Man, I’m so glad to be outa’ here! Las Vegas is just too much and I’m so looking forward to a couple of days with friends in a more “normal” city. The hotel had been quite quiet all week, at least up on our 23rd floor location. But, last night some party neighbors checked in next door. Their room seemed to be party central with loud music, people hollering in the hall and doors slamming most of the evening. This is Vegas, why don’t they go somewhere (else!). My flight is at 7am and the departure schedule says I should catch the 4am or 4:30am bus to the airport. These people were in and out of the party room all night and when I left two of them were carrying on a conversation in the hallway and I had to step over them. In the casino, one guy is yelling and screeming at somebody on his cell phone, security is trying to politly evict a young lady who’s had to much to drink, and of course the gambling has barely slowed down at all an this is 4am! The party at the Jet night club is still going strong with a dozen security guys out front and the young and the beautiful rocking it out. The bass beat is strong and I realize that’s what I was hearing in my room 23 floors away.
The conference organizers at the bus are great. The greet me with a cheery hello, take my bag and put it on the bus and point me back to the coffee and breakfast table curbside and tell me the bus will roll on out to the airport when I’ve got my coffee, how very nice and civilized especially at this hour.
This is the check-in line for my US Airways flight to Phoenix connecting on to Orlando. What you can’t quite see is there is more line behind the pillar and almost out the door. And this line isn’t all that bad! You should see the one at Delta! Some 14,000 IBMers are making their way home this morning and causing a little bit of a backlog in with all the normal Vegas traffic. After a tip from a guy passing by and checking with the onsite conference helpers I determine that I can use the SkyCap check-in which has a line of only 5 people. In under 5 minutes I’ve got my boarding pass and through a very short line at security. Last year, because I was flying international back to Canada, I had to wait in that line for over two hours, only to be pulled out at the last minute to catch the flight. Now I’m sipping another coffee at the Burger King and enjoying the free wireless courtesy of the airport. All other airports should follow McCarren’s lead and make the access free as a service to travelers.