Booking a red eye flight can help you maximize your time and money when traveling long distances. If you’re looking to book an overnight flight to your destination, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The best way to book a red eye flight is to use flight search engines like Google Flights and Kayak to find available red eyes going to your destination on your preferred airline. Focus on nonstop red eye flights to maximize sleep.

Aim to fly outbound red eyes and return flights in the daytime. Book at least 2-3 weeks in advance for the lowest fares. Consider paying extra for more legroom or first class seats to sleep better.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about booking the ideal red eye flight for your needs, including: choosing the best time to fly, finding cheap red eye flights, picking the most comfortable seats for sleeping, what to pack for an overnight flight, and tips for surviving red eyes.

What Exactly is a Red Eye Flight?

A red eye flight refers to an overnight flight that typically departs late at night and arrives early in the morning. The term “red eye” is derived from the fact that passengers often experience red and tired eyes due to the lack of sleep during these flights.

These flights are popular among travelers who want to maximize their time at their destination by flying while they would normally be sleeping.

Red eye flights are commonly offered by airlines for long-haul routes, where the flight duration is usually more than six hours. They are particularly popular for flights that cross multiple time zones, as passengers can arrive at their destination in the morning and have a full day ahead of them.

Advantages of Booking a Red Eye Flight

There are several advantages to booking a red eye flight:

  • Savings: Red eye flights are often cheaper compared to daytime flights, as they are less in demand.
  • Less Crowded: These flights tend to have fewer passengers, which means more space and potentially more comfort.
  • Maximize Time: By flying overnight, you can make the most of your daytime hours at your destination.
  • Avoid Traffic: Red eye flights are less likely to be affected by traffic congestion, both on the roads and at the airport.

It’s important to note that red eye flights may not be suitable for everyone. Some people find it difficult to sleep on airplanes, and others may experience jet lag upon arrival. It’s always a good idea to consider your own comfort and travel preferences before booking a red eye flight.

If you’re considering booking a red eye flight, it’s advisable to check with the airlines for specific flight schedules and availability. Additionally, websites like Kayak and Skyscanner can help you compare prices and find the best deals on red eye flights.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Red Eyes

Saves time

One of the main advantages of booking a red eye flight is that it can save you a significant amount of time. Red eye flights typically depart late at night and arrive early in the morning, allowing you to maximize your daytime hours.

This is particularly beneficial for business travelers or those who have limited time at their destination. According to a study conducted by Travel + Leisure, red eye flights can save travelers up to 30% of their total travel time.

Can be cheaper

Another advantage of booking a red eye flight is that it can often be cheaper than daytime flights. Airlines tend to offer discounted fares for overnight flights, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers.

According to a study conducted by Skyscanner, travelers can save up to 20% on airfare by booking a red eye flight.

Arrive rested (if outbound)

If you are traveling outbound on a red eye flight, there is a chance that you may arrive at your destination feeling rested. The overnight journey allows you to sleep during the flight, giving you a chance to start your day refreshed and ready to explore.

However, it’s important to note that this advantage may not apply to everyone, as some people may find it difficult to sleep on a plane.

Disrupts sleep schedule

One of the drawbacks of booking a red eye flight is that it can disrupt your sleep schedule. The late departure and early arrival times can throw off your body’s internal clock, leading to jet lag and fatigue.

It may take a few days for your body to adjust to the new time zone, which can impact your productivity and enjoyment during your trip.

Less ideal for return flights

While red eye flights can be convenient for outbound travel, they may not be the best option for return flights. After a long day of activities, you may find it challenging to stay awake during a late-night flight. This can result in a restless journey and leave you feeling exhausted upon arrival.

It’s important to consider your energy levels and personal preferences when deciding whether to book a red eye flight for your return journey.

Higher chance of delays/cancellations

Red eye flights are more prone to delays and cancellations compared to daytime flights. This is due to various factors such as maintenance issues, crew availability, and weather conditions. If you choose to book a red eye flight, it’s essential to be prepared for potential disruptions to your travel plans.

It’s advisable to check the airline’s policies regarding delays and cancellations and have a backup plan in case your flight is affected.

Choosing the Best Days and Times for Red Eyes

When booking a red eye flight, it’s important to consider the days and times that will provide you with the most comfortable and convenient travel experience. Here are some tips to help you choose the best days and times for your red eye flight:

Depart late night, arrive early morning

One of the main benefits of booking a red eye flight is that it allows you to take off late at night and arrive at your destination early in the morning. This can be particularly advantageous if you’re trying to make the most of your time and want to avoid wasting a whole day traveling.

Plus, flying during these off-peak hours often means fewer crowds and shorter lines at the airport.

Aim for nonstop flights

When booking a red eye flight, it’s generally best to look for nonstop flights whenever possible. Nonstop flights eliminate the need for layovers and connecting flights, which can be especially inconvenient when you’re trying to catch some sleep during your flight.

By choosing a nonstop flight, you can minimize the chances of delays and increase your chances of getting a good night’s rest on the plane.

Avoid busy travel days

Another key consideration when booking a red eye flight is to avoid busy travel days. Weekends, holidays, and peak travel seasons tend to be the busiest times at airports, resulting in crowded flights and higher fares.

To have a more pleasant and hassle-free experience, try to book your red eye flight on less popular travel days, such as Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Not only will this increase your chances of finding better deals, but it will also give you a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere during your flight.

Finding Affordable Red Eye Flights

Booking a red eye flight can be a great way to save money on your travel expenses. Red eye flights are typically overnight flights that depart late at night and arrive early in the morning. Here are some tips to help you find affordable red eye flights:

1. Book at least 2-3 weeks in advance

Booking your red eye flight well in advance can often result in significant savings. Airlines tend to increase their prices as the departure date approaches, so booking early can help you secure a better deal.

Aim to book your red eye flight at least 2-3 weeks before your desired departure date for the best chance at finding an affordable fare.

2. Be flexible on departure day

Being flexible with your departure day can also help you find cheaper red eye flights. Consider departing on a weekday rather than on a weekend, as weekdays tend to have lower demand and therefore lower prices.

Additionally, if you have the flexibility, consider flying on less popular travel days such as Tuesdays or Wednesdays, as these days often have the lowest fares.

3. Use flight search engines

Flight search engines like Google Flights, Kayak, and Skyscanner can be incredibly helpful in finding affordable red eye flights. These platforms allow you to compare prices from multiple airlines and provide you with various options to choose from.

Additionally, they often have features that allow you to filter your search results based on your preferences, such as the departure time and airline.

4. Set up price alerts

If you have a specific destination and travel dates in mind, setting up price alerts can be a useful strategy. Many flight search engines and travel websites offer price alert features that notify you when the fares for your desired flight drop.

This way, you can wait for a better deal and book your red eye flight at the best possible price.

5. Consider budget airlines

When looking for affordable red eye flights, consider flying with budget airlines. Budget airlines often offer lower fares compared to their full-service counterparts. While they may not provide the same level of amenities and services, they can help you save money on your red eye flight.

Just be sure to check their baggage policies and any additional fees before booking to avoid any surprises.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding affordable red eye flights and saving money on your travel expenses. So start planning your next overnight adventure and enjoy the benefits of booking a red eye flight!

Picking Seats for Sleeping on Red Eyes

Choosing the right seat can make a significant difference in the quality of sleep you get on a red-eye flight. Here are some tips to help you pick the best seat for a comfortable rest:

Aim for extra legroom or premium economy

If you want to stretch out and get some shut-eye on a red-eye flight, aim for seats with extra legroom or consider upgrading to premium economy. These seats offer more space to recline and move around, allowing you to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Some airlines even offer lie-flat seats in their premium cabins, providing the ultimate sleeping experience in the sky.

Choose a window seat

When booking your red-eye flight, opting for a window seat can greatly enhance your chances of getting some uninterrupted sleep. A window seat provides a wall to lean against, giving you a better chance of finding a comfortable position and avoiding disturbances from other passengers needing to get up or access the aisle.

Avoid seats near lavatories

While it may be tempting to choose a seat near the lavatories for convenience, these seats can be noisy and subject to constant foot traffic. The sound of flushing toilets, doors opening and closing, and people waiting in line can disrupt your sleep.

It’s best to select a seat away from the lavatories to minimize disturbances and maximize your chances of getting a restful sleep.

Pay to select seats in advance

Many airlines offer the option to pay for seat selection in advance. While this may incur an additional cost, it can be worth it if it means securing a seat that will allow you to sleep comfortably. By paying to select your seat, you can choose from the available options and ensure you have the best chance of enjoying a peaceful and restful red-eye flight.

How to Sleep Better on Overnight Flights

Traveling on a red eye flight can be challenging, especially when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. However, with a few simple strategies, you can maximize your chances of getting some quality rest while in the air. Here are some tips to help you sleep better on overnight flights:

1. Bring neck pillow, eye mask, and earplugs

One of the keys to falling asleep on a red eye flight is creating a comfortable environment. Bringing a neck pillow, eye mask, and earplugs can help block out noise and provide support for your head and neck.

These small travel essentials can make a big difference in helping you relax and get some shut-eye.

2. Wear loose, comfortable clothing

Wearing loose, comfortable clothing can greatly contribute to a better sleep experience on an overnight flight. Avoid tight-fitting clothes that can restrict your movement and opt for breathable fabrics that will keep you cozy throughout the journey.

3. Avoid caffeine

While it may be tempting to grab a cup of coffee or an energy drink before your flight, it’s best to avoid caffeine altogether. Caffeine can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, making it harder to get the rest you need during the flight.

4. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is important for your overall well-being, especially during a long flight. Drink plenty of water before and during the flight to keep your body hydrated. Dehydration can cause discomfort and make it more challenging to sleep, so make sure to bring a refillable water bottle with you and take advantage of any water offered by the flight attendants.

5. Listen to relaxing music/podcasts

Listening to soothing music or podcasts can help create a calming atmosphere and drown out any background noise. Consider creating a playlist of relaxing tunes or downloading a meditation podcast to help you unwind and drift off to sleep.

6. Consider sleeping aids

If you have trouble sleeping on planes, it may be worth considering the use of sleeping aids. However, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or sleep aids.

They can provide guidance on the best options for your specific needs and ensure your safety during the flight.

Remember, everyone’s sleep preferences and needs are different. It may take some trial and error to find the strategies that work best for you. By implementing these tips and personalizing them to suit your preferences, you can increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep on your next red eye flight.

What to Pack in Your Carry-On for Red Eyes

Neck pillow, eye mask, and earplugs

When it comes to surviving a red-eye flight, comfort is key. Packing a neck pillow will provide you with much-needed support for your head and neck during the flight. An eye mask can help block out the cabin lights and create a more sleep-friendly environment.

Don’t forget to bring a pair of earplugs to minimize any noise disturbances from fellow passengers or the aircraft itself.

Noise-cancelling headphones

If you’re a light sleeper or easily distracted by noise, investing in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones is a game-changer. These headphones use advanced technology to reduce ambient noise, allowing you to relax and enjoy your flight without disruptions.

Plug them into your in-flight entertainment system or use them with your own device to listen to music or watch movies.

Comfortable clothes and shoes

Wearing comfortable clothing and shoes is essential for a red-eye flight. Opt for loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics. Avoid tight jeans or restrictive clothing that could make it difficult to sleep or move around during the flight.

Slip-on shoes are also a good choice, as they are easy to take off and put back on during security checks or when you want to stretch your legs.

Toothbrush and essential toiletries

It’s important to maintain good hygiene during long flights. Pack a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste in your carry-on so you can freshen up before landing. Additionally, bring essential toiletries such as moisturizer, lip balm, and hand sanitizer to keep your skin hydrated and germ-free.

Entertainment like books, tablets

Red-eye flights can be a great opportunity to catch up on your reading or binge-watch your favorite TV shows. Bring along a book or load up your tablet with movies, TV series, or e-books to keep yourself entertained throughout the flight.

Don’t forget to download your favorite podcasts or playlists for an enjoyable and relaxing journey.

Snacks and empty water bottle

Although most flights offer food and beverages, having your own snacks can be a lifesaver, especially if you have dietary restrictions or specific preferences. Pack some healthy snacks like granola bars, nuts, or dried fruits to keep your energy levels up.

Additionally, bring an empty water bottle to fill up after going through security. Staying hydrated during the flight is crucial for your well-being.

Tips for Surviving and Recovering from Red Eyes

Booking a red eye flight can be a convenient way to save time and arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to go. However, the overnight travel can also leave you feeling tired and groggy. To help you make the most of your red eye flight experience, here are some tips for surviving and recovering from those sleepless nights.

Hydrate and limit alcohol

Staying hydrated is essential during any flight, but it’s especially important when you’re flying overnight. Drinking plenty of water will help combat the dry air in the cabin and keep you feeling more awake and alert.

On the other hand, it’s best to limit your alcohol consumption as it can dehydrate you and disrupt your sleep patterns.

Move around when possible

Sitting in one position for hours can lead to stiffness and discomfort. Whenever possible, get up and move around the cabin. Take a walk down the aisle, stretch your legs, and do some simple exercises to keep your blood flowing.

This will not only help prevent muscle cramps but also keep you more awake and alert.

Be prepared for delays

Red eye flights are often prone to delays due to their late-night departure times. Be prepared for the possibility of delays by packing essential items in your carry-on bag. This could include a change of clothes, toiletries, and any necessary medications.

Having these items on hand will help you stay comfortable and prepared for unexpected situations.

Try to sleep on the plane

Getting some sleep on the plane can help you feel more rested and ready to tackle the day upon arrival. To improve your chances of sleeping, bring a neck pillow, an eye mask, and earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to block out any distractions.

Additionally, wearing comfortable clothing and choosing a window seat can help create a more conducive sleep environment.

Avoid important meetings day of arrival

It’s important to give yourself some time to recover from your red eye flight before diving into important meetings or commitments. Try to schedule your arrival day with some downtime, allowing yourself to adjust to the new time zone and catch up on sleep if needed.

This will help you perform at your best and avoid any unnecessary fatigue or jet lag.

Take a nap and go to bed early

Once you arrive at your destination, try to resist the temptation to nap for too long. Taking a short nap can help you recharge, but sleeping for too long can disrupt your sleep schedule and make it harder to adjust.

Instead, aim for an early bedtime to ensure you get a full night’s rest and wake up feeling refreshed the next day.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your red eye flight and minimize the effects of sleep deprivation. Remember, preparation and self-care are key to surviving and recovering from those overnight journeys.


Booking a red eye flight involves more planning and preparation than a daytime flight, but can maximize your time and money when traveling long haul. The keys are booking far in advance, picking optimal routes and seats, packing properly, and following tips to sleep better on the plane.

Avoiding return red eyes can make recovery smoother. With this guide, you now have everything you need to know to book a red eye flight like a pro for your next big trip.

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