On This Rare Flight, You’ll Be Able to See the 2024 Solar Eclipse From the Plane

Delta Air Lines is hosting a special flight along the path of totality on April 8, 2024.

View of a total solar eclipse from an airplane, the airplane wing in the shot

Weather permitting, passengers will be able to view the solar eclipse for hours—not just minutes.


As incredible as viewing a total solar eclipse from Earth is, imagine seeing it from the sky. Well, Delta Air Lines is giving a set of lucky customers the chance to do just that on April 8, 2024, when the next solar eclipse will stretch across North America.

The airline is offering a special flight from Austin to Detroit on April 8, 2024, meant to give eclipse chasers as much time as possible directly within the path of totality. Delta flight 1218 will depart from Austin, Texas, at 12:15 p.m. Central Time and will land in Detroit, Michigan, at 4:20 p.m. Eastern Time. This schedule is carefully timed to give passengers the best chance of viewing the total solar eclipse from the sky, as the plane travels within the path of totality for an unprecedented amount of time.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, fully blocking the face of the sun and darkening the sky as if it were dusk. On a clear day, you can view the sun’s corona around the moon during an eclipse. As the moon blocks the sun’s light, it casts a shadow, creating a trail as Earth rotates. This shadow trail is called the path of totality, and it is in this path that the sun is completely obscured by the moon. From land on April 8, most locations within the path of totality offer viewers somewhere between four and five minutes to view the eclipse (about twice as long as the 2017 eclipse, which was the last one in North America). This special Delta flight could give passengers several hours of viewing time, if the weather cooperates.

The flight will be operated on an A220-300 aircraft, which features extra-large windows for superior viewing quality, according to the airline.

“Thanks to teams across the company, the idea of viewing a total eclipse from the air will become a reality for our customers,” Eric Beck, Delta’s managing director of domestic network planning, said in a press release. Beck added that the flight was the result of “significant collaboration . . . from selecting an aircraft with larger windows to determining the exact departure time from Austin and the experiences at the gate and in the air.”

But you better act quickly: Last we checked, Main Cabin tickets were selling fast at $749, while Comfort+ was $859, and First and Basic Economy were sold out.

The April 8 eclipse, which will be the last total solar eclipse viewable from the continental U.S. until 2044, will travel a path across North America, including areas of Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The eclipse will begin over the South Pacific Ocean and cross onto Mexico’s Pacific Coast at about 11:07 a.m. PDT. The path will enter the United States through Texas, going through parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The eclipse will then cross into Canada via Southern Ontario before continuing through Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.

If you can’t get on Delta flight 1218, you might still snag a seat on one of five additional Delta routes on April 8 that will have eclipse-viewing possibilities:

  • Detroit, Michigan (DTW) to Westchester, New York (HPN): Flight # DL 5699, departing at 2:59 p.m. EST departure, (aircraft: ERJ-175)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Dallas (DFW): Flight # DL 924 departing at 8:40 a.m. PST (aircraft: Airbus A320)
  • Los Angles (LAX) to San Antonio, Texas (SAT): Flight # DL 2869, departing at 9 am PST (aircraft: Airbus A319)
  • Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC) to San Antonio (SAT): Flight # DL 1001, departing at 10:08 a.m. MST (aircraft: Airbus A220-300)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC) to Austin, Texas (AUS): Flight # DL 1683, departing at 9:55 a.m. MST (aircraft: Airbus A320)
Devorah Lev-Tov is a Brooklyn-based food and travel journalist who has been published in the New York Times, National Geographic, Vogue, Bon Appetit, and more.
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