01. Introduction: San Diego to Minneapolis on Sun Country and Delta Airlines
02. Sun Country 737-700 first class San Diego to Minneapolis
03. Delta Airlines 737-800 first class Minneapolis to Salt Lake City
04. Delta Airlines 737-800 first class Salt Lake City to San Diego
Immediately upon exiting the aircraft from our flight from Minneapolis, I turned around to check the gate display screen to see where that aircraft was headed next (like I always do) and wouldn’t you know it…that same airplane would be taking us home to San Diego as DL2429 in about an hour. While convenient, it was disappointing at the same time considering that I was hoping to get an aircraft that had the new first class seats for the final leg home. Oh well.
It had been a long time since I’ve last been at SLC, and to be honest it didn’t seem very familiar to me at all. I even spent an entire morning here back in May of 2000 doing some aviation photography between flights, but man…either the terminal is completely new or my memory is downright pathetic. The scenery in the distance looked the same, but here inside the airport it was all new to me. We didn’t have much time to look around anyway – it was a very short layover so having a more in-depth look around was going to have to wait until some other time.
Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) – San Diego, CA (SAN)
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Seat: 4A (first class)
I said before in the review of my MSP-SLC segment that I am already quite familiar with Delta’s domestic first class product, and being that this was the same airplane that I just stepped off of, there was absolutely nothing to look forward to about this flight (other than the scenery out the window). I had seat 4A this time – which is the same row I was just in but on the other side of the aisle. And yes, 4A was exactly the same as 4D. But for the purposes of making the trip report complete here are the pics:
The sun was dropping fast and I was getting a bit anxious to get going so I could get some decent pics of our departure. The entire region was blanketed in a fresh thick coat of snow, and the thought of getting some decent pics of that along with the mountains and a sunset was really getting me excited. Of course we took what seemed to be the long way out to the departure runway this evening, but in the end, I managed to get some really good video:
Recording that video had me busy for the first 20 minutes of the flight, but once the sun dropped below the horizon I turned my focus back to the first class cabin. But really – on these sub two-hour flights, there isn’t much that comes with the first class experience other than a bigger seat, a drink or two, and the snack basket.
There wouldn’t be a meal served on this flight tonight, and I wasn’t all that hungry yet, so I just napped for a bit until we began the descent into San Diego. I even recorded some video of the entire landing and taxiing procedure. It’s a bit dark (duh), and a bit blurry at times (because my camera didn’t know what to focus on), but it turned out to be a pretty decent representation of what it’s like to land at SAN in the dark.
We ended up docking at gate 49, and from there I went straight to Phil’s BBQ here in terminal 2 to grab some barbecue chicken to take home for dinner. We had some time to kill anyway since it’s always a bit of a wait at baggage claim here in San Diego for reasons I’ll never understand. But it all worked out perfectly – our bags were already on the carousel when we arrived so all we had to do was grab them and go.
Halfway through the taxi ride home, I had a really scary thought that made my stomach drop and filled me with anxiety: I had absolutely no idea where my house keys were. They weren’t in my pockets, and since I wasn’t carrying a backpack or a bag, the only place they could be was in the suitcase. But the problem was that I had zero recollection of packing them before today’s flights. As a matter of fact, I hadn’t even seen them since we’ve been in Minnesota! Did I lock us out of the house?? That thought became more of a possibility to me as the taxi driver pulled up to our front door. This was not good – especially considering it was New Years Eve and finding a locksmith to come rescue us would likely be problematic.
I was whispering prayers of hope as I unzipped our suitcase at our front doorstep and dug through the pockets of my winter jacket that was packed inside. I had no recollection of putting my keys in there, but it was the only place I thought they could be. If they weren’t in my jacket we were pretty much screwed.
The feeling of finding my keys in the front pocket of my jacket was euphoric to say the least. 😃 Horrors of spending the evening camped out on our front doorstep were washed away in a huge feeling of relief, and I’m not lying when I say that it never felt so good to unlock that front door and step inside. Ahhh…home at last.
That happy ending wraps up this holiday trip to Minnesota and back. Thanks for reading – and stay tuned for my next trip report, which will be a destination significantly warmer than Minneapolis!