April 8 total solar eclipse boosts ticket sales for United Airlines

a total solar eclipse seen through an airline window
A composite of two photographs, depicting a solar eclipse seen though an aircraft window. (Image credit: Getty Images/Raqul Lonas/Xuanyu Han)

Delta isn't the only airline in the United States generating business from next month's total solar eclipse. 

United Airlines has seen a significant increase in travel to destinations in the path of totality of the solar eclipse, which will occur on April 8. As of the beginning of March, the company's bookings have jumped considerably compared to last year. 

Cities like Cleveland, San Antonio and Little Rock, Arkansas will not just be welcoming viewers to events to watch the solar eclipse in the path of totality; they also will have a higher number of visitors than usual at their airports, with noticeable increases in bookings both in and out of town. 

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Here are some United numbers for inbound travel dates covering April 4 to April 7 and outbound dates from April 9 and April 10, according to Remy Milburn of the airline's consumer public relations team:

  • San Antonio: Inbound bookings up 127%; outbound bookings up 288% 
  • Cleveland: Inbound bookings up 35%; outbound bookings up 75% 
  • Little Rock: Inbound bookings up 69%; outbound bookings up 78%

A passenger jet flies through the sky during the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017. (Image credit: Getty Images/Grant Faint)

In addition to seeing an upward trend in airline ticket purchases, some cities will have numbers for the record books as well. Cleveland will set a record for spring travel, with the capacity up 15% compared to 2023. Little Rock also will benefit from this flux of flyers, up 33% with its flight schedule since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

United Airlines will have a total of 11 flights in the path of totality on April 8. To make the experience a little sweeter, the company will make sure every customer will have a pair of eclipse glasses for safe viewing of this historic event, the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until 2044. (Delta is offering two special eclipse-viewing flights.)

So if you’re planning on traveling in the days leading up to and after the eclipse, pack some extra patience, as airports will be busy!

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Meredith Garofalo
Contributing Writer

Meredith is a regional Murrow award-winning Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and science/space correspondent. She most recently was a Freelance Meteorologist for NY 1 in New York City & the 19 First Alert Weather Team in Cleveland. A self-described "Rocket Girl," Meredith's personal and professional work has drawn recognition over the last decade, including the inaugural Valparaiso University Alumni Association First Decade Achievement Award, two special reports in News 12's Climate Special "Saving Our Shores" that won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award, multiple Fair Media Council Folio & Press Club of Long Island awards for meteorology & reporting, and a Long Island Business News & NYC TV Week "40 Under 40" Award.