Southwest Airlines Looks to Add Red-Eye Flights – Will They Be a Good Option for Travelers?

Southwest Airlines recently announced that they’re looking into adding red-eye flights to its schedules within the next two years. The airline is reportedly planning to use Las Vegas and Hawaii as their two testing grounds for this idea. While the actual routes have yet to be revealed, company officials mentioned that it was a logical step to take. It may hint at a possibility for Southwest to expand its international footprint.

Throughout its history, Southwest has made a name for itself flying low-budget local routes. It’s also been known to use smaller airports to reduce their operating costs. This move by the company could potentially see the birth of the Teterboro – London City Airport overnight route. When Southwest starts offering these red-eye flights, they plan to do so in a big way. The airline is planning to have at least 50 of these routes available for customers in the next few years.

Is This a Good Idea for Travelers?

Woman looking out of the plane from the window during a night flight.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nico.Stock

Southwest pilots may be the first ones to celebrate this idea. With red-eye flights, they’ll be able to commute to their home airport even if they have a permanent residence further away from their base. It may surprise many people to know that a good number of pilots commute to work as passengers on planes for the airline they work with. Business travelers are the other type of traveler who can certainly benefit from this idea.

Low-cost red-eye flights to main business hubs like New York, Chicago, and even the West Coast allow business travelers to not “miss a day of work” flying into another city. That makes business trips more cost-effective for companies sending their employees to the skies. The idea that a low-cost carrier like Southwest is running the show can be even more appealing. You could be cutting both air travel and lodging costs in half. All of this seems to point to the fact that many people are waiting on these routes with anticipation.

The Downside to Red-Eye Flights

Commercial airliner landing above lighten up approach lights of international airport runway
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jetstream Rider

Whenever new red-eye flights are announced, the question of whether they make sense, particularly for leisure travelers, comes up. Some people even question if these flights are more dangerous. There’s no evidence to suggest that red-eye flights are more dangerous than daytime flights. That’s one of the ideas that can be squashed dead in its tracks. However, there is evidence to suggest that people may feel more fatigued once they arrive at their destination.

Is it worth it to have “more hours” in a city, even if you’re going to feel fatigued when you get there? The answer to this question may depend on the number of days that a person is spending at their destination. That’s why, as mentioned earlier, business travelers may jump at the idea of low-cost red-eye flights to main corporate hubs. Leisure travelers, on the other hand, may benefit more from a day-time flight that doesn’t deprive them of sleep. That will be especially true if they plan to spend around ten days or more within their destination. The rise of transatlantic daylight flights backs this idea up.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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