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You must have heard about the “red eye flight” at least once in movies or newspapers. So what is a red eye flight? Join BestLifeTips to find out.
What is a red eye flight?
You may have heard about the phrase of “red-eye flight”, so what is a red eye flight?
A red-eye is a flight that takes off late at night and arrives at its destination in the next morning. The phrase “red-eye” refers to the red eyes of sleepless travelers. Not everyone can sleep on planes and one of the side effects of losing sleep is red, tired eyes. This is something that frequent flyers are intimately familiar with.
A red-eye flight traditionally travels from the east to west coast of the United States, leaving at around midnight and arriving in the early morning. Since these flights only last a short time, passengers will not be able to get the necessary deep sleep they need for the next day’s re-freshness.
Red-eye flights are usually popular among business travellers.
Now that you know what is a red eye flight, let’s find out what are pros and cons of it.
Are red eye flights cheaper?
Yes, red eye flights are usually cheaper. Red eye flights are usually less in-demand due to their obscure flight times, red eye flights are usually less in-demand. Therefore, airlines offer red eye flight tickets at a cheaper price as an incentive for passengers to book flights during these off-peak hours.
For those who have no problem sleeping during a flight, this may be a good, cheap option, which can be a money-saving strategy. Red-eye flights also appeal to business travelers who want to avoid losing a work day in transit.
Are red eye flights less crowded?
Yes, red-eye flights are generally less crowded than regular morning or midday flights. You may have an empty seat next to you and have more space to spread out, or it will be easier for you to sleep.
There will also be more overhead bin space and you’re more likely to get your favorite seat. Since fewer people take red-eye flights, it’s not only the plane itself will be less full, but the airports are also typically quieter at night.
Therefore, check-in and security lines are shorter and boarding is generally more efficient. You’re also likely to get your luggage faster at your destination.
Pros and cons of taking a red eye flight?
Aside from discovering what a red eye flight is, you should know its pros and cons to consider taking it or not.
Pros of taking a red eye flight
- Avoid peak traffic from the airport
If you want to avoid all the waiting and anxiety, a red-eye flight is just for you! You’ll be surprised at how empty the roads to the airport are later in the evening.
Also, if you arrive at 5 am, you can also avoid traffic jams on entering the city at your destination. A red-eye flight means less useless waiting and more time for yourself.
- You can save money on accommodation
Flying at night actually saves you money. Instead of spending money on renting a hotel, you just need to take a red-eye flight to the place that you need to attend a business meeting the next morning.
You can not only save money but also can still be there on time for the morning meeting. This is absolutely a great choice, right?
- Red eye flight is less crowded
As mentioned above, due to the late hour, there are usually less people on the plane. This means that you have a bigger advantage in choosing your seat. You can also enjoy some extra space to make yourself comfortable for relaxing or sleeping.
- The airport is less busy
The fact that less people travel during the night means that you can go through the airport much faster.
No queues at check-in, less hassle at security check. You will have more time to pack your belongings carefully after passing security. Having fewer people also means less waiting at the boarding gate.
Another advantage of less busy airports is that the fewer the flights that leave at night, the fewer the delays.
Cons of a red eye flight
- Difficulty falling sleep
Source: Inc. Magazine
It’s quite hard to fall sleep on a flight. Even if you can manage to sleep well on it, your body can be tiring.
- Jet lag on red eye flights
It can take more than a day to get your sleeping roaster regulated if you are crossing many time zones to arrive at your destination.
For example, the flight from Los Angeles to London is a 10-hour flight. If you were to depart at 9:00 pm PST, you would arrive at 2:00 pm GMT, because London is 8 hours ahead of LA.
The best way to combat jet lag is by sleeping.
- Poor rest
Resting on a flight is not comfortable at all. Most people find it hard to relax their bodies on aircraft. It can be more disastrous if they are on the same flight with kids running off restlessly.
- Lesser flight options
Not all airlines provide night flights, so the number of flights taking off at night is lesser than in the daytime.
Preparing for a red eye flight
Source: Fodors Travel Guide
Another related matter to what is a red eye flight BestLifeTips want to share with you is some tips on how to prepare for a red eye flight.
- Book a window seat
This will reduce the interruptions from the person next to you trying to get past you to use the restroom and will give you a place to rest your head.
- Take the later flight option
If you can book a flight that leaves after 10 p.m., you might have a better sleep. If the flight takes off close to your regular bedtime, you’re more likely to be tired once you settle in your seat.
- Dress for sleep
Comfort goes a long way towards red-eye sleep success. The best choice are loose-fitting items in breathable fabrics. Pack an extra pair of socks in case your feet get cold mid-flight.
- Bring sleeping essentials
You might want to consider bringing a blanket or a large scarf or shawl you can cuddle up under to help induce sleep. Since airline blankets aren’t always the coziest, and they’re sometimes only offered at an added cost. You can also bring a neck pillow if you need something soft to lean your head on.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol pre-flight
Avoid having coffee or alcohol before getting on the plane. Caffeine will make you hard to fall sleep. As for alcohol, many people assume that drinking a glass of wine or two on board will help induce sleep. However, it won’t be a restful one and you’ll wake up dehydrated.
- Eat a small, balanced meal before the flight
It’s a good idea to eat something light, balanced and nutritious before you fly. Avoid anything spicy, processed or salty, which can all lead to bloating and potential discomfort.
- Invest in earplugs and a good eye mask
The more cabin noise and light you can block out during your flight, the easier to fall asleep.
- Set a gentle alarm
Avoid being jolted awake as you’re about to land. Set an alarm to wake you up 45 minutes before you’re scheduled to land so you can brush your teeth, splash some water on your face and drink water.
How to take a red eye flight with kids?
Flying with a kid is not an easy experience to deal with. If you know what is a red eye flight, and a red-eye flight is unavoidable, consider the following tips to help you and your kids cope with this flying schedule.
Source: Fodors Travel Guide
- Bring essentials for your kids
You can take e few of tour kid’s favorite toys. Don’t forget to download their favorite cartoons and games. Kiddie headphones are also a must, so you and other passengers won’t be disturbed by your kid’s activities.
Pack a soft and thick blanket or bed sheet. Set the comforter in your kid’s seat and in your lap for a smoother and comfy sleeping area.
Bring a clip-on night light in case your kids don’t sleep. With this, you can do fun activities with your kid even when the plane’s lights off.
- Decide on bringing your car seat
Some kids are more comfortable staying in their car seat. But if yours isn’t used to staying in one, consider this option. It may or may not work for you.
- Reserve the ideal seat
The ideal seat varies depending on your child’s personality and needs. For instance, an ideal seat is at the back of the plane. It’s close to the bathroom. It’s a bit noisy, but it can give you extra space to stand around and more privacy. It can be a great choice for parents with hyperactive children. Or you can also book a window seat for your kid.
- Ask for the infant bassinet on international flights
Some flights of some airlines have bassinets available that attach to the back of the bulkhead. These are almost exclusively available on international flights and have fairly low weight limits, so they are only good for small infants. Getting it is not quite easy, but just give it a shot!
Which airlines offer red eye flights?
If you want to give red eye flights a try, and you’re based in the USA, you’re in luck. You can book a domestic flight between the West Coast and the East Coast on many of the US airlines.
Various air ticket search engines offer bargains like Los Angeles to New York on American Airlines, Delta and Alaska Airlines. American Airlines, Frontier, Southwest and Spirit Airlines offer red-eye flights to Las Vegas from Philadelphia International Airport.
From Washington DC red eye flights are served by American Airlines, Frontier and United Airlines.
Most of these airlines also offer red eye flights to Europe or other continents.
Most airlines, such as the Middle East and Asia, offer red eye flights to major destinations in Western Europe. Many of the US flights arrive in Europe in the early morning hours too.
Japan’s international carrier Japan Airlines offers red-eye flights. If you’re in Hong Kong, you can book with Cathay Pacific.
South Korea’s Asiana and Korean Airlines are other options, as well as Philipne Airlines, Indonesian, Turkish Airlines and Singapore.
Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot offers flights connecting Moscow to Yakutsk, Irkutsk, and Vladivostok.
If you travel from the Land Down Under, you can enjoy red eye flights on low-cost Jetstar and the flagship carrier Qantas. The westbound international flights typically last 15 hours.
How to book a red eye flight?
Note that red eye flights are not typically labeled ‘red eye’ on airline websites. You can search for late outbound flights and then note the destination arrival time.
A ‘+1’ shows the flight arrives on the following day. You should know what is a red eye flight to book an accurate one. A flight is considered ‘red-eye’ only if it arrives before business hours.
Book your tickets well in advance if you want to get the best rates. Check what discounts are available to you and select your seat if possible.
You may choose to phone a travel agent or you may undergo your own on-line search. You can also book tickets directly from the airline’s website.
Visit the airline websites, such as American Airlines or Delta. Or you can visit a travel site, such as Seatmaestro, to get information referring to check-in, baggage allowance, minors and traveling with babies and pets.
This is all about what is a red eye flight and all related issues. Hope that after reading this article of BestLifeTips, you now understand more about this kind of flight and have great choices for your own flights.