Night Flights – Arrive Relaxed Halfway Across the World

Night Flights
28. May 2024

Boarding the plane in the evening and waking up on the other side of the world in the morning – night flights make it possible. Flying at night can actually be quite practical for travelers. It can also make boring long-haul flights much easier to sleep through. For this to work, however, there are a few things to consider when planning your trip. Find out below what you should bear in mind when booking your flight and how to make the time between take-off and landing pass more quickly on a night flight. 

Night operations at the airport – what you need to know

Traffic jams, overcrowded service stations, and whining children: reasons, why many people opt for a night drive instead of a day trip – especially during peak vacation season. What works for cars is also possible for air travel: night flights.  

However, night flights are often restricted or even completely prohibited. After all, what is convenient for passengers can be extremely annoying for people living near an airport – and sometimes even harmful to their health. Constant take-offs and landings cause a lot of aircraft noise when the local population is trying to sleep. 

There are strict rules for airports and airlines regarding night flights for this reason, among others. It is often only possible to take off or land at certain airports and at specific times. The nighttime at which a night flight ban or restriction applies can vary from airport to airport. In Germany, for example, there is no complete ban on night flights at Cologne/Bonn Airport. However, there is a fixed time frame during which only relatively quiet aircraft are permitted. At Frankfurt International Airport, on the other hand, airlines are usually not allowed to take off or land at night between 11 pm and 5 am. Here, only delayed flights may benefit from some exceptions to the night flight ban. Emergency and relief flights are also usually granted an exemption. 

Start off your vacation relaxed on a night flight

From globetrotters to frequent business travelers – opinions are often divided when it comes to the choice between night and day flights. Traveling at night has various advantages as well as several disadvantages. For example, you may be out of luck if you want to make sure you can get straight to your hotel on arrival: the usual afternoon check-in time at the hotel can lead to waiting times at your destination. People who do not sleep well on the road may also have to wait until their long-awaited arrival. The same applies to all those who have not booked a direct connection and instead change planes overtired in distant countries. The risk: jet lag could get worse.  

sleep at night flights

However, night flights can make for a comparatively relaxed journey. Fewer traffic jams before and at the airport are one aspect of this. A quick trip on the highway is often followed by fast boarding. With a late departure, the formalities on the ground are often quicker for the few passengers – this saves time and stress. Things can also be much quieter up in the air than on a day flight. Fewer passengers sometimes also mean less noise and a more pleasant climate on board. This makes the view of the rising sun on the horizon even more enjoyable. Once you arrive at your destination – depending on the route of the journey – there is plenty of time to explore the area or prepare for a business meeting, for example. And last but not least, the price of the flight ticket is often more affordable on night flights. If you fly out late, you can sometimes save a few bucks by flying at night. 

Flying at night – our best tips for a smooth journey

Board, fall asleep, wake up, disembark – it's actually quite simple. But sleep doesn't always come easily, even on night flights: The person sitting next to you is only a few centimeters away, the air is dry, and the washroom is at the other end of the aisle. Doesn’t sound very comfortable, does it? However, if you keep a few surprisingly simple tricks in mind, you can create a little haven of relaxation in the air during a night flight.  

Planning for the time after your flight

Night flights can mean that you arrive at your destination too early to fall straight into your hotel bed since check-in times are often scheduled for later in the day. Fortunately, you don't have to postpone your first sightseeing tour if you plan properly in advance. Many hotels and hostels offer a convenient service: they store your luggage in a dry, safe place until you return for check-in. This allows you to set off to explore your vacation destination and enjoy a delicious coffee to wake you up in a local café. 

World off, airplane mode on

sleep mask

Rest often begins in the mind. On a night flight, however, it is all about your head: to give your eyes and ears a little rest, sleeping goggles and earplugs are very popular for restful hours above the clouds. And with earplugs that adapt flexibly, the snoring neighbor or the laughing travel group from across the aisle are quickly forgotten. 

By the way: if you leave your smartphone, tablet etc. in your pocket, you can sometimes fall asleep more quickly. If there is no blue light from the devices, which often keeps us awake even at home, we get tired sooner and can fall asleep better. 

Smartphone at flight

Relaxation "to go" in your luggage

For those who want to soothe their nose in the dry, often stuffy cabin air, a small bottle of soothing scented oil should be carried in your hand luggage. A few drops applied to the temples, the back of the neck or the wrist can have a truly relaxing effect. If you then combine mobile aromatherapy with gentle acupressure by stroking your forehead or neck with light pressure, the 'on-the-go' spa experience is complete. 

Night time means time to sleep

A fluffy travel-sized pillow or an inflatable neck pillow can also prevent your head from sliding awkwardly onto the shoulder of the person next to you. It also prevents you from getting stuck in an unhealthy position in the air. Many airlines even offer light blankets that you can snuggle up under to create a kind of bed-like feeling. 

The right travel outfit for a night flight

Regardless of whether it is a night or a day flight, choosing the right travel outfit is also part of a good experience on board. The fabrics should be light and breathable. Cotton, silk, and linen are best. Soft socks that keep your feet at a pleasant temperature and comfortable shoes guarantee additional comfort. 

Get to your vacation paradise on a night flight

Conclusion: Night flights can save travelers not only money, but also time and stress. With the right preparation, the night flight – in contrast to a daytime flight – becomes the first relaxing phase of your next vacation. If you have also managed to get one of the coveted window seats, a very special reward awaits you in the morning: after hours of relaxed sleep, there is almost nothing better than experiencing the approaching sunrise above the clouds and welcoming the new day on the other side of the world. 

Photo credits:

Peter Buschmann /
Candy Box Images /
FotoHelin Images /
Chalabala /

Tags: travel, relaxation
Categories: Good Night