After having spent a couple of days in Miami it was time for me to move on to the “entertainment capital of the world”, as Las Vegas brands itself. Surprisingly there are only few direct connections available from the Miami area to Nevada, with the major carrier being American Airlines (AA). I chose a flight in the afternoon around 4 pm to be able to enjoy the beach in the morning and because Las Vegas is most interesting at night-time anyway.
At the airport
I have used Miami Int. Airport in the past and whilst the airport is more or less alright in general, the walking distances were long and security control was an issue. History was to be repeated again… Check-in at the AA desk took about 10 minutes and staff was competent, but not the most friendly. But I can live with it as long as they give me a boarding pass, which they did. The gate was to be at the end of the complex, which meant I was being sent away from the faster security lines with more staff to the one at the end of terminal that only had two lines open. One line was much faster and shorter than the other, but no actual distinction was made and it was pure luck in which line you would end up. Naturally I got in the longer and slower one (aren’t we always in the wrong line?) and waited for an unbelievable 50 minutes to cross a distance of 30 metres. But once through security life was good again and I headed to the gate.
The aircraft on today flight was a Boeing 757-223 with winglets, registration N606AA. It was built in 1996, but you could not guess its age from the in- our outside as it looked well-maintained. After it arrived on time, it took ages for all passengers to deboard the aircraft, something that seems to be very typical in the USA and I often noticed it on other flights already…
We had a slight delay due to the slow ground handling. After boarding, push-back and some taxing around the airport we stopped and the pilots shut down the two Rolls-Royce RB211 engines – we had to wait for another 15 minutes due to slot restrictions! We finally got airborne somewhen and it was time for me to take a little snapshot of the cabin.
As you can see there is no individual in-flight entertainment provided and the movies/tv shows that were being displayed on the center monitors were not really interesting to me. The seats were okay-ish, but not that comfortable, especially for a flight of this duration! The distance between Miami and Las Vegas is roughly 4000 km (or 2500 miles) and the flight lasted about five long hours. To my surprise there was no food served for free and we only got two rounds of drinks. I understand that cost-cutting was necessary for many US airlines and that one must not necessarily eat something on an afternoon flight, but hey, this AA and not some no-frill low-cost airline! It would have been nice to have something in my stomach and if it was just a cookie. But I survived and once we landed on runway 07R and stopped at the gate, I was too excited to think about food. But there was of course time for a photo (unfortunately the same perspective as in Miami):
Arrival in Las Vegas
Now everybody knows that Las Vegas is THE gambling capital of the Western civilisation and so the first thing you will see in the airport are slot machines! Wherever people may have a few spare minutes to spend (e.g. near the gate), they can play and eventually lose money. Many of the machines are penny slots, so you will only lose one or two dollars though.
Walking down the terminal, I had to board a little train to get to the arrivals section. Yet, all in all it only took me about 10 minutes from the gate to the baggage claim area, where my luggage was already going around in circles. Wow! Before I got into a taxi to take me right down to my hotel on the strip, I went upstairs to the top-level of the parking garage in order to take a look over the airport and the casinos on the strip – it was an amazing view…
Las Vegas, here I come…!!!