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EWR-LAS-EWR on CO - 12/9-12/12

EWR-LAS-EWR on CO - 12/9-12/12

Old Dec 15, 99, 9:50 am
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
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EWR-LAS-EWR on CO - 12/9-12/12

My long awaited "business trip" to Las Vegas was this past weekend. (Well, it was mostly business, although I did find quite a bit of time to spend at the blackjack tables.) Flights both ways were on CO 737-800...my first trip on the new plane, and my first to Vegas. Out of fear of the 31" seat pitch and two coach lavs, I elected to spend the miles to upgrade to First both ways.

Outbound was the 19:50 flight from EWR to LAS. I got to EWR about 1 hour before the flight (after a fiasco with the car service not showing up..thank God traffic was light!)...it didn't really matter whether I used the standard or Elite/First line...both were WAY long! After about 20 minutes, I got to the front of the line, checked in, and the frazzled agent forgot to aks for my certificate...ch-ching! Seat 3A...already boarding when I got to the gate, but I like to board last anyway. Pretty full flight, but I didn't much care.

Now the annoying part, which I'm afraid may be somewhat typical of EWR: The jetway pulled back right on time...but the pilot was still waiting for paperwork. 10 minutes after scheduled departure, the paperwork came, but there was a traffic jam behind us, so it was another 10 before we could push back. Then once we pushed back, another 30 in line to take off. Due to headwinds and such, we never made up the time, and arrived 45 minutes late to LAS.

As for inflight, the service was impeccable. The FC snack was a cold shrimp plate, with 6 boiled shrimp and cocktail sauce, a tasty pasta salad, a cold breaded (?) chicken breast, and good (by airline standards) warm roll, and the typical Ghirardelli square. Considering I hustled from work to make the flight, and that NYers never eat dinner before 20:00 anyway, I had hoped for something more subtantial. But it was tasty. Of course, pre-takeoff and inflight drink service were frequent and efficient. Film was Inspector Gadget...I paid brief attention, but mostly read my book.

Return flight on Sunday: First, the inflight staff was really polite outbound, but on this flight, you could have cut the attitude with a dagger. The flight was nearly full, and everybody had (often oversized) carry-ons...and once the overheads were full, the FAs were downright pissy about telling pax what to do with their bags. (Especially the head FA...I never saw anyone who appeared to hate her job so much!) It didn't help that from seat 2B (which has AWESOME legroom), I overheard all the gossip and griping (annoying pax, no crew meals, etc.). However, we got basically all the service as the prior flight, though certainly not with a smile!

The flight was a 23:10 departure. No coach meal, and the FC snack was the same shrimp plate from the outbound. (Do they prepare this everywhere, or carry it around with them?) The pasta salad was not as good good and the chicken was not breaded, but otherwise, no different. Film: Mickey Blue Eyes...I made sure to be sleep-deprived so a few cocktails put me out like a light.

As for the craft, take off and landing were generally quite smooth, but we had mega turbulence inflight both ways, so it wasn't much fun. The seats were not as comfy for napping as they appeared, and the overheads, while nice and deep, did not seem very tall. Most noticeable was a loud hum or buzz in the engines on takeoff until we reached cruising altitude. Not sure if this is typical, or just the particular a/c (I think it was the same one on both legs). That was surprising. But I haven't flown a 737 in a long time, so my frame of reference may be off.

As for Vegas, I stayed at Bally's (where my conference was), which is kinda sorry as "resort" hotels go, but I was **** lucky in their casino. Gave a lot of money back at New York, New York, however. Net +$70 for the trip (ranged -$150 to +$300 through the 3 days). Paris and New York, New York both get my awards for implementation of their concepts, but I'm afraid the themes would have nauseated me if I had spent too much time in either of them!
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