2024 total solar eclipse: Delta offering flights from Austin to Detroit for ‘premium viewing’

Delta has announced it will be offering special flights from Austin, Texas, to Detroit, Michigan, on April 8, specifically for travelers who want to watch the total solar eclipse from the sky. 

"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," said Eric Beck, Managing Director of Domestic Network Planning. "Thanks to teams across the company, the idea of viewing a total eclipse from the air will become a reality for our customers." 

The flight will be operated on an A220-300 and will offer "premium viewing" due to the aircraft’s "extra-large windows," Delta said in a news release. 


FILE - Employees are working on an A220-300 parked on the tarmac with the engine cowlings open and a stair truck. (Delta)

Delta flight 1218 will depart from Austin at 12:15 p.m. CT and is scheduled to land in Detroit at 4:20 p.m. ET. 

The flight is timed to give travelers the best chance to view the eclipse at its peak and will be within the path of totality for most of the route. 

Delta will also be offering five additional flights on April 8 that will give people an opportunity to view the eclipse.

  • DL 5699: Detroit to White Plains, New York, 2:59 p.m. ET departure. Aircraft: ERJ-175
  • DL 924: Los Angeles to Dallas-Fort Worth, 8:40 a.m. PT departure. Aircraft: A320
  • DL 2869: Los Angeles to San Antonio, 9:00 a.m. PT departure. Aircraft: A319
  • DL 1001: Salt Lake City to San Antonio, 10:08 a.m. MT departure. Aircraft: A220-300
  • DL 1683: Salt Lake City to Austin, 9:55 a.m. MT departure. Aircraft: A320

"The April 8 eclipse is the last total eclipse we’ll see over North America until 2044," said Warren Weston, Delta Air Lines Lead Meteorologist. "This eclipse will last more than twice as long as the one that occurred in 2017, and the path is nearly twice as wide." 


FILE - A woman tries to photograph the moon from the plane window.

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FILE - Total eclipse of the sun at the location of the longest duration of 2 minutes and 40 seconds in Hopkinsville, KY. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Solar eclipses happen about twice a year, but finding yourself under the totality of one is rare. 

The American Astronomical Society said that any given spot on the planet only sees temporary darkness from the moon’s shadow once every 400 years. 

Based on the NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) April 2024 Total Solar Eclipse map, cities including Rel Rio and Waco, Texas, and Paducah, Kentucky, will have nearly 64% visibility for the time of the maximum eclipse at 1:40 p.m. CT. 

The farther north along the path of totality, the visibility starts to drop. Cleveland has nearly 39% visibility during totality at 3:15 p.m., and Buffalo, New York, has around 35% at 3:20 p.m. ET. 

RELATED: Solar eclipse 2024: These U.S. cities are in the path of totality 

It should be noted that while Delta hopes to give fliers the optimum opportunity to view the total solar eclipse from the skies, there’s always a chance that it could be missed due to delays or weather conditions, according to the airline. 

FOX Weather contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.