red eye flights
Air Travel

All about Red-Eye Flights – Booking and Tips

August 8, 2018 Nency Willims 0Comment

Red-eye flights are quite popular amongst budget travelers and frequent flyers. If you are curious of how it could work to your advantage and about it’s the pros and cons and what to expect from a red-eye flight then here’s a complete guide to the red-eye flights that you can use to your advantage.

In case you would like more information on how to get the perfect deal from a red-eye flight, then we can surely help.

What are Red-eye flights and how can it work to your advantage

Red-eye flights are those that depart late at night and arrive early in the morning, usually between 9 PM to 5 or 6 AM are considered as red-eye flights. This means that you will be in the air when you would otherwise be in the bed at home.  

The name red-eye infers to the red-eye of the sleep-deprived traveler who has been traveling in the night as people often get soaring tired-eyes due to lack of sleep as sleeping in a flight is not everyone’s thing.

The advantage of these flights is that travelers arrive at an early hour rather than reaching later in the day or even in the evening so that they have a full day at hand when they reach their destination.

Usually, these flights work well when traveling from west coast to east coast within the US to take the advantage of the early time zone as well as when flying transatlantic or transpacific.

Red-eye flights are marked as a + 1, which refers to the flights that are taken before the midnight of the previous day to signify its arrival on the next day. However, if any flight is taken after midnight, the date reflected will be the next day on the flight information display system.

Pros and Cons of red-eye flights

To survive and fare well on a red-eye flight depends on several factors like how well prepared you are before catching a red-eye flight and if you are comfortable enough to sleep during your late hour flight schedule.

Red-eye is good for budget travelers

Red-eye flights are a boon for those who travel frequently and can manage to sleep in the flight during night and it’s a good budget strategy to travel on red-eye flights. The flights are priced at a lower price as compared to regular flights. Early morning flights are last to be purchased so you will see a good difference in price from all airlines.

You may also end up saving on the accommodation which counts your night check-in as a complete day before the next day cycle begins around 11AM-12 PM.  Just make sure you either keep the luggage with the hotel or eat a good breakfast somewhere before you check-in at the start of a new day.

Utilize a full day

Red-eye travelers can use the entire day for work even if they lose some in transit. Travelers can squeeze an extra half day to almost a full day for activities at the destination location.

Red-eye flights allow for faster boarding and check-in

Airports are less crowded at nights and check-ins to boarding the plane becomes quite relaxed and easy. Planes are also less than full so you can also get to load your hand baggage easily in the overhead bin.

Less crowd means more relaxation

Rambunctious kids, pesky business travelers who knock a few drinks, blue light from laptops and other displays glowing on the face, overexcited tourists are all missing from a red-eye flight so there is definitely more peace and solace right from boarding to in-flight time.

Red-eye flights are luggage friendly and spaced-out

Another advantage is that in many instances you may get an empty seat next to yours so you can travel more relaxed and undisturbed plus you can have more space to spread out.

Due to lesser people flying you can also easily snag an extra pillow or a blanket to travel more relaxed and also gets a generous serving of snack.

So what you lose in comfort, you can make up for convenience and less hassle of traveling in a more spaced out way.

Cons of a red-eye flight

Early check-ins

Early morning flights are the cheapest however it may require getting up as early as 4 AM or even earlier.

Manage your own breakfast

Those who need breakfast may find it difficult to eat during morning hour on the plane and buy food at the airport counters can be expensive particularly when traveling with children.

How to beat the after-effects of a red-eye flight

Take a flight that starts off just before midnight: Flights that depart around 10 AM are most beneficial for your sleep as they are close to the actual sleep time and it’s easy to settle in the seat and hopefully you can get some good sleep as well if traveling with proper sleeping gears and sleep-inducing aids.

Plan and book the appropriate seat

If you intend to travel on a red-eye flight, make sure you secure a window seat to sleep comfortably during the flight because if you are allocated a middle sleep, your sleep is almost sure to be disturbed when passengers pass by during the entire flight.

Dress for the sleep

We don’t suggest as much as going to an extent of parading in a fuzzy PJs at the airport, however, do wear some good loose fitting items in breathable fabrics and pack an extra pair of socks or a shawl or scarf just in case it gets cold in the mid-flight, which can often happen.

Bring sleeping essentials

Carry an extra blanket as airline blankets aren’t always the coziest, and they’re sometimes only available at an extra cost. The same goes for a neck pillow if you think you just cannot manage a sleep without resting your head appropriately.

Consider blackouts and eye mask

The more noise and light that you can block out during the flight, the more helpful it will be in your sleep.

A face mask is good to block out the light; a head support device like the NapAnywhere and a white noise app that blocks out the outside interference and noise are available in plenty.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol pre-flight

The no-coffee rule works well for better sleep. It’s a wrong notion that sipping on a glass of wine or taking a peg or two will help you sleep calmly, you may fall asleep, but it won’t be a restful one and besides you will end up waking all dehydrated.

Eat a small, balanced meal before you board

To induce sleep, it’s a good idea to eat properly before the flight. Just make sure the meal is light, balanced and nutritious so you are comfortable during the journey. Avoid spicy or salty food as it can lead to bloating and discomfort.

In case you are a little prepared and managing a nap is not a problem for you in the flight than red-eye flights come for economical and what you sacrifice in terms of rest you can easily make up when with a quitter or more peaceful journey with less to spend on an air ticket.

Nency Willims

Nency Willims is a writer whose words are fueled by the inspiration she gains from her surroundings. She also loves cooking, dancing and most of all traveling. She is a regular contributor to many acclaimed travel magazines and blogs. When she is not writing or traveling, you can often find her meddling with her guitar.
Nency Willims

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