01. Introduction: The spirit of the southwest
02. Spirit Airlines A320 main cabin San Diego to Las Vegas
03. My great American southwest adventure: Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire, Route 66, and Grand Canyon
04. Southwest Airlines 737-700 Las Vegas to San Diego
Before I begin, I’d appreciate it if you could all take a brief moment to pause and congratulate me for coming up with such a clever title for the introductory post of this trip report. 😃 Ok, yes, I’m being totally sarcastic, but the fact of the matter is that this trip report involves flying to Las Vegas on Spirit Airlines, exploring the desert southwest over the course of a week with my entire family, and then returning home on Southwest Airlines. See?! That is kind of clever, don’t you think?
I’ve been living in San Diego for 20 years now, and never once have I taken the time to explore the great American southwest. I knew that I would get around to it someday, because, well…all the big attractions are not that far from San Diego and I figured that they would always be there and that I could go any time. The problem is that I’ve lost count of the number of times I started to plan a road trip out to the Grand Canyon only to abandon the idea in favor of something else once I realize that it would be a lot more fun to fly somewhere instead. But I’ve always really wanted to go, and I guess that lack of commitment was starting to get to me a bit.
That’s why I immediately perked up when my sister suggested a family trip to the Grand Canyon (and Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire, etc) back in December of last year. Since this was something I’ve always wanted to do, it should come as no surprise that I was the first one to raise a hand and vigorously declare my approval of the idea. My parents seemed interested as well, so it didn’t take all of 2 minutes to decide that this was going to happen. The only thing left to do was start planning it.
Luckily for my parents and I, my sister is a master of planning and organizing. She plans all of our family trips (like Lake Tahoe and Belize for example) so all we have to do is sit back and do what she tells us to do. She’s really good at coordinating schedules and figuring out detailed itineraries, so I was more than happy to let her do her magic once again and plan another epic trip for us.
Long story short, I was told to be in Las Vegas on Sunday morning, March 26th. How I would get there was totally up to me, as my sister and her family were driving out from Minnesota, and my parents flying in from Florida. My first inclination was to drive, but I am a bit of an airline nerd after all, and I never let an opportunity to fly go to waste. Yes, driving to Las Vegas from San Diego would have probably taken less time once you factor in getting to the airport, waiting in lines, waiting for the fight, flying, getting a rental car, etc. But did I care about any of this? Absolutely not.
Here’s my flight itinerary:
03/26/17 NK110 main cabin San Diego to Las Vegas (A320)
03/31/17 WN310 Las Vegas to San Diego (737-700)
I’d also like to take this opportunity to point out that I purposely avoided Delta Air Lines for this trip. They actually do fly between SAN and LAS with E175’s, but long time SANspotter readers know that I OD’d on Delta back in December of last year and I’m not quite ready to go back yet. That’s why Spirit and Southwest got my business for this trip – I don’t have that much experience with either of these airlines, so I thought it would be fun to get reacquainted.
I should also point out that there were no hotel stays for this adventure. There were 7 of us total, so it was much more practical (and less expensive) to rent a house instead. We rented one in Las Vegas and another in Parks, AZ. No reviews of those digs will be included, because, well…what are the chances that someone will actually find that information entertaining and useful? Zero, I’d bet.
Alrighty then. Hop on a donkey and slather on some sunscreen, ‘cause we’re headed on out the desert!