It turns out school children and scientists aren’t the only people who get excited about a solar eclipse. Alaska Airlines will alter the plan of one flight today so passengers can catch a rare vantage point of the total eclipse from their seats in the sky. Alaska Airlines Flight 870, which travels between Anchorage, Alaska and Honolulu, Hawaii will be intentionally delayed for 25 minutes so that its flight path lines up perfectly with the spot where the total solar eclipse can be viewed at the exact time the plane will cross it.
This sort of plan adjustment is definitely above and beyond for an airline, but they had a little help. In a statement, Alaska Airlines attributed the idea to Joe Rao, an associate astronomer at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, who contacted the airline more than a year ago when he realized that Flight 870’s standard route intersected with the path where the total eclipse would be visible. The only problem was that the plane was set to take off 25 minutes too early.
Alaska Airlines decided to alter the time of the flight to offer passengers the view of a lifetime. Unsurprisingly, many an astronomical buff will be aboard that flight today. “It’s an unbelievably accommodating gesture,” said Mike Kentrianakis, solar eclipse project manager for the American Astronomical Society, who will be in seat 6F. “Not only is Alaska Airlines getting people from Point A to Point B, but they’re willing to give them an exciting flight experience.”
Talk about out-of-this-world customer service.
Via The Verge
Images via Alaska Airlines