I regularly fly the China-USA route over the Pacific. Most of the time the planes I’m on fly from Shanghai to Tokyo and then start the ocean crossing from there. But depending on wind and weather planes sometimes take a different route, for example when flying from New York you sometimes fly straight North over Canada to the North Pole, and from there to Siberia. Nice views in summer if you have a window seat!
Today I was on a plane from San Francisco to Shanghai and I wasn’t really paying attention to the route we were flying. I noticed at the start that we took a Northern route over Alaska, but did not look on the in-flight screen until an hour before landing. And then I noticed that we had just flown over North Korea! I had no idea that planes are allowed to fly over the DPRK – let alone US planes (I was on a United Airlines flight). Is this route something new? Or did I just never notice it before?