Flying to the USA

My family lives on the west coast of the US so it’s much easier for us to go to them, especially now that they have little kids. It’s a long trip. Thursday we took the bus from David to Panama City and stayed in a hostel near the airport. Friday was the flights from Panama City to San Francisco where my daughter picked us up, and then we drove to Santa Rosa.

It was a beautiful morning. As we flew north over the Caribbean the scenery and clouds were really beautiful.

Our flight path took us over Cuba. Here are a few pictures I snapped as we passed over.

Later we made our way up the east coast of Florida

The east coast of Florida

The east coast of Florida

Finally we landed in Atlanta! We had a layover of more than three hours which I thought was good because we had to clear customs. It went very fast though. There was no waiting at the machines where you scan your passport and answer a few questions. There was a short line to turn in the printout and get passports stamped, and no wait to pick up luggage. We quickly made it through the next checkpoint, dropped off our luggage again, and cleared the security check. Then it was a tram ride and we were in the correct concourse for our next flight.

We taxi towards the Atlanta airport

We taxi towards the Atlanta airport

Delta’s idea if breakfast was a bit lacking- a cold meat and cheese sandwich and a snickers bar, so we were ready for some lunch. We had a great burger and chicken sandwich at Boardwalk Burgers, and enjoyed the jazz pianist at the nearby pizza restaurant.

The next flight to San Francisco was totally full and I was on the aisle, so I didn’t take any photos. I sat next to Megan, photo editor for Frommers travel books, really fun lady, and watched two movies so the flight went fast. We landed in a beautiful sunset and it was lovely coming into SFO.

SFO, waiting for my daughter to pick us up

SFO, waiting for my daughter to pick us up

It’s a bit of a drive to Santa Rosa but it was a beautiful evening. Amy was doing the driving so I could just enjoy.

City traffic

City traffic

Last but hardly least, we cross the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge in the night

The Golden Gate Bridge in the night

 

 

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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16 Responses to Flying to the USA

  1. Wow.Thanks Kris for sharing your journey over the last two posts. I’ve bookmarked the first one cause I can just follow your trip to Panama City in reverse when I decide to head out for winter.

    Nick

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  2. LIANE MARQUES & CAMILO QUELQUEJEU says:

    I am glad you had a pleasant trip from Panamá to Atlanta to SFco. and Santa Rosa !

    So when will you be returning to David ? I love your stories, photographs and adventures !

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  3. Jo Anne Campbell says:

    Thanks for keeping us updated on your trip. Enjoyed the pictures and I’m certain meeting a fellow photographer must have been interesting. Our love to the girls and their families. Keep up the blogs. We enjoy them all. Jo Anne

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    • Of course 🙂 Stayed tuned because there will be pictures of kids coming up. Next weekend both girls and family and the in-laws will all be together so it’s going to be great!

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  4. Wow, SFO via Atlanta, long flight time, not able to do Copa direct to SFO?
    I have a redeye flight on Nov 2 direct from SFO to Panama, then Luis picks me up and drops me at Allbrook for the bus ride back to Las Tablas where Connie will pick me up and home to Pedasi.
    Have a Great time with your children and grandchildren in Santa Rosa.
    I will be visiting my daughter and grandchildren in San Jose when I don’t have appointments at the VA or California DMV.

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  5. When I booked these tickets the Copa direct was around $1400. I just checked the price for a month from now and it’s $1139. We have more time than money, so no thanks. Our trip was longer but less than $500, and no red eye either.
    Thanks, we are having a great time already 🙂

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  6. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    WoW! I will never again complain about the 7 hour trip from DFW to PTY on United. We used to pay ~$400 for round trip if booked far enough in advance, currently the fare is $1000+/-. We did once get delayed leaving Houston in a driving rain squall on the Texas coast for 7 hours. But, we spent the time with a son who was flying his mom back to Venezuela via Panama; he left Venezuela when Chavez took over and we shared stories about our 3 years there back in the ’80’s.
    Enjoy the time with family, the kids grow so fast nowadays. Our grands are a half a foot taller every week, it seems.

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    • It seems like airfare prices keep rising and you have to start looking well in advance to find a decent price. But true, you often encounter interesting people along the way, and sometimes unfortunate delays occasionally. But, it all works out eventually.
      You’re right, kids change so fast. I’m glad to be back with them for a while.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    I am flying to Panama on Nov.11 from Ohio and bought into the myth that the lowest price would be found 49 days from the day of the trip. Not so, apparently. I paid $743 and about 10 days later the price went down $350! That fare was only available for about 3 or 4 days, though. Sometimes it just must take luck!

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    • Well bummer! I hate it when that happens. I’ve also found good fares, just to have them disappear in a day or two when I’m ready to buy.
      I hope you have a good time in Panama.

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    • jim and nena says:

      Airfares are worse than playing the tables at Vegas. We have had luck with kayak.com if you search flexible dates. Another popular site is http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/ where you can get email alerts when the price drops on your favorite routes.

      Nowadays it gets trickier with airlines posting a fare that does not include baggage fees, in flight meals, etc. Next they will be charging for breathable air enroute. 🙂 Also, you must watch for those 12 hour layovers in Mexico City, or San Jose. The few times we got direct DFW to PTY with American were heaven but there isn’t enough interest for American to keep the route year around. I flew one wide body flight with SIX people on board. We each had our own personal flight attendant. Unless they were carrying tons of cargo, there is no way that flight made money.

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  8. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    OK, I just gotta ask: are you being blamed for all the rain? 🙂
    It seems that whenever we came back from a Panama trip, we brought the rain with us and got blamed for it. Lucky for you, you are used to it.

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