Holiday to Death Valley in Dec 2015

At the end of the year, just after Christmas we headed back to Death Valley. We loved it the last time we went and we wanted to do more in this amazing place.

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Black History on show at LAX Black History on show at LAX

Tier Point Run to Las Vegas in Feb 2022: Day 2 – Los Angeles

By Nige on Sat 19 Feb 2022 at 08:00
Story: Tier Point Run to Las Vegas in Feb 2022
Tags: American Airlines | Hilton | LAX | Los Angeles | Trips

I turned the light out at around midnight – perhaps a little after that and I set my alarm (optimistically) for 6am.  I was awake by 3am and decided I may as well get up and head to the airport.  I was walking along Century Boulevard at 4:15am.  It was a lot quieter around the airport than last night!

On my way back to LAX On my way back to LAX
On my way back to LAX

It was dry and cool.  I saw very few people on my walk back to LAX.  The three major roads I had to cross over I didn’t need to wait too long at before being able to cross on a white man signal.

Crikey - I look good in shorts and a mask dont I? Crikey - I look good in shorts and a mask dont I?
Crikey - I look good in shorts and a mask dont I?

Once over onto the south side of LAX, I checked in with AA at T5, got my boarding card and then walked up to T4 and through TSA Pre-Check.  There was a long queue to get up the escalator to security, but the guy manning the escalator asked whether anyone was TSA Pre-Check and I bypassed about 50 passengers all waiting patiently!  Fab.

Once through security, I headed into the AA Flagship Lounge and the Flagship Lounge side was open again – work looks like it has now completed.  Started off with a lukewarm cappuccino from the machine and enjoyed a turkey sausage, potatoes and a delightful vegetable rice.  Scrummy.

Then it was off to TBIT for my Starbucks in time for opening at 5:30am – looked like it must have opened earlier than that, but the queue wasn’t too big when I got there.  As always, turning an order into a physical drink seems to take an age, but I was grateful when it was finally in my hand.  I enjoyed my drink back in the lounge as I caught up with the Vickster by phone.

A little later I did my all gates walk around T4, T5, T6, T7 and T8.  Whilst on my travels, I noticed that the gap in the LAX Automated People Mover (APM) which is supposed to connect LAX to the LA Metro Rail system, has been filled and one of the main airport stations was under construction.  Work started in March 2019 and is due to complete in 2023.  For more see here: https://www.gatewayla.org/project-lax-automated-people-mover-apm.

Should make life a little easier for getting around when that finally opens.

A quiet area at the other end of TBIT A quiet area at the other end of TBIT
A quiet area at the other end of TBIT

I eventually headed down to Gate 49C and the flight boarded on time.  I grabbed my seat 1A and waited patiently.  The flight was due to leave at 11am.  I noticed on Expert Flyer that the departure time slipped out to 11:20am and it appeared that was due to connecting passengers arriving late for the flight.  Eventually, the announcement came that all passengers were now on board.

About 10 mins later the captain announced there was going to be a short delay due to the need to check some maintenance work that had been done, it would be signed off and we would then be on our way.  I could see 3 blokes in high-vis jackets with a trolley and a set of steps under the left wing, checking something.

After another 15 mins (and we seemed to get regular updates from the captain), he said that he couldn’t get any readings in the cockpit from the fuel level sensors and that he needed another way of confirming how much fuel was on board.  So, they were looking at ways in which that could be done.  The captain was sorry about the delay but we would be on our way as quickly as possible.

A fuelling rig arrived and more blokes too.  Apparently, they were now trying to offload all of the fuel so that they could fuel it to the necessary level.  This was all due to there being too much fuel onboard for landing at Las Vegas.

In the end we had about 25 workmen under the wings and the captain got to the point that he had no confidence in there being a good outcome anytime soon, so he decided to deplane all passengers.  It was now 1pm – 2 hours after the flight was due to depart.

At this point I decided that by the time I had finally arrived in Las Vegas, I wouldn’t want to spend any time out and about and I might also be putting my return journey at risk.  It would be easier and safer for my return if I dumped the LAS legs and stayed in Los Angeles.  [The flight finally left at 16:35 so that was a 5.5-hour delay]

I was first off the plane and headed back down to the AA Flagship Lounge.  I asked the guy on the rebooking desk to remove the Delta flight and the LAS legs so that I could stay in Los Angeles.

I booked another night at the Hilton LAX and walked back down to the hotel.  I looked up where the nearest Cheesecake Factory was – it was at Marina Del Rey, which is where Vick and I had dined years ago.

Checked into the Hilton LAX – I got room 1242 which must be one of the worst on site, with hardly any window.  At least it was available.

Just what the doctor ordered after a trying day at LAX Just what the doctor ordered after a trying day at LAX
Just what the doctor ordered after a trying day at LAX

I caught an Uber to The Cheesecake Factory (about $16) and enjoyed the bread, a Sam Adams, a lunchtime Santa Fe salad and a portion of anaemic fries (Vick would have sent them back).  For afters I ordered a Lemon Raspberry cheesecake for take-out.  The Uber on the way back was more expensive (about $25) and I had to wait 20 mins for it, but I was back.

Cheesecake in my room somewhere in the USA - done that a few times! Cheesecake in my room somewhere in the USA - done that a few times!
Cheesecake in my room somewhere in the USA - done that a few times!

I found nothing of real interest on TV – I watched a bit of the new series The Cleaning Lady, which I think has a hilarious title.  I didn’t really focus on it, so I certainly wasn’t hooked.

Slept from 7pm to 10pm.  Did some prep for my trip back.  My first flight tomorrow wasn’t until 11am now.  Working out 24 hours before my flight to Amsterdam, I’ll need to do my antigen test after 12:45 UK time, which is 04:45 here.   So I will do that last thing before I head to the airport. Good old covid!

Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Las Vegas in Feb 2022

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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

View all posts by Nige   |   Website

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