Many people keep a log of their flying and put together an end-of-year summary. Mine tend to be pretty dull compared to most users of the Great Circle Mapper but 2023 offered a few interesting twists. The raw map wasn't very satisfying due to a jumble of intra-California flights buried within some longer flights. The Bézier paths which debuted during 2023 seemed like a good tool to create a clearer map, but these maps are fussy to create. Yesterday, my first flight of the new year provided the perfect quiet time during which to build a better map.
Living under arrival paths for San Francisco and having grown up in the shadow of Chicago O'Hare, most of my flying is on United. One twist this year was airline diversity, with my first flight on Southwest since 2012 and first on Delta since 2001, plus my first ever flighs on JetBlue. I wanted to highlight this variety in the map.
Some other numbers and highlights:
Seven of the trips were simple round-trips. The remaining trip spanned five flights, with an open-jaw trip on United (including a connection each way) wrapped around a flight on Delta and a lot of driving. It also included two new airports for me: Detroit and Saginaw, the latter another one of my departure only" airports. Using frequent-flier miles to fly from SFO to Washington Dulles, a hub-to-hub route for United, led me to connect in San Diego, with the novelty of a Boeing 777 on the SAN-IAD flight. After a visit to Wiliamsburg, Virginia, I flew to Detroit, visited friends farther north in Michigan, then flew home from Saginaw via Chicago.
Another change from my norm was three trips from San José; I generally prefer to fly from SFO but SJC happened to work better for these trips.
Four of the trips were to Los Angeles for airplane-watching from the park near In-N-Out Burger—and visiting with friends. Three of these were same-day trips, almost like taking the train to San Francisco for dinner.
My flying encompassed six different aircraft types:
Today's Featured Map shows these trips. Orange paths were on Southwest, including two from San José to LAX and another from SFO-LAX. There's another SFO-LAX trip in blue, flown on JetBlue. The one Delta flight is red, with the United flying in what United calls Pacific Blue.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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