to the airport
- Double-check the weather before you pack so that you can pack clothing and other items needed to handle the weather
- Pack your luggage the day before and double-check that you have everything you need before leaving your home
- Ensure that you follow TSA requirements for carry-on and checked luggage to prevent issues at the terminal
- Print out or otherwise sort out your boarding pass before you get to the airport so you don’t have to deal with any lines at check-in
- If you take your car and park it at the airport, write down or take a picture of where your car is so you can’t forget where you parked when you come back home
How to Stay Comfy on the Long Fight
Since you have a long flight ahead, we recommend taking some steps ahead of time to ensure you’ll be comfy during the flight, especially for folks with a direct flight. You’ll be stuck on the plane for along five hours, so keep some of these tips in mind before traveling:
Ensure your Physical Comfort
Part of what gets folks on long flights is how uncomfortable they can be while in the air. Many commercial planes focus on getting people where they need to go, meaning some corners get cut concerning comfort.
The easiest way to minimize this is to travel light. You’ll have to lug your heavy bags around the entire time, which can be tiring. If you won’t need something for a trip, it’s better not to bring it.
On the day of your flight, wear lighter clothes if you can. Attire that doesn’t feel restrictive will give your body a way to feel unencumbered while stationary for so long.
Finally, know how your airline will handle in-flight food and drinks ahead of time. Hunger and thirst can make the long flight feel longer. So, if you can plan meals or drinks around your flight, you’ll have one less thing to worry about while in the air.
Five hours is a long time to be sitting there staring at your watch. Unless you plan on sleeping during the flight, having something to keep you busy will help the time go by much faster.
If you want to bring electronics with you, try to charge them up before the flight. Most commercial airplanes don’t have electrical outlets or charge stations for smartphones or laptops, so you’ll be stuck with whatever battery charge you have when you board. You could also look at getting a power bank for your electronics, but remember not to go large or heavy with these.
Finally, don’t hesitate to stretch or move if you feel tense or antsy. If the seatbelt light is off, that’s your cue to get up and head to the lavatory. Even if you don’t need to use it, the walk will get the blood moving and help your morale during the flight.
Overall, the flight to New York from Los Angeles will take between five and eight hours, depending on if you have a layover somewhere or not. That time represents how long you’ll be in the air, not other time sinks like traveling to the airport, security, or waiting to board.
For long flights like these, the best course of action is to prepare all your documents and luggage ahead of time. Plus, you’ll want to bring something to keep you entertained during the flight. Eight hours is a long time to go with nothing to do but stare at your watch!
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
Featured in Travel articles such as Travel + Leisure, TripSavvy and SFGate, you know you're reading some of the best vacation tips online.