The Detroit-bound flight experiences totality of the solar eclipse

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In the path of totality — The tickets read Austin, Texas, to Detroit, Michigan, but everyone on board knew the real destination: the dark side of the moon.
Flight 1218 departed Austin at 12:15 p.m. Monday to make the three-hour, 1,148-mile flight to Detroit as a special Delta flight flying passengers in the path of the total eclipse.
The flight from Austin sold out all 130 seats in 24 hours.
It was the second trip of a lifetime for Livonia resident Paul Donlin, who viewed the last total eclipse in 2017: “That flight was fantastic.
It was a festive atmosphere on the flight, as passengers spent the early part of the flight getting to know one another and trying to figure out how to best capture totality.
The flight took a great amount of planning, according to Delta, including their meteorologists, flight superintendents and others.
“It was a great flight from takeoff to landing,” said Daniels, who piloted the plane with Marshall.
During the gate celebration, Delta employees handed out ISO-certified solar eclipse classes donated by Warby Parker and limited-edition Pineapple Habanero and Spicy Gouda-flavored SunChips.


In the path of totality — Although the tickets stated Detroit, Michigan to Austin, Texas, everyone on board was aware that the true destination was the moon’s dark side.

At 12:15 p.m., Flight 1218 departed Austin. m. Monday to take a special Delta flight carrying passengers directly into the path of the total eclipse, covering 1,148 miles in three hours.

At 1:52 p.m., the plane passed over Missouri. m. After reaching totality, the pilots turned the aircraft several times so that everyone could see the view from both sides.

A passenger from Traverse City named Douglas Leng exclaimed, “It was awesome, truly the experience of a lifetime.”. “Everything about the flight—the company, the people, the flawless banking—was excellent. I took some beautiful photos. “.

For those who were willing to pay over $1,000 for a round-trip main cabin seat from Detroit, there were two special Delta flights available: one from Austin and the other from Dallas. Delta is an Atlanta-based carrier that was created to fly along the path of totality during the total solar eclipse. All 130 seats on the Austin flight were sold out in a single day. According to the airline, searches for flights from AUS-DTW on Delta channels increased by more than 1,500%, prompting the addition of another flight from Dallas. Furthermore, it sold out in a day.

The cheers began even before Flight 1218 took off and continued long after the aircraft took off. It was a far happier atmosphere than what the patrons had paid to see.

For Livonia resident Paul Donlin, who saw the most recent total eclipse in 2017, it was the second trip of a lifetime: “That flight was fantastic. Witnessing such an event from the air was truly astounding. That was extremely crisp and clear. The investment was well worth it. “.”.

While passengers got to know one another and tried to figure out how to best capture totality, the early portion of the flight was spent in a festive atmosphere. Applause for the flight crew was loud, and people moved around setting up cameras. After totality, a marriage proposal was made and accepted. When Michele Rosenblatt of Queens said yes to Neil Albstein of Manhattan, the plane let out a cheer.

According to Delta, their meteorologists, flight superintendents, and other staff members put a lot of planning into the flight. Nevertheless, the mission also required more work from Delta captains Phil Marshall and Phil Daniels.

Pilot Daniels, who flew the aircraft with Marshall, said, “It was a great flight from takeoff to landing.”.

The two claimed to have spent a great deal of time practicing in a simulator, making plans, and sketching on a board. Nevertheless, the flight presented the two with difficulties.

When we arrived there today, however, it was exactly what we had anticipated, I’ll tell you. to be, extremely impromptu,” Marshall remarked. “We weren’t given the impression right away that the FAA would work with us. There were just so many planes in the air, and many people were attempting to accomplish the same goal. “.”.

Nonetheless, the two claimed that they were able to work with air traffic control to make a series of banking turns over Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to give each side of the aircraft a two-minute view of totality, thanks to assistance from Delta dispatch and meteorology.

Marshall remarked, “You got to see what we do on every flight, with everybody working together to create the synergy required to do something this important.”.

Prior to takeoff, travelers arrived at Gate 10 of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas under the cover of balloons with a celestial motif and were greeted with a red carpet event featuring a DJ spinning what seemed like every song ever written about the sun or moon. For an odd flight, it was an odd farewell.

At the gate celebration, Delta staff distributed limited-edition Pineapple Habanero and Spicy Gouda-flavored SunChips as well as ISO-certified solar eclipse classes, which were donated by Warby Parker. Along with a limited-edition luggage tag, a Delta experience trading card, and Moon Pies, passengers received other perks on the flight.

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