How Some West Coast-Bound Flyers Celebrated The New Year Twice
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Flights crossing the Pacific Ocean are especially influenced by time zones, thanks to the International Dateline, which can greatly increase or decrease the effects of jet lag on long-haul Trans-Pacific flights. The International Date Line also means that a few West Coast-bound flights from Asia actually take off a day later than they land. While this is a unique phenomenon in and of itself, flights departing on January 1st experience something especially unique.
Travelers on three flights bound for the US West Coast and Hawaii from Eastern Asia got to ring in 2019 twice thanks to these unique flight schedules. Travelers on flights on Cathay Pacific, All Nippon Airways and United took off on January 1st, 2019 and landed in 2018. These flights are possible thanks to the International Date Line, the invisible line that sits in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and determines which day it is. These three flights were able to travel back in time thanks to a very early departure time and close proximity to the International Dateline.
- All Nippon Airways flight NH106 departed Tokyo Haneda (HND) at 12:02am and arrived in LAX at 4:15pm on December 31
- Cathay Pacific flight CX880 Departed Hong Kong (HKG) at 12:18am and arrived in LAX at 8:16pm
- United Airlines flight UA200 Departed Guam (GUM) at 7:41am and arrived in Honolulu (HNL) at 6:39pm
While many passengers who booked these US-bound flights likely didn’t consider the fact they would be taking off in 2019 and landing in 2018, some flyers have intentionally booked charter flights between Sydney (SYD) and Honolulu (HNL) just to travel back in time.
Though most New Years Eve travelers didn’t get the chance to travel back in time, there’s a much greater chance they got to see the New Year’s celebration from above. Las Vegas-McCarran Airport’s (LAS) official Twitter feed posted this amazing video of a Boeing 737 taking off from the airport as the clock struck midnight and fireworks filled the desert sky.
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