How To Survive a Red Eye Flight: 13 Tested Red Eye Flight Tips

Red-eye flights are time saving but often at the expense of your comfort. These late night flights will allow you to maximize the daylight at your destination, yet they are a challenge to your natural sleep cycle.

But if you do some prior planning and get armed with the right accessories, you can have an easy and enjoyable overnight flight.

In 13 simple steps, this guide will teach you how to survive your next red eye flight, and ensure you arrive refreshed and ready to explore.

Keep reading to find out more!

But first let’s find out if red-eye flights are OK.

A commercial airplane flying after sunset
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What Are The Benefits Of Red-Eye Flights?


Flying overnight allows you to make the most of your daytime, especially if you’re on a tight schedule.

This ensures that you don’t lose an entire day just traveling.

Less Crowded

Since many travelers avoid overnight flights to prevent disruptions in their sleep cycle, red-eye flights can often be less crowded, offering a quieter and more peaceful travel experience.


Red-eye flights are sometimes cheaper than daytime flights.

The flight price in addition to the saved cost of the night accommodation makes them worthwhile.

Lesser Delays

Night flights often are smoother and face fewer delays compared to their daytime counterparts, mainly because of reduced air traffic.

Some pilots like overnight flights too because of less air traffic.

How To Survive a Red Eye Flight :Tips For a Smooth Red-Eye Experience:

1. Choose Your Airline Wisely

commercial airplane
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Not all airlines are created equal. The differences in seat comfort, in-flight amenities, and overall customer service will significantly impact your travel experience, especially on red-eye flights.

Investing time aerating for a good airline, skimming passenger reviews, and even being willing to spend slightly more can pave the way for a comfortable flight.

Comfort is important during overnight flights; a few more inches of legroom or a more reclined seat can make a big difference.

Remember that a refreshing night’s flight will set the tone for your entire day.

2. Reserve a Window or Extra Legroom Seat

Window seat view
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Choosing a good seat can redefine your red-eye flight experience.

A window seat doesn’t just offer mesmerizing aerial views; it will gift you a wall to lean against and doze off.

The solitude it provides can be crucial for long night sleep.

On the other hand, if you like to have more space, opting for a seat with extra legroom can be a game changing. While these often come with a slightly higher price tag, the investment often pays off in comfort.

You can stretch your legs, change positions, unlike a cramped seat.
These can be some good reasons why you need to go for an extra legroom seat.

3. Wear Comfortable Clothing and Shoes

Red shoes with white laces
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On red-eye flights, the choice of your clothes will greatly influence your comfort level. a flight requires an outfit that grants freedom of movement.

Go for soft, breathable fabrics that prevent overheating, allowing for a more restful sleep. Your shoes, play a vital role too. Footwear that can be easily removed not only aids in quick bathroom trips but also allows your feet to breathe.

Tight clothing or shoes can restrict the circulation of your blood, leading to discomfort and swelling.

So prioritize comfort over fashion.

4. Stay Hydrated

pouring water on a glass cup
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Airplane cabins, with their recycled air, are notoriously dry environments. This dryness accelerates dehydration, leaving you feeling fatigued upon landing. Carrying a reusable water bottle ensures you can stay hydrated all the time.

Regular sips, rather than gulps, can maintain hydration without excessive bathroom visits. Additionally, many airlines have begun to support eco-friendly practices, and filling your bottle is usually hassle-free.

While hydration is essential, balance is also equally important. Overconsumption might mean more disruptive trips to the restroom, especially if you aren’t seated in an aisle or extra legroom seat.

5. Avoid Too Much Coffee and Beverages

a hot cup of coffee
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Navigating the allure of coffee on a red-eye flight is a challenge.

While many passengers gravitate towards caffeine to combat drowsiness, its presence in the system can deter quality sleep.

With its effects lasting for long hours, the risk of restless tossing outweighs the brief alertness it offers.

Instead of succumbing to its inviting aroma, explore other options. Herbal teas like chamomile or peppermint serve great purposes – hydrating and inducing calmness.

If you are not a fan of herbs or tea, you can opt for plain water; it ensures hydration without jeopardizing your sleep.

6. Light and Healthy Snacks

snacks and dried fruits
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Air travel often brings the challenge of sticking to your favorite meal. While airplane food has evolved, it often leans towards the heavier side, potentially causing some unease.

Bringing along your own snacks is a proactive step.

Fresh fruits, nuts, or yogurt are some good choices. These not only have healthy advantages but are also easy on the digestive system.

Eating lighter reduces bloating risks and other digestive issues that might arise post meal.

Plus, there’s undeniable comfort in consuming familiar food, enhancing the journey’s overall pleasure.

7. Bring Your Sleeping Mask

a black sleeping mask

Light is a potent signal for our internal clocks.

Blocking out unexpected or intrusive cabin lights can greatly enhance sleep quality.

A sleeping mask serves this purpose efficiently. Whether it’s the overhead reading lights or the ambient glow from screens, a sleeping mask offers an uninterrupted dark environment, signaling your body to delve into a deep rest.

Moreover, modern masks are designed with ergonomics in mind, ensuring comfort even when used in long red eye flights.

8. Invest in a Good Neck Pillow and Blanket

a travel neck pillow and a blanket

Maintaining ergonomic posture during sleep can prevent the all-too-familiar neck crick.

A high-quality neck pillow, shaped to support the natural curve of your neck, is indispensable.

Pair this with a light blanket, as cabin temperatures can fluctuate. A blanket not only provides warmth but also a sense of security and comfort, enhancing the chances of falling asleep quickly.

It’s always wise to be prepared rather than relying solely on airline provisions or amenities.

9. Get Armed with Your Headphones

black noise canceling headphones

Air travel comes with an orchestra of sounds: the engine’s hum, passengers’ chatter, or a baby crying.

Amidst this, noise-canceling headphones emerge as a savior. They allow you to envelop yourself in a personalized auditory haven, be it with calming melodies, an intriguing audiobook, or just the bliss of silence.

Owning a top-notch pair not only guarantees efficient noise shielding but also ensures comfort for prolonged periods.

Remember, in the bustling environment of an airplane, having control over what you hear can redefine your red-eye flight.

10. Score an Empty Row of Seats

empty row of seats
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On a bustling flight, finding an empty row is like unearthing a hidden treasure.

These vacancies, more frequent on red-eye flights, are invitations to enhanced comfort. Securing an empty space post-takeoff will enhance your travel experience, turning cramped quarters into a makeshift bed.

Stretching out, even in the back of the airplane, will make a world of difference and sleep like a log.

But, in the enthusiasm to claim this hidden treasure, don’t forget to liaise with the flight attendants.

Their approval ensures you’re abiding by the airline’s rules and prioritizing safety in seek of comfort.

11. Try for a Free Upgrade

Business class seat
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Frequent flyers know that premium seats, like those in business or first-class, can occasionally remain unoccupied.

This potential empty luxury isn’t just for the regular elite traveler.

By approaching the check-in counter or boarding gate with a friendly inquiry, you might find yourself whisked into a realm of spacious seating, gourmet meals, and top-tier in-flight services.

While no strategy guarantees success, dressing presentably, flying during off-peak times, and showcasing genuine politeness can heighten your chances.

Sometimes, it’s not just about frequent flyer miles but also about approach and timing.

12. Relax Before You Go to the Airport

women with blond hair relaxing on a bed
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Embarking on a journey starts well before setting foot on the plane. The hustle of packing and pre-flight preparations can be mentally exhausting.

But setting aside just a few hours of calm before heading to the airport can transform your travel experience. Engage in relaxation practices like meditation, enjoy some leisure reading, or even indulge in a short nap.

This pre-flight tranquility ensures you arrive at the airport with a serene disposition, ready to tackle the red-eye flight with a restful approach.

Final Thoughts

A red-eye flight, often viewed as a dreadful experience, but you can survive it with a bit of planning and preparation.

Every travel experience, be it conventional or at odd hours, comes with its quirks.

The above tips aim to equip you with tools to not just endure, but to thrive, ensuring you disembark feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.