Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oh yeah - we went to Las Vegas!!

I may have mentioned that this year's festivities, in part, took place in Las Vegas.
You know - flashy lights, a little warmer, casinos :).

Our time there was good. And hey, getting out the door is a lot easier without snow suits!!
But getting there. Oi Veh. Let me share the tale....
 1. Bad customer service - my phone call/ticket information is apparently usually an inconvenience.
2. We arrived at the airport with time, however I got scolded by the agent because we were only 2 hours early instead of 3. She was supposed to issue a ticket for Kezia (who flies free but apparently has to pay taxes, which, of course, is something we learned AFTER booking the tickets - even though I had an AC rep on the line while BOOKING the tickets and she didn't tell me a thing) - and it took an hour for her to tend to my request alone. She had no idea what she was doing, she kept leaving the desk for like 10-15 MINUTES at a time trying to get answers, AND AC reps informed us numerous times that this is their BUSIEST time of the year so we shouldn't be so frustrated. WELL. Out of 10 desks, there were only 4 on staff. 1 was for executives only, so she never helped anyone. The other was for baggage check-in, so she sat there without serving customers too. The third was helping to solve a united airlines glitch and the 4th was "helping" me. The 3rd DID try to help after Jon came over and vented, but #4 told her that she should go back to her task and mine could wait (again, it was my fault for following the AC phone reps instructions and arriving at the airport in proper time, but not her fault that she didn't know what she was doing. Her name was Lorna :(.) #3 helped solve the problem, and after much finger tapping and sighing on my part, we were on our way.
3.We rushed through security and customs - only to find out that our plane was delayed. Actually, we didn't know. We were waiting by the gate and our boarding time AND flight time came and went. No announcement. So, Jon finally asked and oh yeah, our plane was 45-60 min. late. Good - except that it was supper time and we were supposed to have had enough time for supper before rushing through security. Fine. There was a deli - but they were on coffee break for half an hour and couldn't take money for a sandwich. THEN they charged $7 per sandwich (of course, you find this out AS your are purchasing your sandwich - 2 pieces of stale roll with deli meat, some mustard and fake cheese - because they don't post the prices!). THe AC rep assured us that all flights in Denver were delayed because of weather so we shouldn't have any trouble making a connection. Oh yes, the "connection". In Denver. With 2 babies, 5 carry-ons, 2 very-tired parents --- annnnd it's 9:30pm. SO, on the plane I ask the United flight attendant about all of this. TWO TIMES she gave me the gate number, but didn't see anything about flight delays. That meant we had about .... 20 min. to get OFF the plane .... THROUGH THE AIRPORT .... and TO THE NEXT PLANE - With 2 babies, 5 carry-ons, and 2 very-tired parents. We land in Denver, got off the plane and start heading through the airport. Jon refuses to move frantically, since it is their problem and they will have to get us on some flight anyway.
4. So, we head to the gate. We hear, over the intercom, our flight information at a DIFFERENT GATE - and our airplane is LEAVING --- BOARDING CLOSED!!! -- but maybe, maybe there are TWO flights to Vegas. Who knows. It's a busy place. However, we arrive at the gate that we were instructed to go to, except that airplane is STILL BOARDING --- FOR HOUSTON. OH HOUSTON, we have a PROBLEM. So, we back track with 2 babies, 5 carry-ons, and 2 very-tired parents, and get to our gate JUST AS THEY ARE SHUTTING THE GATE DOOR. NOOOOOOOO!! They take pity on us - not sure if it was the babes, the gray hair sprouting everywhere on the smell of sweaty armpits, but whatever. They stopped the plane, got us on, and off we went.
5. Sigh. We land in Las Vegas, and the airport is HUGE. HUGE. We finally find Jeff, and finally discover that our car seats did not make it to the airplane that we did. They promise to courier them over in the morning. But, this being the busiest time of the year and all, they showed up around supper time! So, we go to get our car rental. However, the line-up is 1 hour long, even though we have a reservation, AND it is 12 Vegas time, meaning 2 in the morning for our girls!!! Jeff figured that we'd have no problem getting one in the morning, but we did, so we didn't end up with a car rental after all.
I am happy to say that we flew west jet on the way home, and it was paradise. We arrived in plenty of time, walked in, were greeted by friendly staff (even though one of our bags was 6lbs over the limit) and landed in Winnipeg in less than 2.5 hours. We took the night flight, which was very nice. The airport is quieter, there is less stress, and people in general are very sleepy and very mellow :P.
I am also happy to say that there are NO PLANS FOR TRAVELING IN THE NEAR OR DISTANT FUTURE. At this point, I would rather poke my eye out. Almost. It's twitching furiously, anyway!!!

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