Delta Airlines offers flight in path of April 8 solar eclipse

The 2023 annular eclipse peeks through the clouds over Winnemucca, Nev., on October 14, 2023. To celebrate the solar eclipse on April 8, Delta is offering a special flight from Austin to Detroit so passengers can spend time directly within the path of totality. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- To celebrate the next solar eclipse on April 8, Delta Air Lines is offering a flight from Austin, Texas, to Detroit to give passengers time in the path of totality.

Solar eclipses are a rare phenomenon in America. Only three have passed through the lower 48 states over the last century -- in 2017, 1979 and 1918.

To celebrate the April 8 eclipse, Delta is offering the special flight to put passengers directly within the path of totality -- locations where the moon's shadow completely covers the sun.

NASA said the celestial event will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until 2044. Delta's lead meteorologist, Warren Weston, said it will last more than twice as long as the one that occurred in 2017.

As of Tuesday, the flight was almost sold out. One seat remained at a fare of $1,357.

The visibility of a total solar eclipse depends on the weather and the location. But people along the path of totality should be able to see the sun's corona, or outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by the bright face of the sun.

According to a press release, Delta Flight 1218 that day will utilize an A220-300 aircraft, departing Austin at 12:15 p.m. CST and landing in Detroit at 4:20 p.m. EST.

"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," Delta's Managing Director of Domestic Network Planning Eric Beck said in a statement.

The company announced it would offer prime eclipse-viewing opportunities on five additional routes on April 8, as well as flights to destinations that are within the path of totality, including Austin, San Antonio, Texas, and Little Rock, Ark.