“The man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.”Henry David Thoreau
In all my 30+ years of living… I have never been on a solo holiday. I go abroad on my own sure but at the end of the flight, I was always greeted by family or close friends, and be with them. So for me, this was a new experience and I was super excited to go. What prompted this was a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) championship, which you can read about in Part 3.
Cold, Tuesday morning drive to Manchester airport. I kept thinking about how hot it’s going to be when I land in Las Vegas, my app said 38 degrees (thank you Lord, get me on that plane). The first thing to do was to drop off my car at the airport JetPark 3, then get the free bus service to the terminal. The bus runs every 15 minutes and it takes 7-9 mins from the car park to terminal 1 minus traffic.
I booked the flight with Thomas Cook, not the cheapest option but they were the one who offered an affordable direct flight to Vegas, with one 23kg check-in baggage and food included. There are cheaper options, but I really didn’t want to bother with transfers and long waiting time.
Finally arrived in the terminal to see the longest queue I’ve ever seen. See, I can’t check in online because of visa issues so.. I had no choice but to queue up. My phone suddenly beeped with a message from Thomas Cook saying the flight was going to be delayed, didn’t say how long just that it would be less than 3 hours.. great stuff. It was 7:30am, and I’ve not had a coffee.
The good news though, after everything is checked in, the flight was only delayed for an hour if that. But it was still annoying. When we all boarded the plane, there was a bottle of water on each seat, and the leg room is not bad, but then again I’m only a dinky 5’2ft. The aircraft itself was an Airbus A330-200 with a 2,4,2 seat configuration. I didn’t choose my seat when I booked, because there is a charge for seat booking starting from £20, so I took my chances on the day and got it free of charge.
For the delay, they upgraded us to premium entertainment, which included 53 movies plus TV shows, radios, etc. Economy without an upgrade, you only get 6 choices of movies, unfortunately.
Talk about charges, they charge for everything but the in-flight meal and drink that comes with it. An awkward moment between myself and the air hostess was when she came around with a tray of drinks. I was in need of more coffee, so I asked for one… she passed it over and said, “That’s £2.85 please“. I gave her a look of confusion before realising that everyone around me actually has their card and wallet ready. Are you serious?? I’m not used to paying for drinks and snacks on the plane so this was a first.
Let’s talk about food. From the advertisement, the food looked amazing! Especially if they have been crafted by a chef just for you. My food came around, the first in-flight meal was:
- Cornish ale braised beef, herb dumpling with baby baked potato
- Bread roll
- Cheese and crackers
- Mint and chocolate mousse
I would give it a 2/5 rating. Maybe it’s harsh but… I’ve tasted better. Oh, and now when you eat… you can actually get coffee/tea/juice for free. Another coffee for me, but holy cow… it was not a good cup at all. 1/5 rating. The one I ordered earlier tasted slightly better, but I didn’t want to pay for more (I’m tight, I know).
The second in-flight meal included:
- Egg, cress & mayonnaise finger sandwich
- Cheese & spring onion finger sandwich
- Seed and fruit shots
- Lemon drizzle cake
I was disappointed. I was hoping for a bigger meal but, the sandwich was literally a strip. They did say ‘finger’ sandwich but I was hoping for a bigger finger sandwich. Oh well. It was at this moment that I cursed myself for not buying snacks before I board. Lesson learned.
After 10 hours and 50 minutes on air, the plane has finally touched down in Las Vegas. It landed after 1pm, so the weather was at its peak at 40 degrees. Lovely. I downloaded an app called Lyft before I boarded, so it was quick and easy to go and find the ‘car share’ area which is located on the first floor across the walk bridge. Then off I went to my first destination in Las Vegas. The luxurious Venetian.