Sunday, December 24, 2006

Las Vegas Travel Tip #1

Regardless of where you are coming from, if you arrive at the “C” or “D” gates at the McCarran airport in Las Vegas (these are the gates most major airlines use) it will take you at least one hour from the time you step off the plane till the time the first suitcase hits the baggage carousel. This will not be affected by weather, time of day or how busy the airport is. The best you can hope for is one hour.

After five years of this, I feel safe elevating this from theory to proven law.

The reason for this is that the airlines do not handle their own baggage at McCarran; there is one company that does the baggage for all airlines. And they are union. Need I say more?

My advice is that if you are just coming in for a weekend or so, try to pack all you will need into a carry one (keeping in mind the limited size and number of carry-ons allowed) and skip baggage claim altogether. If this is not an option come back later. If you are arriving in the morning or afternoon, go grab breakfast/lunch or check into your hotel. If it’s night, come back in the morning. At some point, someone from the airline will take you stuff off the carousel and lock it up in the airlines baggage office. In my experience, no airline has had a problem with this as they realize there is a problem, but seem powerless (or too apathetic) to do anything about it.

I did complain about this at one point, and was told by the person in the baggage office that part of the problem is that the gates are one mile away, and the truck is only allowed to drive 15 miles an hour. I pointed out that by the logic, it should take four minutes to get from the plane to the baggage claim. Apparently my grasp of basic math was too much for her, so she just kind of wandered off with a confused look on her face. I didn’t point out that after the four minutes for transit that still leaves 56 minutes. I was worried that any more use of math skills would have caused me to be branded as a “witch” and I would have been burned at the stake by the frightened, ignorant villagers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful tips. I just avail coupons at Travelocity and plan my trips.