Are Red Eye Flights Cheaper? A Detailed Look At Flight Prices

Travellers looking to save money often wonder if booking a red eye flight, which departs late at night and arrives early the next morning, will score them a cheaper airfare. If you’re pressed for time, the quick answer is: sometimes, but not always.

Red eye flights can be cheaper under certain conditions, but there are no guarantees. Keep reading as we take a detailed look at the factors that impact red eye flight prices.

In this comprehensive, 3000 word guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about red eye flight prices. You’ll learn when and why red eyes tend to be cheaper, strategies for finding affordable red eye fares, and tips for booking smooth red eye trips even on a budget.

Whether you’re a night owl seeking savings or just want to maximise value for your air travel dollar, use this article as your complete reference on red eye flight deals.

What Are Red Eye Flights?

Red eye flights are late-night or overnight flights that depart in the evening and arrive at their destination early in the morning. These flights are typically named “red eye” due to the notion that passengers’ eyes may appear red and tired after a night of limited sleep.

Red eye flights are popular for travelers who want to maximize their time at their destination or save money on accommodations.

Definition and Typical Features

Red eye flights are characterized by their departure time, usually between 9 PM and 1 AM, and their early morning arrival, typically between 4 AM and 7 AM. These flights often take advantage of off-peak hours, allowing airlines to offer cheaper fares compared to daytime flights.

Red eye flights are commonly found on long-haul routes, such as transatlantic or transpacific flights.

Pros and Cons of Taking Red Eyes

There are several pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to take a red eye flight:

  • Pros: Red eye flights can be significantly cheaper than daytime flights, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers. Additionally, flying overnight allows you to save on accommodation costs for that night.

    Red eye flights also provide an opportunity to sleep during the flight, potentially reducing jet lag upon arrival at your destination.

  • Cons: One of the main downsides of red eye flights is the potential for disrupted sleep. Sleeping on a plane can be challenging for some individuals, especially if they are unable to find a comfortable position or are easily disturbed by noise and movement.

    Lack of sleep during the flight can lead to fatigue and exhaustion upon arrival. Additionally, red eye flights may not be suitable for travelers with specific medical conditions or those who require regular medication.

Ultimately, the decision to take a red eye flight depends on individual preferences and circumstances. It is important to consider factors such as the duration of the flight, the availability of in-flight amenities, and personal comfort levels when making this choice.

What Makes Red Eyes Cheaper?

Red eye flights, also known as overnight flights, are often considered cheaper than daytime flights. There are several factors that contribute to this price difference:

Lower demand equals lower fares

One of the main reasons why red eye flights tend to be cheaper is because there is usually lower demand for these flights compared to daytime flights. Most travelers prefer flying during the day, as it allows for better sleep and a more convenient schedule.

As a result, airlines often lower the fares for red eye flights to attract more passengers and fill up the seats.

This lower demand can be beneficial for budget-conscious travelers who are flexible with their travel times. By opting for a red eye flight, they can take advantage of the lower fares and potentially save money on their airfare.

Airlines reduce costs on red eyes

In addition to lower demand, airlines also have the opportunity to reduce costs on red eye flights. Since these flights typically operate during off-peak hours, airports may charge lower landing fees, which can be passed on to the passengers in the form of lower fares.

Furthermore, airlines can save on operational costs during red eye flights. For example, they may require fewer cabin crew members on these flights, as passengers are more likely to be sleeping and have fewer service needs.

This reduction in staffing costs can contribute to the overall lower fares for red eye flights.

Red eyes overlap two travel days

Another reason why red eye flights may be cheaper is that they often overlap two travel days. For example, a red eye flight departing late at night may arrive at its destination in the early morning of the following day.

This allows travelers to make the most of their time by avoiding the need for an additional night’s stay in a hotel. As a result, airlines may offer lower fares for red eye flights to attract passengers who are willing to travel overnight and start their day early at their destination.

It’s important to note that while red eye flights are generally cheaper, prices can still vary depending on factors such as the airline, route, and time of year. It’s always a good idea to compare prices and consider other factors such as convenience, comfort, and personal preferences before making a decision.

When Are Red Eyes Most Likely to Be Cheap?

During off-peak travel seasons

Red eye flights, also known as overnight flights, are often cheaper during off-peak travel seasons. These are the periods when fewer people are traveling, such as weekdays in the middle of the school year or during shoulder seasons when tourist destinations are less crowded.

Airlines tend to lower prices to fill up seats during these less popular times, making red eye flights a more affordable option for budget-conscious travelers.

When booked far in advance

Booking red eye flights well in advance can also lead to significant savings. Airlines often offer discounted prices for early bookings, and this applies to overnight flights as well. By planning your trip ahead of time and securing your red eye flight tickets early, you can take advantage of these lower prices.

It’s important to note that prices tend to rise as the departure date approaches, so booking early is key to finding cheaper red eye flights.

For flights under 3 hours

Red eye flights are typically more affordable for shorter flights, especially those under 3 hours in duration. These flights are generally less in demand compared to longer international flights, resulting in lower prices.

If you’re considering a red eye flight, opting for a shorter route can be a great way to save money on your airfare.

According to a study conducted by Travelocity, red eye flights can be up to 30% cheaper than daytime flights. This significant price difference is due to various factors, including decreased demand and lower operating costs for airlines during overnight hours.

So, if you’re looking to save money on your next flight, consider booking a red eye flight during an off-peak travel season, well in advance, and for a shorter duration. Not only will you potentially save money, but you may also have a more peaceful and less crowded travel experience.

Tips for Finding Cheap Red Eye Fares

Red eye flights, also known as overnight flights, can often be a cost-effective option for travelers looking to save money on airfare. Here are some tips to help you find cheap red eye fares:

Be flexible on departure day

One of the key factors in finding cheap red eye fares is being flexible with your departure day. Airlines often offer lower prices for flights departing on weekdays, especially on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

By being flexible with your travel dates, you increase your chances of finding a cheaper red eye flight.

Consider nearby alternative airports

Another strategy to find cheap red eye fares is to consider flying from or to nearby alternative airports. Smaller airports, which are often located close to major cities, may have lower operating costs for airlines and therefore offer cheaper flight options.

Additionally, flying from or to alternative airports may also help you avoid heavy traffic and long security lines, making your journey more convenient.

Check budget airlines

When searching for red eye flights, it’s worth checking out budget airlines. These airlines often offer lower fares compared to major carriers, and they may have specific red eye flight options available.

While budget airlines may not offer the same level of amenities and services as full-service airlines, they can be a great option for travelers on a tight budget.

Remember, finding cheap red eye fares requires some flexibility and research. Be sure to compare prices across different airlines and booking platforms to ensure you’re getting the best deal. And don’t forget to check for any additional fees or restrictions that may apply to red eye flights.

Happy travels!

Maximizing Comfort on Cheap Red Eyes

Red eye flights, also known as overnight flights, can often be cheaper compared to daytime flights. While they may not be the most convenient option for everyone, there are ways to make them more comfortable and enjoyable. Here are some tips to maximize your comfort on cheap red eye flights:

Request an aisle or window seat

When booking your red eye flight, try to request an aisle or window seat. These seats offer more space and give you the flexibility to stretch your legs or rest your head against the window. Having easy access to the aisle also allows you to move around more freely during the flight.

Keep in mind that window seats can provide a more peaceful and uninterrupted sleep, while aisle seats offer easier access to the restroom.

Pack smartly for overnight flights

Packing the right essentials can greatly enhance your comfort on overnight flights. Bring a neck pillow or a travel pillow to support your head and neck during sleep. Eye masks and earplugs are also useful to block out any light and noise that may disturb your rest.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to pack some comfortable clothing and layers, as the temperature on the plane can fluctuate.

Another important item to consider is a small toiletry bag with travel-sized essentials such as toothpaste, a toothbrush, and face wipes. These items can help freshen up before landing, leaving you feeling more refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

Reserve airport lounge access

One way to make your red eye flight more comfortable is by reserving access to an airport lounge. Airport lounges offer a quiet and comfortable environment where you can relax before your flight. They often provide amenities such as comfortable seating, complimentary snacks and drinks, and access to Wi-Fi.

Some lounges even have shower facilities, allowing you to freshen up before or after your flight.

Many airlines offer lounge access as part of their premium class tickets, but you can also purchase day passes or use certain credit cards that provide lounge access benefits. It’s worth checking with your airline or doing some research to find out the options available at the airports you’ll be flying from and to.

By following these tips, you can make the most out of your cheap red eye flights and ensure a more comfortable journey. Remember to pack smart, request a preferred seat, and consider reserving access to an airport lounge for added comfort and convenience.


While red eye flights offer no guarantee of lower fares, they do often present an opportunity for savings-savvy travelers willing to fly through the night. By carefully timing your trip during slower seasons, booking early, remaining flexible, and implementing our insider tips, scoring reduced rates on red eyes is an achievable feat.

Just be sure to also use our advice to stay comfy inflight so you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed. With this guide under your belt, happy dreams of cheap red eye travels ahead!

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