How Long Is A Flight From Los Angeles To London?

A trip across the pond from Southern California to England can cover a lot of air miles. But how long exactly are you in transit when flying from Los Angeles to London? The flight time averages around 10-11 hours for the 5,000+ mile journey. However, duration can vary based on factors like airline, aircraft, and prevailing winds. This guide breaks down all the key details on flight times, routes, and tips for getting the most out of your LA to London trip.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Flights from Los Angeles to London take about 10-11 hours on average.

Average Flight Time from Los Angeles to London

Most nonstop flights from Los Angeles to London cover around 5,440 air miles and take roughly 10 hours and 30 minutes. However, it’s important to note that this average time can fluctuate depending on various factors.

1. Depending on winds

The flight duration can vary between 9.5 to 11 hours depending on the prevailing winds. Tailwinds can help speed up the journey, resulting in a shorter flight time. Conversely, headwinds can slow down the aircraft, extending the duration of the flight.

2. Additional time for East Coast connections

If you’re flying from Los Angeles to London with a layover on the East Coast, you can expect to add approximately an hour to your total travel time. This extra hour accounts for the time spent on the connecting flight and any necessary transfers.

It’s worth noting that flight times can also be influenced by other factors such as air traffic control, airport congestion, and the specific route taken by the airline. These variables can affect the overall duration of the journey, so it’s always a good idea to check with your airline for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your specific flight.

Airline and Airport Factors That Impact Flight Duration

– Aircraft type – Larger planes fly faster

The type of aircraft used for a flight can have a significant impact on its duration. Generally, larger planes are designed to fly faster than smaller ones. For example, the Boeing 747, one of the largest commercial airliners, has a cruising speed of around 570 mph (917 km/h), while smaller planes like the Airbus A320 have a cruising speed of around 530 mph (851 km/h).

This means that flights operated by larger planes may be able to cover the distance between Los Angeles and London in a shorter amount of time.

– Airline speed variations

While the aircraft type plays a role in determining flight duration, it’s important to note that airlines may have variations in their speed as well. Some airlines may choose to operate their flights at slightly higher speeds, while others may opt for a more conservative approach.

These variations can impact the overall duration of a flight from Los Angeles to London. It’s worth mentioning that airlines prioritize safety over speed, so any differences in flight duration are usually within a reasonable range.

– Departure airport – LAX vs. regional airports

The choice of departure airport can also impact the length of a flight. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is one of the busiest airports in the world, with a wide range of international flights. It offers numerous direct flights to London, which can potentially reduce travel time.

On the other hand, regional airports may require passengers to take connecting flights, which can add extra time to the journey. However, it’s worth noting that regional airports can sometimes offer more convenient departure options for passengers living in nearby areas.

– Arrival airport – London Heathrow vs. Gatwick, Stansted, Luton

The choice of arrival airport in London can also impact the overall flight duration. London Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in the UK and offers a wide range of international flights. It is also well-connected to the city center, which can save time for passengers.

On the other hand, airports like Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton may have fewer international flights, requiring passengers to take additional transportation to reach their final destination in London. These factors can add extra travel time to the overall journey.

– Time saved on UK return with jet stream tailwinds

Another factor that can impact the flight duration from Los Angeles to London is the presence of jet stream tailwinds. The jet stream is a high-altitude wind that can blow with great speed across the Atlantic Ocean.

When flights from Los Angeles to London benefit from these tailwinds, they can experience a boost in speed, potentially reducing the overall travel time. However, it’s important to note that jet stream patterns can vary and are not always predictable, so the time saved on the return journey cannot be guaranteed.

Direct vs. Connecting LA to London Flights

– Nonstop is fastest, around 10-11 hours

When it comes to flying from Los Angeles to London, nonstop flights are the quickest option. These flights typically take around 10 to 11 hours, allowing you to reach your destination in a relatively short amount of time.

This is great for travelers who prefer to minimize their time spent in transit and get to their destination as quickly as possible.

– Connecting flights range from 12-16 hours

On the other hand, if you choose a connecting flight from Los Angeles to London, the total travel time will be longer. Connecting flights can range anywhere from 12 to 16 hours, depending on the duration of the layover.

While this may seem like a significant increase in travel time, connecting flights can offer their own advantages, such as the opportunity to explore a new city during the layover.

– Easy to connect via East Coast hubs like NYC, Chicago

For those considering a connecting flight, it is worth noting that there are several convenient options for connecting via East Coast hubs like New York City or Chicago. These cities serve as major transit hubs, offering numerous flights to London throughout the day.

This makes it easier to find connecting flights and provides you with more flexibility when planning your trip.

– Check if layover is short or requires overnight stay

When booking a connecting flight from Los Angeles to London, it is important to check the duration of the layover. Some layovers may be relatively short, allowing you to quickly transfer to your next flight.

However, others may require an overnight stay, especially if the layover is longer than a few hours. It is essential to consider this when planning your trip and ensure that you are comfortable with the duration of the layover.

Tips for a Comfortable LA to London Flight

Request special meals and reserve seats early

When booking your flight from Los Angeles to London, it’s important to consider any dietary restrictions or preferences you may have. Many airlines offer special meal options, such as vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free meals.

By requesting these meals in advance, you can ensure that you’ll have a satisfying and delicious meal during your flight. Additionally, reserving your seats early will give you the opportunity to choose seats with extra legroom or near the window, which can enhance your comfort throughout the journey.

Stay hydrated, stretch legs, and sleep if you can

Long-haul flights can be dehydrating, so it’s essential to stay hydrated throughout the journey. Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive caffeine or alcohol, as these can contribute to dehydration. Additionally, it’s important to stretch your legs regularly to prevent stiffness and promote blood circulation.

Consider walking around the cabin or doing simple exercises in your seat. If possible, try to get some sleep during the flight to help combat jet lag and arrive in London feeling refreshed.

Pack earplugs, neck pillow, blanket for the long haul

Comfort items can make a significant difference during a long flight. Make sure to pack essentials such as earplugs to block out noise, a neck pillow to provide support and prevent neck strain, and a blanket to keep you warm and cozy.

These items will help you relax and make the journey more enjoyable.

Use amenity kits, in-flight entertainment, wifi if available

Most airlines provide amenity kits that include essential toiletries, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, and eye mask. Take advantage of these kits to freshen up during the flight. In addition, make use of the in-flight entertainment system to pass the time.

Many airlines offer a wide range of movies, TV shows, and music to keep you entertained. If available, consider purchasing in-flight wifi to stay connected and catch up on work or communicate with loved ones.

Set watch to destination time to acclimate

As soon as you board the plane, set your watch to the local time at your destination. This will help you mentally adjust to the new time zone and start acclimating your body accordingly. It’s also a good idea to plan your sleep and meal schedule based on the destination time to reduce the effects of jet lag.

What to Do During a Long LA to London Flight

– Read books or download magazines to devices

One of the best ways to pass the time during a long flight from Los Angeles to London is to immerse yourself in a good book or download your favorite magazines to your electronic device. Whether you prefer a thrilling novel, a self-help book, or a collection of short stories, reading can transport you to another world and make the hours fly by.

So, don’t forget to pack your favorite reads or take advantage of the in-flight entertainment system that offers a wide selection of books and magazines.

– Create London itinerary and research sightseeing options

Why not use the long flight to plan your London adventure? Take the opportunity to create a detailed itinerary of the places you want to visit and the activities you want to experience. Research popular sightseeing options, landmarks, museums, and parks.

Look up recommended restaurants and local delicacies to try. By the time you arrive in London, you’ll be well-prepared and ready to make the most of your trip.

– Get work done or take an online course

For those who can’t afford to take a break from work or want to make productive use of their travel time, a long flight is the perfect opportunity. Bring your laptop or tablet and catch up on pending tasks or projects.

If work is not on your agenda, consider taking an online course or learning a new skill. There are numerous platforms that offer online courses on various subjects, allowing you to expand your knowledge while you’re in the air.

– Watch movies and TV shows on in-flight screens

If you’re in the mood for some entertainment, take advantage of the in-flight screens that offer a wide selection of movies and TV shows. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the latest blockbusters or catch up on your favorite series.

Many airlines provide noise-canceling headphones to enhance your viewing experience, so make sure to make the most of this amenity.

– Chat with seatmates and get to know other travelers

Long flights provide ample opportunities to meet new people and make interesting connections. Strike up a conversation with your seatmate and find out where they’re headed or share travel stories. Who knows, you might make a lifelong friend or discover valuable tips for your destination.

Remember, the flight experience is not just about reaching your destination but also about the journey and the people you meet along the way.


Flights from Los Angeles to London average around 10-11 hours for the over 5,000 mile journey across the Atlantic. Taking a direct nonstop flight is fastest, while connectors can add a couple hours. Preparing with comfy clothes, entertainment, and flight tips will help you arrive refreshed for exploring all that London has to offer after the long haul.

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