What Is A Red-Eye Flight & Is It Worth It?

Red Eye Flights

Last updated on Sep 6th, 2023 by Heena Ganotra

A red-eye flight is a good travel option for people who are looking for affordable flight deals. These flights are often less crowded and are quite popular among business travellers who want to save time. However, travelling by airplane at nighttime can make a few people nervous. We explain everything you need to know about the flight so you can determine whether it is a good choice for you. 

What is the Meaning of a Red-Eye Flight?

Red-eye flights are flights that are run during the nighttime. The flight often takes off late in the evening and arrives at its destination in the morning. It is called ‘red-eye’ because sometimes flying during night hours can disrupt your sleep and cause considerable exhaustion. The phrase refers to people arriving at their destination with ‘red-eyes’ due to tiredness. 

Almost every airline in Australia offers red-eye services consistently. If you’re able to sleep on planes, a red-eye special flight may be a good choice for you. It never hurts to try such a trip at least once to see if it is convenient for you.

Red-Eye Flight Timings

Most red-eye flights take off late in the evening. All services after 9 PM or 10 PM may be considered a red-eye. These flights often reach their destination at around 5 AM or 6 AM. As a standard, the trips typically last for four to six hours but they can stretch longer. 

Sometimes long-haul flights will take off late in the night and the section of their trip that happens during the night is often considered the red-eye part of the journey. Most transcontinental flights in Australia are conducted during the daytime but things have changed since 2010. 

The major Australian carriers started red-eye flight services due to increasing demand. Today, you have no shortage of options to choose from.

Airlines with Red-Eye Flights

Most major Australian carriers run red-eye flights and they have been running on popular routes since 2010. You can book flights on airlines like Qantas, JetStar, and other popular carriers.

Some of the major routes with red-eye flights include:

  • Perth to Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, and Cairns. 
  • Darwin to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. 
  • Singapore to Gold Coast, Melbourne, and Sydney. 
  • Melbourne to Wellington. 
  • Los Angeles to Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney

You can use a red-eye flight tickets booking platform to look for options and compare the prices of different carriers on different routes.

How Do Red-Eye Flights Work?

Red-eye flights work slightly differently from regular daytime trips. They were impossible to run a few decades ago because the technology required to handle them safely didn’t exist. 

However, when airports become capable of supporting night-time trips, carriers started offering this service. It allowed them to use their airplanes instead of just letting them sit on the tarmac during the night. 

The trips are fairly profitable for most major carriers on busy routes. Here’s a brief look at how they work:

  • Most red-eye trips happen after 9 or 10 PM and arrive at the destination in the morning. Sometimes, because of the time difference between the take-off and destination point, the night can feel very long and exhausting. 
  • For the sake of safety and to ensure the crew is always alert, most airlines have a full crew of attendants and two pilots. If the trip lasts for more than a day, the airline may add an extra pilot and a second full crew to ensure everyone has some time to rest. 
  • All pilots and crews are given some time to rest and relax before and after the trip to ensure don’t suffer any adverse consequences. 
  • You will find an additional pilot on flights that last longer than 8 hours. This allows pilots to work in shifts to everyone has adequate rest time. A dedicated rest area is provided where the pilots and crew can sleep peacefully. 
  • Most airlines will let the crew and pilots rest immediately after the flight so they are alert later when they need to fly again. 

Airports have equipment and systems in place to ensure everyone lands safely and gets good customer service. While these flights are more affordable, you can still have a comfortable trip with an attentive crew. 

Red-Eye Flight Tips to Help You Have a Good Time 

You can take a few steps to ensure your trip is comfortable and you arrive at your destination without feeling too tired. Here’s a look at some of our red-eye flight tips:

1. Don’t Travel on an Empty Stomach

If you’re pressed for time, you may be tempted to skip a meal or two. However, that’s never a good idea when you’re on a red-eye flight. Have a light but filling dinner to ensure you don’t get very hungry on the flight. That will help you sleep more soundly. 

2. Ensure Your Comfort 

Ensure your comfort by bringing along earplugs, eye masks, and a neck pillow. Some carriers will provide a pillow and blanket but it is still a good idea to dress warmly if you find the airplane environment cool. You can block disrupting light and sound while on your flight and have a more relaxing trip. 

3. Wear Comfortable Clothes

While it is tempting to dress well while you’re travelling, it is best to focus on comfort. Wear clothes you can comfortably sleep in. Instead of tight-fitting jeans and some complicated shirt, consider wearing loose and breathable clothing that won’t cause you any discomfort during the trip. 

4. Avoid Distracting Things 

Some things can keep you awake even if you want to sleep. The light from your mobile phone screen or reading devices may hinder your ability to drift off. We recommend switching to audiobooks or sound-based entertainment close to bedtime. That will help improve the quality of your sleep. 

5. Consider Taking Sleep Aids

Some people benefit from taking sleeping aids like melatonin pills or even sleeping pills. We recommend staying away from caffeinated drinks close to your bedtime. The more relaxed you are, the more likely you are to sleep. 

6. Book Comfortable Seats

If you have room in your budget, book premium economy red-eye flight tickets. Premium economy seats are more spacious, have a deeper pitch, and you can comfortably recline in them. If you don’t want to spend money on premium, look for airlines that offer comfortable seats in standard economy. 

These red-eye flight tips will help you have a more comfortable trip and ensure you arrive at your destination without feeling exhausted. However, it is important to keep in mind that some people just can’t sleep well on these flights. If your first few experiences are uncomfortable, you may want to look for alternate options. 

Are Red-Eye Flights Worth It?

Now that you know what a red-eye flight is like, you may wonder if it is worth the effort. Do you want to risk showing up exhausted at a business meeting because you caught an overnight flight? Here’s a look at some of the biggest benefits of red-eyes:

1. Affordable 

Nighttime flights are more affordable than daytime ones. They aren’t as popular and airlines are often willing to lower the price just to fill the plane. A smaller profit is better than no profit at all. You can find great red-eye flight deals easily, especially if you’re travelling during the off-season. 

2. Saves Time 

Red-eye flights can help you save business hours. Instead of travelling during the daytime, which can take up a substantial portion of your day, you can travel during the night when you will be sleeping anyway. This is a good solution for people who can easily sleep on the flight. If you can’t sleep, we don’t recommend travelling through the red-eye frequently. 

3. Less Traffic

Driving toward a popular or busy airport during the daytime can be strenuous. You need to deal with traffic and may need to spend a lot of time on the commute itself. There’s not much traffic going towards the airport in the late evenings. You will reach your terminal faster and won’t feel as tired from the drive. 

4. Airport Isn’t Busy 

Airports are typically less busy during the nighttime. You won’t need to deal with long queues for check-in, baggage drop, and boarding. The airport environment will also be quieter and more peaceful, which can help you relax after a long day. Because the terminal isn’t very crowded, you can afford to arrive a little closer to departure to save some time. 

5. Flights are Less Crowded

A red-eye flight is likely to be less crowded than daytime flights. You’ll see fewer people on board and will be able to stretch out your legs to relax for a bit. Less-crowded flights are also quieter and more peaceful. You may not need to worry about active children and loud chatter disrupting your rest. 

6. More Time to Have Fun 

If you travel during the night, you have more time to have fun or get work down during the day. That’s especially beneficial if you going on a short vacation and every hour is valuable. 

These benefits make a red-eye flight a very attractive option for travellers. If you manage to sleep on board, this option can help you save time, money, and reduce your travel-related stress levels as well. 

Red-Eye Flight With a Toddler

Many parents want to enjoy the benefits of travelling on a red-eye flight but wonder if they can take their toddlers along with them. We recommend going on a red-eye flight with a toddler only if you’re certain they will sleep. Some children sleep well on flights as long as they are comfortable and undisturbed. That can reduce your travel stress considerably. Instead of trying to manage active and noisy toddlers during the daytime, you can just enjoy a peaceful trip with sleeping children on red-eye. 

However, if your children can’t sleep on a flight, it is best to avoid such a trip. They will be tired, cranky, and may disrupt other passengers that are trying to sleep. There are a few ways to ensure they have an easier time:

  • Make sure they are well-fed so they don’t wake up at night because of hunger.
  • Ensure they are dressed comfortably. 
  • Engage in activities before the flight to ensure the children have consumed all of their energy and are less likely to be active during the flight. 
  • Take mobile devices and bright screens away from them before bedtime. 
  • Make sure they are comfortable and relaxed. 
  • Read them a story or put on some soothing music so they can be lulled into sleep. 

If you find good red-eye flight deals and your children can handle the trip, there is no reason why you can’t take your toddler on such a trip. 

How to Find Cheap Red-Eye Flights

Finding the best red-eye flight deals isn’t very difficult. You can visit a comparison and booking website like ours to look at the prices offered by different carriers. It is easy to find the cheapest or the most valuable option when you can see all of the flights available on one dashboard. 

All you need to do is to type the origin and destination cities, look for flights that take off after 9-10 PM, and then compare prices. 

Red-eye flights can be a great way to travel if you plan things well and pick the right airline. If you still have concerns, we can answer your questions and help you find the best deal. 


Q. Are Red-Eye Flights Safe?

Ans. Yes, red-eye flights are quite safe! Carriers and airports take every precaution necessary to ensure the airplane takes off and lands well even in low light conditions. It is also safe if you can catch some sleep during the flight. However, if you’re unable to sleep and need to travel frequently, we recommend a regular daytime flight. 

Q. How Would You Define a Red-Eye Flight?

Ans. A red-eye flight is a trip that occurs during the night. It sometimes refers to trips that start late in the evening and arrive early in the morning. Sometimes these trips are too short but the time difference eats into your night hours and you feel like you haven’t slept enough even though it is morning at the destination. 

Q. How to Book Red-Eye Flights?

Ans. Booking a red-eye flight is easy. You just need to enter the travel requirements into our form, look at the flight options available, pick the preferred option, and then purchase the ticket.

This is everything you need to know about a red-eye flight. Quite a lot of information, isn’t it? But don’t worry! 

With MyTicketsToIndia, booking red-eye flight tickets aren’t very complex. All you need to do is share your details regarding Australia to India flight ticket price (& back) and we’ll take things forward from there. We are known to offer affordable rates, dedicated customer service, and great discounts. 

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About Heena View All Posts

A writer by both passion and profession, Heena Ganotra is "half agony, half hope" but all heart. And oh, she has been a book lover from the start! Her love for books is what convinced her to make a career in the wonderful world of words. She loves what she does and is out-and-out a satisfied soul with a wish to spread happiness and kindness in abundance. Insight- Some say she is living the best life anyone could because she reads, writes, travels, and makes merry. They’re right because what else does one really need! :)

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