total eclipse and travel

Total Eclipse Triggers Travel Frenzy: 800% Flight Hikes Plague East Coasters

The “Great North American Eclipse” on April 8th promises a rare celestial spectacle, but for eager skywatchers, witnessing totality could come at an astronomical price. Cities within the path of the total eclipse are experiencing a surge in travel demand, leading to skyrocketing flight costs and sold-out accommodations. For instance, for New Yorkers hoping to witness the eclipse in Buffalo, the closest major city, a quick weekend getaway has morphed into a financial odyssey. Eye-watering flight upcharges exceeding 800% make travel to Buffalo practically astronomical for many.


Eclipse Chasers Face Price Shock

This once-in-a-lifetime event, with the next total eclipse not visible from North America until 2044, has ignited a travel frenzy. Cities like Erie, Pennsylvania and Little Rock, Arkansas, are seeing plane tickets soar from their usual $200-$300 range to a staggering $900, according to travel booking platform Hopper.

Even Dallas, the cheapest major city within the path, boasts starting flight prices of $244, a significant increase compared to typical fares. One ecstatic user on the platform X formerly known as Twitter recounted their experience:

“Wow, booking an airline ticket to ANY city in the path of the total solar eclipse was about as difficult as moving the moon in front of the sun—but we’ll be there in Dallas, watching the stars come out in daytime.”

For travelers on the East Coast, the situation is even more extreme. New Yorkers hoping to witness the eclipse in Buffalo, the closest major city, face eye-watering flight upcharges exceeding 800%. Imagine, a trip that typically costs a few hundred dollars now requires a budget eight times larger! This price gouging makes travel to Buffalo practically astronomical for many New Yorkers. Another user on the social media platform X formerly known as Twitter shared:

“I am really looking forward to the upcoming total eclipse! Flight planned to take me from NFT NYC straight to Southeast Missouri to experience the eclipse. If all goes well, I’ll get a nice photo out of the event as well.”

Total Eclipse Travel Frenzy: Sold-Out Trains and Astronomical Hotel Rates

Train travel isn’t offering much solace either. Amtrak routes for the key dates of April 7th through 10th are completely sold out, leaving New Yorkers with limited options.

Accommodation woes further complicate travel plans. Cities along the eclipse path anticipate an influx of over a million visitors, driving hotel prices to unprecedented highs. In Buffalo, hotels like the Westin Buffalo were already charging more than double their usual rates back in February, with prices exceeding $700 per night. Experts warn that as the event approaches, these prices could climb even higher, potentially reaching several thousand dollars or disappearing altogether. A User from Erie Pennsylvania shared on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter)


“My hometown Erie Pennsylvania expecting 300,000 to 400,000 people for the Total Eclipse Show, all hotels are sold out, people are renting out their homes for $2000 a night”

The surge isn’t limited to luxury hotels. Even budget-friendly chains like Motel 6 and La Quinta have been charging over $300 nightly for months. Travelers seeking to avoid the last-minute rush have reportedly booked rooms over a year in advance, a strategy typically reserved for major sporting events like the Super Bowl.

Total Eclipse Travel – Cities Brace for Record-Breaking Tourism

For many smaller cities within the eclipse path, April is typically a slow tourist season. The eclipse, however, promises a windfall. Buffalo and other destinations are preparing for an unprecedented influx of visitors. Patrick Keller, CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, told local media in February, “[Hotel] rates are at $400 all the way up to $1,000 at this point.”

The event isn’t just boosting hotel occupancy – entire cities are bracing for record-breaking travel numbers. Cleveland anticipates a 15% increase in spring travel compared to 2023, while Little Rock expects a staggering 33% jump in air travel since the pandemic began.

The “Great North American Eclipse” may offer a once-in-a-lifetime celestial experience, but for budget-conscious travelers, witnessing the event might require astronomical sacrifices.

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