Thursday, February 14, 2013

Squidward's CES 2013 Trip Report Part 5: Flight Denied


Squidward's CES 2013 Trip Report Part 5: Flight Denied


Squidward writes:

Saturday about 2:00 pm I awoke to the Hotel Telephone ringing. That’s weird… I know I did not arrange a wakeup call. Well I answered and it was my wife. She was “Squid! What the hell are you doing?”

My mind guiltily started replaying all kind of scenarios; Did the pricks from The Fremont call and complain to her…? did the Golden Nugget Security call her to complain…? did MSS call to clarify information on the W2-G statement…? did several of the ladies that I pissed off call her to tell on me…? did she find out that I went to look at High Class Vegas Hookers…?

I replied “Uhhh, sleeping.” She then explained that “My damn fancy-pants cell phone had been calling her cell phone over and over since 6:00 am!”

I looked over to my phone and sure enough it was dialing her phone. I told her “I would turn it off so it would not keep doing this.” I apologized, and got off the phone without incriminating myself.

Anyway powered off my phone, opened the room shutters to a very cloudy and cold day in Vegas… Brrrr… Shit! The Weather Channel said it was 31 degrees!

I showered and got dressed, and fiddled around with my phone. I did not want to do a Factory Reset because I had cool pictures of like 20 four-to-a-royal “swing and misses”, my big ole Royal Flush, and amazing purple puke stains at Binion’s amongst other things.

So I powered the iPhone up and let it autodial my wife. I explained to her that this would be the last call to her, as I was going to pull the battery to minimize any additional damage. She said fine and again I did not incriminate myself. Whipped out my tools and popped the battery out and put the phone / battery in my suitcase. Yes, I carry around cell phone tools to CES so I can look at the insides of various cell phone models. I’m in the business, so it is not that weird.

So I packed my bags, I would be checking out about 10:30 pm tonight for my scheduled 1:00 am departure back to Houston. I grabbed my ID, room card, my Sapphire card, and a few hundred in walk-around cash to get some coffee and something to eat.

Squeezed into a bar seat at a very crowded Triple Seven Pub. I was really hungry so I ordered a bowl of chili and a cup of coffee. The chili was great, hot, and huge… sort of like my gamble-boner last night.

Finished up, paid with Sapphire card and strolled over to the Boar’s Head Bar. Oh yeah, I forgot the NFL Divisional playoffs had started today. The bar was full of a bunch of heavy drinking sports fanatics that were watching the Ravens / Broncos game… without playing Video Poker. They were two or three deep watching football and being loud. Not a seat to be had.

So I head over to The Cal. Dave’s Bar was just as crowded with football watching non-VP players… Shit! Downstairs I go… Main Street Bar was not open yet. So back to the San Francisco Pub… ahhh finally. The only people watching the game were the bartenders, just a small group of Hawaiians pounding on the machines.

So I sat down and played $.25 DDB for the entirety of the game. My drink of choice today…. Club Soda with a lime wedge.

Yeah, I know… but my sinuses, Spirit Airlines, and the TSA always appreciate my decision to refrain from drinking on the day of departure.

This session was “hit a 4OAK and slowly lose it all back…”, then “hit a 4OAK and slowly lose it all back”. I suppose that’s better than losing a bunch and then hitting a 4OAK to get back even. I watched the football game and played VP for about three hours… see I can multi-task… unlike the knuckle-heads hogging all the seats at the Boar’s Head Bar.

So after watching Denver choke I cashed out my original $20.00 buy-in and went up to my room to take a nap.

I got up feeling refreshed and decided to go use up some more of my slot points at The Cal Market Street Café.

I was seated at a little table in the raised section back by the kitchen. Ordered the Prime Rib Special and a glass of iced tea. Salad was good, tea was good, baked potato was good, the prime rib was dry, grisly, basically inedible.

When the Restaurant Manager stopped by to visit my table, I expressed my displeasure. He apologetically asked me “Could I get you anything else? I said “Yes, New York Strip… medium rare.”

The waitress returned five minutes later, apologized again, and served me another full meal. This steak was perfect… and I ate another baked potato and veggies. Now I was too full to eat my Cherries Jubilee Ice Cream dessert… Oh well. Left a $10.00 tip and paid with points at the cashier.

I went back over to MSS and poked my nose out the door the check the weather… Shit Its Cold! So I go back up to my room, unpack my pajama bottoms to use as my “long-Johns.” I also decided it was too cold to take the Westcliff Express to the airport, I will take a cab.

I then repacked my re-unpacked bag, rearranged all my cash back into my wallet and checked out at a little after 10:00 pm. Everything was comped with no problem as usual, and I asked the lovely Desk Clerk if she would call me a cab.

After a short and cold wait I jumped into a cab, told him how I wanted him to drive to the Airport. He just said “Not in a hurry, huh?” I responded “I’m not in a hurry, and I know how to tip good cabbies.” He perked up a little and said “Yes, Sir!”

He dropped me off in front of the Spirit gates, the ride was $22.00, I gave him $30.00 and got a receipt. Rolled my bag into the Departure Area… walked up to the ticket kiosk… because if you do not, Spirit will charge you to print a boarding pass.

Entered in my info and the machine responded “FLIGHT CANCELLED, SEE GATE ATTENDANT.”

Awesome! I reached in my pocket for my phone to call MSS so I could get my room back… Uh ohh, I don’t have a working phone…

So I go get into a long line of people queuing up for cancelled flights. Everyone was bitching and moaning except me. Anyway one of the Supervisors came up and said “All of the people in line for the cancelled San Diego flight stay in this line… All the people that are on the cancelled Houston flight follow me.”

So we moved across the gate to form up another line. Those of us in the back of the line were now in the front of the line… Yes! So I stand there and listen to a woman panicking as she is flying to Houston to take a cruise out of Galveston.

Who in their right mind would fly Spirit for a cruise connection?
I listened to some poor couple who had lost all their money gambling and were worried how they were going to eat.  I watched the gate attendants process the large group that were scheduled on the San Diego flight. Observed a group of pissed off and very rowdy douche-bag-guido types. They were demanding tickets on another airline flight tonight. They were informed that there were no more flights to San Diego tonight. They were demanding Strip Hotel accommodations for the night. They were given room vouchers for “The Double Tree.” Any way, these fuckers cussed and informed the two supervisors that they “would never fly this airline again!” They were asked three times to leave the counter area as the attendants still had to process the Houston flight.

The supervisors must have some kind of secret button. After the third request there were four ATF security personnel and two Clark County Sheriffs surrounding the stupid fuckers. Well then… there was an immediate attitude adjustment, and they left immediately. After the supervisor handled the Cruise lady… it was my turn.

I walked up and said… “It looks like you have had a rough night… let me try to be as cooperative as I can.” I explained that she could rebook me on any flight back as long as they put me in a hotel in the vicinity of a casino. She smiled at me and said “Thank you sir, I’ll rebook you on the 1:00 am flight on Monday… you can still get your “Big Seat”… and I’ll give you vouchers for the Hilton Garden Inn for two nights… It’s a short cab ride to the South Point Casino… a lot of our people stay there and really like it.” I expressed my thanks and she even gave me two days of food vouchers for airport food. She told me that the free Hilton shuttle picked up at level zero.

So I headed out the doors and crossed the street to the baggage claim area to take the escalator down to level zero.  It was 22 degrees now…Shit! Really glad I had on my “long-johns.” I stood around and watched the Double Tree van come and go… the Terrible’s Casino van come and go… the Marriot Courtyard van come and go… Shit it’s cold.

A nice couple came up to wait on the Double Tree shuttle. Inquired what hotel I was waiting on and I explained I was going to the Hilton Garden Inn. They looked at me like I was stupid and asked me “Why don’t you call them?” I explained that I broke my cell phone and mentioned that I have not even called my family to advise them of my cancelled flight. Well the very nice lady handed me her cell phone and I was able to call my wife. Mrs. Squidward was like “Oh I bet you are sad… another day in Vegas?” I reminded her that Spirit was paying for the hotel and meals… I did not tell her that I volunteered to skip the other two earlier flights leaving earlier during the day… tee hee hee.

I called the Hilton and the Desk Clerk assured me that the shuttle was on the way, but was running behind as there was road construction along the route. And sure enough within a couple of minutes my shuttle shows up. The driver hops out and grabs my bag and off we go on side-streets and through neighborhoods to get to the lovely little Hilton Garden Suites. We arrive and he informs me that he will take care of my luggage for me… I go check-in… the Desk Clerk processes my vouchers and swipes my credit card for incidentals. It is now after mid-night and I ask if the bar is still open. He informs me that the bar closes at 10:00 pm… Shit!

Driver dude rolls my bag to my room, shows me the coffee maker, etc. He even goes and gets me ice. I tip him a ten-spot on his return and he is very appreciative.

I did not even bother to unpack. I left $500.00 in my wallet and shoved all the rest of my cash into my suitcase… there was no room safe. Went to the front desk and asked the Clerk to call me a cab.

A few minutes later I was in the cab and heading further south down Las Vegas Blvd for about three miles. I gave the cabbie $10.00 for a seven dollar fare. I walked into a very large, brightly lit, and crowded local’s casino. I stopped by the bar by the Sports Book and ordered a Heineken… Yes, my first drink of the unexpectedly extended day.

Asked where the Slot Club was and then took a long walk through the large casino past the crowded Café, past the Gift Shop and obtained my official Michael Gaughan’s South Point Club Card.

Who is Michael Gaughan? He is the guy who operates all the slots at McCarran Airport. Any way the good news is that the VP pay tables at the South Point are pretty good, unlike the Airport.

I go back to the bar by the Sports Book and sit down at a VP machine next to the cocktail waitress station. The waitresses were very attractive and I enjoyed the view… there was one little problem. As I sat there playing $.25 9/6 DDB and drinking Heinekens every time a waitress would come up she would put the used glasses on the counter and dump all the beer bottles in a plastic trash can by their station. I would be sitting there focused on my VP game and all of a sudden there would be a loud crashing sound of beer bottles hitting the trash can. These ladies just dumped the whole tray at once… I would jump two feet off my chair. They would look at me and say “Sorry” but five minutes later… same thing… CRASH…Jump…Sorry.
Some images of Squidward are simulations. Actual results may vary.

So I grabbed my ticket, slot club card and a Heineken to explore the large casino. It is far larger than anything down-town. It had high ceilings and did not have a smoky smell that one associates with down-town casinos. I guess I was expecting a casino full of Las Vegas retirees… well on his Saturday night the casino was full of loud, drunk, young locals out to have a good time. There was a show-room with a live act going… they even leave the doors open so you can look in. There were easily 400 people in there having a blast.

They had several restaurants and fast food type of places… but at this time (about 1:30) only the very large and crowded coffee shop was open… I thought this was strange?

The pit and machines were spaced out nicely. Never felt crowded walking around even though the place was packed. I did notice that everything from gaming tables to slot machines were spotless… but the furnishings were showing their age. In other words clean, but well worn.

The only thing I could complain about were the screens on the bartop VP machines. They all seemed to have a plastic coating on the screens that made them fuzzy… sort of out of focus. They were clean but it was sort if irritating.

Any way sat down at another quiet bar towards the front of the casino and made sure I was not even close to cocktail waitresses and their trashcans. The bar tops had as good pay tables as the ones on the floor, well for DDB anyway.

Sat there and drank Heinekens and played away. The bartenders were fast, efficient, but not very sociable. They did not have time to be… they had to hustle to keep up with the waitress orders. They were moving a serious volume of booze… locals like to drink on Saturday nights I guess.

Anyway after about six or seven Heinekens… many decent 4OAK’s I was up $400.00 bucks. I was getting tired again, not sleepy, just physically tired from all the walking at CES. So I cashed out and stopped by the gift shop. I bought a pint of J&B for $10.00… this was more like it.

I grabbed a cab and returned to my room at the Hilton Gardens. Unpacked my toiletries, sorted through my clothes to choose the less stinky and less wrinkled set for tomorrow. I sat and watched TV… connected my Tablet to the free Internet and updated my wife and staff of my modified itinerary. Oh yeah, I had a few drinks and then went to bed.

Recap

  • Got yelled at by my wife (I can piss off women even long distance)
  • Broke my stupid iPhone
  • Multi-tasked gambled/watched football unlike the idiots who hog the bar at MSS
  • Cancelled flight, Yeah Spirit!

Up next

  • Illegal prop betting during the Texans / Patriots game
  • Eat at Burger King twice in one day
  • Finally get home to see a fight on the shuttle bus to Airport Parking

Squidward



Nothing sweeter than a cancelled flight and an extended stay when you don't have to be anywhere else but Vegas! Savvy move booking Spirit, Squidward!

Royal Flusher



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