01. Introduction: Farewell to the domestic Delta Airlines 767-300
02. Delta Airlines 767-300 first class San Diego to Atlanta
03. Delta Airlines 737-900/ER first class Atlanta to Orlando
04. Delta Airlines A321 first class Orlando to Atlanta
05. Delta Airlines 767-300 first class Atlanta to San Diego
2016 hasn’t really been a stellar year of travel for me thus far, and I’m not going to lie when I say that I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that before this trip began, I had only flown 6 segments this year for a grand total of 7,444 miles. Hardly respectable numbers for someone who considers himself to be a hard-core travel junkie, right? The year is half over for crying out loud, so I’ve got to get some trips booked if I want to avoid having this one go down as one of my slowest travel years ever.
Luckily I’ve got family spread all over the US (all in the eastern half), so the need to keep up appearances and stay in touch with everyone requires a bit of air travel. And no, there’s no chance of me driving to and from any of these family visits – I’d certainly love to do a long road trip to Florida, but I just don’t have the time for that kind of thing at the moment. Flying it is!
My annual trips to Florida are usually the same every time. I always fly Delta, and I always fly into West Palm Beach via Atlanta. Over and over and over again – I’ve done it so many times that it almost feels like commuting to me at this point. Interestingly enough, my parents moved to Port St Lucie (well north of Palm Beach) a few months ago, which puts them smack dab in the middle between two decent airports with a wide variety of service options: Orlando (MCO) and West Palm Beach (PBI). I now have a choice of airports when going to visit my parents! That’s good news considering that MCO is usually a lot cheaper to fly into than PBI and I’m a big fan of saving a buck wherever I can. Additionally, I’ve never been to MCO before so it was the obvious choice for this trip. I love adding new airports to my flight log, so…thanks mom and dad!
Here’s the itinerary for this trip:
07/02/16 DL1592 767-300 first class SAN-ATL
07/02/16 DL897 737-900/ER first class ATL-MCO
07/08/16 DL82 A321 first class MCO-ATL
07/08/16 DL1567 767-300 first class ATL-SAN
It should be noted that when I booked this itinerary, the aircraft scheduled to operate both the ATL-MCO and MCO-ATL segments were the brand-spankin’ new A321’s. But in typical Delta fashion, they swapped to a 737-900/ER on the ATL-MCO segment just a few days before the departure date. That wasn’t really all that shocking to me given how dynamic DL’s fleet scheduling is – they are notorious for last minute equipment swaps like this, and I know all too well that what is booked is never a guarantee of what shows up to the gate with this airline.
One other interesting thing to note about this trip is that I will be flying a pair of domestic-configured non-ER 767-300’s between San Diego and Atlanta. Sadly, these aircraft are at the end of their life with Delta and they are scheduled to be retired at the end of the summer. Not only is it always sad to see domestic widebody aircraft retired from the skies, but it also means that SAN will no longer have domestic widebody service other than the daily Hawaiian A330 to HNL once the season is over. Delta is currently sending multiple 767’s to SAN every day from ATL, so I’m not looking forward to seeing them being replaced by much smaller (and not as interesting) 737-900’s.
Grab your swim trunks and let’s go to Florida!