This blog post was updated on July 20, 2021.
Flying late at night may not be for everyone. For parents traveling with fussy kids or for those who have trouble sleeping on a plane, a very late departure could spell potential disaster. But, for those brave enough to be able to endure an overnight flight, cheap flights and a host of other great benefits are up for grabs. Read on to find out why you should hop on a red-eye flight the next time you travel.
You can save money!
With most travelers wanting to travel morning, mid-day or early evening, overnight flights usually remain a little less full, and hence offer seats at much lower prices. If you’re good to make the most of the space available to you to get some sleep, then it’s the perfect opportunity to snap up cheaper flights!
Embrace a faster check-in
With not many commuters (and their bags) crowding your path, you can check in fairly quickly at your airline’s counter. Imagine flying without any of the pre-flight check-in hassles, let alone the long, tedious lines to get through airport security! You’re definitely not going to be breaking a sweat if you choose to fly red-eye, and will arrive at your seat at a leisurely pace and minus the panicky run to your gate that most day-time travelers would be facing.
Your flight might not even be full
With fewer passengers choosing to fly red-eye, you’re most likely to have a seat (or even two) free so that you can stretch out in total comfort. Forget having to bump elbows and get up every time someone at the window seat wants to go to the bathroom. You can find all the space you want — just for the price of one seat! Plus, you’re also going to be in line to enjoy some extra snacks…and maybe even a much-coveted blanket.
Avoid crazy traffic to the airport
Let’s face it: traffic is one of the main reasons people almost miss their flights. Getting stuck in rush hour — either in the morning or in the evening — can make most daytime and early evening flights a nightmare. For all that time you may be spending in traffic, there could be so many other productive things you could be doing with your time! So why waste time on the road before hitting the skies? Chill out and fly overnight!
You’ll have an entire day ahead of you
One of the most obvious reasons business travelers actually prefer traveling red-eye is because they can have a complete day of work ahead of them. Of course, this also depends on how well you can rest on a plane overnight, but for those able to doze off for hours without any issues, it becomes a great chance to make use of that extra day of your precious vacation. So instead of being tired and grumpy, you can start planning your itinerary starting with a hearty breakfast — carpe diem!
You Don’t Feel the Effects of Jet Lag as Much
Want to mitigate the effects of jet lag? Book a red-eye flight — especially if you’re flying east! The goal is to sleep on the plane so you’re rested upon reaching the destination. For the best experience, get a window seat. After all, if someone is crawling over you every hour to go to the bathroom or stretch their legs, you won’t enjoy a restorative slumber. If, however, you cannot sleep on planes, pick a flight that arrives at your destination in the evening. When you get into town, take over-the-counter sleeping pills. If all goes according to plan, you should be operating on local time by the morning.
Red-Eye Flights Are Less Likely to be Delayed
Fewer flights take off at night. The diminished runway traffic means that red-eye flights are more likely to depart and land on time! Depending on the wind, you may even land early.
You’re More Likely to Get Bumped Up to Business or First Class
Want to sit in that swanky section with the private pods, better food, and infinitely more legroom? When you travel at night, check-in attendants are more likely to gift you an upgrade to business or first class. Remember to dress the part, too. Looking good will help you get the bump. And don’t be afraid to ask! The worst they can do is say no.
There’s More Room for Your Luggage
Fewer people take red-eye flights, so there’s more overhead luggage space. Imagine not having to travel 17 rows back to find a corner of a spot to shove your bag? Plus, the chances of a steward banishing your bags to the freight hold are between slim and none on a red-eye flight — unless it’s oversized.
You may also like: Buckle Up! 6 Tips for Getting the Best Seats on a Plane
Red-Eye Flights are Less Crowded and Rowdy
On morning and afternoon flights, babies test their lung capacity, movers and shakers shout into phones that aren’t supposed to be on, and revelers kick off their vacations with laughs and cocktails. The racket can reach irritating levels. But red-eye crowds are different. They’re more sedate. Like you, most want to sleep or sit quietly with their Kindles. And, since fewer folks are aboard, you may get an entire row to yourself to stretch out!
It Maximizes Your Vacation Days
If you don’t want to waste vacation days — or don’t have any left — simply take the red-eye on Friday night after work and return on Sunday. It allows you to squeeze in a getaway without getting dinged. This method works well on long weekends when you can push the return flight to Monday night. Conversely, it’s also a way to get back to any fur-babies, who are patiently waiting at home and miss you, sooner.
Airport Staff and Flight Crews Are Less Stressed
A lot of people book cheap one way flights for business reasons, and day flights make the most sense. When they clear out, things are calmer, and everyone — including TSA agents and flight attendants — is less stressed. It makes for a more pleasant experience.
Do you fly red-eye often? Tell us some of the benefits you gain by doing so in the comments.