My First Daytime Redeye Flight — Who Knew That Was Even A Thing?

Filed Under: SAS, Travel

Nowadays I avoid short-haul redeyes at almost all costs. Back when I was younger I took hundreds of them, but I just can’t take them regularly anymore while remaining (relatively) sane.

However, leaving Longyearbyen last night, we didn’t have much of a choice but to take a redeye. The SAS flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo departs at 2:30AM, arriving in Oslo at 5:25AM. However, it was unlike any other redeye I’ve ever taken… because it was light the entire time.


Longyearbyen has 24 hours of daylight in summer, so it was light for the entire three hour flight (even though in Oslo the sun does set, and then rises again very early — at around 4AM at the moment).


The flight had an odd mix of people, who seemed to treat this flight very differently.

Since it was light outside, some people talked loudly for much of the flight. Meanwhile other passengers put on eyeshades the second they boarded, and went straight to sleep. Oddly almost no one lowered their window shades, though. I guess that’s the impact that the extreme light conditions in Longyearbyen have on people.


This flight has made me question my definition of redeyes. I’ve long thought of redeyes as nighttime flights that replace a night of sleep in a bed. However, I can’t decide if this flight qualifies or not. We napped from around 8PM until 11PM, and we headed to the airport at 1AM.

If this was in fact a redeye, it sure was the strangest I’ve ever taken, at least based on looking out the window.


I’m sure feeling like it was, as I’m having to stay mighty caffeinated to avoid falling asleep…

What say you guys — is a three hour flight departing at 2:30AM in broad daylight a redeye?

  1. Lucky, am I wrong or the plane you posted on your first pic is not the plane you’ve flown? I’ve never seen an B737 with seat Config 3-2…

  2. “Red-eye” or not, 3.5 hrs in coach at 2:30 am will result in feeling like crap for 2 or 3 days.
    No matter what it’s called, the “red-eye” comes naturally from lack of sleep.
    Even in the US on a “normal” red-eye, many are about that length going east. Gets hard to recover as one ages:(

  3. No, due to the short duration – but I’d also consider a westbound TCON leaving at 11pm more of a redeye

  4. @Nelson, look again. It is 3-3. The photo just perfectly cuts off one seat in a row so it only looks like 2 in that row.

  5. No one lowered windows shades? The one in the seventh (or so) on the right sure looks lowered, and it looks like there may be others.

  6. I had a first the other week. I took air Canada from Vancouver to London, we departed at 9.10PM as the sun was setting, it was daylight the entire way back even though it was a night time flight, we flew so high we just followed the setting sun most of the way, until I got to watch the sun rise again, it was amazing.

  7. The closest experience I’ve had to that when I flew from Seattle to London on BA back in May. Even though my window shades were lowered, there seemed to be a little bit of light peaking in during the entire flight.

  8. I have taken some long flights South to North in the summer when I have actually left in the dark but arrived to sunshine although it was still the middle of the night in my destination. An Example is Sea-Anchorage. Leave Seattle 9 pm (Dark) arrive Anch midnight. Still light out when you get there.

  9. Have really enjoyed your dispatches from one of my bucketlist locations, keep ’em coming!

    I must say I’m a little amused by the idea of this article. Luckily – very luckily – I can sleep with the sun shining right on my eyes, so light is never a problem. On the flip side, I need to be careful not to fall asleep laying on a beach!

    Hey @RCB: Isn’t daylight time more or less by definition, daytime? 😉

  10. You know you’ve run out of ideas when crap like this gets posted.
    And for your “odd mix” of people – that’s standard in economy. There was nothing odd about what they were doing.

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