TALKING POINT | You know the feeling. We all do. Having just stepped off a long flight of 8-12 hours, you make a beeline for the lounge, grab a bite to eat, pop open your laptop or fire up your smartphone to check emails and catch up on the news, all the while racing the clock before boarding starts for the next onwards leg of your flight.
Travellers often argue against the coming wave of non-stop flights such as Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York in favour of a short break.
But do you ever feel that break is too short?
That was certainly the case for me when Qantas flew to London via Dubai – there was barely an hour in Emirates' sprawling Dubai business class or first class lounges.
Today's Sydney-Singapore-London routing of QF1 is also on the tight side: QF1 reaches Singapore at 10.05pm and takes wing to London at 11.55pm, while the QF2 return leg lands in Singapore at 5.45pm and continues on its way at 7.15pm.
For the red-tailed Airbus A380 superjumbo, that's between 90 and 110 minutes on the ground.
But for passengers, it's rather less. You can allow a good 10-15 minutes from the arrivals gate reach the Qantas Singapore Lounge – and due to the Singapore Changi Airport's per-gate security checks, you'll want to be back at the departure gate a good 30 minutes before the flight is scheduled to depart.
So now your loungetime – the amount of time you will actually spend in the lounge – is within the range of roughly 45-60 minutes.
60 minutes can be enough for a shower, a meal and a drink if you're organised, but 45 minutes is often just about enough for a relaxed meal and a drink or two – as long as you don't get waylaid by duty-free shopping.
And while technically that's long enough, I sometimes wonder if the stopover wouldn't be a bit more enjoyable if it was a bit longer – if one didn't have to be ever-mindful of the next flight, or keep one's eye on the clock, but instead could relax a bit more, settle back and after all those long hours in the air, basically 'decompress'.
It's a potential point in favour of some hub airports with a high frequency of flights – for example, if you're flying from Sydney to London with Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific, the wide range of flights on both legs means that travellers can plan for a longer layover.
What's your take – is 45-60 minutes in the lounge sufficient for a stopover between very long flights, or should there be a bit more time in transit?