Last weekend was my first trip to wonderful Las Vegas! It was just a quick trip with only two nights but I think it was the perfect amount of time in Vegas at least for me. This was a last minute booking as my friend from Seattle brought up the idea. It became a great debate as to where we would go, ranging from Florida destinations to Kansas City, what does one do there?? But after looking around for a destination that was reasonably cheap for both of us we ended up landing on Las Vegas.
Allegiant Air Flight
As for flights I ended booking my first Allegiant Air flight with their recently started Indianapolis flights (read about my Allegiant booking experience). I was pretty curious as to how the airline would compare to my usual Southwest or US Airways flights. I have flown one other ULCC flight before with Frontier Airlines and it honestly wasn’t bad. So I booked an outbound flight from IND to LAS that departed at a perfect after Friday afternoon time of 5:30 pm and landed at 6:20 pm in Las Vegas. I initially booked the flight with no seat assignment as I thought I would be brave enough to luck out on a decent seat but I chickened out as I learned it also happened to be NASCAR Weekend in Vegas… For those of you not living in Indiana, NASCAR is pretty big so I paid the additional $18 for seat 31F which is also a window exit row seat on their big Boeing 757-200. I am glad I did buy the seat as the flight was completely full which was impressive as it was only the second week they had been running the flight but the seat was a little disappointing…
While there is plenty of room between the seats and the bulkhead for the exit row, the window seats on row 31 do have a very large lump jutting out into your knee. I am not overly tall just 6 foot but my right knee was crammed into the side of the emergency exit door lump. I had to angle my legs to the left a little bit, it honestly wasn’t too bad I just wasn’t expecting it for an exit row seat. So anyone else flying the Allegiant Boeing 757-200 beware of row 31 window seats. Nothing too exciting happened on the flight which is always a good thing just a couple of people yelling “Vegas!!!” anytime the pilot mentioned it over the intercom. The flight attendants were very friendly and they provided food and drink service 3 times throughout the flight which is a lot by my standards for a ~4 hour flight. Granted you have to pay for everything even a bottle water but it looked like a lot of people did take advantage of that but I didn’t. Overall it was a fine flight, it got me from point A to point B without any major problems.
My friend being a fellow traveler enthusiast knows the ins and outs of booking anything and he managed to score a hard to find IHG best rate guarantee (BRG) at The Palazzo. This gave us a completely free night minus the resort fee which is $29 per night before taxes, so I would call that success! The hotel is impressive and one of the nicest on the Vegas strip and I would recommend it to anyone. Upon checking in we learned that all IHG members receive a late 2 pm checkout regardless if you are Club, Gold, or Platinum status. A nice little perk just for being part of the rewards club. We also received a voucher for a free coffee and a voucher for a free drink with the purchase of another one, I believe these were good only at a couple of the many restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in the hotel. The Palazzo is attached to The Venetian which is another IHG property and share a very nice mall with many great food and shopping options.
Now onto the room. It was spectacular for just a standard suite even by Vegas standards with a lowered lounge area that included a large couch and even a small dining table. The view was great as we were on the 44th floor out of 50 and was overlooking the strip and the pool area. I didn’t see too many people using the pool as only one of them is the sun before 1 pm in March but I did enjoy lounging down there while waiting for my departing flight on Sunday.
Being my first time in Vegas I had to try some gambling and didn’t do so hot but it was fun! The highlight of the gambling experience was wining a silver Venetian coin from the Silver Strike machine in The Palazzo. Don’t think I will be doing gambling again anytime soon, not quite my cup of tea but my friend didn’t do too bad. Besides gambling we roamed the strip venturing in and out of the different casinos and checking out the sites. I now understand how someone loses track of time in those places after two very late nights / mornings made worse by daylight savings time. However, my favorite part of the trip was the Cirque du Soleil Mystere show for me, it was spectacular and definitely worth it. Managed to snag good seats for $65 per ticket thanks to a promotion they are running on their website.
The Not So Fun
On the flight coming to Las Vegas my friends connecting flight from Seattle to Los Angeles (LAX) got delayed significantly thanks to problems currently going on at LAX making it impossible to make his connection to Las Vegas. So he was proactive and upgraded to a direct flight from Seattle or else he would not have made it at a reasonable time.
After the weekend of fun I wasn’t looking forward to the 6:40 pm Southwest flight back home on top of the time change. My flight got delayed further thanks to some problems with other passengers connecting flights and didn’t land until 2:00 am. At least I was able to enjoy The Centurion Lounge while getting some free food there.
Overall Vegas was a fun experience but it is not a typical vacation for me and do not plan on hitting the strip anytime soon. However, I do want to fly back into LAS and head out to Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon some time!!