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Did You Know: Shortest Commercial Flights

November 13, 2007 | Posted in: Uncategorized

Last week, I highlighted the longest of the long haul flights, so this week I wanted to point out the Top 5 shortest flights you can catch in the U.S.

If you can only handle a few minutes in the air, these are the flights for you. Some will have you wondering if taxi-ing to them would be just as fast …

Here are the 5 city pairs that have America’s shortest regularly available commercial flights on jets that hold over 110 passengers (I wanted to weed out props and 50, 70 and 100 seat regional jets, there are a ton of very short flights on those aircraft (especially in Alaska)):

  • Petersburg, AK to Wrangell, AK on Alaska Airlines (32 Miles) – Alaska Airlines
  • Detroit, MI to Flint, MI on Northwest (55 Miles) – Northwest Airlines
  • King Salmon, AK to Dillingham, AK (56 Miles) – Alaska Airlines (service in early Sept 2008)
  • Minneapolis, MN to St. Cloud, MN (61 Miles) – Northwest Airlines
  • Hilo, HI to Kona, HI (65 Miles) – Island Air

22 Responses to “Did You Know: Shortest Commercial Flights”

  1. Frederic says:

    Rick – I think you are missing Tampa, FL to Sarasota, FL here. It’s 25 miles, with two round-trips a day as Continental Connection in a Cessna 402.

  2. Frederic says:

    Sorry – that was supposed to be 35 miles, not 25. Still a pretty short hop, though.

  3. Rick Seaney says:

    I’ll check it out in our flight schedules. I did the test only for aircraft above 110 seats – trying to weed out smaller props and regional jets

  4. dee says:

    how about ONT to LAX, i think they actually have this flight once a day even though they are probably less than 50miles apart

  5. mlbcard says:

    What about SNA to LAX?

  6. mlbcard says:

    nevermind, i guess that’s a turboprop also.

  7. Rick Seaney says:

    both ONT-LAX and SNA-LAX are 30 seat Embraer Turbo Props on United (45 miles) so they didn’t make the cut off of 110 seat minimum

  8. Elliot Campbell says:

    I remember as a kid, going to visit my grandmother, and ending up on a flight from YYZ – MIA – FLL, all on the same plane. Not sure the exact type, but definitely a Boeing (perhaps a 737 or 757?). The MIA – FLL segment can’t be more than 30 miles?

  9. Dawson Williams says:

    I don’t think that PenAir flight from King Salmon to Dillingham is on a plane that holds 110 passengers. PenAir’s largest plane is a Saab 340 that holds at most 36 passengers.


    Still, thanks for recognizing Alaska. We’ve got heaps of short commercial flights. (Just not on often on big planes).

  10. Rick Seaney says:

    Hi Dawson, I have corrected the mistake (it was Alaska Airlines) not Penn from AKN-King Salmon to DLG-Dillingham.

    Our OAG (Offical Airline Guide) flight schedules show a 2 week window in early September 2008 where Alaska Airlines is flying a 737 with a 144 seats (yes we are fixing the display 2008 bug in the drop down window of that page).

    I checked on the Alaska Airlines Site (one-way, Sept. 8, 2008, AKN – DLG) and it is indeed a 737-400 and the price was in the low $100′s …

  11. Rick Seaney says:

    Hi Elliot,

    I just looked through our worldwide flight schedules database and it doesn’t show any commercial non-stop airline service from MIA to FLL on any type of aircraft.

  12. JenniferJennifer says:

    Southwest used to have a flight from ISP to PVD. It took about 20 minutes. I guess they decided it wasn’t a money maker, but I made that trip several times.

  13. Elliot Campbell says:

    It’s probable that the MIA – FLL flight I took, on at least two separate occasions, was Delta (and I’m willing to bet, at that, was probably one the routes they took over from Eastern, talk about the old days….)

    While this shortest flight info is quite interesting, I think it would be cool, though probably more difficult to decipher, the 5 shortest domestic routes flown on a widebody. Perhaps AA’s flight from MIA – MCO (192 miles), flown with an A310 might make that list.

  14. Brad says:

    Hey Rick – as a former airline employee, I can recall a Continental flight from IAH (Houston Bush) to HOU (Houston Hobby). I think that’s longer than 32 miles but I would give it special mention here because it was literally across town.

  15. Rick Seaney says:

    I just checked our world wide flight schedule database and that flight between Hobby and Intercontinental must not be in service anymore.



  16. Darkwater says:

    For a few years in the late 80′s to early 90′s, United would run what I would assume would be positioning flights between its narrowbody mx facility at OAK to SFO as scheduled, purchasable flights. UA used noon Thursday as its cut-off between mid-week and weekend discount fares back then. The transbay flights allowed me to leave from OAK at 11AM and connect to the afternoon transcon nonstops for about $20 less than starting my trip at SFO a few hours later.

  17. Michael says:

    I’m with the earlier poster who mentioned the Delta flight from MIA to FLL. In our case, we flew DL from EWR to CVG, and then changed there for our flight to FLL…which made a short stop in MIA to drop off passengers. The flight to Lauderdale took about 5 minutes from wheels up to wheels down.


  18. steve says:

    DAY to CVG is about 20 minutes, and MKE to ORD is maybe 10-12 minutes. I’ve taken both of these and I’m pretty sure Continental was operating both.

  19. stretch 22 says:

    I belive the flight from MSP to STC is on a Sabb 340 turbo prop aircraft. Your thoughts?

  20. Freq traveller says:

    I googled shortest flight since I am on Delta 6055 from CVG to Louisville with flight time
    of 16 minutes!!

    Obviously you have decide if it’s time or distance for the ‘shortest flight’ honours

  21. Bobby says:

    It is between WRY and PPW it is only 1.5 nautical miles and has been done in 58 seconds!!!!

  22. Rick Seaney says:


    Well, I guess we can’t expect any beverage service on that flight!

    Thanks for writing.

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