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Southwest Reveals Flights With Insane Views of the Total Solar Eclipse

While this summer's big honkin' solar eclipse will be visible -- at least partially -- from nearly everywhere in the entire contiguous US on August 21, there's a specific band of territory that stretches across the country that'll experience a couple minutes of complete darkness as the moon full-on blocks out the sun. But why simply witness it from the ground when you could catch a front-row seat for the super-rare celestial sensation from 35,000 feet? That's what Southwest is encouraging people to do by hyping a special in-flight eclipse-oriented service for passengers who book seats on a handful of its scheduled flights that will likely catch it at just the right time and place. 

The airline hasn't added any additional flights to its lineup on that day, but it will be handing out special viewing glasses and offering "cosmic cocktails" to passengers on five select flights scheduled that day, which the company's team of meteorologists said will experience the "maximum effects" of the eclipse.

If you're interested, there are still available seats on each one. Here's the lineup: 

  • Southwest flight 1375 -- Seattle to St. Louis (9:05am)
  • Southwest flight 1368 -- Portland to St. Louis (9:05am)
  • Southwest flight 1577 -- Denver to St. Louis (10:20am)
  • Southwest flight 301 -- Denver to Nashville (10:20am)
  • Southwest flight 1969 -- Denver to Atlanta (9:50am)

As you'll notice, they all involve jetting around the middle of the country, so you're in luck if you happen to need to get to St. Louis that day anyway. Otherwise, most people would likely have to book a couple additional one-way flights to get there and home, which could get pricey fast. Then again, this is literally the eclipse of a lifetime, and who knows, maybe the ongoing Southwest super-sale can help you out.

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.