How High Do Airplanes Go?

A common question that many commercial frequent flyers wonder is, “How high do airplanes go?” This is not a bizarre question, and it’s not surprising that many people wonder about this. It is clear that some planes cruise higher than others, though this depends on how far the flight is traveling.

The logistics of flying can be a bit of a mystery to people who are not involved in that world. This is why Sheffield School of Aeronautics is here to give you some insight into how high commercial flights get in the air. Keep reading to learn more about airplanes’ max altitudes as well as the dynamics of cruising altitude.

Sheffield School of Aeronautics is a flight dispatcher school that specializes in teaching aircraft dispatching and offers many online flight dispatcher courses. Have you ever wondered, “How high do airplanes go?” We have put together this guide to inform you about the max altitude for commercial airplanes, and we also discuss why cruising altitude is so important. The next time you take a commercial flight, you might be able to point out the different steps of the ascent, descent, and cruising level.


Max Altitude for Commercial Airplanes

The maximum height that a commercial airplane is allowed to reach when they fly is 42,000 feet, as this is the universally approved maximum altitude. This max altitude for airplanes is known as the “service ceiling.” Most commercial air jets fly at such a high altitude because it is known to optimize efficiency. At higher altitudes, the air is thinner, making it easier for the aircraft to be controlled. Additionally, it is easier to go faster while using less fuel to get the passengers to their destinations in a  timely manner. The factor of time is important for all commercial aircraft so as to not have any changes to their schedules.

What Is Cruising Altitude?

A plane’s cruising altitude is typically very clear to passengers when the plane is in the stages of take-off and touch-down. You might notice that the flight attendants typically won’t begin their drink and snack rounds until well after take-off. This is because they are waiting until the pilot has hit their cruising altitude. Once cruising altitude is hit, the pilots may also turn off the fasten seatbelt sign because it is the safest time to move around the cabin.

The cruising altitude of a commercial airplane depends on the size of the airplane but is generally once the plane hits 30,000 to 40,000 feet in the air. Often, short-haul flights will cruise lower than this because, by the time they have ascended, they will need to almost immediately begin their descent.

More About Sheffield School of Aeronautics

Sheffield School of Aeronautics is an experienced flight dispatcher school that is here to make sure that our students receive the best training possible for their careers. We are here to answer your questions, including “How high do airplanes go?” If you are looking for a flight dispatch course, our classrooms and professors are some of the most cutting-edge available. This translates to our airline dispatcher school being ready to ensure that you can accomplish the aeronautics career that you desire. Contact us today to learn more about international flight planning, flight plans for private planes, or becoming an FAA dispatcher.

This entry was posted in Aviation, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Contact Us

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

  • Testimonials

    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is a highly recognized and respected organization throughout the airline industry. They only produce the highest quality of graduate…” P.W. Sidebar PW
    Good afternoon Eric, I wanted to reach out to let you know that training at (airline) is in full swing and I couldn’t be happier that I chose Sheffield. My classmates, while very smart, definitely had subpar training and that has been very evident. I have waited to write a full scale review of the […] Attending Sheffield School benefits airline new hires in preparation for airline training
    “As a graduate of Sheffield School of Aeronautics I am a firm believer that I received the most thorough and well thought out aircraft dispatcher training available. I owe my position in the industry to Sheffield School of Aeronautics.” BF Sidebar BF
    “Your school has offered me an incredible advantage in the Dispatcher job market.” D.K. D. Kircher
    “I am a month into my new job at a airline coming out of reorganization, and am helping the training department by referencing the excellent and up to date course book provided to all Sheffield grads.” RW RW
    “I wanted to tell you I got the job offer from Expressjet, and start next month! I think a couple others from class were hired as well. It just shows the Sheffield reputation when I see graduates from other schools complaining that they can’t get an interview – I wasn’t even back home to Minneapolis […] Dan Gustafson
    “now that I’ve been in an indoctrination class with students from other schools, I know I made the right choice with Sheffield.”   Kindest regards,  A.R.  All schools are created equal?! yeah…sure ;)
    “This school came highly recommended by multiple past students and EVEN OTHERS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS. Reputation is fantastic from multiple companies that I have worked for.” A. – September 2020
    “This was an amazing class! Always interesting! It was like drinking from a fire hose, but I have never enjoyed a course more than this one. Thank you for a great 5 weeks & EWINS!” R.S. R.S. Testimonial – 5-weeks & EWINS
    “Being that half my new hire class dropped out over the course of training, I can confidently say that Sheffield helped to prepare me for the real world.” GT – abridged testimonial – school selection matters
    “Eric Morris is one of the most if not the most knowledgeable and experienced authorities on Aircraft Dispatching in the United States. He strives constantly to make the industry better.” DH sidebar DH
    “Their reputation of excellence amongst the industry is second to none. Sheffield School of Aeronautics should be seen as the standard of how it can be done and how it should be done. I was hired at a major airline with no dispatch experience.” A.Z. Sidebar AZ
    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is known worldwide for its quality training and has been recommended to me by our national airline Swiss International Airlines. Whenever I mention the name ‘Sheffield’ it rings a bell in people’s ears.” IW IW
    “As a graduate of the aircraft dispatcher program at the Sheffield School of Aeronautics…My training was intense and thorough and furnished me with the requisite skills for performing my current job as a Flight Dispatch Supervisor.” N.S. Sidebar NS
    “If you want to be the best, first you need to be trained by the best!” P. Hill P.Hill – DHL
  • Online Catalog

    Sheffield Flight Dispatch Training Catalog

  • Connect