Trip Report: Delta Airlines MD-88 first class West Palm Beach to Atlanta

DL md88 new first class seats

01. Introduction: Delta Airlines first class San Diego to West Palm beach via Atlanta
02. Delta Airlines 757-200 first class San Diego to Atlanta
03. Delta Airlines 757-200 first class Atlanta to West Palm Beach
04. Delta Airlines MD-88 first class West Palm Beach to Atlanta
05. Delta Airlines 757-200 first class Atlanta to San Diego

The aviation geek in me is ashamed to admit that I didn’t even know beforehand what type of aircraft was scheduled for this short hop up to ATL. I’ve flown this route on Delta a million times (more or less) and it’s usually one of three aircraft: a 767, 757, or MD-88. The 757-200’s are the most common though, and I that’s what I assumed it would be this time. My line of thinking was that there was no way it would be an MD-88 due to the fact that it was high-season in south Florida, and they probably needed all the lift they could get. I nearly broke my arm patting myself on the back for thinking so logically, so I was a bit more than surprised (and humbled) when a MD-88 rolled up to gate C3.

west palm beach main airport terminal
Inside the main terminal at PBI right before going through security
west palm beach airport terminal c
Entering concourse C right after clearing the security checkpoint
inside concourse c west palm beach airport
Not a very flattering shot of concourse C here at PBI, but it is a pretty nice airport.
gate c3 flight information board PBI
I love it when the flight information board shows an on time departure!

DL1109
West Palm Beach, FL (PBI) – Atlanta, GA (ATL)
Saturday December 27 2014
Aircraft: MD-88
Seat: 3A (First)

Delta Airlines MD-88 N969DL
Delta Airlines MD-88 N969DL side view illustration by Norebbo
route map pbi-atl showing weather
Our route up to ATL today: TBIRD1 SHEDS ORL J81 VQQ ONYON1

We had a cat to rescue from the pet hotel in San Diego before they closed for the day, so it was important that all our flights were on time for the day! You know how the saying goes: “if the cat ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. Or something like that. 🙂 But it’s true – our cat would be none too pleased with having to spend another night in jail, so I was really happy to see that our flight to Atlanta was right on time. On top of that, the weather looked pretty good all the way north so I wasn’t anticipating any delays.

gate c3 jet bridge west palm beach airport
Walking down the jet bridge to board the flight to ATL
delta MD-88 at PBI
Up close and personal look at the MD-88 that would be flying us up to Atlanta this morning.
waiting to board
Even though we were one of the first passengers to board, we still had to wait while others tried to stuff their oversized bags into the bins.

July 12, 2012 was the last time I was on an MD-88 (this same route as a matter of fact), so I didn’t mind the fact that we didn’t get a 757 for this leg up to ATL. Making it even better was the fact that this aircraft was outfitted with Delta’s new first class seats, which is the first time that I’ve had the chance to try them out. Not only do they look cool with the race car red stripe, but they were fairly comfortable as well. Firm and supportive, but still squishy enough to feel like a first class seat. These may look like typical slimeline seats, but I assure you they are not.

new delta first class seats
Brand new first class seats on this MD-88
delta md-88 first class leg room
Let room up here in first class was pretty good. Not excellent, but good.
in seat power outlets delta first class
Power ports at every seat. Nice!
delta md-88 first class cabin
Wide angle shot of the entire MD-88 first class cabin. I like the subtle texture on the bulkhead walls – very nice touch.
my delta first class boarding pass
Let’s get this show on the road!

PBI is a small enough airport that the time from pushback to liftoff is always minimal with very little waiting. We blasted off runway 10 right on time, with some great views of West Palm Beach and coastal Florida as we turned north for ATL.

west palm beach international airport
Pushing back from the gate. Looks kind of desolate out there, doesn’t it?
runway 10 at PBI
Looking down runway 10
departing west palm beach international airport
Liftoff from runway 10, with one last look at the PBI terminal building.
West Palm Beach from the air
Nice overview of West Palm Beach
west palm beach intracoastal
Looking down on the intracoastal, with nice sandy beaches a bit further to the east.
all of west palm beach from the air
One last look at PBI off in the distance

I’m happy to report that in-flight service was a whole heck of a lot better than what it was on our trip down to PBI the previous Tuesday. The flight attendant was cheerful and pleasant, constantly roaming the cabin checking in on everyone.

As usual with Delta domestic first class service, hot towels were distributed immediately before drinks and snacks were served. There was no meal on this flight (none was expected), but the flight attendant made several passes through the cabin with the snack basket for those who were hungry.

water and pretzel snack in first class
Delta first class snack service
gloomy skies over Georgia
The skies began to get a bit gloomy the closer we got to ATL
approaching ATL
This is a far cry from south Florida
arrival at ATL
Welcome to Atlanta!

Much to our cat’s pleasure, we arrived into ATL right on time, giving us approximately two and half hours before our connecting flight home to San Diego. I didn’t mind the layover though – as a matter of fact, the longer the better at ATL if arriving during meal times. There are a plethora of restaurants to grab a bite – even healthy choices, which I highly appreciate.

Comments (4)

  1. Clark Henry

    August 1, 2016
    • SANspotter

      August 3, 2016
  2. Jackson

    September 18, 2017
    • SANspotter

      September 18, 2017

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