Las Vegas is one of my favorite travel destinations, the energy of the strip is unmatched by any other destination, in my opinion. The reason for this particular visit is UFC 202 which was slated to be on one of the biggest, if not the biggest event in UFC history. We’ll get to the results of that event a little later, but first let’s talk a bit about my outbound travel to beautiful Las Vegas!
When I originally booked this flight I had about 100,000 AAdvantage miles burning a hole in my pocket. Looking back on it, I kind of wished I had paid cash and flown Delta as it would’ve helped me on my Platinum medallion quest, but alas. Ultimately I spent 50,000 AAdvantage miles to fly round trip, first class, on American Airlines. My outbound flight left on Friday out of RDU around 2pm EST to PHL, nothing to write home about on that flight. Next was PHL to LAS on the A-321 which is American metal but it’s still operated by US Airways and unfortunately it’s pretty light on amenities. There was no electrical outlets or seat back entertainment. There was an option to watch a movie once connecting to GoGo Inflight but it required an app download which was taking forever, so I stopped. Then it was going to cost $5.99 for a movie even though I was in first class. Ultimately I decided to just read, write, and talk with my seat mate. It was a great time!
After hot towels and some mixed nuts it was dinner time! I was given the option of a cheese lasagna or a chicken dish and I chose the latter.
A delicious strawberry ice cream with chocolate strips followed. To be honest I forgot to take the picture until after I started consuming the tasty treat but I think you’ll get the idea.
Overall the flight felt like it went by pretty quick and the service was good. Unfortunately for our flight attendant crew there were several unruly passengers sitting up front which made their jobs all the more difficult. As an aside, please be nice to your flight attendants. As the son of a flight attendant I am fully aware of all that their job entails and its not easy. Being rude, drunk, and obnoxious is no way to travel. /rant over.
Stay at the Palazzo
I’ve been to Vegas several times but hadn’t stayed at the Palazzo until this trip, and I was impressed. The entire complex screams Vegas opulence and our room was no exception. After a short ride from LAS to the strip courtesy of my good friend Shane I was able to check-in to our 2 bedroom suite in less than 10 minutes. What our room lacked in its view it more than made up for in its size and cleanliness.
If you’ve never been to a live UFC event but have interest in the sport then I highly recommend checking it out sometime. I’ve been to NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB games but for me nothing really compares to the experience of attending a live UFC event. The energy in the building, the fighter walk outs, and of course the fights themselves make for an incredible event. Whats more, if you choose to go for all the fights (which I always do) then you’ve got 6-7 hours worth of fights which is a lot of excitement for one day. In this case the event was UFC 202 which was headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz. The two had fought perviously and Diaz won by submission, this was to be one of the biggest rematches in UFC history. It did not disappoint. After 5 rounds of incredible back and forth action McGregor was awarded a split decision victory setting up the possibility of a 3rd fight at some point in the future. For a full recap of the event checkout this article on MMAMania.com. Here are some pictures from the day of the fight.
Amex Centurion Lounge
Although my return flight did not leave LAS until 7pm local time, I had planned on spending the day at the Centurion Lounge catching up on some work. When I got to the airport around 1pm local time I was saddened to find out that American will not allow you to check your bag until 3 hours before your scheduled departure time. Because I had to check my bag (liquids over 3 ounces) I was forced to sit outside of security until I could check-in and get my bags checked. Apparently this is an American only rule and its only for certain airports, either way I was pretty bummed out. Luckily after sitting around for a few hours I made my way through TSA Pre-Check after having checked my bags, next stop of course was the Centurion Lounge. I currently do not have an Amex Platinum or the Amex Centurion card so I was forced to pay $50 for the day pass using my American Express Delta SkyMiles Platinum credit card. Once inside I was able to take advantage of the buffet and free wi-fi. Im a big fan of these lounges in general, though i’ve only ever been to the one at LAS. They tend not to be overcrowded and the food tends to be better than what you’d find at a typical Delta or American lounge.
End of Trip
Looking back on it, my return itinerary was pretty shaky considering the fact that I had to fly LAS->PHX->CLT->RDU. I do not have any photos from that portion of the trip but it went pretty much how you’d expect any other red-eye to go. Sleepily. And thats it! Another successful Vegas trip is in the books.
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