What Does A 'Pink-Eye' Flight Really Mean?

You've likely heard of a red-eye flight, and maybe you've even booked a red-eye flight. You know, the one where you get to the airport late, board the flight when the moon is the sole light in the night sky, and, if you're lucky, snooze off until the plane touches the ground at your destination at dawn. These flights tend to leave you sleepy upon arrival, but enable you to have the entire day at your destination rather than needing to spend it navigating the airport or sitting on a plane. For those who are drawn to the appeal of having a full day but aren't fond of the idea of spending the night on a plane, there's another flight that might be better for you: the pink-eye flight.

Similar to the red eye is the pink eye, which refers to a flight that takes off at night and flies into the night, except a pink-eye flight lands much sooner than a red eye, meaning it doesn't take the entire night.

Perks of a pink-eye flight

Pink-eye flights take off at night and land around or before 1 a.m. Flights that land after that mark are generally considered a red eye. Flying on a pink-eye flight enables you to get to your destination late into the night. If you're hoping to catch a couple of hours of sleep in a bed and still have the full day to explore, this option creates the opportunity to do just that since you won't be spending the whole night on the plane.

Airports tend to be less busy at night as opposed to afternoons and evenings, so, depending on the time of your flight and when you get to the airport, checking in and getting through TSA could be a little bit faster when you're looking to catch a pink-eye flight. Additionally when you land from a pink-eye flight, airports are pretty empty as well, so grabbing your bag should be a quick and easy process.

Learning the slang and taking the flight

The phrases "red eye" and "pink eye" are just some of the many slang terms used among flight staff to communicate about different aspects of the job, common behavior, and the timing of things. Learning these phrases can provide you with special insight and greater awareness of what's going on inside of the airport and airplane. You can be privy to conversations amongst pilots and flight attendants, and maybe even have a clearer picture of what's going on.

Before you travel, take some time to familiarize yourself with some aviation slang. Even if you don't use it, it can be fun knowledge to have. Also, consider hopping on a pink-eye flight. You can impress people with your airport-slang and get to your destination during quiet hours. Doing so can save your time in line and traffic, and get you to your location just in time to catch some extra Z's.