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Delta Eclipse Flight: How to See the Rare Event at 30,000 Feet

Delta will operate an Airbus A220 on Flight 1218 from Austin to Detroit, offering passengers panoramic views of the total eclipse

by Enrique Perrella

April 7, 2024

Photo: Solar Eclipse. Courtesy of Casey Clingan / Unsplash

Update, February 26, 2024: Due to the overwhelming demand for the special eclipse viewing flight, Delta has added a second flight with a larger aircraft. The new flight, with plate number DL1010, has been scheduled for April 8. It will depart from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) at 12:30 p.m. CDT on the day of the eclipse and arrive at Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport (DTW) at 4:20 p.m. EDT.

As North America prepares for the upcoming total solar eclipse—the first in the U.S. since 2017, and it will last until 2033—Delta Air Lines is offering a unique flight experience for those who wish to witness the event from a unique vantage point. On April 8, 2024, the Atlanta-based airline will offer a limited number of passengers a chance to see the eclipse from the air, with precision timing and panoramic views.

Photo: Delta, Airbus A220-100. Courtesy of Trac Vu / Unsplash

Flight 1218 will depart from Austin at 12:15 p.m. CT and land in Detroit at 4:20 p.m. ET. This flight is specifically meant for enthusiasts who want to experience the shadowy dance of a total solar eclipse at its dramatic peak.

Largest Plane Windows for the Eclipse

The Airbus A220-300 — chosen for this unique flight — is a great option for those seeking an exceptional flying experience, as it boasts the largest windows in Delta’s narrowbody fleet.

Photo: Delta Air Lines, Airbus A220. Courtesy of Chris Rank/Rank Studios 2018

These windows measure 28 cm x 40.6 cm (11 in x 16 in) in size, making it the largest-windowed aircraft in Airbus’ regional jet portfolio. Currently, Delta operates a fleet of 58 A220s (including 34 A220-100s and 23 A220-300s).

Leading Network Planning

Eric Beck, Managing Director of Domestic Network Planning at Delta, attributes the airline’s celestial feat to the meticulous teamwork and innovative spirit that define the airline.

Photo: Delta Network Planning. Courtesy of Delta

“This flight is the result of significant collaboration and exemplifies the close teamwork Delta is known for — 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,” he said.

“Thanks to teams across the company, the idea of viewing a total eclipse from the air will become a reality for our customers.”

Photo: Courtesy of Stefan Fluck / Unsplash

But the eclipse celebration doesn’t end there. Delta’s passengers traveling on select routes can witness the celestial spectacle in the sky.

The airline guarantees optimal eclipse viewing opportunities from Detroit to Westchester County and Los Angeles to Dallas-Fort Worth. So, if you are flying on one of these routes, remember to pack your protective glasses and prepare for a spectacular show.

Other Flights with Views of the 2024 Eclipse

Delta’s extensive network ensures access to other prime eclipse-watching routes for those interested in witnessing this nature spectacle from other flights:

  • DL 5699: DTW-HPN. 2:59 pm EST departure. Aircraft: ERJ-175
  • DL 924: LAX-DFW. 8:40 am PST departure. Aircraft: A320
  • DL 2869: LAX-SAT. 9:00 am PST departure. Aircraft: A319
  • DL 1001: SLC-SAT. 10:08 am MST departure. Aircraft: A220-300
  • DL 1683: SLC-AUS. 9:55 am MST departure. Aircraft: A320

Delta’s Preparations for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

Behind the scenes, Delta’s meteorology team is the unsung hero, orchestrating the ballet of clouds and shadows with precision. Warren Weston, Delta’s lead meteorologist, gives us a glimpse into their meticulous preparations, ensuring safe and seamless journeys amidst the cosmic chaos.

From updating weather tools to guiding flight crews through turbulent skies, their expertise ensures passengers can witness the eclipse in awe-inspiring comfort.

Photo: Delta Air Lines, Airbus A350-900. Courtesy of Delta.

He emphasizes just how special this eclipse viewing opportunity will be: “This eclipse will last more than twice as long as the one that occurred in 2017, and the path is nearly twice as wide.”