(Traveled on March 3-8, 2017)
This article is an overview of a trip to Miami that I took recently. Detailed articles about some of the parts of the trip will follow – the articles I will write are listed at the bottom of this one. I will add the links there as I publish the posts.
Back in January, Delta Air Lines offered flights from Tokyo and Osaka in Japan to many cities in the United States for less than $300 roundtrip. I missed out on a similar offer the year before, and so, this time I made sure to take an advantage of it.
The destinations offered included Phoenix, San Diego, Boston, Dallas, and Miami among others. After considering some of the cities, I decided to book a trip to Miami in March to do some spotting there.
Later on, I also decided to apply for the Japanese version of Delta Amex Gold credit card as it comes with a complimentary Gold Medallion status and they were offering a mileage bonus for taking an international flight out of Tokyo on Delta in the first couple of months of membership.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Getting to Miami
The trip started on March 3, 2017. Instead of heading to the airport just in time for my 5:45PM departure, I decided to go in the morning and spend the day at the airport. Besides doing some spotting, I also managed to visit the Museum of Aeronautical Science adjacent to Narita airport.
After getting back to the airport, I quickly checked in for my flights, and headed to one of the two Delta Sky Club lounges that Narita offers, courtesy of the Gold Medallion status.
The first flight of the trip was from Tokyo to Detroit onboard a Delta 747. I was glad to be able to try the Delta Jumbo before its retirement later this year. I will not write a full report on this flight, but rather about the return leg. However, below are some pictures.
As I only had about 1 hour and 20 minutes to transfer at Detroit, and it took me a bit longer than I expected to clear the immigration and recheck my bag, I did not have time to visit the Delta Sky Club there.
Instead, I went directly to the gate for my next flight, DL2289 to Atlanta. The one and a half hour long flight was operated by an A320, and was fairly uneventful. As such, I will not write a full report on it either, but I will post some pictures here.
Upon our arrival in Atlanta, I was amazed by the size of the airport. The rows and rows of aircraft waiting for their flights at the gates made it clear that I was at the busiest airport in the world.
My flight arrived at Concourse D, and after getting of the aircraft, I took the automated train to Concourse B where my final flight of the day, to Miami, was departing from. I had about three hours to spare, and so I went to what turned out to be the newest and second largest Sky Club in the network.
The late night flight to Miami was operated by a Boeing 757-200. Initially, I was upgraded to Economy Comfort (seat with increased seat pitch), but eventually I ended up flying in first – once again thanks to the Gold Medallion status.
Finally, after arriving in Miami, I hopped on the shuttle bus to Days Inn Miami International Airport hotel which was my home for the four nights of the trip. While not the best in terms of facilities, the hotel is located just a five minute walk from the best spot at Miami airport.
Spotting in Miami and Fort Lauderdale
As for my stay in Miami, I had three full days. While the weather forecast was looking bad before my departure, luckily, day one and day two of the trip were sunny most of the time. The third day was mostly cloudy, but there were still some sunny moments that got me out of the hotel.
Most of the time, I spent spotting at Miami airport, capturing the diverse South American traffic among other aircraft that could be seen at the airport.
However, on the second day, thanks to two German spotters I met on the first day, I was also able to spend a couple of hours at Fort Lauderdale airport – adding a bit more variety to the photos.
Going Back to Japan
As I had over two hours to spend at the airport, I did some lounge hopping. First, I visited the Avianca VIP Lounge. Second, I went to VIP Lounge by LATAM. Both of these are located in Concourse J, and are part of the Priority Pass network.
Finally, I went back to Concourse H where my flight was departing from, and paid the Delta Sky Club there a visit.
I left the Delta Sky Club just as the boarding for my flight to Detroit was scheduled to start. When I got to gate H5 a minute later, I was glad to see that there was no aircraft change, and that an MD-88 was at the gate.
The flight to Detroit took 2 hours and 45 minutes, and once again, I was lucky to be seated in first.
Then, it was off to gate A50 to take flight DL275 to Tokyo. The flight was, again, operated by a 747 – in fact, it was the exact same aircraft that brought me in. The most interesting part of the flight was, perhaps, the passenger in front of me – a Siberian Husky!
List of Articles Related to This Trip
- Spotting Report: Saudi Cargo 777 and Yakutia SSJ at Tokyo Narita
- Aviation Museum: Museum of Aeronautical Sciences (Shibayama, Japan)
- Lounge Review: Delta Sky Club No. 2 at Tokyo Narita
- Lounge Review: Delta Sky Club (Concourse B) at Atlanta
- Flight Report: Delta Air Lines 757-200 from Atlanta to Miami in First Class
- Spotting Hotel Review: Days Inn Miami International Airport
- Spotting Report: My First Encounter with Miami Airport Traffic
- Spotting Report: The Second, No Less Interesting Day at Miami Airport
- Spotting Report: “Canadian Festival” at Fort Lauderdale Airport
- Spotting Report: The Last Sunny Moments of My Stay in Miami
- Spotting Guide: Miami International Airport During Easterly Winds
- Lounge Review: Avianca VIP Lounge at Miami International
- Lounge Review: VIP Lounge by LATAM at Miami International
- Lounge Review: Delta Sky Club at Miami International
- Flight Report: Delta Air Lines MD-88 from Miami to Detroit in First Class
- Lounge Review: Delta Sky Club Near Gate A38 at Detroit
- Flight Report: Delta Air Lines 747-400 from Detroit to Tokyo Narita