You may see some people looking tired, and when you ask why, they respond that they took a red-eye flight. What is a red-eye flight? And why does it make people tired?
Red-eye flights take off late at night and arrive in the morning the next day. Passengers may have issues sleeping well on red-eye flights, and their lack of sleep results in a bloodshot or red eye. Red-eye flights can be beneficial in their own ways and enjoyed well with good preparation.
This article discusses red-eye flights, such as why they exist and the upsides and downsides for you as a passenger. We also share some tips on enjoying your red-eye flight better.
What Is A Red Eye Flight?
Red-eye flights leave at night and get to their destination in the morning. Most people on these flights will be tired from not getting enough sleep, making their eyes bloodshot and appearing red.
Red-eye flights tend to exist on long-haul flights, where planes must cover a long distance. Red-eye flights also may be more popular on non-western routes due to less strict airport curfew. Asia seems to be doing a lot of red-eye flights. At the same time, airports in North America, Europe, and Australia have fewer red-eye flights.
Generally, people take red-eye flights for many reasons. Some prefer to use the night to travel so that when they arrive at the destination, it would be morning or daytime. This allows them to immediately get started with the day or explore their destinations.
Red-eye flights also may be cheaper sometimes, and people go for it, even if they have to sleep rough. They may be physically capable of handling the physical challenge, and if that helps them to save, they have no issues.
The most common red-eye flights are those from the West to the East, such as Los Angeles to New York, New York to London, or London to Dubai. Common red-eye flights also usually take around four to six hours.
Why Does Red Eye Flight Exist?
Red-eye flights exist for many reasons, as they benefit the airliner and the passenger. Airliners can increase flight times and frequency for their planes and bring in more revenue. Passengers get more flexible travel time and also get to save some funds, as red-eye flights tend to be cheaper.
Avoiding Empty Return Flights
At times, when a plane arrives at a destination, it may need to end the day being back at its hub for maintenance and repairs. In certain situations, the plane must travel back late at night.
If the plane is not taking any passengers, the plane would be flying empty. The airliner will be spending a lot of money on fuel and pilot and crew transport. This may be draining the airliner’s funds and is not a smart business decision.
This is why airliners at times offer red-eye flights. Taking in passengers can at least bring in some funds and reduce expenditure. If the flight is not profitable, ticket sales can fill in some of the plane spendings.
You may like this article: Can You Leave The Airport During A Layover?
Increasing Flight Time
Some airliners do not own their planes. Instead, they lease or rent it from other companies to operate their airline service. To ensure profitability, they must keep the plans running as long as possible.
Suppose the plane is not in the hangar undergoing maintenance. In that case, it should be in the sky, flying passengers, and not sitting idle in the hangar, even at night.
This leads to the decision to offer red-eye flights. By increasing flight times for these leased aircraft, the airliner stands a bigger chance to make a profit after paying the leasing fee.
Flexible Flights For Passengers
Some passengers love red-eye flights for many reasons; others like the lower price, and some prefer the quiet flying experience. Some also just like to go up there and sleep, waking up already at their destination.
By offering red-eye flights, airliners get to offer more options for passengers to choose the type of flight they prefer. They also get to cater to customers that prefer red-eye flights, which means a win-win proposition for both the passengers and the airliner.
Divert Daytime Demand
Some flight routes are incredibly popular, for example, London to New York, Hong Kong to Taipei, Los Angeles to New York, etc. The demand can sometimes be so high that despite many airliners serving the routes, they still fail to fill in the daytime demand.
Simple adding daytime flights may also not be a sound strategy, as this would mean more passengers coming into the airport during the day. Airports may be crowded, increasing pressure on the ground crew to service and support these passengers.
Thus, these companies resorted to offering red-eye flights as a way to divert the daytime demand. Some of these passengers may take red-eye flights, meaning fewer people crowding the airport during the day, fewer plans taking off during the day, and in general, a less stressful experience for both ground crew and passengers.
What Are The Upside of Taking A Red Eye Flight?
For passengers, the upside of taking a red-eye flight includes money savings and a more quiet flight experience. Passengers also tend to benefit from a less crowded airport, meaning a less stressful flight experience. Passengers also stand to be able to enjoy the destination immediately after arrival.
Red-eye Flights tend to be cheaper, as it is less preferred by most travelers overall. Those willing to sleep a little rougher during their flight stand to enjoy some substantial savings on their flight tickets.
Quiet Flight Experience
Red-eye flights are usually not for the most demanding customers, which means you have a less stressful flight experience. This is because you are less likely to meet a ‘passenger from hell.’ These people tend to board day flights.
You would also be less likely to have parents and children boarding the plane. This means you have less chance of being annoyed by noisy, crying children and stressful parents.
Finally, most red-eye flight passengers are tired and simply want to sleep. This means you will enjoy a quiet flight and be able to sleep in peace and quiet. This might just make the less comfortable sleep bearable.
Better Flight Service
Red-eye flights tend to be less full than daytime flights since they are less preferred. Most red-eye flight passengers just want to board the plane and then sleep.
This means there is less demand for the services from the cabin crew, and they are not under stress having to cater to the passengers. This means they are probably much more able to cater to you faster. Having less stress also means they are in a better mood and may be able to attend to your needs better.
Fewer Delays & Cancellations
Red-eye flights are also less available, which means the planes may be able to land and take off on time better. This is because the landing strip, taxiways, and terminal gates are more available.
This means the planes do not have to wait or circle the airspace while waiting for landing clearance, and they do not need to queue up to wait for the planes to take off. The plans can land, turnover, and then take off faster, meaning you are less likely to suffer from delays and cancellations as well.
Less Crowded Airport
Red-eye flights fly at night and are less frequent. This means there will be fewer passengers and crowds at the airport. Fewer people mean less demand for the services of the airport servicemember and the airliner’s ground crew. As a result, you may get better service and enjoy a slower, easier flight experience.
You may like this article: Does Spirit Airlines Have WiFi?
Start The Day Immediately
Perhaps the best thing about red-eye flights is that you double up your travel time with your sleep time. This means you go to sleep, wake up at your destinations, and get to enjoy your new place right away. This makes red-eye flights incredibly popular with business people and also low-cost travelers.
What Are The Downsides of Taking A Red Eye Flight?
Issues with red-eye flights are that passengers tend to struggle with sleep. Passengers also may be constantly interrupted while sleeping. If you are unlucky, you may have passengers that snore loudly, making it harder for you to sleep.
Not Everyone Can Sleep Rough
There is a reason why red-eye flights are not popular. Not many can sleep rough or are willing to go through the experience. Not many can try to sleep sitting, even if they can lower their chair down. Some dislike the crowded feeling and also dislike sleeping in the open space with other people.
Some may be able to force themselves to sleep but dislike the overall tiredness and red-eye feeling they get the next day. To those that travel across time zones, red-eye flights can be worse since, on top of the tiredness, they also have to contend with jet lag.
When you fly red-eye flights, you may be trying to sleep, but you may be constantly interrupted while sleeping, which may not be acceptable to many.
For example, you may have to wake up to hear announcements from the cabin crew. If you sit at the window or outside, you may have to constantly wake up. This is because you need to allow those on the aisle and inside seats to go to the washroom.
If you are unlucky, you may be seated beside a passenger that snores loud while sleeping. If this happens to you, you can probably kiss your sleep goodbye, as the loud snoring would have prevented you from sleeping.