Southwest will provide red-eye flights in future

Southwest Airways is getting ready to launch a journey choice widespread all through the airline business — however one not in place on the Dallas-based provider.

Within the coming years, Southwest says it is going to start providing red-eye flights from a few of its hottest cities.

It can mark the primary time the airline has supplied the in a single day itineraries, which see passengers depart at evening in a single time zone and get up (assuming they slept in any respect) the following morning in one other.

The aptly named itineraries are commonplace all through the business. Within the U.S., scores of flights take off from the West Coast every evening en path to the East Coast. The identical is true for flights headed to Europe.

However Southwest would not at the moment provide any red-eyes — and hasn’t repeatedly flown them traditionally, both.

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Prior to now, know-how limitations with the provider’s reserving channels prevented the airline from providing red-eye bookings. After the airline migrated to a brand new system a number of years in the past, that technological barrier was now not an impediment.

From that time, it was, seemingly, solely a matter of time earlier than the airline started the transfer to supply red-eyes, as CEO Bob Jordan hinted throughout an aviation convention final fall.

“In some unspecified time in the future Southwest Airways will likely be doing red-eyes. Completely,” Jordan confirmed throughout remarks on the Skift Aviation Convention in November.

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When will Southwest red-eye flights start?

It is nonetheless not completely clear when Southwest’s first red-eye flights may take off. The airline nonetheless should full “a variety of labor,” an organization spokesperson instructed TPG on Monday, noting the method might take “a number of years.”

Future red-eye routes would possible depart from prime leisure markets “the place they might make sense for our prospects, and in locations the place Southwest has a big presence,” the spokesperson stated, particularly noting Hawaii and Harry Reid Worldwide Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas.


A fast take a look at Southwest’s route map exhibits the plain alternatives. As an illustration, it flies to greater than a half-dozen continental U.S. airports from Daniel Okay. Inouye Worldwide Airport (HNL) in Honolulu alone.

The airport’s on-line departures board for Monday exhibits a variety of late-night departures to the U.S. mainland for American Airways.


It is a comparable story for United Airways, Delta Air Strains and Hawaiian Airways.

However you’ll be able to see that Southwest’s departures from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland finish, on this present day, at 3:15 p.m.


The airline envisions as much as 50 nightly red-eye flights sooner or later, TPG contributor Edward Russell was first to report in The Washington Submit final week, citing feedback by a Southwest govt on the 2024 Routes Americas Convention in Colombia.

Why is Southwest including red-eye flights?

A Southwest Airways jet at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Worldwide Airport (FLL). SEAN CUDAHY/THE POINTS GUY

As for why Southwest is serious about including red-eye flights to its day by day schedule, economics are an enormous issue.

Crimson-eye flights assist airways maintain their jets in use even throughout the in a single day hours. In spite of everything, plane do not earn money once they sit nonetheless.

“A technique to proceed to develop your income manufacturing is to fly our plane and make the most of them extra,” Jordan stated on the November convention. “You are mainly producing [capacity] with out expending extra capital.”

And the necessity for Southwest to maximise its current fleet is vital amid 737 MAX supply delays at Boeing, which noticed the provider transfer down its 2024 supply forecast in current weeks.

Backside line

Your subsequent journey with Southwest possible will not characteristic a red-eye flight, with in a single day itineraries possible a minimum of a few years away, nonetheless. However the provider has made clear it is going to add these sleep-depriving flights to its future plans, providing a journey choice employed by its rivals for many years.

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