A Cure for the Red-Eye

I’ve been flying back and forth between the Left Coast and the Rust Belt quite a bit, and most of the time, I’ve had to make use of what is known in the airline vernacular as the “Red Eye.” This means the plane leaves late at night, and it arrives at your destination early in the morning. Five a.m. is a good time for red eyes to come in. That goes for both planes and people.

I used to hate doing the red eye. This is because I can’t sleep sitting up, and I can’t sleep with people watching me. I also can’t sleep in uncomfortable chairs, and I can’t get comfortable in an airplane chair.

One of my employees, who got married in Italy to another one of my employees (what a happy union! Too bad I couldn’t make it, since someone had to mind the store…) gave me a sure fire cure for traveling on red eye flights.

First, make sure you get up early in the morning, even earlier than normal.

Second, run around like a possessed person all day long, so that you are sufficiently tired by 9 p.m.

Third, have a generous alcoholic beverage when arriving at your gate. This takes the edge off from fighting rush hour traffic in downtown LA, having to have been stopped as part of a routine check of all cars coming into LAX, and then having to wait in the security checkpoint for an extra long period of time since they were training in a newbie. While considering alcoholic beverages, consider a double margarita made with Cuervo Gold, rocks, no salt. That’s what I did.

Fourth, forty-five minutes before your plane departs, down a couple of Benadryls. If you must know, in my case, that will be in approximately one hour and twenty minutes. Set your watches, please.

Fifth, or perhaps Zero, make sure you have your own comfortable pillow. I used the one that I had flattened with my butt on the bumpy car ride out to this part of the country.

I have found that by following this prescription for the red eye, by the time you settle into your seat, you are so tired that you can’t help but fall asleep, instantly.

By the time you wake up, it is 5:15 a.m. and the flight attendant is nudging you from your seat.

Try it. It works.