Air Travel Surges for the Solar Eclipse

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Air Travel Surges for the Solar Eclipse

For many, last week’s total solar eclipse was one of the highlights of summer. With an extensive band of totality within the U.S., the August 21 eclipse presented a unique opportunity for many Americans to see the natural phenomenon from their hometowns.

Some airlines even offered special eclipse-viewing flights, giving travelers a chance to view the event from the air.

While much of the contiguous U.S. enjoyed views of a partial eclipse, many people sought a better vantage point, traveling to cities within the eclipse’s path of totality. According to ARC data, air travel to cities located along the path of totality nearly doubled for the weekend prior to the eclipse, compared to the same weekend in 2016. Saturday, August 19, marked the most popular travel day, with 136 percent more air travel tickets purchased to totality cities than last year.

The following destinations had the highest passenger count near the path of totality for the weekend of August 18-20, 2017:

  • Portland, Oregon
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Kansas City, Kansas
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Columbia, South Carolina

Ready to plan your next eclipse-viewing trip? There will be several partial solar eclipses in 2018, but the next total solar eclipse in July 2019 can be viewed from southern Argentina and Chile. The next total solar eclipse in North America will take place in April 2024 and spans from Mexico through Texas, then through the Midwestern and Northeastern U.S. and Canada’s eastern coast.

For more information and analysis, see ARC’s press release.

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About the author

Megan Leader is a senior brand and content strategist for ARC. She writes about air travel data, trends and destinations for readers throughout the travel industry. An avid traveler, Megan loves to explore art, design and food culture in cities around the world.