Want to chase Great American Eclipse from 35,000 feet high? Now you can

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Many Americans will get the opportunity to see the solar eclipse in its totality on Aug. 21 from prime spots between Oregon and South Carolina. But lucky passengers aboard an Alaska Airlines flight will get to see the eclipse from a unique view as they chase it from 35,000 feet in the air.

The trip will be made via a special charter flight that will chase the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the U.S. since 1918. It will depart Portland at 7:30 a.m. PDT and head out over the Pacific Ocean to begin an early view of the eclipse.

This isn't the first time Alaska Airlines has offered a unique view of a total solar eclipse. Some lucky passengers got to take a similar flight last year from Alaska to Hawaii to witness the spectacular view.

According to Space.com, a man who was on that flight said the most memorable part was the elliptical lunar shadow which moved at nearly 8,000 mph and loomed like a "tornado of darkness."

[Scroll down to watch a firsthand view from the 2016 Alaska Airlines flight]

An Alaska Airlines representative said even though the plane taking flight on Aug. 21 is capable of carrying 181 guests, they are limiting the seats available to fewer than 100 to provide an optimal viewing experience for everyone on board.

Who will those passengers be? According to the airline, all except two seats will be reserved for a select group of invitation-only astronomers and guests. The two extra seats will be given away to the lucky winner of a contest the airline ran through Aug. 7.

The grand prize winner will receive:

  • Airfare for you (and a guest) on the special charter flight on Aug. 21
  • Airfare for you and your guest to Portland, Oregon
  • Two nights of accommodations in Portland
  • A $500 Visa gift card for travel expenses

About the Author:

Dawn is a Digital Content Editor who has been with Graham Media Group since April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media.