A recent American Airlines flight took 12 hours to fly between Dallas Fort Worth, Texas, and Los Angeles, California, a trip that normally takes just over three hours.

The worst part for the frustrated passengers was that their intended destination had been Tokyo .

The May 28 service to the Japanese capital was more than seven hours into its standard route to Narita airport and was flying over the North Pacific Ocean when it was forced to make a U-turn.

“Weather conditions” were the cause of the outage: to be more specific, a volcanic eruption on Bezymianny, a peninsula off the east coast of eastern Russia .

The eruption was close enough to the planned flight path that the airline made the decision to return to the US.

Other airlines flying similar routes on the same day completed their trips opting to add an hour of flight time by rerouting further south to avoid the airspace near the eruption, notes aviation site One Mile at a Time .

For example, United Airlines flight UA837 from San Francisco to Tokyo and United Airlines flight UA7 from Houston to Tokyo took an hour longer than usual, but arrived at their intended destinations.

When the American Airlines flight landed at LAX, it had been in the air for just under 12 hours, an hour less than the total duration of the scheduled flight between Dallas and Tokyo (12 hrs 55 mins) would have been.

It was a surprisingly long journey for a distance of only 1,235 miles (1,987 kilometers).

It is not the first time that external events have caused long flight times due to route changes.

In April, anew contender for the world’s longest flighthe got to heaven, but out of sheer necessity.

In an attempt to avoid Russian airspace, Cathay Pacific’s New York-Hong Kong service flew over the Atlantic Ocean, the United Kingdom, southern Europe and central Asia, a total of 16,618 kilometers and made it the commercial flight longest measured by distance.

The new flight route took about 17 hours and is 1,269 kilometers longer than the current longest flight, Singapore Airlines’ Singapore-New York route (15,349 kilometers).

Operated with an Airbus A350-1000, the flight would typically traverse Arctic and Russian airspace, but Cathay, like many international airlines, is avoiding flying over Russia due to its invasion ofUkraine.

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