How High Do Planes Fly and Why They Do That

How High Do Planes Fly and Why They Do That

Perhaps you have been wondering the altitude planes fly. You have been traveling by air for some time now and you wish to know the reason they fly at such height. Now, how high do planes fly and what is the reason behind that? Read on.

At What Height Do Planes Fly?

Most commercial planes fly at an altitude between 33,000 and 42,000 feet or about 680 miles above sea level. The normal height for airplanes is mostly 35,000 or 36,000 feet above sea level.


  • Most commercial planes can decide to fly lower if they want.
  • Small aircraft like those flown by private pilots cannot go higher. They usually do not go above 10,000 feet.

Why Planes Fly At 36,000 Feet?

Fuel Usage

The important reason most planes fly so high is because of the usage of fuel in the engines. The higher it goes, the lesser fuel it consumes. Some of the reason for less fuel usage is explained below.

  • The air becomes thinner when the planes go higher. This reduces the pressure used to drag the plane. When this happens, less fuel is consumed.
  • Also, jet engines travel faster at such a height.

The Weather

How High Do Planes Fly and Why They Do That

Bad weather can thwart air travel. For this reason, planes fly above the troposphere which is above 36,000 feet. At this stage, there is less weather disturbance.

Traffic and Other Hazards

How High Do Planes Fly and Why They Do That

At a lower height, there may be birds, helicopters, drones at other tall buildings which can district aircraft. Therefore planes fly at 36,000 feet where such disturbances cannot happen.

Emergency Purpose

There are many other reasons why planes fly at such height but our last reason will be for emergency purposes. At such height, pilots will have time to spot a good location to land in case of any emergency landing.

We hope the little tips have explained some of your most pressing questions. Thanks for reading and have a nice holiday.

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