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Viewing the total solar eclipse from 35,000 feet
Posted on 11/03/2016


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An Alaskan Airlines plane adjusted its flight plan so passengers could watch the total solar eclipse from 35,000 feet. How's that for inflight entertainement...

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For a few minutes during sunset Tuesday, the sun, moon and Earth aligned, causing an incredible natural phenomenon over the Pacific Ocean. Alaskan Airlines flight 870 from Anchorage to Honolulu decided to adjust its original flight plan in order to offer its passengers front row seats to the total solar eclipse.


Among the passengers on board this flight were a dozen astronomers, including Joe Rao. A year ago Rao discovered that flight 870 would intersect the "path of totality" - the darkest shadow of the moon as it passes over the Earth.

Not wanting to miss the rare opportunity and knowing the flight's scheduled departure time would have been 25 minutes too early to witness the spectacle, Rao called Alaskan Airlines who agreed to delay the flight.

Chase Craig, the airline's director of on-board brand experience found all the right people to make the magic happen. The maintenance team even washed all the windows on the right side of the plane.

"We recognize our customer's passions," Craig said. "Certainly we can't change flight plans for every interest, but this was a special moment, so we thought it was worth it."


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