August 10th, 2007


"I'm not even supposed to be here today!"

Boy, Las Vegas is impressive at night from the air. We arrived here at McCarran at about 2:30, and were able to successfully get one of the gate agents to print out our tickets for our next two flights. The official word was that everyone coming in on this plane was supposed to go down to the ticket counter, but I told her we were already ticketed, the lady on the phone had told us not to leave the secure area, and we should have a gate agent print the tickets. She looked at our record, her eyes widened, and she went ahead and did it.

The slot machines kind of amuse me. I might have to play one. But not for long.

Four hours until our flight to Phoenix.


Most of the airport is fully lit, and Cynthia, the nice lady I talked to on the phone at US Airways most recently, said, it's pretty much just us and the cleaning staff. And the lady whose job it is to watch over the slot machines. There are a handful of travelers sleeping on floors or curled up on the benches. These multi-seat benches of course have fixed arms that prevent you lying down across them.

Yes, there's an iPod vending machine down the hall. There's a guy sleeping alongside it. And the drink vending machine has $3-5 drinks.

We're looking forward to the Burger King and the Starbucks opening at 5. We had a last round of Chick-Fil-A a few hours before leaving PHL, but that was a long time ago.

Leaving Las Vegas

The gate is now full of people. I imagine they'll be boarding soon. And I'm more than a little amused to be able to say that on my first visit to Las Vegas, I'm leaving with more cash than I arrived with. Not much more, mind you. :-)

Hi from Phoenix

They had to swap out the planes for the Phoenix to Colorado Springs flight, and the new plane was smaller. We got bumped. We are now on standby on the 11:45 to Denver (which is better than Colorado Springs) and will be the first three to get on if they get volunteers. We'd arrive in Denver at 2:30pm.

Everyone's eyes are getting wide when they figure out what we've been through so far, and the people on the ground are doing their best to help. Wish it were more effective.

If we don't make it on that 11:45am flight, the next routing takes us back to Las Vegas and thence to Denver arriving at 2:56am. We're now pushing the edge of the point at which we bag it and tell them to take us home.

31 1/2 hours in.

On the ground in Denver

Literally thirty-five and a half hours after we walked in the door of the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, we walked out the door at Denver International Airport. We made it! Three anonymous good samaritans volunteered to give up seats on the Phoenix-Denver flight, so we got on. We were the only three standby passengers that got on.

As I suspected, our luggage beat us to Denver! We got it all, and we're in the conference van en route to the hotel. Phew!

More later.