Vacation 2005, Saturday, October 29th, Day 1
Home to Las Vegas

Today's agenda consisted of getting from home in Brantford to the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are no pictures for the travels of this day so descriptions will need to do.

I was pickup up at 12:30 Noon by Airlink Transit who delivered me to the airport in very short order. I was the only one so I got to go in a car with a lady driver who at one time delivered mail (parcels) in the Brantford area. Time of arrival at the airport was approximately 1:45 PM. I found out later that something had fallen out of the camera bag I was carrying which she found and dropped of at the house prior to my return. Many thanks to her.

Check in and security screening at the airport went amazing quickly and I was at the gate within 1/2 hour of arrival. The camera/laptop bag I carry is always a challenge for airport security screeners and there was a small problem. This lady thought a small battery was a cigarette lighter. Once it was confirmed it was a battery all went well. Since the flight didn't leave until 3:57 PM I had some time to wait. I guess the rule of thumb is better safe than sorry when it comes to these sorts of things.

The plane arrived from somewhere and boarding proceeded quickly. The plane was less than 1/2 full. About 1/2 of those that were on the plane were flight attendants from ZOOM Airlines going to American Airlines flight training facility in Dallas/Fort Worth for training on new 767 aircraft ZOOM is acquiring. The flight departed pretty much on time. We took off the east/west runway (23) at the back of the airport (near Dairy Rd.), headed out over Oakville, turned right over Hamilton Bay and flew directly over southern Brantford. It gave me a great view of the expanse on the Grand Erie District School Board with the lake in the distance, the Grand River snaking its way around, the Nanticoke Generating station spewing out pollution and Long Point (gee now I know why they call it Long Point). Not too far west of Long Point the plane turned out over the lake, flew down the middle of it to a point south of Detroit and I was unable to follow the route beyond that. The scenery was interesting all the way.

As we approached Dallas/Fort Worth the pilot came on and told us that a new terminal building (terminal D) had just opened while we were in the air and we would be one of the first inbound flights to use it. I don't think this was exactly true as it appeared it had been in use all day and that the opening ceremonies had just occurred a few hours prior to our arrival. Anyway, we landed, and it appeared that the pilot had some difficulty finding the right gate. Once he did there was a plane still parked at it but it was just leaving and we were a bit early anyway. The pilot noted that because things were new there had probably been some delays. As it turned out the delay was very brief (less than 10 Min.) and we deplaned.

So, with all this apparent confusion where was I to go to get my flight? Most people thought I would need to go to terminal C. So I asked an American Airlines person and it turned out it was the gate right beside the one my flight came in at. I will bet you that doesn't happen too often. There was still 2.5 hours to wait. During this wait I witnessed a very nice sunset as much of this terminal faces west. I was also told that seeing this type of weather in Dallas is a bit unusual. There are usually storms and the like going on there. I also took a tour of the secure side of their new terminal. It is very nice.

There have been many stories about problems with new terminals and I was concerned about my bags getting on the next flight since they had been checked right through to Las Vegas. There wasn't much to do but wait. My confidence was not strengthened much when about the time boarding the plane was to start an announcement was made that boarding would be delayed because the cabin staff had been sent to the original gate (in terminal C, 1/2 a mile away) that the flight had been scheduled to depart from, not the new one. As it turned out there was a cabin crew that was dead heading it to Las Vegas so they were put to work getting the cabin ready until the proper crew made it to the plane. I asked at the gate about the bags and all they were able to confirm was that they were in the terminal at least. Boarding was completed and the plane left just a bit late.

Flight 351 took place completely in the dark so other than passing city lights there wasn't much to see. This flight had only a few empty seats. The flight landed on time almost 12 hours to the minute from when I left home on Brantford. The gate was way out in the satellite terminal that required a train ride to the main terminal to get the baggage. Now the moment of truth, would the two bags be there??? After a fairly lengthy wait out they both came, much to my great relief.

After all this excitement I took a taxi ride to the Luxor. I checked in and ended up in room 1301 in the very bottom of the east tower. That room was probably twice the size of this stateroom (as they call them) on the MS Statendam on day 5 of the cruise to Hawaii where I am writing this. Tomorrow Hawaii yeaaa!

As far as the web site goes, On to Day 2 and Las Vegas

Originally composed Sunday, November 6, 2005 on the MS Statendam
Last Updated: March 16, 2006 10:06 PM