A red-eye flight takes place at night, typically lasting for four to six hours. The phrase is derived from the distinctive red eyes of weary travelers, something frequent flyers are intimately familiar with. Traditionally, a red-eye flight travels from the east to west coast of the United States, leaving at around midnight and arriving in the early morning. Since these non-stop flights only last a short time (compared to a good night’s sleep, anyway), passengers will not be able to get the necessary deep sleep they need to tackle the next day refreshed.

While a non-stop, east-coast-to-west-coast flight was the original meaning of a red-eye flight, the term is now used to refer to any flight that leaves at night and arrives in the morning. While some flyers avoid red-eye flights at all costs, other flyers swear by them.

What are the benefits of a red eye flight?

Even though they are likely to tire you out the next day, red eye flights can be quite convenient for the flexible traveler. So why do some people love to book red-eye flights? Here are some of the supposed benefits of late-night air travel:

  • Passengers will avoid peak flying hours both when they leave and when they arrive. Fewer people depart at midnight and arrive at their final destination at six in the morning, which means shorter security lines, smaller crowds, and less hassle. In general, red-eye flights are very convenient for impatient travelers.
  • Passengers can go somewhere and come back in one day. Traveling businessmen and women love flying the red eye because of both the increased productivity and the fact they don’t need to check into a hotel.
  • While not everyone sleeps well on planes, for those who do, red-eye flights are a dream come true. Since you would be asleep on the plane, you would essentially be completing all of your travel while you sleep. That allows you to maximize your productivity.

Getting ready for a red eye flight

Preparing for a red-eye flight is different than a daytime one as you are trading a bed for a flight seat. Following are some of the tips to follow while gearing up:

  • You should prefer a window seat to minimize your chance of sleep interruptions. It will ward off the disruption of sleep from the passenger next to you trying to get past to use the washroom. A window seat will also provide you a place to rest your head.
  • Choose the later flight option (perhaps a flight that leaves after 10 p.m.) to have a better shot at getting some adequate shuteye. If you catch the flight close to your regular bedtime, you would be tired once you settle down in your seat.
  • You should dress for sleep. This doesn’t refer to roam around the airport in your night-suit but wearing comfortable clothes and loose-fitting items in the breathable fabric can be the best way to relax in a red-eye flight.
  • Bring sleep essentials with you as airline blankets are not always cozy enough. You may also be charged for sleeping essentials in flight. Consider bringing a large shawl or a blanket to induce sleep. A neck pillow can also help if you need something soft to lean against.

What is a red-eye flight then but the perfect solution for people who need to travel in a hurry? Often, choosing red-eye flights can save you money as well. So if you’re looking to save a few bucks and avoid airport crowds, consider booking the red eye for you next business trip.