What Is A Red-Eye Flight & Is It More Cost-Efficient?

Booking a “red-eye flight” might be one of the strangest things you may hear from your traveler friends. Of all things, why would someone call a flight a red-eye? If you’re not a frequent traveler, you might scratch your head over this buzzword, but it’s actually a commonly used term for a specific kind of flight.

A flight is considered a red-eye flight if the passenger boards a plane at night and typically arrives at his destination the next morning. Basically, this type of flight is taken around the time when people normally go to sleep. These are pretty common for long-haul international flights wherein the travel time reaches up to 9 hours or more.

People started using the term “red-eye” due to passengers who opt to book flights in this schedule and often find it difficult to fall asleep during the long flight, resulting in tired red eyes as they get off the plane.


Red-eye flights aren’t exactly the most relaxing way to spend your night as a traveler, but they definitely have a few advantages compared to sleeping at a hotel and boarding a plane the next day.

Most travelers would agree that red-eye flights help them save a ton of money. Instead of spending the night at a hotel (which can cost quite a lot), you can sleep on the plane instead. More importantly, you are allocating more time for your vacation instead of sleeping separately in a hotel and on a plane.

Another perk is that airports are less likely to be crowded at night, minimizing the time you’ll need for presenting your passport and other necessary documents, baggage inspection, and waiting in a seemingly never-ending line of passengers.

Keep in mind that while red-eye flights are significantly cheaper and may be more convenient for others, they are not entirely suitable for everyone. Light sleepers will find it hard to fall asleep on a plane and may choose to sleep in a hotel right when they arrive at their destination, which defeats the purpose of booking a red-eye flight in the first place. If you think this is not for you, it’s ideal to stick with flight schedules during the day.

Tips on how to prepare for a red-eye flight

Not sure how to prepare for a red-eye flight? Here are a few things you can do to make it more bearable and comfortable for you:

  • Treat it as if you are about to go to bed. If you have a nighttime routine, go ahead and follow it! This way, you are conditioning your body to think that it’s already bedtime, making it easier for you to fall asleep.
  • Wear comfortable clothing during your flight. While it’s certainly a good thing to look great and fashionable at the airport, it’s best to stick with a comfortable outfit that you can wear while sitting on a plane for hours.
  • Bring an extra scarf or blanket. It should not come as a surprise that airplanes tend to be freezing cold, so it’s highly recommended to bring something that can keep you warm before boarding the plane.

Red Eye Flight “Survival” Tips

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