I travel frequently between the East Coast and Southern California and have flown east almost exclusively on redeyes the last three years.
A few weeks ago, I decided to fly during the day instead so I could get more than a couple hours sleep that night.
My thoughts on day flying vs. night flying when traveling east:
- If I have work to do, especially reading, I can be productive on the plane
- Better meals—especially the salads on lunch flights and even United’s omelets, which I find tasty
- Arrive at destination in the late evening, allowing for a full night’s sleep
- I don’t have to spend the whole day flying—I spend a full day on the West Coast, hop on a late evening flight, and arrive on the East Coast the following morning
- Although I can usually fall asleep if I’m in First Class, even on a transcon I’m not able to get more than three solid hours of sleep, half my usual amount
- I arrive in Philadelphia and immediately have to go to work
- Snack only on United redeyes, though special meals are often better than the dinners during the day
Verdict: I’ll stick to night flying.
Day flying is nice if you have the time, especially if you mix in some MR connections like flying from LAX-PHL via SFO, DFW, and IAD, but I can’t justify spending a whole day in the air when I can multi-task by sleeping and flying at the same time.
It took me years to even be able to sleep on a redeye, but I’ve grown to love, well…tolerate them.