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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.

Insider's reporter flew on a Norse Airlines red eye flight from NYC to Berlin and arrived in Germany feeling exhausted.
Insider's reporter flew on a Norse Airlines red-eye flight from New York City to Berlin.Joey Hadden/Insider
  • 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.

The author and her view in the morning.
The author and her view in the morning.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

The author took a red-eye flight from NYC to Austin, Texas, in October 2019.
The author took a red-eye flight from NYC to Austin, Texas, in October 2019.Joey Hadden/Insider

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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.

The author tired on her flight.
The author tired on her flight.Joey Hadden/Insider

When booking flights, I usually choose the cheapest nonstop option leaving from my local airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Travelers make their way to terminal 5 at JFK Airport in October 2019.
Travelers make their way to Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in October 2019.Joey Hadden/Insider

For this trip, that option was an eight-hour red-eye on an airline I'd never heard of, Norse Atlantic Airways.

The author's aircraft arrives in Berlin.
The author's aircraft arrives in Berlin.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

A Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787-9 aircraft is pushed back from a gate carrying passengers on an inaugural flight to Oslo, Norway from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, on August 10, 2022 (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
A Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787-9 aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in August 2022.PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

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.

The author's ticket and flight information.
The author's ticket and flight information.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

Passengers check-in with Norse Atlantic Airways at LAX on August 10, 2022.
Passengers check-in with Norse Atlantic Airways at LAX on August 10, 2022.PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

The author checks in at JFK airport.
The author checks in at JFK airport.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

Inside the author's terminal at JFK.
Inside the author's terminal at JFK.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

Travelers board the aircraft to Berlin in October 2022.
Travelers board the aircraft to Berlin in October 2022.Joey Hadden/Insider

The flight's seating arrangement was three columns with three seats in each row.

People board the Norse aircraft in October 2022.
People board the Norse aircraft in October 2022.Joey Hadden/Insider

I paid extra to select a window seat before the flight so that I could lean against the window to rest.

The author sits in a window seat during her flight.
The author sits in a window seat during her flight.Joey Hadden/Insider

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 author's seat on the Norse flight.
The author's seat on the Norse flight.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

The author's legroom on the flight.
The author's legroom on the flight.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

The screens on the seat back chair.
The screens on the seat back chair.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

The author's row of seats on the flight.
The author's row of seats on the flight.Joey Hadden/Insider

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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.

In-flight menu items.
In-flight menu items.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

The flight at night.
The flight at night.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

The author uses the bathroom during the flight.
The bathroom on the Norse aircraft.Joey Hadden/Insider

In the morning, flight attendants came around with food and beverage service, so I looked at the menu in my seat back pocket.

In-flight service and menu.
In-flight service and menu.Joey Hadden/Insider

I found that food and beverages weren't included in the price of my ticket, so I decided to skip it.

In-flight menu items.
In-flight menu items.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

The author's aircraft arrives in Berlin.
The author's aircraft arrives in Berlin.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

The author arrives in Berlin.
The author on the runway in Berlin.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

The author takes trains from Berlin to TK.
The author takes trains from Berlin to her Airbnb.Joey Hadden/Insider

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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.

The author wakes up after her first night in Germany.
The author wakes up after her first night in Germany.Joey Hadden/Insider

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.

The author feeling refreshed during her third day in Berlin (L). Views from the flight window after the sun came up (R).
The author feeling refreshed after two nights in Berlin (L). Views from the flight window after the sun came up (R).Joey Hadden/Insider

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Read the original article on Insider