Alaska Airlines deliberately delayed a flight from Anchorage to Honolulu Tuesday so passengers could see a solar eclipse from 35,000 feet.
On Saturday, Alaska Airlines shared video of the solar eclipse as seen from Flight 870 and the images are truly stunning.
According to CBS6, the flight departed Anchorage on Tuesday around 2 p.m. local time, with the eclipse peaking around 4:38 p.m. local time.
Now that's a view of the #Eclipse2016 from flight #870. Photo: Anchorage flight attendants Rachael C. & Sofia S. pic.twitter.com/Sa6qOUysRu
— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) March 9, 2016
It was over a year ago that Joe Rao, an associate astronomer at the American Museum of Natural History, determined that the Alaska Airlines flight would intersect the “path of totality” during the solar eclipse.
He along with others convinced the airlines to depart a bit later than scheduled to have the best possible view of the spectacular eclipse. The plane left 25 minutes after its scheduled departure.
Yesterday's #SolarEclipse seen from 35,000 feet–on Alaska Air flight 870 (by Evan Zucker). https://t.co/l5qyFl5aDr pic.twitter.com/89lvjxWQJ8
— Corey S. Powell (@coreyspowell) March 9, 2016
Needless to say, Rao and a dozen other “eclipse chasers” were on Tuesday’s flight to catch a view of an eclipse in pristine circumstances.
Alaska Airlines also changed its flight path to allow for prime viewing of the event, the company wrote on their official blog.
#SolarEclipse from 35,000 feet. Beautiful! pic.twitter.com/rvDKhzry
— Russ'L (@Russ24L) February 17, 2013
“It’s an unbelievably accommodating gesture,” said Mike Kentrianakis, solar eclipse project manager for the American Astronomical Society, before boarding the flight. “Not only is Alaska Airlines getting people from Point A to Point B, but they’re willing to give them an exciting flight experience. An airline that’s actually talking to their people – and listening! That’s customer service at its best. It’s become personal.”
Video of the event was shot by Mike Kentrianakis of the American Astronomical Society.