How to feel great after a red-eye flight
Red-eye flights offer a number of benefits, including quieter cabins and shorter lines at the airport. Best of all, you arrive in the morning so you can spend more time enjoying your actual vacation. The trouble is that overnight flights can sometimes disrupt our natural sleep patterns, resulting in jet lag. But that doesn't have to be the case. With a little bit of preparation, those jet lag effects can be easily reduced or eliminated. To help make your next red-eye a relaxing experience, here are some useful tips to try before, during and after your flight.
Prior to boarding
Since getting a decent night's sleep on the plane can make a huge difference in how you feel once you land, try selecting a window seat if at all possible. That way, you'll be able to get some uninterrupted rest without the person next to you climbing over you on their way to the restroom.
When packing, don't forget to keep a plush neck pillow handy to help make you as comfortable as possible. If you plan on staying at a hotel when you land, consider calling ahead and splurging on a relaxing in-room massage. After flying all night, your sore muscles will thank you.
In the air
Relaxation is the name of the game, so be sure to dress in loose, comfortable clothing when you're on the plane. Regardless of whether you're traveling for work, leave the neckties, suit jackets and anything formal in your garment bag. You wouldn't sleep in them at home, so why wear them in the air? Although cabin lights are usually dimmed during red-eye flights, wear a soft eye mask to block out any distractions. It's a silent reminder to the flight crew and your fellow travelers that you're currently off-the-clock and looking for some rest.
For many travelers, the simple act of brushing their teeth helps them fall asleep faster. So before takeoff, visit the lavatory with your toothbrush and a bottle of water. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes. If your red-eye flight is not fully booked, check with your flight attendant about relocating to an available seat with no one directly behind it. That way, you'll be able to fully recline without disturbing anyone else.
When you've arrived
Stiffness can lead to soreness, so once you've gotten off of the plane, take a short walk — preferably outdoors — to help your tight muscles unwind naturally. A dose of fresh air will quickly bring oxygen to your body's cells, thus increasing your energy and alertness after a long red-eye flight. Plus, the warm sunlight will do wonders for your mood.
Have a fresh set of clean clothes ready to change into as soon as possible. Shedding your wrinkled flight attire doesn't just feel good; it provides a psychological pick-me-up as well.
Though it might seem like caffeine would help, avoid the temptation of consuming sugary energy drinks immediately upon landing. You're much more likely to overstress your body and crash hard. Likewise, abstain from alcohol for several hours; adding additional toxins to your system won't do you any favors. Instead, reach for a sugar-free beverage with electrolytes. These ionized minerals help support neurological function, muscle strength and general health, making them exactly what you need when you're trying to recharge.
Finally, take things a bit easier than usual on the day you arrive. Though normally you might be able to handle a round of golf, a trip to a museum and a family reunion, red-eye flights can take their toll on even the most seasoned travelers. So spread out your activities for after you're able to get a full night's sleep again. By the next morning, you'll feel refreshed, energized and ready to enjoy your vacation.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom, a video conferencing tool that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
When and where possible, we are working to repatriate travelers who are stranded abroad in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Our teams are working closely with government officials here in the U.S. as well as in other countries where flying has been restricted to gain the necessary approvals to operate service. In regions where government actions have barred international flying, we have coordinated with the the U.S. State Department and local government officials to re-instate some flights. Additionally, we have been operating several extra flights to countries in Central America and South America as we continue to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world.
We have operated more than 56 repatriation flights from Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito, Lima, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatan, bringing nearly 8,000 people home. We will continue working with government officials to operate extra flights to Houston from Quito, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and from Lima to Washington Dulles and beginning April 5, we will begin operating multiple charter flights between Delhi and San Francisco. We continue to review more opportunities for flights between the United States and other countries to bring citizens home.
Video provided by the U.S. Embassy Ecuador of Americans returning home on United.
Additionally, our Customer Solutions and Recovery team is working with customers in the following markets to rebook them on flights back to the United States as capacity allows, either on our aircraft or on one of our airline partners' planes:
- Quito, Ecuador
- Managua, Nicaragua
- Roatan, Honduras
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- Seoul, South Korea
- Melbourne, Australia
We also recently reinstated several international flights back into our schedule to support customers and essential businesses which depend on these routes. As a result, we will be the only airline to offer service between Newark/New York and London, San Francisco and Sydney, as well as Houston and São Paulo, Brazil.
In the midst of mobilizing our cargo operations, our teams at New York/Newark (EWR) and Jacksonville (JAX) stepped in to assist Roche Diagnostics with transporting a vital component for an instrument being used for COVID-19 testing.
The component was stuck at EWR en route to the Mayo Clinic in Florida after another airline's flights were cancelled. A Roche employee contacted us asking for help and, within a few hours, our teams had the piece loaded onto a Jacksonville-bound aircraft, with arrangements in place to deliver it to the Mayo Clinic.
The item we shipped will allow the Mayo Clinic in Florida to process hundreds of COVID-19 tests per day. Mayo Clinic Laboratories has been on the front lines of increasing testing capacity to expedite caring for patients at this critical time and working to ease the burden being felt at test processing laboratories in a growing number of areas.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.