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Red Eyes: Love em, hate em, or just necessary?

Red Eyes: Love em, hate em, or just necessary?

Old Apr 16, 17, 7:15 pm
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I have no problem with redeyes. I do prefer it on return trip though.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 7:35 pm
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Old Apr 16, 17, 8:44 pm
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I guess, to be clear, we are talking about US domestic (mainland) or sub-8-hour TATL (e.g., JFK-LHR).

I used to love redeye, but no longer. Even on long routes like LAX-BOS, it's still not enough time to sleep and wake up groggy. Lie-flats help (thanks, B6), but still only get less than 5 hour of sleep and not primed for work the same day.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 9:35 pm
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I envy you people that can sleep on an airplane
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Old Apr 16, 17, 10:09 pm
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Necessary, and no kids. If I am lucky, I get to spend 3-4days/mo with my spouse. Spouse lives in SFO and I fly out out of EWR to visit. The redeye gives me one extra day with them and I fly J. Not great since flight is 4.5 hours long, but as long as connections are good and I can get to the office relatively smoothly, I don' t crash until abt 3:30. A light afternoon dinner and in bed by 8:30 gets me back ontrack for the rest of the week. It works for now but look forward to being on the same coast some day.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 8:03 am
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Love them, and fly them quite frequently from LAX to JFK or JFK to LHR. Might as well get my sleep while traveling wherever I am going, so that no time is wasted.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 9:15 am
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i used to love the TPA-LAX flight that left at 7 am and gets to LAX at 930 AM. a few coffees/redbulls and you power through the day.. the LAX to TPA red eye though..i've done it a few times where i land at 630 AM and go straight to work. by 12 i'm a mess. i just wish delta would offer proper pillows in FC, then maybe i can sleep. However, i'm confident if i had a lie flat i would be fine.

so to answer your question; if i'm given a lie flat bed and a flight time of 5+ hours, i have no problem with it
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Old Apr 17, 17, 9:23 am
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My principal employer has had three rules: lowest-cost seats, no upgrades, miles go to future business travel. That first rule hasn't been carried to the extreme of requiring red-eye flights, but that may be changing. For my personal travel, they are often necessary - connections into/out of Africa through Europe and Asia on African "flag" carriers.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 2:11 pm
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Originally Posted by 365RoadWarrior View Post
miles go to future business travel
This is an extreme no go for me. I've turned down job offers, and switched employers when they've introduced this policy. My time in the plane, my miles that I use to treat my family to nice vacations.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by radiowell View Post
I guess, to be clear, we are talking about US domestic (mainland) or sub-8-hour TATL (e.g., JFK-LHR).
Agreed some of this is straying into non-red-eye territory. I think the generally accepted definition of a red-eye is one which departs late at night but is too short for a proper night of sleep (so basically 4-7 hours) so basically US domestic flights and JFK/BOS/IAD - DUB/LHR.

IMO, Asia - US and v.v. is way to long to be considered a red-eye no matter what class of service.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
I think the generally accepted definition of a red-eye is one which departs late at night but is too short for a proper night of sleep (so basically 4-7 hours) so basically US domestic flights and JFK/BOS/IAD - DUB/LHR.
I have been happier (not happy ;-) on redeyes since I figured out it's more important for me to sleep than eat on the plane. So I eat well in the lounge or a restaurant before the flight, and just try to sleep thru the whole flight, and not worry about "missing some free food/drink" at all. Skipping the 2 food services on a long-haul easily gives 2-3 hours extra sleep time, which makes a huge difference, in my opinion.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 7:12 am
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Once I was scheduled to return home from business on Saturday morning. I decided to spend my own money for a few more hotel nights and spend the weekend out there. Then I took the red-eye home on Sunday night (approx. 9 PM PST - AM EST). Unfortunately I learned too late that that airline would have upgraded my full fare (company paid) coach day ticket to a first class red-eye ticket.

I was not fully attentive on Monday morning but that is another program.
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Old Apr 25, 17, 11:18 pm
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To my mind, there are two kinds of red-eyes. The West-to-East-US (short, don't leave much time to sleep) and the big'uns (Asia to Europe). I'm British and live in Hong Kong, so i get a lot of the latter. Get up at 7 or 8 am, fly at around midnight for 12-13 hours, arrive at 5 or 6 am. That is two long days with a flight in-between that is too long to sleep through. But I understand the short ones can be a killer too. Here is my story... It's quite long (but, I hope, entertaining for others, although it wasn't for me at the time). So if you don't have time, skip to the last line.

A few years ago my then employer had an offsite in San Francisco. In order to see family I converted my ticket to a round-the-world one, and flew to London for the weekend before flying from there to SFO.I spent the next two and a half days in a basement. Honestly, a basement! Having (literally) not seen the light of day for three days by this time, I was keen to meet up with a friend, who took me out to the "gayborhood" for the evening (which was enormously entertaining (!)). One or (ahem) two (ahem!) drinks were consumed. At the end of the evening he kindly dropped me back at my hotel to pick up my things and rush to the airport for my red-eye to NY. Having had what felt like my first human contact (as in real humans, not people attending offsites) for days, I was buzzed and couldn't sleep. Next thing I knew I was in NY, feeling wildly disorientated. i was heading there for a breakfast meeting, but my brain had just shut down. I was so jet lagged, and so sleep-deprived, I really could not think rationally. I eventually found an AA lounge and tried to inform the lovely lady on reception that although I had just flown in and therefore not an obvious candidate for a departure lounge, I was badly in need of protein. This took a while since I had apparently lost the capacity for coherent speech. Every attempt I made to show my ticket or FF status ended up with me wading through piles of crap in my hand luggage and being a complete failure - eventually she took pity on me and (perhaps surprisingly) rather than calling for gentlemen in white jackets, kindly directed me to another lounge where I was able to eat enormous quantities of bacon and started to rediscover what it felt like to be a human being with something resembling a functioning brain.

I then headed downtown for my meeting, at which (I was told later, and much to my relief) I did manage to make some sort of sense. Then, I headed straight back to JFK for my onward flight to HKG, having spent about 7 hours (including the time I spent in the arrival lounge wolfing bacon, and my transfers to the meeting!) in New York.

Great flight. Would have been even better if there hadn't been a typhoon in HK which meant that after two hours of circling HK (who knew 777s had so much spare fuel capacity?) we were diverted to Manila. And held on the plane, for a while, as they tried to find a new crew to take us back to HK. Having failed on this, they had to try to find accommodation. We were finally let off the plane after 18 hours (including flying time) on board, during which period I tried quite hard to eat and drink as much as I could since I didn't know when I would next get the chance. We were eventually taken (without going through immigration!) to a hotel in the middle of Nowhere, Outskirts of Manila. Dinner was a shambles and took hours as the hotel clearly hadn't planned for 300 unexpected guests. We didn't know when our flight would take off but were told it might be as early as 7am the next day. Needless to say, I didn't sleep much. Desperate to get home, I was calling Cathay in the small hours. No luck (we were stuck there for two days). So the following morning I tried to work out how long I had been wearing the same clothes - let's see - all of the day in San Francisco, during the red-eye, during my 7-hour stopover in NY, another 24 hours or so for the flight to Manila and transfer to the hotel.... Ugh. Now THAT, my friends (and there is more to the story, but I will end it there) is a red-eye story.

I don't like red-eyes!

Last edited by IanFromHKG; Apr 25, 17 at 11:24 pm
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Old Apr 26, 17, 2:43 am
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Arrow It depends.

Originally Posted by financialhippie View Post
I think there's a trend here - it's not the red eye flight itself, but the lack of sleep that people hate. Most folks that can sleep on the plane don't mind them it seems.

I love redeyes. You end up getting more time to explore! Though I don't sleep well on planes, I'm usually running on adrenaline for the next day in a new place. I'm sure if I travelled for work (and had deadlines to meet the next day), it might be different. But for now, I love having the extra time wherever I'm going, and saving the hotel cost/points for the night.
Hey, before I got into Flyertalk, I used to roadtrip overnight to avoid traffic. Sleep like 9PM-12AM, get up and drive, be down in DC for breakfast! Sure, I'd get a little loopy by about 6PM the first day I was there, but nothing a quick nap can't fix. Reading a book on a 2 hour flight sure beats driving 8 hours!
Originally Posted by sethweinstein View Post
Love 'em. Good time savers; you save on the hotel and maximize the day, and sometimes you can have a good restaurant dinner and then fly.
I wish they existed in the other direction. Leave New York (or western Europe) at 2am, arrive on the west coast (or New York) around 5:30am.
Originally Posted by John Aldeborgh View Post
Asian flights from the US are definitely red-eye flights, on the return. Virtually all flights departing Asia involve an overnight and arrive morning or mid-day. I've done over 250 trips to Asia, so I speak from experience. Willpower is the key to surviving a red-eye. You push yourself through the next day and it takes a few days to fully recover from the time change. I don't pretend they are easy but simply a reality of life for me. BTW, my company only buys coach tickets so the only way I'm in business class is by scoring an upgrade.
I selected these three responses because each has an element to which I try to adhere.
I fall asleep on airplanes. There, it is OK. However, I must also inform you that I fall asleep sometimes on the route #77 Belmont bus (and miss my egress stop by miles). That is not OK. So I figure it is something in my chromosomes.
Yes, my flights from Chicago to Tokyo all involve red-eyes. The most notable one was in December 2011 when my route went ORD-LAX-HND. The LAX-HND segment was on NH. It left LAX at 00:10 and arrived HND at 05:40. That was a little too early. I had to waste time @ HND because I did not want to get into the havoc of AM rush in Tokyo | Yokohama. And, I couldn't check into my hostel until 15:00.
{The solution was getting to the hostel, which was in central Yokohama, at the time when people were checking out [10:00] and leaving my carry-on there while I took my satchel and headed back out.}
I've taken red-eyes. I will continue to take red-eyes. Especially if that's the least-expensive flight. As this thread shows, YMMV.
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Old Apr 26, 17, 7:18 am
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Originally Posted by pudgym29 View Post
I fall asleep on airplanes. There, it is OK. However, I must also inform you that I fall asleep sometimes on the route #77 Belmont bus (and miss my egress stop by miles). That is not OK. So I figure it is something in my chromosomes....
Oh man, my girlfriend is the same way. Falls asleep anywhere (even occasionally standing up) - red eyes are no problem for her!
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