Southwest Airlines has floated the idea of redeye flights since 2017, but it now appears the Texas-based carriers will finally add overnight flights to the schedule, though not anytime soon.
Southwest Airlines Redeye Flights Are On The Horizon
Domestic redeye flights, flights that depart late and arrive early the following morning, are both loathed and praised by flyers. Even if you are able to sleep on planes, a flight time of 3-5 hours is hardly enough time for a solid rest. On the other hand, you can go to bed on one side of the country and wake up on the other: it is a very efficient way to travel.
For years the reservation system used by Southwest Airlines prevented the airline from operating redeye flights. In fact, the antiquated system required taht all flights land by 11:00 pm. That changed in 2017 when Southwest switched to Amadeus, but six years later the carrier still has not introduced redeye flights.
That policy will appear to change in the months ahead according to Southwest CEO Bob Jordan in an interview with the Dallas Morning News:
“It’s a logical evolution for us. We have the aircraft, it’s a great way to use an asset that you already have and use it more productively which means more hours in the day. So, we will be doing redeyes.”
No timeframe, however, was given for when redeye flights will be introduced.
Expect redeye contracts to be addressed in the new pilot contract, currently under negotiation.
Airlines make money when their planes are in the air, not on the ground. Southwest is unique among US carriers in grounding its entire fleet overnight. Although there may be contractual issues to work out with pilots, it seems only a matter of time before Southwest adds redeye flights of its own.
Would you take a redeye flight on Southwest Airlines?
image: Southwest Airlines