Science & Technology

Alaska Airlines sets up flight to chase total solar eclipse – with a two-seat giveaway

Alaska Airlines has scheduled a flight from Portland to chase views of the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse over the clouds, however you may’t e book a seat on-line.

The constitution flight, due for a 7:30 a.m. PT takeoff on eclipse day, might be open by invitation solely to astronomy fans and different VIPs. Besides for 2 seats. These seats might be given away in a social-media contest scheduled to start on July 21, one month earlier than the eclipse.

The Aug. 21 journey follows up on a extra impromptu eclipse-chasing journey on March 8, 2016, when Alaska changed the takeoff time for a previously scheduled Anchorage-to-Honolulu flight to let passengers see a total solar eclipse over the Pacific.

Final yr’s schedule change was made on the behest of eclipse-chasers who seen that the often scheduled flight path got here oh-so-close to intersecting the trail of totality. This yr’s flight, in distinction, was added to the schedule particularly to benefit from the eclipse.

As they fly alongside the Oregon coast, the passengers might be among the many first to see the total eclipse on Aug. 21. For many eclipse-chasers, sky circumstances loom as the largest uncertainty in deciding the place to go. However the truth that Alaska Airlines’ passengers might be flying at an altitude of 35,000 toes ensures they’ll get a clear view of the total eclipse, whatever the climate under.

From Oregon, the observe of totality goes all the way in which throughout the nation to the South Carolina coast. A partial solar eclipse might be seen from nearly all of North America.

“As an airline, we’re in a distinctive place to present a one-of-a-kind expertise for astronomy fans,” Sangita Woerner, Alaska’s vice chairman of selling, said in a news release. “Flying excessive above the Pacific Ocean is not going to solely present one of many first views, but additionally among the best.”

Resorts and campsites alongside the trail of totality have been virtually sold out for months, and Alaska reported that flights to eclipse locations resembling Redmond in central Oregon and Solar Valley in Idaho are filling up for August’s massive week as properly.

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