19 May A Little PNS Trip

Say PNS five time fast… Ok… you got me! It’s fun to mess around with the Pensacola airport code! All kidding aside, I do have a trip planned to Pensacola, and while it is just a little 24-hour trip, it requires longer routing than others may assume/desire.

While there is a direct flight from Tampa, FL to Pensacola, FL, I opted for a more expensive flight, at a less convenient time, with a connection…

That’s right, people! Rather than flying Silver Airways direct TPA-PNS flight at a reasonable 8:55AM departure, I am flying a TPA-ATL-PNS itenerary on Delta, which includes almost 2 full hours in ATL… at a Tampa departure time of 5:20AM!

Why on earth would it ever make sense for a traveler make this type of selection? Well, maybe because flight time, cost and time of departure are not my top priorities today!

Priority Number 1 – Safety of Airplane/Equipment: Delta>Silver

Delta operates an Airbus A321 TPA-ATL and an MD-80 from ATL-PNS. Silver on the other hand, operates a SAAB SF 340 from TPA-PNS

Never heard of a SAAB SF 340? Well, it is a 12-row Swedish twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Ya… F that noise… I am not messing with any prop planes!

I am sure someone will share some fantastic safety record of the SAAB SF 340, and good for them! This is probably less about safety and more about sense of safety, which I argue is more important than actual safety!

Priority Number 2 – Redemption Cost: $100 worth of points < $170 in cash!

This one is easy. While the dollar cost favors the Silver Airways direct flight, the fact that I can redeem about 20k American Express Membership points, with a 10k point rebate (for now), means that I can fly the Delta route at a reasonable point redemption, with no cash outlay!

I applied for the Business Platinum in Dec 2016 and am going to take advantage of this 50% rebate benefit as long as I can!

Priority Number 3 –

Early morning alcohol – Sky Club style (courtesy of my Amex Platinum Business card). My flight leaves Tampa at 5:20am, with the Delta Sky Club opening its doors at 4:30am – leaving me a solid 30 minutes to get the party started! The real fun comes once I touch down in Atlanta at 6:30am and have a full 2 hours to enjoy the relatively new flagship Delta Sky Club in ATL Concourse B!

Get your priorities straight people!

Final Thought

The drive from Tampa to Pensacola spans just under 7 hours. The direct flight from TPA-PNS spans just 1 hour and 55 minutes. I am opting for neither of those and am instead making the 4+ hour journey to Pensacola with Delta by way of Atlanta.

Seems like I managed to turn my little PNS trip into a much bigger and attractive PNS trip!

Happy PNS Travels!


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