MIAMI – Alaska Airlines is planning a special charter flight to chase “The Great American Eclipse”. This year’s eclipse flight will take off from Portland on August 21st at 7:30 am PST and will fly off the coast of Oregon.
Alaska claims its guests will be the first of millions to view this phenomenon. Unfortunately for the general public, the flight is invitation-only and is not commercially bookable. Alaska is, however, holding a contest on its social media channels for one lucky guest to join Alaska on this flight.
“As an airline, we are in a unique position to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for astronomy enthusiasts,” said Sangita Woerner, Alaska’s Vice President of Marketing “Flying high above the Pacific Ocean will not only provide one of the first views, but also one of the best.”
Last year, Alaska Airlines flew a similar charter flight from Anchorage to Hawaii to intercept an eclipse. At the request of the 181 astronomers and physics fans onboard, Alaska intentionally delayed the flight by 25 minutes in order to better catch the grand spectacle. At the time, Alaska jokingly said that rather than moving the sun or earth or moon, they decided to move the plane.
Passengers onboard this year’s eclipse flight will wear special filtered glasses that allows them to view the sun directly.
Bob Stevens, a CPA turned amateur astronomer, on last year’s flight said “For people who have seen a total solar eclipse, these are the most spectacular events they will see in their life. That’s why people start chasing them – you have to see another.”
The Great American Eclipse will be viewable on August 21st in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The eclipse is the first coast-to-coast complete solar eclipse since 1918.