Science & Technology



An Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter took a Delta eclipse flight. Here's what it was like

Mirtha Donastorg, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Science & Technology News

35,000 FEET OVER THE U.S. — The air was thick with anticipation and excited chatter as everyone pulled out their phones hoping to get a photo.

Gray shadows entered the blue sky, turning it a rich slate as the moon started to eclipse the sun.

The moment everyone had been waiting for was here — totality.

Before even getting into the air Delta Air Lines treated passengers to an experience. As they arrived at gate E15 at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport for Flight 1010 to Detroit, they were met with a celestial-themed balloon arch, a red carpet and music.

Flight attendants in purple and gray passed out eclipse-viewing glasses the airline produced in collaboration with Warby Parker — paper shades but with blue-and-white star path drawings on the front and “Eyes on the Sky” written inside.

Delta workers wore T-shirts emblazoned with “Climbing the Cosmos,” the airline’s slogan for the pair of flights from Austin and Dallas that would be in the path of the eclipse 35,000 feet in the air.


People were excited, and the gate party only heightened the anticipation. Most passengers flew to Dallas that morning or the night before just to turn right around, all to experience totality in a way few others could.

If I’m being honest, flying isn’t my favorite. The way the plane inclines at takeoff, the unpredictable mid-flight turbulence, the slight teetering as the pilot tries to line up the plane to land all make my stomach drop. Add in an uncommon, somewhat disquieting astronomical phenomenon like an eclipse, and my nerves ahead of this flight were on edge.

But when your editor asks if you want to see a solar eclipse from 35,000 feet in the air, the only answer is “Of course.”

Flights are usually just the utilitarian part of a journey, taking you from point A to B. But Monday, the flight was the main attraction.


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