Skip to main content

CEO says Southwest Airlines may add red-eye flights in certain markets

A cheap fare and one less hotel night will help your travel budget

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX Departing Kahului International Airport Maui Hawaii
Kyo46 / Adobe Stock

Following the praise from launching its long-awaited bag tracking site, Southwest is keeping up the momentum with the mention of another possible development: red-eye flights. Red-eye flights are a heaven-sent flight option for many travelers when trying to travel flexibly and affordably. 

Also known as overnight flights, red-eyes usually come with the benefits of a cheaper ticket price and the ability to save on a night of accommodation. For travelers looking to cut costs, this can be the difference between paying for five nights at a hotel instead of seven if a red-eye flight is booked roundtrip. 

So far, none of Southwest’s routes fall under the red-eye category. But, CEO Bob Jordan recognizes that figuring out how to incorporate this into the company’s flight schedule is in everyone’s best interest. 

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 sits at a boarding gate.
Southwest Airlines

Changes to Southwest Airlines Flights

When thinking about possible airline flight schedule changes, Jordan told The Dallas Morning News that he sees adding red-eyes as a “logical evolution.” Due to its friendly baggage policies, the Dallas-based air carrier has long been a favorite for frequent flyers. Yet, it falls behind competitors such as United and Delta when it comes to certain modern conveniences. Resolving the lack of red-eye flights would be a great place to start when ranking higher amongst America’s commercial airlines.

Now that it has been mentioned, it’s only reasonable to wonder when this idea will become a reality for Southwest Airlines. 

“We have the aircraft. It’s a great way to use an asset you already have and use it more productively, which means more hours in the day, so we will be doing red-eyes,” Jordan confirmed. 

Knowing that the airline has the desired aircraft for running these flights means half the battle is already won. When it comes to finalizing Southwest’s red-eye flights, other aspects such as scheduling, staffing, and deciding on route locations could be areas for possible delays. Jordan noted that it was an idea that made sense for “certain markets.” 

The view from the ground looking up at the underside of a Southwest Airlines plane in flight
ArtisticOperations / Pixabay

How travelers can prepare to navigate red-eye flights 

While red-eye flights can do wonders for a tight budget or time-sensitive trip, challenges could also arise. More often than not, flying overnight will come with a timezone change, creating the possibility of dreaded jet lag. The severity of jet lag usually depends on how many time zones are crossed and how long the flight is.

Simple things such as adjusting your sleep schedule the night before or sleeping as much as possible during the flight can work wonders when it comes to minimizing the effects of jet lag. This can be easier said than done for those with flight anxiety or a fear of heights, but noise-canceling headphones and a comfy neck pillow have been known to work wonders for even the most anxious flyers. 

Though this may not serve as an official press release for Southwest’s red-eye flight schedule, Jordan insisting the company will be doing red-eyes means it is more than likely to come to fruition, so loyal Southwest patrons will have to sit tight and await further announcements on this development from the airline. 

Editors' Recommendations

Hana Holden
Hana is an independent writer and editor originally from Detroit, Michigan. She has a lifelong passion for words and…
Some European airports are ditching carry on liquid rules, but will the TSA liquid limit follow?
When will these scanners be available in the U.S.?
TSA Agent

For years, airports across the world have implemented the 100 ml liquid rule, which states that liquids packed in carry-on luggage must be in containers no larger than 100 ml. In the United States, this is better known as the three-ounce (3-1-1) TSA liquid limit. These restrictions were first implemented in 2006 after terrorists attempted to bring explosives disguised as soft drinks on a transatlantic flight.

Due to new computed tomography (CT) scanners, the liquid rules are set to change at several airports across Europe, making traveling with liquids much more convenient. But how does this technology work, and how will it affect the TSA liquid rules in the United States?

Read more
Travel tips: Study says these are the best (and worst) airports to catch a connecting flight
Travel tips: If you can't fly nonstop, travel through this airport
airport

Choosing a good airport for your connecting flight is essential for a smooth air travel experience. An efficient airport can significantly impact your journey, minimizing the risk of delays, missed connections, and other hassles. FinanceBuzz recently performed a study ranking the best and worst airports for a connecting flight- and some of the airports on the list may surprise you.

The best airports and worst airports for connecting flights
The study ranks these hubs as the best airports for connecting flights:

Read more
Are you a minimalist? Then here’s how to pack and travel like one
Packing hacks to lighten your load
A person packing their suitcase with dress clothing.

Minimalism is all about eschewing extra "stuff" and embracing the experience. Some travelers go to extremes, like carrying only what they can fit in their pockets and relying on their destination for everything else. But traveling like a minimalist doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort -- quite the opposite.

How many times have you packed a whole bunch of stuff "just in case," only to find much of it unnecessary? If you’re willing to give up the big, heavy suitcase, along with clothing and gear you don’t really need, in exchange for comfort and convenience, we can help.

Read more