A good number of flights are ridiculously short, especially considering the current airport security environment. Flying from Houston to Dallas, for example, or Washington, D.C. to New York, you will likely spend longer taxiing and taking off than you actually will in the air. It's one reason I generally prefer to travel by train or bus, if I can, when going extremely short distances.
The flights on this list, which are the world's shortest scheduled flights as of October 2016, are all shorter than most any scheduled domestic U.S. flight. What's more is that many of them exist because land transport is either impossible or impractical. It's unlikely that the average traveler will find himself needing to take any of these flights, but if you regularly read this site, you know crazier things have happened.
01 of 08
Westray to Papa Westray, Scotland: Two minutes (or less)
On paper, the flight that Loganair operates between Westray (WRY) and Papa Westray (PPW) airports in Scotland's Orkney Islands is extremely short, with a scheduled duration of just two minutes. Even more shocking, however, is that the flight has been flown in under one minute: Just 47 seconds, to be specific.
Logainair hasn't shied away from the publicity this flight has offered it and in fact, has marketed it to tourists looking to cross an item off their bucket list. You can flying the roundtrip for as low as £39 round trip, if you happen to be visiting the Orkney Islands.
02 of 08
Karpathos to Kasos, Greece: Five minutes
One of my favorite parts of traveling in Greece is the relaxing ferry rides, which allow me to take in the blue waters and white houses of the islands at a slow pace. Greek airline Olympic Air doesn't feel the same way, however, a fact that's evident due to the five-minute flight they sell between Karpathos (AOK) and Kasos (KSJ). Call me crazy, but a flight of this length in such a beautiful part of the world does not seem "A-OK."
03 of 08
St. Kitts to Nevis: Five minutes
Tied for the second-shortest scheduled flight in the world is LIAT's service between St. Kitts and Nevis, the secondary lobe of a tiny Caribbean nation most people think consists only of St. Kitts—its name is in fact "St. Kitts and Nevis," which makes the existence of a flight between the two quite meta. The 17.4-mile flight from SKB-NEV takes just five minutes from take-off to touchdown.
04 of 08
St. Gallen, Switzerland to Friedrichshafen, Germany: Eight minutes
To be sure, the world's shortest international flight, which begins operation in November 2016, takes a whopping eight minutes. On that date, Austrian airline People's Viennaline will begin service between St. Gallen, Switzerland (ACH) and Friedrichshafen, Germany (FDH), a distance of just 13 miles.
The advantage of taking this flight, tickets for which start at €39, is that the drive between the two cities takes about an hour, due to the mountains and the lake between them.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Toronto to Niagara Falls: 12 minutes
The first flight on this list that most Americans are likely to take is the one Greater Toronto Airways operates twice per day from Toronto to Niagara Falls Airport (YCM). The cost for avoiding the 90-minute drive? $159 Canadian dollars, for now, anyway—competition is expected to arrive on the popular route in the future, which should further drop costs.
It's important to note that this flight leaves from Toronto's city airport Billy Bishop (YTZ) and not the larger Toronto Pearson (YYZ), where most international flights depart from, so if you're just arriving in Toronto, you'll want to consider that.
06 of 08
Caye Chapel to Caye Caulker, Belize: 15 minutes
Like Greece, Belize has a number of jewel-like islands, which are the main reason travelers come here from all over the world. Another commonality between the two countries? Inter-islands flights that are ridiculously short. Specifically, Maya Island Air's flight between Caye Chapel (CYC) and Caye Caulker (CUK) lasts about 15 minutes, which is actually quite long considering that its distance between the two islands is only 2.4 miles as the crow flies.
(Call me crazy, but this is another instance in which I would vastly prefer to take the boat.)
07 of 08
Taitung to Green Island, Taiwan: 15 minutes
Although Taiwan is among the most developed countries in Asia, its aviation sector doesn't have a great reputation, in part due to the highly publicized TransAsia crash from early 2015. On the other hand, this was of course an aberration, so you shouldn't be afraid to take short domestic flights in Taiwan.
In the case of Daily Air's flight from the city of Taitung (TTT) to beautiful Green Island (GNI), you're saving about an hour as compared to the 23-mile boat ride, which is important when you consider that the island is best seen on a day trip.
08 of 08
Kinshasa, DRC to Brazzaville, Congo: 17 minutes
Ethiopian Airlines' flight from the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo the the capital of Congo (many people confuse these countries, but you shouldn't) lasts just 17 minutes, which is downright long when you compare it to other flights on this list. On the other hand, this flight is special because it's the only one regularly operated by a jet. And a cool jet at that: The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, of which Ethiopian Airlines was the first African operator.
If you've never been to Africa, the existence of this flight might seem strange. After all, the two cities are only about 80 miles apart. For a number of reasons, however, driving between Brazzaville (BZV) and Kinshasa (FIH) can take up to three hours—not including border formalities or unexpected police stops.