Let me first say that Vegas pretty much rules. Where else can you go and eat all the shrimp and New York steak you can handle for $10.99? Where else can you play 25 cent hands of video poker and get fed free drinks all night? I had a great time playing craps with Julia and Garren and video poker with Keith. However, travel to and from on this trip has stunk.
On the flight out here I was delayed two hours. Not a big deal since it was a direct fligh. However, on the way back it has been a totally different story. I sit here writing this post in the D terminal while waiting for a flight back to Seattle. If this story had happened to anyone else I’d be laughing, so feel free.
1:30PM – Having a 5:00 fligh and having heard that security and lines at Las Vegas can be a horrific experience, I decide to leave the Monte Carlo early for the airport.
1:45PM – I arrive at the airport to find out that my cab does not, for some reason, accept credit cards. After a frantic search for an ATM I get some cash and find my cabby, thankfully, waiting for his fare.
1:55PM – After a few failed attempts at the automated check-in station I am forced to wait in a long line for a real person to check me into my flight.
2:20PM – Arrive in security line and manage to get through security without any difficulties. I’ve learned to: a.) not wear a belt to the airport, b.) wear flip-flops and c.) stow my cell phone, wallet, watch, etc. in my carry one BEFORE getting in the security line.
2:40PM – Sit down to read my magazines, check email and call my Mom to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day.
4:40PM – On the way back from the bathroom I notice my plane is delayed an hour, which means I’ll be missing my connection flight from Phoenix to Seattle.
4:50PM – Stand in line at the courtesy desk and find out that I’ve been booked on an Alaskan Airlines direct flight (yay!) that leaves from Las Vegas at 11:10PM (boo!). It gets better, I’m only “booked” and have yet to get a “seat assignment”, which means I must leave the secured area to go to Alaskan Airlines’ ticket counter to get a seat assignment. This, of course, means I have to go BACK through security.
5:00PM – Make my way to the Alaskan Airlines ticket counter and get a seating assignment. As I’m grabbing the ticket from the counter person’s hand, her manager comes over and announces “Do NOT sell any more to America West.” Thankfully, I had already gotten my ticket, but if I had shown up 2 minutes later I’d have been out of luck.
5:10PM – Get back into the security line and find out that I’ve been marked for “special screening” and directed to another line. Am I fuming at this point? You bet. I get in the “special screening” line and check out my fellow terrorists: two small girls and their mom, a middle aged couple and me. Damn, and I left my turbin at home.
5:40PM – After going through not one, but two different scanners and having my bags completely searched, I finally start making my way to my gate. Oh joy, I get to take a tram over to the other side of the airport.
6:00PM – Hunker down for what will be about a five hour delay. The only bright spot being that there is free WiFi at my gate.
9:00PM – Find out my 11:10PM flight has been delayed until 1:15AM.
5:21AM – Finally arrive home and promptly pass out.
I wouldn’t be so pissed if America West had made some token gesture. Maybe a food coupon for a free dinner? Anything to at least attempt to make up for having me go through the security line twice, barely get a ticket on the next flight and then wait six hours in all to get back home. The best part? You guessed it, I have to pay a cab to get home as my wife will be sound asleep by the time I get home, which I’m hoping will be around 3:00AM Monday morning.
I used to fly America West a lot because they are cheap but also because Detroit is one of their hubs. Since moving to NYC I don’t fly them as much anymore as my options have increased a hundred-fold. A few years ago I was flying back to NYC from San Francisco, with a plane change in Vegas. The flight out of SF was delayed so I misses my connecting flight. All was good though becuase America West put me up in a cheap hotel, which I ended up sharing with a chick I met in the SFO airport who was on her way to Vegas for a Phosh concert. We stayed up all night on the strip, seeing the sights.
America West flies the oldest fleet of planes of any U.S.-based carrier. Most of their planes are refurbished planes bought from other carriers when they upgrade their fleets.
Umm, no. First off, America West’s hubs are Phoenix and Las Vegas. Detroit is a big hub for Northwest, and that’s about it. Although Spirit has a number of non-stops from DTW also.
Secondly, AW’s fleet isn’t the oldest. I belive that title also belongs to Northwest, or at least until their newly ordered planes arive. 🙂