As millions of Americans waited excitedly for a view of the latest social eclipse, a plane full of Virgin Atlantic customers bagged the best seat in the house - watching in awe as the moon obscured the sun at 35,000ft.
Flight VS5 from London Heathrow to Miami intercepted the path of the total solar eclipse, offering holidaymakers an unrivalled, cloudless view of the natural phenomena – the first to take place coast to coast over American skies for 99 years.
All 260 customers on board the Virgin Atlantic aircraft were given special eclipse glasses to watch the event safely, and the airline worked with Wi-Fi provider Panasonic to boost the signal on board.
Virgin Atlantic captain Jason Shergold, said: “I’ve been flying for 31 years, and seen some incredible sights from the flight deck – but watching a total solar eclipse at 35,00ft was one of the most amazing experiences that any pilot could have.
“It was a real honour to captain this special eclipse flight and share the experience with our customers on our way to Miami.”
Flight VS5 departed London Heathrow at 11:35 - travelling over the south of England, the Pembrokeshire coast and Cork before starting its journey across the Atlantic.
Several hours later the flight met the path of the eclipse a few hundred miles north east of Miami.
Travelling at 35,000ft the Virgin Atlantic flight offered a totally unobscured view of the eclipse and customers and crew watched from behind their safety glasses as the entire cabin dimmed as the moon passed over the sun.