I spent just $180 for a coach ticket on a 7-hour red-eye flight to Europe. I'd book the same budget airline again, but I wouldn't go overnight.
I recently took a red-eye flight from NYC to Berlin to start my two-week trip to Europe.
For $180, I flew through the night with Norse Atlantic Airways and had a row of seats to myself.
Although I thought the flight itself was ideal for a red-eye, I started my trip feeling exhausted.
I recently spent seven hours on a red-eye flight from New York City to Berlin to kick off a two-week train trip through four European countries.
Read more: I traveled in first and business class on trains across Europe. There was just a $3 difference but the cheaper one was better.
I like how domestic red-eye flights give me an extra day at my destination, but I'd never taken one internationally.
Read more: I flew nonstop domestic economy on both American Airlines and JetBlue to see which was better, and JetBlue had a slight edge
I found that the long-haul flight through the night left me exhausted at the beginning of my trip. To me, it wasn't worth the day I saved.
When booking flights, I usually choose the cheapest nonstop option leaving from my local airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
For this trip, that option was an eight-hour red-eye on an airline I'd never heard of, Norse Atlantic Airways.
Source: Norse Atlantic Airways
Norse Atlantic Airways is a new budget airline that started flying in 2022 with nonstop trips from the US to Germany, Norway, the UK, France, and Italy, according to its website.
Source: Norse Atlantic Airways
I booked the lowest tier of ticket — economy light, which included a seat and space to store a personal item for $88.
I also paid $75 to select my window seat in advance and a $20 check-in fee at the airport, for a grand total of $183.
I arrived at JFK at 9:30 p.m. for my 12:30 a.m. flight. I could have checked in online for free, but I wanted to print my boarding pass at the airport.
Read more: I fly at least once a month and always insist on printing out my boarding pass. Here's why you should, too.
On a late Sunday evening, the terminal at JFK felt quite empty. Aside from people in line to board an aircraft, I hardly saw anyone.
My flight began boarding at 11:30 p.m. I was among the last to board and got situated in my seat right around midnight.
The flight's seating arrangement was three columns with three seats in each row.
I paid extra to select a window seat before the flight so that I could lean against the window to rest.
A representative from Norse told Insider that economy light seats are 17.2 inches wide with a 3-inch recline. It felt like a standard plane seat to me.
The seat pitch was between 27 and 32 inches, according to the representative. I thought I had enough legroom even with my backpack shoved underneath the seat.
Although I spent most of the time trying to sleep, there was an entertainment screen with movies, TV shows, and information about my flight in front of me.
As the plane prepared for takeoff, I was thrilled that I had a whole row to myself. In fact, I noticed many of the seats were empty.
Read more: I flew economy from New York to Austin during the coronavirus pandemic, and it was the quietest flight I've ever been on. Here's what it's like to fly on a ghost plane during the outbreak.
In my seat back pocket, there was a menu of amenities including earbuds, blankets, neck pillows, and sleep masks, although I didn't buy any.
Read more: I fly several times a year and insist on packing an old pair of earphones in my carry-on. Here's why you should, too.
After takeoff, the plane was quiet and dimly lit. But I hardly ever sleep well on planes, and this was no exception. I woke several times through the night.
At one point in the night, I went to the bathroom and found that it was cleaner than most aircraft bathrooms I've been in before.
In the morning, flight attendants came around with food and beverage service, so I looked at the menu in my seat back pocket.
I found that food and beverages weren't included in the price of my ticket, so I decided to skip it.
I landed in Berlin nearly an hour earlier than scheduled, so I was only in the air for seven hours. Still, when I got off the plane, I felt completely exhausted due to a lack of sleep.
Read more: I booked the cheapest sleeper accommodation on an overnight train in Europe. I got zero rest and wouldn't do it again.
Despite feeling tired as I would after any red-eye flight, I was impressed by the budget airline and would definitely book with Norse again. The flight was comfortable, clean, and landing early was a nice bonus.
Once in Berlin, I still had a two-hour train journey to my Airbnb outside of the city, and I could barely keep my eyes open.
Read more: I paid $400 to sleep in a barrel in Switzerland and had the best glamping experience of my life
Even after a night of sleep, I found that the exhaustion from the overnight flight — combined with jet lag — lasted for days. This wasn't ideal at the start of a two-week adventure.
My exhaustion wore off within a couple of days of my trip, but I had a lingering thought — next time I fly internationally, I won't mind spending a little more money and a little less time at my destination for a day flight.
Read more: I spent 48 hours in Berlin and found an unexpected urban oasis of greenery and art. Take a look around these pockets of the city.
Read the original article on Insider