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Here's how one airline is planning to provide a total eclipse experience — from 30,000 feet in the air

Delta's high-flying eclipse experience
Aboard Delta's sold-out flights for the ultimate eclipse viewing 02:51

In a move that has captured the imagination of skywatchers and travelers alike, Delta Air Lines is setting the stage and offering two special flights that will allow flyers to witness next week's total solar eclipse from the best vantage point possible. 

The flights will take place on Monday, with one going from Austin to Detroit and a second route from Dallas to Detroit. Both sold out in 24 hours. These flights were strategically chosen to skirt the path of the eclipse, with a special detour over southeast Missouri planned for the optimal viewing experience. There, the aircraft will perform a meticulous 30-degree bank on either side, granting passengers a rare four-minute glimpse of the eclipse.

Passengers will also be given specialized glasses to provide eye safety to witness the total solar eclipse, which will be visible from Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. 

"I think that we're gonna be able to provide a really unique experience," said Captain Phil Marshall, who, alongside Captain Phil Daniels, will take the helm for the flight.

The challenge of syncing the flights with the moon's swift shadow, which races across the United States at over 1,500 miles per hour, falls on the shoulders of Delta's operations and customer center. Flight Superintendent Erin Wehrman and her team are tasked with navigating the planes not only from point A to point B, but also in alignment with the eclipse.

"We're traveling at about 400 miles per hour, so the sun is actually going to be catching up to us. So we're taking off before it even hit the U.S. border on the south end, and it will catch up to us," said Wehrman.

Weather also plays a crucial role in the day's success. Delta meteorologist Warren Weston is on standby, ready to steer the flights above any potential cloud cover, ensuring a clear view of the eclipse. 

Meanwhile, pilots are preparing for the flight of a lifetime.

"This is fantastic for me," said Marshall. "It's always, every day's like a dream come true for us as pilots."

Delta passengers get engaged mid-flight while seeing total solar eclipse from 30,000 feet 00:58
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