Southwest and Omni Giving Away 2024 Solar Eclipse Trips


For the uninitiated, a total solar eclipse takes place when Earth’s moon passes between our planet and the sun. During the eclipse, the moon’s umbral shadow moves along what’s known as a path of totality, a long diagonal arc below which the daytime sky darkens suddenly, approximating dusk.

That’s the scientific explanation, anyway. But if you happen to work in corporate marketing, the breakdown is far simpler. The eclipse is coming on April 8, so now’s the time for a bit of planetary promotion.

That was the thinking a few months back when Kurt Alexander, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts, got in touch with Ryan Green, the chief commercial officer at Southwest Airlines. The question: Would you like to get in on something galactic?

Southwest did, and the results of the collaborative effort make their debut today in what the brands are terming a “Solarbration.”

From now until March 11, skyward-looking Americans can enter a sweepstakes. Two winners will get a pair of free tickets for a Southwest flight with a commanding view (no clouds in the way!) of April’s eclipse, along with a night’s stay in an Omni property on either end.

“When the stars align like this,” Southwest’s director of brand and content Julia Melle told ADWEEK, “there’s an opportunity.”

a hotel room with solar system wallpaper on the ceiling
One of Omni’s eclipse-themed rooms.Omni Hotels & Resorts

Work with what you have

There’s opportunity indeed—and no shortage of brands that have realized it, especially those located along the track where the full eclipse will be visible.

Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort in upstate New York is offering a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party with live music. In New Hampshire—which was last in a solar eclipse’s path of totality in 1959—state tourism officials have called April 8 a “massive opportunity” for hotels and restaurants to draw vacationers. On Feb. 19, Delta Airlines announced that one of its Airbus A220s (known for their extra-large windows) would take off on a dedicated eclipse-chasing flight. Seats sold out in 24 hours.

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