(CNN) — It was a detour in mid-flight that many appreciated. Although unusual for commercial airline passengers, it happened on at least two flights this week when the planes made an unexpected turn to give passengers a unique view of the Northern Lights.

Yes, the natural phenomenon that people from all over the world make expensive trips to high latitudes to witness.

Those aboard easyJet Flight 1806 from Reykjavik to Manchester and Finnair Flight 488 from Kuusamo to Helsinki witnessed the Northern Lights spectacle for the same price as their airfare. Flight tracking websites show that the two planes made small circles mid-air.

Northern Lights

A photo taken by passenger Tuomo Järvinen on a recent Finnair flight.

“Many thanks to the captain of Finnair flight AY488 from KAO to HEL tonight for doing an unscheduled 360 degree turn in the air so all passengers could enjoy the magic,” tweeted Kirsi Komi this Sunday.

CNN reached out to Finnair but did not immediately receive a response.

On Monday, the pilot of easyJet Flight 1806 also made a circle so passengers could see the colored lights.

Ross Sticka was flying to Manchester with his wife, brother and sister-in-law, and was able to take pictures out the window.

Sticka told CNN that they had heard that people on an earlier flight saw the Northern Lights, so they held magazines near the window to block out the plane’s cabin lights in hopes of seeing something.

As he recounted, the easyJet team was amazing and turned off the lights so everyone could see the Northern Lights.

His group was lucky because they were on the left side of the plane, he explained, so they “got a lot of photos before they did the 360.”

“Everyone was so excited, and many hadn’t seen it before. We were lucky to see her twice on our trip to Iceland. It’s an amazing experience,” she added.

Airline was “delighted” to offer the Northern Lights show

Adam Groves tweeted “many thanks” to the easyJet pilot “who did a mid-flight 360-degree turn to make sure all passengers got to see the amazing Northern Lights.”

EasyJet was “delighted” to do so, the airline said in a statement to CNN.

The captain “was able to perform a controlled maneuver to allow passengers to witness the amazing display from the air of one of nature’s greatest sights, the Northern Lights,” the easyJet statement read.

Northern Lights

The flight path of easyJet Flight 1806 from Reykjavik bound for Manchester on Monday.

They offered photo sessions that were impossible to miss. “Too bad I didn’t have the right camera,” Finnair passenger Tuomo Järvinen tweeted.

Still, not bad for a free show:

In 2021 a new information about the northern lights was published. The authors of one study showed that “the brightest auroras are produced by powerful electromagnetic waves during geomagnetic storms.”

CNN’s Ross Levitt contributed to this report.


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