Not so long ago, as part of the increasing disappearance of night trains, an unexpected romanticization of this form of travel could be observed, which was based neither on practical nor on ecological reasons, but above all on one aspect: the fascination of traveling through the night together with the The fact of being somewhere completely different the next morning.
You encounter this feeling even more concentrated on a flight through the night, as such a flight not only transports you into a new day, but also to an even more distant place. Night flights are rarely comfortable because of poor or no sleep and the inherent fatigue of a long-haul flight; at the same time, however, the nocturnal atmosphere in an airplane has an all the more intense magic, filled with a mixture of cosmopolitan exhilaration and anticipatory tranquility where time seems to stand still and which is entirely different from daytime flights.
This starts with not rushing to the airport like you do in the morning or at noon. Almost all passengers are less stressed in the evening, of course because they don't have to get up at the wrong time or rush, but probably also because they made use of the day and are therefore happier.
Flight attendants also seem friendlier, perhaps because night shifts are quieter and they know them like their own home. If you are out and about in the night sky after dark, no wish for a drink will seem out of place, and you will generally feel at peace because it is so wonderfully quiet all around.
After a while, two groups form among the fellow travelers: those who sleep despite potential jet lag - after all, the indignity of dozing off at night when traveling is no longer valid. And those who don't, in order to soon form a tight-knit community of those who stay awake, who appreciate each other but never speak to each other.
Aside from phlegmatic staring into space, this society of strangers spends the trance-like hours of night flight almost exclusively watching in-flight movies, the choice of which is inexplicably more bizarre at night than during the day - so that one sometimes wakes up and the first image after opening one's eyes is Godzilla or sees a Pokémon coming towards you through the front row.
In one of his most affecting short stories, "Sleeping Beauty's Plane", Gabriel García Márquez also describes the special atmosphere on a night flight - the serenity of the experienced travelers who take possession of the cabin for themselves, the films that often run unseen and the neuralgic moment , which decides who you sit next to during those next semi-intimate hours.
The most magical moments remain, however, watching a sunrise or sunset above the clouds, with which you can even fly for a while depending on the direction of travel, or slowly seeing the lights of a metropolis appear in the black of night. The worst thing that can happen to you on a night flight is that you oversleep your meal.
Is the suitcase coming or not? And in what condition? Our reporter Lea Freist had to make the unpleasant experience herself: The new suitcase is badly dented on the conveyor belt. But when is an airline liable?
Source: WORLD / Lea Freist