Las Vegas Trip Report: December 23, 2007: The Time My Commute to the Airport Was Longer Than My Flight

Note:  This is an older Las Vegas trip report that I am posting for the entertainment of Las Vegas addicts and anyone else who loves fun.  It was written back in 2007.  Most of this information is now outdated and some places mentioned no longer exist.

Sunday, December 23, 2007 – Day One of Four

Here we go.  What trip to Vegas would be complete without me having problems getting to Vegas?  As you may recall, I have had problems with every trip I’ve ever taken from New York City.   Massive delays are usually the way my trips start off.   So I vowed I would start trying early morning flights, or leaving from Long Island.

Well.  Spirit Airlines had a sale and I found round trip airfare for $130 from Atlantic City (followed by an $81 round trip fare I booked for the following week.)

So that you understand this geographically:  For me to get to Atlantic City, it’s an hour train ride to Port Authority, and then 2.5 hours on a bus to Atlantic City.  This is really no big deal to me.  Add in the fact that the cost to Atlantic City is cheaper than a cab to a New York City airport ($33 round trip. Add in the cash you get back once you reach there, this makes the trip cost $13 round trip or less), this was a no brainer for me.

I left my apartment at 8:30 am, allowing extra time for the track work on my subway line this weekend.  I get to my train station knowing that there are no trains to Manhattan and I have to go in the opposite direction towards Coney Island and then get on a train to Manhattan from there.  This is fine; this is normal weekend crap I’m accustomed to.

But as it turns out, after I stand on the platform for about half an hour waiting for a Coney Island bound train, there are no trains because of an “earlier incident.”  This is an MTA catch phrase that encompasses all.  You never do find out what that “earlier incident” is.  I am content with waiting since the trains have to eventually start running again, right?   But the MTA worker practically kicks me out and sends me off with a bus transfer.  I don’t want to take the bus.  I might want to take it if it were helpful to me, but all the bus is going to do is take me to another train line, where the track is up like 923874 flights of stairs, meaning I have to carry my luggage up all of them.

I consider this as I am getting really angry that it’s virtually impossible for me to ever get to Vegas without some sort of transportation mishap. I decide to skip the bus and just walk to the next train line.  Of course I get there and HEY – my train is now running and I transfer back to my line.   So I just walked around Brooklyn with my luggage, only to get on the train I could have gotten on if I had just stayed on the platform like I wanted to.

Four hours after I left my apartment, I am on a bus to Atlantic City.   In retrospect, I should have just gone the night before and stayed in a comped room.

I get to Atlantic City with about an hour to kill before I have to get in a cab to the airport.  I go around and collect my cashback and play it and lose it all soooooooooo fast (maybe this is why I skipped staying the night before?) and catch a cab to the airport.

The flight was whatever.   We landed a couple of minutes early, which is something I am so not used to typing.  So let me type it again, we landed a couple of minutes early.

I am trying to take the bus to Downtown but they are doing construction at the airport.  I am sure the elevator to Ground Zero is over there…so I walk over there and it’s not.  Now I’m confused because I could swear it’s over here?  I give up and just take a shuttle.   I wish I could remember WHICH shuttle line I used because they took off with only three people on it, rather than making me wait an hour until it was full (and then drop me off last.)   I was very pleased.

I’m staying at the El Cortez, three nights comped.  I am in my room at 9:30, which is a bit under an hour from when my plane was scheduled to land.  This is a record for me and I wish Spirit was continuing their service out of Atlantic City.   Despite the annoying commute to that airport, I’d gladly do it again in order to leave and land and on time.

I have room 1002.  I’ve stayed at the El Cortez a billion times now and the rooms all appear the same.   Some have plumbing problems; my room was one of them.  The sink would never drain and whenever someone nearby would shower, it would come up into my sink.    My shower had the greatest water pressure I’ve ever had in my entire life.   Keep in mind, this isn’t an El Cortez thing, it’s a room 1002-specific thing and that made me happy.

I head downstairs to play.   I hit my nickel video poker machines (I had one, now I have two, located right next to each other, which is convenient.)   I play a bit and am up $25.  This is a good start for me.

Went to Careful Kitty’s inside the El Cortez to get some dinner.  Had the Prime Rib.   This was also exciting for me because my flights usually land soooooooo late that I don’t get there until much later.  By then, its late night and they don’t serve Prime Rib during late night.

Am I lucky or what?

Then it happens.   I spot it.  Monopoly Big Event has been replaced with Press Your Luck Big Event slots.  Now I know I’m going to play this and I know I am going to lose my money.  But I can’t NOT play it.   Monopoly Big Event had given me some decent wins, but it also took a lot of my money.    But I have to play it.  Surely I can just put in my “extra” $25 and be satisfied?  Right?

I sit down and play. I am the only one playing.   I read somewhere that the Big Event Bonus comes up more frequently when there are more people playing this, but I’ve discovered that I get it more when I’m the only one playing it.    This proves true once again and it comes up over and over and over. So now I am up and should cash out.  But of course I don’t.  I lose my $25 and then half of today’s budget.  Then today’s entire budget.  Damn you Whammys.

Time for bed.

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