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Jan '24 Photo Trip & Southwest Hotels Report (SAN-LAS)

Frequent Flyer A

Hello Community Southwest:



SoCalFlyer97's second Southwest Trip for 2024 is in the book.


This was a short day trip from San Diego to Vegas, purchased during last September's WOW50 sale. Also spent the night in downtown San Diego via Southwest Hotels booking. This flight was a midweek flight, but both legs filled to capacity thanks in part to the Consumer Electronics Show that happened in Vegas. Here's the rundown:



Took the MTS public transit into Downtown San Diego and to the airport and got some good shots of SAN's New Terminal 1 construction progress. 




Crews began to knock down SAN's former Administrative Offices building to make room. Looks like they gutted every interior wall and took everything out beforehand including the kitchen sink. Its interior looked completely empty as they were demo'ing the structure.



Crews working hard... They're building a new Pedestrian bridge that will link the upper-level drop-off area to the departures level.





No major winter storm delays or cancellations at SAN at the Southwest terminal as of yet. Somebody notify the press.




Outbound Flight:
Plane: 737-700
Full Flight, On Time
Preboards: 3



Taking off. In the background, another shot of New T1 to the left of the current T1.


Passing by Ocean Beach


Hello to everybody flying out of LGB!


No winter deicing required today for Mount Baldy.


"The best ideas are born on napkins. What's yours?" Let me think about that...


Passing by Mount Charleston during the final descent.


Hello LAS! No we didn't miss our stop...Current wind patterns tell us we've got to turn around at Lake Mead before we land.



There's my RTC limo waiting to take me into town. Day pass $8.


The Consumer Electronics Show is in town. No, that was not my purpose of travel to LAS...but SoCalFlyer97 LUVs tech so I passed by.


There's that giant marble TV.

Took care of my business and headed down LV Boulevard before it was time to head back.



It appears that crews got most of the F1 Grandstands in this area all cleaned up minus a few marked 'dings' on the sidewalk. Somebody please tell Hard Rock to please keep this beautiful lake in tact when they rebrand and convert the property. Maybe I need to present that idea to them on the inflight napkin.


Gone: Bellagio Fountain Club grandstands. The current "stage" construction is likely for a separate event. The original trees appear to be back too! I've read that crews moved them to a local nursery during the F1 Race and brought them back home after they removed the grandstands.





Return Flight:
Plane: 737-800
Full Flight
On Time Push Back from the Gate with a 12-minute tarmac hold due to air traffic at SAN
Preboards: 9



While we were waiting to be cleared for take off, I saw Air France Flight 23 pass by our plane for departure. Upon tracking this flight later on FlightAware, it was beginning its non-stop 10-hour journey from LAS to Paris CDG. It left its gate at LAS at 3:18pm PST, was in the air a little bit after 3:30pm and arrived at CDG at 1:18am PST (10:18am local CET).



This skyline grand finale never gets old. Now over to the Hotel...


I had lots of options...Stay at at a large full-service hotel? A budget inn? Boutique? or Hostel? Being a weekday with no major events in San Diego, I had lots of options. I elected for a small Hilton property located along the MTS 992 Airport shuttle bus route. The inn has a building structure that appears to "clone" the historic San Diego County Administrative Center building with its art deco style.




Pricing run-down which includes all room taxes and fees:


Room Type: 2 Queen Beds
Rapid Rewards Points Plus: 2,000
SW Hotels/RocketMiles: $166

Competing Booking Site Rates:
Other 3rd Party Lowest Price per Trivago: $159
Direct: $156 w/ Loyalty
Markup $10 in return for 2,000 CP-Eligible RR Points: Excellent tradeoff



The downtown Hampton Inn is one of those hotels that gets pricey during the peak season or whenever there's something major happening in San Diego, but during the off-season, one can find a great deal for this inn that comes with free hot breakfast.





There was one little item that was on the hotel lobby kiosk that I didn't quite figure out:




The large flat-screen kiosk had a very beautiful downtown skyline graphic with the Hampton logo. One can track SAN flights from there.


However, the photo's orientation appears to draw focus to the Manchester Grand hotel towers as the subject of the photo. One of Hilton's competitors--Hyatt--operates the Manchester. From a traveler's perspective there's nothing to complain about; it's a great photo visually and having the info kiosk is a nice guest amenity. However, from a marketing point-of-view, I would have used a background pic that drew less focus to a competitor hotel. Just my two...


Anyway, as a traveler, Hilton delivered a five-star stay for me again for this Southwest Hotels booking and TripAdvisor review forthcoming.




Prior SW Flight Reports:


Prior SW Hotels Reports:



Re: Jan '24 Photo Trip & Southwest Hotels Report (SAN-LAS)

Aviator A

SoCalFlyer -- thanks for sharing another fine trip report. Your reports are always fun to read.