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dec 06

Poll: To Red-Eye or Not to Red-Eye?

Almost home. A plane makes the red–eye flight. (Courtesy Chris_J/Flickr)

I've probably come across two other people in my life who, like me, actually find air travel relaxing. Sleeping on the plane? Not a problem for people like us—on my last flight, I was completely out before the plane even took off. We're also the people who don't think twice when faced with the prospect of booking a red–eye. Since I live on the East Coast and have family on the West Coast, the red–eye has become a way of life for me. In fact, I'm on the hunt for them when I'm booking travel. Sure, an arrival time of 5:15am can be a little daunting, but for me, it beats losing an entire day—one that could've been spent basking in the California sun—sitting in a cramped seat with restricted airflow and, if I'm lucky, a tiny window. (Yes, somehow I do still manage to find flying relaxing.) I'll opt for the overnight even if it means rolling straight from the airport into work (or for years before that, into class).

This habit has been good to my budget—many times, I've saved money by booking that time slot that no one else seemed to want. And there are plenty of other benefits to opting for red–eye flights—just take a look at how bloggers Julie Schwietert and Lynn Rosen go to bat for them in these 2008 and 2009 articles. Better records for meeting arrival and departure times, less crowded planes (and often, airports), and savings?

But even in the face of all this reasoning, whenever I talk about taking a Sunday–to–Monday–morning red–eye, I still hear "Are you crazy?" a lot more often than, "Me too!" or, "Hmm, I should try that." So I'm curious: are there more of us out there? What's your take on red-eye flights: love 'em, or leave 'em?

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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