Until the supersonic jet is up in the air, we're stuck with the airport stopover. But, it needn't be a lag. Here's how to handle the long layover and airports to avoid.
One day, if the futurist pundits and aviation boffins are to be believed, we'll be flying directly from Australia to London, and other cities on the far side of the globe. No lengthy transit stops at some halfway airport, and not even a bum-numbing 20-hour trek.
Just a quick hop up to the edge of space, cruise for two hours as the earth spins below, then down again.
Until then, we're stuck with the stopover.
While you can spend a few hours in the shops and lounges of most modern airports, how do you handle a longer layover of six, eight or even 12 hours?
Here's our to-do list for five airports where Australian flights make a temporary touchdown en route to Europe, or where you might need to change airlines for a local connection.
Think of Singapore and you think of shopping.
That also holds true for the city's sprawling Changi Airport, with more than 300 stores – and more than 100 places to eat – spread across three terminals.
The terminals are interlinked by a free and speedy Skytrain, so when you're done with one terminal just skip on over to the next.
In addition to the dozens of airline lounges, there are two pay-per-use lounges in which infrequent flyers can buy entry on a walk-up basis.
Most surprising however are the gardens in each terminal, from orchids, ferns and Koi ponds in Terminal 2 to a lush tropical butterfly grotto and waterfall in Terminal 3.
There's even the option to sign up for a free two-hour guided bus tour which takes in the city's major sights.
Regularly rated as one of the world's top three airports in travel awards, Hong Kong boasts two unique drawcards for transiting passengers.
First up is a massive IMAX cinema showing the latest box office hits, some in 3D. Tickets cost around $12, although as the theatre is located in the public area you'll need to exit security – which means allowing extra time to come back in again.
While you're out there, consider taking to the green at the adjacent nine-hole golf course. Hire your clubs, book a table at the Thai restaurant for a tenth hole meal and then step out swinging. The course is floodlit at night so you can squeeze in a round before catching the red eye.
Dubai International Airport will become an increasingly familiar sight to Australian travellers from April next year, when the Qantas-Emirates alliance sees Dubai become the new stopover for the Red Roo's flights to Europe.
Already on the way to eclipsing London Heathrow as the world's busiest airport, Dubai boasts the world's largest airport duty-free shop, at almost 5400 square metres, but it gets incredibly busy during peak travel hours towards midnight.
If you can't escape into one of the airport lounges, try one of the compact SnoozeCubes in Terminal 1 – these pack a full-size bed, touchscreen TV and free WiFi into a self-contained box which you can rent from $18 per hour.
Otherwise, chill out in the open-air gardens, which beat the heat thanks to refreshing mist machines.
If you've got more time, only 5km away lies downtown Dubai with its lavish mega-malls and over the top attractions like an indoor skiing facility at the Mall of the Emirates or roar across the dunes on a 4x4.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport was supposed to be Thailand's aviation pride and joy, but it continually strikes me as a hot, crowded, soulless and depressingly spartan space, despite the soaring modern architecture.
Yes, there are plenty of shops. But beyond those, and the obligatory spa or massage session, you may as well hunker down in the lounge or book a short stay room at the airport's Louis Tavern Transit Hotel.
Forget about heading into the city unless you've got at least half a day up your sleeve, as the traffic can be appalling.
The airport offers its own city tour for transfer passengers with 6-12 hours.
My advice: if you've got any say in your travel plans, route your trip to avoid a stopover at Bangkok.
KL is another airport where travellers in transit should make a beeline for the lounge.
From February next year, Qantas frequent flyers will have access to Malaysia Airlines' flagship lounges when MAS joins the Oneworld airline alliance.
Other options include the pay at the door Plaza Premium lounge ($53 for five hours) with showers, light snacks, free WiFi and some comfy chairs to help the time pass.
Although the Airport Express whisks you downtown in 30 minutes there's still another 15 minutes on a second train to reach the KL City Centre station, home to the Petronas Towers and the Suria shopping mall.
That makes for almost two hours travel including connection times, so leaving KL airport is recommended only if you've got at least six hours to spare.