April 09, 2024

On April 8, a celestial event graced the skies, captivating observers from the ground. For those seeking an unparalleled viewing experience, Delta Air Lines offered a ticket not just to travel, but to witness the marvels of the universe unfold. Join us as we explore this rare eclipse and how Delta passengers and PlaneTags witnessed it from the best seat possible – above the clouds.

Understanding the April 8 Eclipse

This eclipse was not just any astronomical event; it was a symphony of celestial alignment where the moon cloaks the sun, turning day momentarily into night. This eclipse was particularly notable for its path of totality, sweeping across select parts of the globe and offering a breathtaking view to those within its shadow. Beyond its visual spectacle, the eclipse presented a moment of reflection on the wonders of our cosmos and our place within it.


By NASAs Scientific Visualization Studio - Michala Garrison, Ernie Wright, Ian Jones, Laurence Schuler - Public Domain, Link



Why was the April 8, 2024 eclipse so extraordinary? 

The April 8 eclipse was extraordinary for several reasons, captivating observers around the globe. Firstly, its path of totality—the narrow band where the full eclipse was visible—traversed a diverse range of geographical locations, offering many observers a rare opportunity to witness the complete obscuration of the sun by the moon. This phenomenon transformed day into twilight, unveiling the sun's elusive corona and prompting a dramatic drop in temperature, an experience both surreal and awe-inspiring.

Secondly, the duration of totality for this eclipse was notably lengthy in certain locations, allowing observers ample time to experience the full spectacle of the eclipse, including the Baily's beads effect and the diamond ring phenomenon. Such features are among the most anticipated and celebrated aspects of total solar eclipses, providing both stunning visual displays and valuable opportunities for scientific study.

Furthermore, the April 8 eclipse was extraordinary due to its timing and accessibility. Occurring during a period of relatively favorable weather in many of the regions along the path of totality, a larger number of enthusiasts, families, and scientists could participate in viewing events or conduct research. This accessibility was enhanced by the widespread availability of viewing glasses and the organization of community events, making the eclipse an inclusive and educational occasion.

Delta Air Lines' special flights to view the eclipse added another layer to its uniqueness, allowing passengers to witness the event from an unparalleled vantage point above the Earth's surface. This not only provided a clear and unobstructed view of the eclipse but also underscored the human fascination with celestial events and our desire to connect with the cosmos in extraordinary ways.

Delta Air Lines’ Eclipse Flights

In an initiative that marries science with adventure, Delta Air Lines charted two flights that chase the moon’s shadow. These special flights were meticulously planned to offer passengers a front-row seat to the eclipse, away from the potential hindrances of ground-based viewing such as weather or geographical constraints. Departing from various cities, these flights promise an unforgettable journey into the twilight zone of the eclipse.

  • DL 1218 - AUS to DTW - A220-300
  • DL 1010 - DFW to DTW - A321neo

What happened on the eclipse flights?

Aboard Delta’s eclipse flights, passengers were treated to more than just a unique view. The experience was enhanced with expert commentary on the eclipse’s significance, alongside special amenities like eclipse viewing glasses. Imagine the camaraderie as fellow passengers shared in the anticipation, watching as the sun was gradually eclipsed by the moon, all from the comfort of Delta’s cabins and large viewing windows. As part of the celebration, passengers received gift bags that included a special memento that many PlaneTags collectors would appreciate. 

Peyton Ramirez took a ride on DL 1218, aboard N314DU, ship 8314, to see the eclipse in its totality. He shared some photos from his trip with us. 


“Stunning seeing the shadow on on side and pure sunlight on the other, something you can only see from up in the air." - Peyton Ramirez







PlaneTags Aboard the Totality Flight

In a blend of aviation history and celestial celebration, MotoArt was approached by Delta Air Lines to craft an exclusive series of PlaneTags, utilizing the original skin of the retired N309US. These unique PlaneTags, not available for purchase, were gifted to passengers aboard Delta's special totality flights for the eclipse, turning a piece of aviation history into a tangible memory of this celestial event. 





Given a tight timeframe of just a few weeks to execute this ambitious project, MotoArt, led by its passionate owner, Dave Hall, sprang into action. “The moment Delta reached out, we knew we had to pull out all the stops to make this happen. Mobilizing our team across the country to dismantle the A320 and craft these eclipse PlaneTags, complete with a star map laser-engraved on each, was no small feat,” Hall shared. He continued, “Being part of this historical moment, and knowing these PlaneTags will hold a place in the hearts of those witnessing the eclipse from above, fills us with immense pride and excitement. It’s a true honor to contribute to this once-in-a-lifetime experience.” 




Our plane, an Airbus A320, took its first flight in August 1990, and was delivered to Northwest Airlines on October 5, 1990. After serving faithfully for 15 years, it found a temporary resting place in the arid climate of Marana on October 14, 2005, a common practice for aircraft awaiting their next chapter or eventual retirement. Rising from its desert hiatus in January 2007, N309US was reawakened for a new lease on life. This transition marked a significant chapter when it was absorbed into Delta Air Lines' fleet on May 18, 2009, following the merger between Delta and Northwest. Within Delta's operations, N309US continued to crisscross the skies, contributing to the airline's reputation for reliability and service until its final retirement in 2023. 



Throughout its tenure, N309US not only connected countless passengers to destinations around the world but also became a testament to the evolving landscape of the aviation industry, embodying the spirit of transition and resilience inherent to these magnificent flying machines.

Delta Eclipse PlaneTags



In a unique collaboration with Delta Air Lines, MotoArt meticulously crafted 500 exclusive PlaneTags, fashioned from the original skin of the retired N309US. These bespoke tags, not available for sale, are a token of appreciation and memory for the passengers on Delta's special totality flights during the April 8 eclipse. Each tag, with a star map laser-engraved onto its surface, serves as a tangible connection to the skies and a memento of a monumental celestial event. MotoArt expressed deep honor in being chosen to work alongside Delta to create such a remarkable keepsake, underscoring the significance of the occasion and the dedication to preserving a piece of aviation history in the most meaningful way.