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At just 356 miles, Delta starts flying its shortest wide-body route

Dec. 06, 2022
4 min read
At just 356 miles, Delta starts flying its shortest wide-body route
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Delta Air Lines has a new shortest wide-body route — and it's one that might surprise you.

The airline is currently deploying a Boeing 767-300 between its mega-hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), a roughly one-hour route that's only 356 miles long, as first seen in Cirium schedules.

The Boeing 767 will operate on a roughly daily basis from now until April 9, 2023, as part of a schedule extension that was just filed over the weekend. You'll want to be sure to check the aircraft type when booking to see which plane is slated to operate your flight.

Delta's 767-300 comes in two cabin arrangements. The newest configuration, which is internally dubbed the "76K," features a Delta One, Premium Select, Comfort+ and economy cabin. Delta began a retrofit project for 19 of its 767-300s (and some Airbus A330s) during the pandemic, and the reconfigurations are focused on adding a premium economy cabin to these fleets.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

The 216-seat Boeing 767-300 that's flying to Raleigh-Durham features 26 Delta One pods in a 1-2-1 configuration, 18 Premium Select recliners in a 2-2-2 arrangement, 21 extra-legroom Comfort+ seats and 151 standard economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration.

When the 76K variant operates on short domestic flights, the Premium Select cabin is marketed as Comfort+, which means that Medallion elites and those splurging for extra-legroom seats can enjoy first-class-style recliners at no additional cost. Just be sure to select a seat in rows 20 through 22 while booking.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Twin-aisle jets typically fly on long-haul routes, but every so often, airlines will deploy them on short domestic flights. That can be a great opportunity to try a long-haul product without needing to sit on a plane for hours at a time while crossing multiple time zones.

These planes feature fancy lie-flat business-class cabins, a premium economy section and sometimes even spacious economy products, too.

During the pandemic, airlines suffered from reduced demand, especially on international routes, so it was quite common to find widebodies operating on hub-to-hub flights or routes to popular domestic destinations, such as Hawaii, Las Vegas and Orlando.

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That said, Raleigh-Durham definitely doesn't "feel" like a traditional domestic wide-body route. Perhaps the 767 has some downtime in Atlanta and instead of parking the jet for a few hours, the airline thinks it can fill the 216-seat plane on a short domestic route. Or, perhaps the airline is seeing lots of cargo demand or is doing some pilot training specific to the 767 fleet.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Alternatively, it could just be used as a repositioning flight for the 767 to get to Raleigh-Durham before Delta's transatlantic service to Paris.

Either way, it'll be a great opportunity to fly in comfort on such a short flight. Plus, with plenty of premium seats, scoring an upgrade on one of these flights should be easier than on some of the frequencies that are operated by smaller domestic jets.

For Delta, the Atlanta to Raleigh-Durham route is now its shortest regularly scheduled wide-body flight. The airline does plan three repositioning flights in January on its Airbus A330-300 from Boston to New York, but those aren't regular frequencies.

The following are Delta's 10 shortest wide-body routes (with at least 10 frequencies in a given month), based on Cirium schedules:

OriginDestinationEquipmentDistance (miles)
Atlanta.Raleigh-Durham.Boeing 767.356.
Atlanta.Orlando.Boeing 767.403.
Atlanta.New York.Boeing 767.760.
Detroit.Orlando.Airbus A330.957.
Minneapolis–Saint Paul.Phoenix.Airbus A350.1,276.
Minneapolis–Saint Paul.Orlando.Airbus A330.1,310.
Atlanta.Phoenix.Boeing 767.1,587.
Atlanta.Salt Lake City.Boeing 767.1,589.
Atlanta.Las Vegas.Boeing 767.1,747.
Atlanta.Los Angeles.Boeing 767.1,946.
Featured image by ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees