How Long is a Flight from New York to Scotland?

How Long is a Flight from New York to Scotland?

From the vibrant streets of New York to the rugged landscapes of Scotland, many adventurers are keen to bridge these two worlds. If you’re contemplating this transatlantic journey, you might wonder how long is the flight from New York to Scotland? 

The good news? The quickest direct flights from the Big Apple to Bonnie Scotland clock in at just over 6.5 hours. Get ready to swap the skyscrapers for scenic Highlands in no time!

Average Flight Times From New York to Scotland

There are many things that will influence how long the flight takes, which we’ll explore later. Of course, it mainly depends on the route.

Direct Flights

Direct flights are naturally quicker, avoiding the need for stopovers and the accompanying waiting times. Delta (from JFK) and United (from Newark) offer direct routes from New York to Edinburgh, with flights available every day, ensuring a swift journey of between 6.5-7 hours.

However, depending on the specific factors (like wind conditions), actual travel times might vary slightly on the day. So, while 6.5 hours is the average, your flight might range between roughly 6.25 to 7 hours.

Indirect Flights

If direct flights aren’t available or suitable for your itinerary, several options include stopovers, but layovers and flight times can vary significantly based on the route chosen:

  • Via Dublin: Aer Lingus offers a route from JFK to Dublin lasting around 6h45, followed by a short hop to Glasgow, taking another 1h15. Travellers might expect to spend up to 6.5 hours in Dublin during the layover.
    • Total time: 14h45
  • Via Keflavík: Icelandair operates flights from JFK to Keflavík, a journey of approximately 5h50. Subsequently, it’s a 2h15 flight from Keflavík to Glasgow. A layover in Keflavík might last around 1.5 hours.
    • Total time: 9h55
  • Via Heathrow: British Airways flies from Newark to Heathrow in about 6h55, with a subsequent 1h20 flight bringing you to Glasgow. A layover at Heathrow can take as little as 1h20m. Considering it’s a major international hub, this might not be enough time to reach the gate for your flight to Glasgow.
    • Total time: 9h35

Popular Airlines and Routes from New York to Scotland

We’ve shown the main airlines flying between New York and Scotland, but let’s take a more focussed perspective on the airlines themselves and delve deeper into the Scottish airports’ unique traits.

While Delta and United are known for their direct flights from New York to Edinburgh, other airlines, like Aer Lingus, Icelandair, and British Airways, also have a strong presence on this transatlantic route through their indirect services.

If you’re travelling to Glasgow, you won’t find any direct flights (at the time of writing). However, because Edinburgh and Glasgow are so close to each other, it is often more convenient to fly into Edinburgh and travel by land to Glasgow. Direct trains and buses run between the two cities and the journey takes around an hour.

Generally, the direct flight times among major airlines are relatively consistent, with minor variations due to specific aircraft types or onboard services. However, when considering indirect routes, the total journey time can vary more substantially based on layover durations and specific airline schedules.

Factors Affecting Flight Duration

When venturing from New York to Scotland, several factors can affect the total flight duration. Here’s a breakdown to provide a clearer understanding of what else might influence your journey, apart from the route you take:

Wind and Weather Conditions

  • Tailwinds and Headwinds: Flights can be quicker or longer based on the prevailing winds. A tailwind, which flows in the same direction as the aircraft, can speed up a flight, while a headwind, coming from the front, can slow it down. That’s why your journey might be quicker one way than the other. The journey back from Scotland to New York can take around an hour longer. 
  • Seasonal Variations: Wind patterns can change depending on the time of year. For instance, jet streams may be stronger during certain seasons, potentially influencing flight times.

Route and Air Traffic

  • Specific Routes: While direct routes are typically the fastest, the precise flight path can vary based on air traffic and other considerations, sometimes impacting flight duration. We’ve all been on those flights that took less time than expected, and vice versa! The route from NYC to Edinburgh is no different.
  • Air Traffic Delays: Major airports, especially those as busy as New York’s JFK or Newark, can experience delays due to high volumes of flights. This can add to the total travel time, depending on the length of the delay and the consequent impact on connecting flights, especially in the case of indirect routes. You can check before you travel if your particular flight is prone to delays using a service like At the time of writing, the average delay on Delta’s JFK to Edinburgh route is 40 minutes to an hour. 

Airports in Scotland

Scotland has several key airports serving its major cities:

Edinburgh (EDI): The capital’s airport is one of the busiest in the country. Direct flights from New York land here.

Glasgow (GLA): Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, has an airport that frequently serves flights with stopovers. 

Aberdeen (ABZ): Located to the north-east, Aberdeen’s airport primarily serves domestic and European routes. If travelling from New York, a connection is typically required, although it could be a more convenient route if you want to explore more of the north of Scotland.

Best Times to Fly

For those considering a journey from New York to Scotland, picking the ideal time can impact both the length of your flight and the dent in your wallet. Here’s how:

Seasonal Considerations

Flight Times and Weather: The North Atlantic is known for its occasionally tumultuous weather, particularly in the winter months. Winter storms, especially from December to February, can lead to longer flight times, diversions, or even occasional delays. Conversely, the summer months usually offer more predictable and, often, slightly shorter flight durations.

Off-Peak Months: Notably, October and February are months that can offer travellers a sweet spot. They lie on the edges of the high-demand summer and festive winter seasons, potentially offering more favourable airfares and less tumultuous weather than the deep winter months.

Airfare and Duration

Pricing Trends: Flight durations, especially if longer due to weather conditions, can impact operating costs for airlines, which might occasionally be reflected in ticket prices. However, airfare is more commonly influenced by demand. As such, the average cost of a flight from New York to Scotland tends to hover around £400-800, it really depends on when you’re travelling, for how long, and which route and airline you choose.

Booking Windows: To bag a bargain, consider booking your flight 3-6 months in advance. This window often offers a balance between early-bird rates and last-minute price hikes, helping you secure a more reasonable fare.

Tips for Travellers

Managing Jet Lag

The time difference between New York and Scotland is typically 5 hours, with Scotland ahead. There is a brief window between changing the clocks for daylight savings when the time difference will be either 4 or 6 hours. In New York, daylight saving time begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November. In Scotland, the time changes on the last Sunday of March and October. 

To minimise the effects of jet lag, start adjusting your sleep schedule a few days before departure. Try going to bed and waking up an hour earlier each day. Don’t forget to stay hydrated during your flight and avoid alcohol or caffeine. Upon arrival in Scotland, try to sync with local time immediately. If you arrive during the day, resist the urge to nap; instead, stay awake until the local bedtime.

Making the Most of the Flight

Most transatlantic flights offer a range of in-flight entertainment. Bring your headphones and delve into a new film or series. If you’re looking to stay productive, ensure your devices are charged and consider downloading offline content or apps that can assist with work without the need for Wi-Fi. 

As with any long flight, it’s best to dress in layers to adapt to cabin temperature changes. Remember, Scotland’s weather can be unpredictable, so you could be arriving to cooler temperatures than you were expecting, even in July or August! 

Consider bringing travel pillows or eye masks for better rest. Walking around intermittently can also help with circulation during the long flight.

A Last Word…

Travelling from New York to Scotland is more than just a flight; it’s an adventure bridging two worlds. With the right preparation and timing, it’s a journey offering both efficiency and profound experiences. Safe travels to the land of lochs and legends! Don’t forget, you’ll need a passport for travelling internationally into Scotland, although a visa is not usually required for US citizens.


How far is the flight from New York to Scotland?

The flight distance from New York to Edinburgh is approximately 3,257 miles (5,242 km).

How long is a direct flight from New York to Scotland?

The quickest direct flights from New York to Scotland are just over 6.5 hours. Going the other way takes about 7.5 to 8 hours because of the wind direction. 

Where is the best place to fly into Scotland from the US?

The best place to fly into Scotland from the US largely depends on your destination. Edinburgh and Glasgow are the primary international airports, with Edinburgh often being the primary choice for direct routes from the US.

Which airports in Scotland are most commonly serviced from New York?

Edinburgh is the primary direct destination, but Glasgow and Aberdeen are also popular, especially for indirect routes.

Can you fly direct from New York to Scotland?

Yes, there are direct flights from New York’s JFK and Newark airports to Scotland, particularly to Edinburgh, operated by airlines such as Delta and United.

Can you fly direct from the USA to Scotland?

Yes, several cities in the USA, including New York, Atlanta, Washington DC, Chicago, Orlando, and Boston, offer direct flights to Edinburgh. To Glasgow, you can fly directly from Orlando only.

Who flies non-stop from the US to Edinburgh?

Delta, United, and American Airlines operate non-stop flights from various US cities to Edinburgh.

How long does it take to fly from the US to Scotland?

Direct flights from the US to Scotland typically range from 6.5 to 8 hours, depending on the departure city and specific conditions on the day of travel.Travelling from the west coast of the US will of course take longer, but no direct flights are available.

How much does it cost to go from the United States to Scotland?

Airfare varies based on season, booking time, and airline. On average, a flight from New York to Edinburgh could be around £400-800. Prices may fluctuate outside of this range, particularly during peak seasons like Christmas.

Owner and author at Scotland in a Week, born and raised in Scotland. Emily has travelled extensively across the country and is eager to share her knowledge with everyone planning a trip to this magical country.

Post a Comment