I woke up and went online to check in with Delta and confirm our seating and to acquire our boarding passes. I received notification that one of our flights had been oversold. Given how wiped out we were, we decided to breakfast, check out of the hotel close to 11, and then just go to the airport a full 11 hours before our flight. We decided this for a couple of reasons: 1) Given that our flight was oversold, we thought that Delta might appreciate volunteers and that they might get us home EARLIER than we had planned, and 2) the Las Vegas airport is a veritable castle of entertainment in its own right, and we could easily kill the time exploring if we wanted.
The place was JAMMED! All of the check-in counters for all airlines had incredibly long lines. Thankfully we had no baggage to check so we side-stepped all of that. We found out later that all those people were victims of the week’s horrible weather, which had closed airports and cancelled connecting flights all over the place. They were just now finally getting to go wherever it was they were going.
We also found out that you can only volunteer to abandon an oversold flight when the airline calls for volunteers, which only happens when they realize that they don’t have enough room for everyone on the plane. Oh well. We explored, watched some Star Trek, ate, and caught our original flight.
A note about what I’ll call "pseudo-checking" your luggage. You’re allowed two carry-on items on most airlines. However, if the plane you’re taking is one of the smaller models, the overhead compartments of and into which one of your bags will not fit, you can tag your bag at the gate and leave it at the end of the breezeway and they will stick it in the belly of the plane for you and remove it at the end of that flight, putting it back on the breezeway for you. I did that last month on the trip to Arkansas, and I did that on the trip to Vegas. There were no problems. The plane we were taking from Vegas to Detroit was large-ish, but they were making please at the gate to have people put as much stuff as possible under the seat in front of them. (They’ve done this to themselves, and I’m not sure they even realize it. They now charge a small fortune to check baggage, so it’s no wonder people are cramming as much as they can into carry-on items!) So I figured I’d be noble and magnanimous and volunteer to pseudo-check my larger bag. Apparently, when you do this on a big plane it’s the same as if you had formally "checked" that bag. She asked what our final destination was, and I didn’t say Syracuse. I told her, "I want this bag back in Detroit," thinking I was telling her I wanted it back on the breezeway along with the walkers and baby strollers that eventually would appear there. Alas, they put it in with all the other checked baggage, and we had to exit security at Detroit, fetch the damn bag, and re-enter security. *sigh*
Other than that annoyance, the trip home was uneventful. Taking the overnight flight with "poor" sleep was a great cure for jet lag. Sleep came very easily last night and I write this from work this morning feeling mostly refreshed, my body not at all "confused" as it was that first morning in Vegas.
I have some comments about the "Vegas Experience", but I’ll save them for a later post.