Tuesday, January 28, 2014

No more direct to Vegas

Heres an odd one for you.
Since 2007 I've been to Las Vegas for a week or so in April every single year so this year will be my 8th trip. This is all for business, I'm not a crazy Vegas addict or anything.
Anyway other than the first year where the travel agent pushed me onto US Air (a saga in itself) I've always had a direct flight. The first couple years out of Manchester, New Hampshire (MHT) a couple years out of Providence, RI (PVD) and last year out of Hartford, CT (BDL). I like where we live because it gives me options for what airport I fly out of. Hartford is the farthest at just under 2 hours but its a nice low stress drive and only a half hour more than Boston, worth it for a direct flight.

Trouble is this year there is 1 direct flight from greater Boston. Its on Jet Blue which is normally a good thing but all the return flight options either get you into the airport after midnight (and then I've got an hour and a half drive home) or leave at night and arrive in the morning, the dreaded "red eye".

I'm rotten on red eye flights, I don't sleep well on the plane, so I end up being a zombie the next day. My plane sleeping schedule is pretty much always the same, we get up in the air, I fall asleep for 20 minutes and I'm awake for the rest of the flight.

So the red eye option is clearly out. Which means I'm stuck with a stop. The internet makes it nice and easy to search around for flights but the computers at the various airlines also have a grand time coming up with crazy options. It takes about five or five and a half hours to fly from here to Las Vegas, seven hours total I put up with (so 5 hours of flying with 2 hours of layover. 20 hours I will not but yet the airlines all like to put those options out there. They'd like to have me make a bunch of stops and cool my heels.

I made the multi-stop mistake years ago when Angie and I went to Barbados. We flew out of Providence because I was frankly scared of Boston. We had to go to JFK, then Miami and finally to Barbados, the return was the reverse. It was the first time we had ever flown together and was about as much fun as you'd imagine it being... I was young and now that I travel more than most people I've totally learned my lesson.

This thing about Vegas bothers me mostly because a used to fly the route often from Manchester, change in Vegas for Burbank. The flights were almost always full, in some cases crammed full. Apparently I'm good for business, if Southwest quits a route it means they can't make any money at it. In this case either they weren't charging enough or when I wasn't on the plane nobody else was going either...

Angie and I joke that we're good for business, we see this in restaurants a lot, the place is empty, we show up and it fills up. Apparently its true for airlines too. I wonder if I could make a career out of it? Like William H. Macy's character in the "The Cooler".

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