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Your McCarran horror story

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by news423, Mar 14, 2015.

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  1. news423

    news423 Tourist

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    I was inspired to start this thread from reading an earlier posting from Mrs Furi ... so thank you for that ;)

    What's been the worst experience you've had at the airport? For me (and I'm sure a few others), it's getting caught up in the security line as you leave the airport.

    To be fair, nearly all of my trips leaving Vegas and going through security have been very smooth. But, of course, it depends which day you leave. I now have a schedule that instead of arriving for March Madness on Wednesday night and leaving Monday morning, I simply arrive on Saturday morning and leave Tuesday morning. If you've ever left Vegas on a Tuesday morning, it's SO much better than leaving on a Sunday or Monday morning.

    My bad experience: Getting to the airport 90 min before my Northwest flight was leaving (as you can tell, it's been awhile since this happened). Waited in the TSA line for 1 hr and 45 min ... I can STILL remember how far that line snaked back. So I missed my flight to MSP and had to wait another 3 hrs until the next one left. Yes, I caved and played airport slots ... and I actually won $240 (whouda thunk it?).

    I'd be curious to hear from regular visitors like pphold, pleepleus and Packer (who I hope to have the privilege of meeting in a few days) if they've ever had a horror story leaving town. I'm sure there will be someone who can top my experience.
     
  2. MrsFuri

    MrsFuri Low-Roller

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    Glad I inspired a post! HA!

    I have one for you, apart from the dreadful security lines as LAS... but I wasn't leaving, I was coming into town (actually, visiting my parents, and I wanted to surprise them... so I got a cab instead of having my dad pick me up, like he usually would).

    So I get in, I had gotten upgraded, my seat mate was Michael Vick (pre-dog fighting days), had an interesting convo the entire way from ATL (I had been on a trip for work) and landed 30 minutes early! I'm thinking... yes, this is all awesome!

    I hop in a cab (no line, shocking) and we take off. Before even getting onto the fwy, we get pulled over by a cop and I notice that there are like, seven other cabs pulled over too. It was a sting. I guess these particular cabs were known for long routing... TWO HOURS later, I'm in a new and "safe" cab headed to my folks house. Now, cabs in Vegas are notoriously bad, but I'd have rather been long hauled than sit on the side of the airport road for two hours before getting to proceed with my day. I'd have been REALLY pissed if it was a gambling trip.

    Vegas. Weird shit happens there. And I still love it :) :)
     
  3. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    I got pulled out of the security line at Las Vegas after going through the scanner. I had a very nice black blouse made with metallic thread -- apparently this upsets the scanner. Instead of having me step behind one of the partitions they have spread eagle standing up. And the biggest Helga looking TSA women marches over to me. She slaps on gloves and tells me "Ma'am you are going to feel my hands on your breasts but I will be using the back of my hands" She does this in front of everyone. She pushed hard everywhere from the waist up. Then she swipes my hand for explosives - I passed and proceed to pick up my carry on. I discover that was pulled off the line and 2 TSA agents are rifling through it. I forgot I had a contraband bottled water. I was told I could step back out and drink it but I would have to go through the groping line again. -- No thank you.

    I learned my lesson - do not wear shimmery dress/blouses when flying. A friend of mine had some studded jeans on flying out to vegas from San Antonio It had the state of Texas bedazzled with rhinestones on the back pocket. She was dressed for Rodeo week-- She said she got the hiney grope from TSA for that one.

    When the scanner was new to San Antonio airport and they only had one working they split people up not everyone got scanned. My husband got to go through the man line and the A & B cup female and small children line - straight through no scanning. I was in a line that was much slower. Everyone was a woman of certain breast size. Seriously not one man in a line of at least 15 women.

    My husband had passed through and was waiting for me on the other side with his hands in the air - mouthing whats up??? I held up both of my hands and made the universal squeeze - breast honking, Benny Hill sign and pointed to the other women around me and then to TSA workers. -- Needless to say there were only men at the scanner and it was moving slow.
     
    36th Wedding Anniversary
  4. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    One of our trips we got the airport about 3hrs before our flight and the power was out.

    Philippines Airlines was already the slowest line at the airport but when they are checking everybody in manually and looking up info... it was just going extra slow.

    Since there was no power there was no air conditioning (it was mid July so it was hot and stuffy) and no lights so it was a bit dark where we were (Terminal 3).

    One thing they kept making sure people knew was: they weren't going to hold the plane - It was going on its scheduled departure time. We wound up getting through with about 10 minutes to spare but the anxiety of whether or not we'd make the flight was really rocking my stomach. I might have gotten an ulcer from that.

    The airport themselves were giving out $10 gift certificates for food to all passengers in Terminal 3. When we got to our gate and saw the line up to board the flight my wife got in line and I went to the Burger King and got us some Whoppers and onion rings... that was about as close to a redeeming part of the experience that we could get. I wound up not eating my food until we were back in Vancouver though - just with the airport being as hot and stuffy as it was and the stress of that whole situation and worrying if we were going to miss our flight or not I was feeling queasy on the flight home.
     
  5. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I recall having a couple hours to kill at Mcarron and seeing the "smoking lounge", it was a small maybe 20 by 20 ft room where there were many addicts doing their best to quench their nicotine needs, I thought of the seinfeld episode where Kramer is smoking heavily, and he say's "dont look at me , I'm hideous". It was just like that, ruddy faced , old looking young people popping out of the smoking cube.
     
  6. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    T'was late September, 2001. Commercial planes had just started flying again a few days prior to my trip. It wasn't all that terrible flying TO Las Vegas - I guess it was so early that they hadn't yet implemented the new protocols. But going home was a bitch!

    Knowing things would be bad, I arrived for my 1 pm flight at 6:30 am. I got to the front of the check in line by about 7:30-8 and was told, "oh, you'll never make THAT flight. I can put you on the 4:45, you should be able to get through by then".

    I spent the next 6-8 hours in a line of some sort. Folks were pretty good about holding your place in line when you had to hit the head, though. So I guess that was cool. I still can see all the places where that crazy line snaked through when I walk through LAS and look around...it was pretty f'ing crazy.


    I had one other PITA, though not nearly as bad as above.

    I went to Vegas with my mom and dad (mom's first time) a handful of years ago. It was probably 2008-09 ish. Well, we didn't look too closely at our tickets when we printed them out because I got mom's, and she got mine. I was a smoker back then so I sent mom and dad ahead while I hung back to suck down some tasty, tasty cancer. Mom had no problem getting through security with my ticket (thank god for the crack staff of our gov't agencies!:rolleyes2:) but apparently I got the one guy who gave a shit about his job.

    In the end, it wasn't too big of a deal. But any time you have to deal with bureaucrats for an extended period of time is unpleasant.
     
    Number 50!
  7. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I was dropped-off at McCarran once about 6 years ago or so and the skycap line for Southwest was the longest I've EVER seen. It was the middle of summer and already well over 100 at like 10 a.m. Come to find out Southwest's computers were down and the only thing working was the old security line that used to be on the side. This was before the new SWA area was open (before Terminal 3 too).... back in the days when everyone went upstairs and half was for the C gates (SWA) and half was for D (United, American, etc.) The little security-area that was working was kind of a well kept secret, but today EVERYONE on SWA had to go through it. They had staff walking up and down the line passing out waters to keep people cool. It was also a day when I had way too many the night before and was hoping to speed though security, but instead got into the worst line I've EVER had there.

    I always go to the airport with a couple hours to spare and as I recall this day barely made the flight. SWA staff were pulling people out of line and moving them up depending on when their flights were, but it was HOT and LONG that day. UGHHHHHH
     
  8. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    I have many horror stories, but I'll start with the first time you think you'll make your flight and then realize the C gates start at high numbers and go down.
     
  9. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    For the most part McCarran has been good to me. :) All of my horror stories, like having to sleep in a seat at the gate, or wait on line for hours just to get something, anything, to eat, seem to be a DEN, STL, and EWR.

    Worst I remember at McCarran, other than the general downer of leaving LV that is, was once decades ago when my ex and I got separated. We used to do this thing where one of us would drop the other off to check bags and check in and the other would return the car. This was long before 9/11 when you could check in for each other and get to the gate without a boarding pass. Well, to make the story short, here I was at the TWA gate at "This is the final boarding call" and no boarding pass. We finally met up just in time.

    I've had a number of delayed and cancelled flights but it seems that they always work out at McCarran. Plus there are always slots and VP and such if you do get delayed. Up till now (knocking on wood) I've never had a delayed or misrouted bag, as I've had at a number of other airports.
     
  10. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    I'm at the Delta Gate and get a text message from Delta that the flight I'm about to board has cancelled! Nobody knows! I am a Delta Diamond so I'm the first to find out and since this is about the last flight back East for the day I quickly jump online to see my options. I notice they have already rebooked me. My original flight was about 1130 pm and the new flight was at 115 pm. Sweet! Another day in Vegas!

    So I call the Renaissance Hotel, book a room, call Avis, book a car and head out. Of course I have no clothes. I'm one of those who doesn't do carry ons so I stop at the Delta check in counter to ask if they could get my bags off the cancelled flight for me. They very kind lady tells me that I was rebooked on the 115 pm flight THAT DAY! And UPGRADED to First Class! And no, they can't get my bags.

    Stupid, moron, idiot, asshole... My real name is Stu Pidass.

    I left the next day with quite a hangover. In Coach. Grrrr..... Still pissed about that one.
     
  11. jack1057

    jack1057 Low-Roller

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    I'm We were waiting to board in 2005 and as you know the ramp area never stops moving. Suddenly my friend came over and said that something was going on. Not a single plane, luggage cart or food truck was moving. About that time they announced that a VIP flight was coming in and all activity was suspended for about 30 mins. (turned out it was VP Cheney). Well 30 turned into nearly 45. As you all know, this airport depends on constant movement. By time they got flights out and others unloaded, they ended up canceling our non stop to Texas and putting on the SW US tour. We went to Phoenix, Alberquerque and Lubbock before finally getting home about 4 hours late.

    Funny story was sitting the smoking area. I was in the back, sitting close to a TSA agent who was on break. This was back when lighters were prohibited and everyone carried book matches. This young arrogant loud mouthed kid came in and sat on opposite side where he didn't see the TSA guy. Kid whipped out his flamethrower lighter and in loud voice, started telling his friends how he had snuck it past the "idiots" at TSA. He kept on telling them all his exploits of smuggling things past the security guys. The TSA guy just sat there and calmly finished his break, then walked around the machines to where the kid was. He told him to stand up, gather his bags and come with him. The look on this kids face was priceless and I always wondered if he ever got to where he was going and if he enjoyed the taxpayer paid colonoscopy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  12. gkamer

    gkamer Tourist

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    I always seem to leave out of like C-1 or C-3. You get to the concourse and the first number is like C-35.
     
  13. dannyocean

    dannyocean High-Roller

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    Just before the new terminal opened to plane traffic, we flew in on United from IAH, and went down to the usual baggage claim we had been at for years, over in the old terminal. We waited. And waited. And waited. Looked for a United baggage office. Finally, after about 45 minutes, asked a security guard. The baggage for United had moved over to the new terminal. There were no signs, no anything to indicate that. They never announced it on the plane, either. So we started out an hour behind, having to take the shuttle bus over to the new terminal for the bags. Haven't made that mistake since ...
     
  14. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Overall, I think McCarran does a pretty good job. I go to Vegas at least monthly and in over a decade of lying there, I have only had one bad experience. Oddly, it was my first time flying out of there. March, 2003, I was leaving on a Monday morning to fly to Seattle. I arrived at the airport two hours before the flight and I was literally the last person to step onto my plane right before they shut the door. No idea what was going on that day, but the security line was an hour and a half long!

    For years after that, I always arrived at the airport early to avoid a repeat of that experience, but it has always been good. Now, I fly out of there so often that I have it down to a science. I pretty much know exactly when I need to leave my hotel on any given day of the week to get to the airport and fly out without a lot of sitting around time
     
  15. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    I had a really bad nightmare once that every single store in McCarran was a Cinnabon.
     
  16. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    I took a travel assignment in Milwaukee back in 2001 - just prior to 9/11 by 5 months. My agency booked the flights - San Antonio - change planes in Houston - then to Nashville and then Milwaukee. -In Houston I had to change airlines of course so it meant changing terminals. I can't remember the airlines but it was a major one either Delta or American. They made an announcement that our flight was delayed due to "mechanical" difficulties. I thought to myself "Why would anyone announce that?" -- Really inspiring confidence here. The flight finally takes off - in the biggest piece of - pardon the language "crap" jet I have ever flown in. I looked it up and it was a Brazilian company - Embraer. There was only one seat on one side and two seats on the other side. It maybe held 60 or so people, There was absolutely no noise insulation inside. If you wanted to talk to your neighbor or the flight attendant you had to practically yell. And rough flight all the way. So we took off late and of course my flight was way behind in Nashville. I was the only one getting off in Nashville and the flight attendant told me to run they were holding the flight to Milwaukee. I took off at a fast pace and she yelled out "I said run" We had landed on the first gate of the terminal and of course the other flight was on the last gate - So I am literally running and when I get to the other gate they are waving me in like I am finishing a race.

    Back to McCarran horror story - this had possibilities- The first time we went to Vegas years ago we took the early AM flight leaving. It was American and the ;pilot came on saying our flight was delayed because the cleaning crew forgot to empty the toilet tanks last night. -- Can you imagine what could have happened? Talk about a not so Royal Flusher.
     
    36th Wedding Anniversary
  17. booker

    booker High-Roller

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    1) A Narrow Miss ~ About 13 years ago my buddy and I were about to get off the down escalator when a guy runs UP. Alarms sound, people yell, and posses of security types rush about. We exit and actually find a cab. We later heard on the news that McCarran was shut down for a few hours ~ nobody was allowed to exit or enter as something fishy may have been going on.

    2) Just after 911 ~ There was a young man who I played poker against on/off for a few days at the Flamingo. He left for the airport to go home, but I ran into him later that evening. He was a golfer and played a round with local friends. He had not brought his clubs or golf shoes and played in his sneakers and jeans. The golf course had recently been fertilized and his shoes and jeans set off alarms for explosives. He missed his flight and his employer gave him a "pass" to miss a day of work for a day in Vegas.
     
  18. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    I have also fallen victim to the "you are wearing sparkles so we must grope you" thing.

    Also, one time my son and I were flying home. We were in the waiting room and the son had to visit the washroom and somehow managed to walk out past security in his search for the john.

    I was starting to get worried it was taking so long.
    I had my son's ticket and passport with me, and he was outside security and they wouldn't let him back in.
    He did have his driver's license so eventually believed his story and let him back through.
     
  19. Flopitbaby

    Flopitbaby Low-Roller

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    Many Moons ago I had a red-eye flight leaving Vegas and when they offered a bump for $200 (You could fly round trip for that back then from the Midwest) I jumped on it and booked the first flight the next morning. So being cheap and with limited financial backing I decided to sleep in the airport. First of all it is almost impossible to sleep in an airport chair and with Phyllis Diller announcing stand to the left and walk on the right every 5 minutes it was impossible.
     
  20. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I'm surprised you haven't seen those before, they have been around for some time. When flying out of OMA to various destinations it's frequent to have "big-plane little-plane roulette" and that's what the losers fly on. :) :) I have a client in Houston and it seems like all of the nonstops from here to there are on those toy planes! The one advantage is that they seem to deplane faster.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
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