Sunday, January 05, 2014

Southwest Airlines Long Flights to Vegas and Back

Sometimes air travel just isn't the joy you want it to be.
My last trip set a record for me in delays and interesting experiences.  I kept my calm the whole time I am happy to say and went with the flow as I was told.  Lucky for me I was prepped with food and charged batteries on all my devices so I worked with the time as best I could.
How did it all begin?
Sunday Jan 5th 2pm I head to Newark to catch my 3:45pm flight.  When I get there I see the line inside is winding it's way all over the area.  I notice the line outside in the cold for the skycap is much shorter so I head out to brave the cold.  I wait for about 30 mins in that line and when I get the to skycap he tells me that since I have a connection and my flight is very delayed he can't check me in.  So back inside I go to wait for over two hours to check in.
6pm I reach the gate area and my 3:45 looks like a 6:45 flight now which isn't bad since many did not get out or were stranded.
I arrive in Denver for my connection and learn that I missed the last flight to Vegas and if I stay in Denver for the next flight on Monday I won't get on til about Tuesday.  They suggest I fly to Phoenix and then Monday morning on to Vegas.
The flight to Phoenix was late also and I got into Phoenix approx. 3:15am.  The airport was pretty much closed so I found a bench to rest on and tried to sleep through the announcements and lights of the airport.  Around 5:30am I took the hat off my eyes to see people stirring and the airport humming for the 6am flight to Vegas.
The flight left about 20mins late and at 6:25am I was in Vegas (time change -1hour).  12hours late and 18hours into my journey.
Continued below....

Arrival in Denver made for some tough decisions and finally to head to Phoenix.
Certainly icing was an issue in Denver.
I arrived in Phoenix and here are some empty shots.

Fast forward to my return trip and I felt confident my travel issues were behind me after a long week in Vegas.  The weather had changed and NYC had temps approaching 50.
I left my hotel in Vegas at 10:15am for a 12:20 flight with stops in Des Moines and Chicago before touchdown in Newark.
The open seating plan for Southwest is new to me but I got the hang of it and once you study some faces you certainly know where to go.  It can be a challenge to read the seats and decide - since I was at the back of the line being an infrequent flyer with them.  The only bonus is that when you have a connecting through flight - all others get off and you can move your seat anywhere open before the new passengers arrive.  So I took the emergency aisle seat with legroom.
Out flight from Des Moines pushed off the gate on time and then the plane engines didn't restart.  So we went back to the gate and disembarked.  After a bit of a wait we heard that another plane was coming in from Chicago to take us home.  We boarded the plane around 9:45p and were in Chicago soon then on to Newark.  Touchdown was around 2:50AM.  Took the shuttle to my car then the nice quiet ride home for an early Saturday morning bedtime of 3:45am.  My head hit the pillow and I was done.



Follow up - A Southwest agent called to apologize for all the delays and hassles in my travels with them.  He was very considerate and patient.  Certainly many of my delays were out of their control with the bad weather. Thanks Southwest!

I am an employee of FUJIFILM North America Corporation.
The statements, comments and opinions expressed here represent my own, personal views and are not endorsed by, or affiliated in any way with, FUJIFILM North America Corporation or its affiliates.

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