Everyone that travels across time zones is familiar with the scourge that is the red-eye flight.
The one that leaves late at night, flies east and arrives early in the morning.
The one that ostensibly allows you to sleep while you fly.
The one that makes you feel like roadkill after you land.
But the sleep is never good. Everyone dreams of falling asleep like the ThunderCats in medically-induced sleep pods flying through space from Thundera to Third Earth (awesome show!). But you really end up feeling like Chris Pratt in Passengers (neat premise but underwhelming movie!).
You land and feel gross, especially if you fly in your business clothes. You start calculating how long you’ve had on the same pair of socks and underwear. And when you start asking yourself that question, the answer is never, ever, ever appealing.
You feel off for at least a day, since, at best, you can take a discombobulating power nap. Let’s be honest with ourselves, though…those naps are band-aids on a broken bone. (Or, as Chris Rock said, it is way past Robitussin.)
But what’s the alternative? Kill a day on an eastbound flight? Sounds delightful…until you have kids.
There are tons of downsides to red-eye flights in business travel. But there is one huge, massive, game-changing positive for me: I get to see my kids off to school once I land.
It may sound silly to non-parents, but getting to see my little monsters for even 15 minutes in the morning – to surprise them with a toy or treat from my trip, to eat breakfast with them, even wipe a tushy – is worth hopping a midnight transcontinental flight and powering through the toll it takes on me.
I love travelling for work, but the last thing I want is my kids to think I was always on the road. If there is any way I can get home faster following whatever reason I need to be on the road, I’m going to take it.
But…one of those ThunderCat sleeping pods would be awesome…
Photo Credit: By Dwight Sipler from Stow, MA, USA – TiredUploaded by Jacopo Werther, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25221748