Monday, December 13, 2010

Thanks, McCarran! and other airport musings

We arrived at our NYC hotel, the lovely Marriott East Side, late Wednesday and went to check in only to discover my driver's license was not in my wallet. They didn't actually need it, but I was lucky to have looked for it sooner than later. I had it going through security at McCarran and thought I'd returned it to my billfold, but it was neither there nor in my laptop messenger bag which, nonetheless, got a much-needed cleaning out.

I called a friend who was watching the dogs and the house and had him FedEx me my passport so I could get on tonight's flight home from JFK. And what is waiting for us in the mound of mail? That envelope with this return address:

My license! Mailed to me by the airport folks... at their expense!

Wow. I am quite impressed. I guess I dropped it and someone turned it in, which is so kind. I've been rescued from hours at the DMV! Hooray! I wonder if other airports do this. Whew.

Not a bad way to get this blog back up and going now after a layoff, huh? Miles, even, was baffled I wasn't blogging while we were traveling. Feh. Y'all can entertain yourselves for a few minutes, no?

Meanwhile, we arrived via Delta at the D Gate today and look at what we found:

It's like a bank of slot machines in "The Walking Dead." What happened? Are they replacing them? Eerie.

I'm eternally fascinated by what Caesars puts on their primo space because there's always some quirks. When I saw this...

...all I could think of was, "How come Al Mancini, John Curtas and Max Jacobson weren't invited into this portrait?"

But Miles had a better point: It took them less than a split second to replace the billboard with this portrait seeing how Rao's chef Carla Pellegrino -- one of the few female executive chefs in Vegas -- quit the restaurant just a few minutes ago. That's some mighty quick work there forgetting she was ever there. How terrific that they're back to an all-boys club. Think they actually reshot the photo or just used some PhotoShop?

And finally...

...there's something sort of desperate about the Mandalay Bay having to throw a free New Year's Eve party "free of cover charges or reservations." I mean, what does that even mean? Do I really want to be at a NYE party that even I can get into for nothing?

Turns out, it's also very, very misleading. Evidently, they've redefined "cover charge." If you go to the website for this event advertised on this billboard, you see this:

You see, you pay $50 in advance -- or $75 day-of -- for a "block party pass." With that, from what I can glean, you get to hang out at the Mandalay Bay Beach -- hence it is, in fact, a cover charge -- and you get five "signature cocktails" at any of their 12 event bars. It's hard to tell what else you get, but online "tickets" actually end up costing $57 when Ticketmaster's fee is factored in.

Oh, one more thing. Anyone wanna tell me what's wrong with the text here? Click on it to enlarge.


Jeff Simpson said...

MGM MIRAGE, not MGM Resorts International.

slickmv said...

Well for one thing, you would think they would update their boilerplate to reflect the corporate renaming to MGM Resorts International.

LinFromNJ said...

sure beats experience I had at Newark Airport where I lost my glasses, which were in a case was labeled with my name and contact info. Made a number of frustrating calls to airline and airport. never got them back. an expensive loss.

Anonymous said...

From the looks of your photos, you arrived at the southeast wing of the D gates. I could see a D7 sign in one of the shots. That wing has been closed for several months due to the reduced air traffic in Las Vegas.

At times when all of the usual gates are occupied by other planes, McCarran will sometimes allow airlines to unload their passengers in the southeast wing so that people don't have to sit on the plane for a long time waiting for one of the gates in another "open" wing to free up. That's why you walked past the shuttered slot machines and stores.

Once the plane is unloaded, it will be moved to one of the gates at another wing to be loaded for the outbound flight. Like mailing your license, it's another step McCarran takes to make people's trips easier. In a lot of other places you would have to sit on the plane for who knows how long until the assigned gate became free.

Michael (@jinxclev) said...

Palms twitter feed was advertising a free NYE casino party, wonder if it's the same setup, although interesting if they were charging some sort of cover and it involved the casino floor, as outside of few exceptions (Playboy club), I believe it's still against regulations to charge admission for most common casino areas.