Cruise Altitude

What should be my Cruise altitude if I’m doing a short, 30 minute flight?

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You could use to help with this :)

Otherwise, it depends on terrain… if it’s relatively flat and near sea level most of the way, I’d say between FL180 and FL260. Also depends what aircraft you are using.


If terrain is no factor FL150 or something like it might be fine, as would be FL280 or something like it. Highly depends on the aircraft, load, traffic and other factors. Hence you can rather freely choose an altitude or check the playbacks of IRL flight (difficult during these times I know), whatever suits you best.

Is the cruise time 30 mins or total flight time 30 mins? This may also affect the cruise altitude

For a total flight time of 30 mins, then I suggest FL240-FL280 for ease of descent shortly after taking off. (An example of this would be any Lufthansa flight from FRA-MUC. These flights, serviced by an A320 series aircraft usually stick to FL240-280, rarely exceeding FL300.)

For a cruise time of 30 mins, this should be any altitude above FL300, or whatever, depending on the aircraft and the direction.

For best use at planning, like many above have said, use FPLToIF and SimBrief.

Hope this helps! 😁


Sometimes it can be worth using your total en route distance as your cruise. For example if it’s 200nm use 20,000ft. Obviously this isn’t necessarily going to accurately determine the cruise you should use because it depends on so many other factors, but it can be a good little rule of thumb to go off.

Aircraft you’re using and load are major considerations which is why I recommend Simbrief, it will calculate everything for you.

Depends on weather, terrain, and aircraft. I would fly between FL180-FL280

What @Oskapew said it depends but is what I use it gives you the altitude and a FPL

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That depends. If you are flying a flight such as GJT-DEN you’ll need to be atleast FL250 so that you can clear the 14k peaks with enough space in between. If you are doing something such as ATL-JAX you can be a little lower than that.

one rule of thumb is that if your flying east you fly at a odd altitude. If your going west its an even altitude

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