Have plans to catch the Great American Eclipse on August 21? Some astronomy buffs will be taking to the sky to get up close and personal with this rare event. Los Angeles Times reports that Alaska Airlines will be inviting select passengers to cruise the West Coast for a 35,000 foot look at the eclipse.
The flight will leave at 7:30 a.m. from Portland, Oregon and will then fly above the clouds to offer an unobstructed view of the once in a lifetime event. The passengers will also get two-nights of free accommodations in Portland and a $500 Visa gift card to cover travel expenses, according to the airline’s website.
So, how can you score a spot on the flight?
Through a contest, of course. Alaska Airlines is inviting all “#AvGeek”s and “#SpaceGeek”s to submit a 30-second video proving the extent of their geek credentials. All entries must be uploaded to the contest website by August 7 at 11:59 p.m.
Other astronomy geeks who aren’t interested or don’t get selected for the contest can find plenty of other avenues to see the eclipse from the sky. Los Angeles Times reports that Southwest Airlines may also offer a view of this event from 35,000 feet.
With the aviation industry employing about 1.2 million Americans and generating $150 billion in revenue annually, the eclipse is offering commercial airlines a rare opportunity to generate positive press coverage.
On top of that, the eclipse could boost the aviation and tourism industry overall. Los Angeles Times reports that while economists haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact impact of eclipse tourism, many people are capitalizing on the event however they can.
Jaci Hill, who is helping her mother rent out her home in Idaho for $1,000 a night, said that it is natural for people to be upping prices like this.
“Of course people are taking advantage,” she said. “It is definitely a situation of supply and demand.”