How To Get Cheap Flights

How To Get Cheap Flights

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Red-Eye Flight

Red-eye flights are those that keep travelers awake at absurd times and leave them wishing they hadn't gone to such lengths to save money for approximately the time it takes to finally get a good night's sleep. Less facetiously, red-eye flights are those that take off late at night and land early the next morning, typically flying from west to east to take advantage of the time zone differential. Worldwide, the following red-eye flights are generally available. U.S. and Canada -- flights from the West Coast to the East Coast, usually taking off about 10-12 Pacific time and arriving 5-7 am Eastern time. Red-eye flights from Alaska and Hawaii to the mainland West Coast cities are often available as well.


Europe -- not a lot of red-eye flights are available, but a few from European cities to Russia and the Middle East can be found.

Asia -- a few flights can be found from Hong Kong to Japan and Australia, and from India and Southwest Asia to destinations in Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Southeast Asia.

Australia -- red-eye flights can be found from Perth and Darwin to the larger eastern cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, etc.). There have at times been red-eye flights available from Australia to New Zealand and Fiji as well.

Russia -- red-eye flights in Russia operated similarly to those in the U.S. and Canada, connecting Moscow to Yakutsk, Irkutsk and Vladivostok.


In addition to these "classic" red-eye flights that always fly west to east across time zones, the term can apply to any flight that takes off late at night (after 9 pm, usually) and arrives in the early morning.


Continued below..

Why Fly Red-Eye?


The main reason to take a red-eye flight is for the reduced air fare. A late-night ticket can -- although it need not -- cost less than half as much as one for a flight during the day. However, there are other reasons, too. Check in is usually quicker on the red-eye flights because the airline isn't as busy as it is during the day. You may also have a less crowded airplane, making it easier to find space for your carry-on luggage, to snag the luxury of extra seats for a nice on-board nap, and to avoid the presence of crying children and rowdy tourists. Your luggage is less likely to get lost if fewer pieces of it are vying for the attention of baggage handlers.


If you can stay awake after arriving at your destination, red-eye flights also allow you more time to spend where you're going, since you arrive early in the morning for a full day's work, play, or whatever. Then there's the travel to and from the airport. Late at night and in the early morning, traffic on the roads is a lot lighter, letting you get from here to there, or from there to further-there, with much less time and hassle.


All in all, there are many reasons to prefer flying late at night, but as I said, the biggest reason is simply the reduced cost. And yet, one has to be careful about this, because it's no longer the case that all red-eye flights are cheaper.


You can still get cheaper tickets for late-night flights, but you shouldn't assume that this will be automatic. Some red-eye flights are actually MORE expensive than flights during the day -- strange but true, and perhaps arising from the fact that the airlines have to fly more often with empty seats, so that they charge more to what customers they have in order to make up the difference.


There is no substitute for doing your research. But if you are willing to endure the late hours and sleeplessness, the benefits in terms of money saved, stress avoided, and time for doing what you are traveling to do in the first place can be substantial.