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From California to Florida in 2010

Updated on April 10, 2024

Way back in 2010 I flew from Ontario, California to Phoenix, AZ, and on to Panama City Beach, Florida via US Airways & Delta Airlines. This is a narrative of that experience.

Two of us began our journey with airport shuttle service provided by Affordable Airport Ride located in Redlands, CA. , which I recommend highly. The driver was friendly & professional, and arrived on time to the minute! The van was clean and comfortable, the ride was pleasant, and the price was half what the Super Shuttle requires.

We secured our boarding passes with minor assistance from an airline representative, and then survived the airport security-check fiasco with minor indignities but relative ease.. but the handle on my brand new, not even fully packed OC carry-on broke before I ever got on the plane. . so infuriating! Is there no such thing as quality anymore?!

The flight to Phoenix was about an hour, and we found our way out of the Sky Harbor airport where our ride met up with us smoothly.. We spent the afternoon and evening with loved ones, and then three of us departed via Sky Harbor airport/Delta Airlines for a night flight to Atlanta (ATL). The plane ride was OK, but the coach seats were uncomfortable. I found ATL to be the least desirable airport during our journey.. it was dirtier than the others, the trains were intimidating and extremely fast.. I would not recommend this airport to elderly travelers..

After a two hour layover at ATL, we embarked for Panama City Beach (PFN) on a very small aircraft that proved to be much more comfortable than I anticipated. PFN is a tiny, older and more welcoming airport. I liked it very much, however I understand it will soon be replaced with a more modern facility... I'm hopeful, but doubtful that it will be as welcoming as this older one.. oh well, I guess that's progress????

We spent a week in Panama City Beach.. visiting loved ones, doing a bit of the tourist thing, playing on the most beautiful beach, and being so fascinated with the gorgeous white sand there. In fact I loved it so much that I filled a jar with the sand, and packed it in my bag to take home with me..

Panama City Beach, Florida

OOPS! Upon our departure the following week, the sand proved to be a problem at the PFN Security check. But the airport security person was polite while checking to see if I was carrying powder explosives in my bag!! It was somewhat embarrassing, but I did get to keep my sand, and I still like PFN. Can't complain too much, after all I'd already seen old men being searched like criminals in the other airports, and babies stripped down to nothing in the security checks... Oh well, guess this too is just a part of life in America these days. I did find myself looking upon all this activity with a sense of loss and sadness though... realizing yet another of the freedoms we've lost, and that younger Americans seem to have no clue of what's been robbed from them.

So, we flew from PFN to Memphis (MEM) where we had a pleasant 2 hour layover. I liked that airport. It was clean, easy to navigate, and had fun shops, and friendly personnel. Then we flew back to PHX, dropped off our third travel partner, and headed home to California. Our ride picked us up within 20 minutes, and we arrived home safe but tired. It was quite a trip!


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