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I gambled on Las Vegas....and lost

A recent vacation to Las Vegas to celebrate my 75th birthday cost me big bucks. And I never stepped foot in a casino.


Let's start with the air fare. I booked the outgoing flight from Dulles (Virginia) airport via United. Hearing Spirit Airlines has cheap fares, I found a flight back at the time we needed at a great price. Bad bet. As the date of our trip approached I checked the status of our flights. To my horror, I realized Spirit does not fly to Dulles. We would be arriving in Baltimore (BWI). This posed a problem as our car would be in a different airport in a different state. I decided to cancel. The cost for my mistake? $600.00 This includes the price of two tickets plus a $92.00 “passenger usage charge” for booking the tickets on line. I could use $210 of the $600 towards another flight but only if I booked within a defined window of time. My husband and I have no travel plans requiring air fare. I was down $600 without a single spin of the roulette wheel.



My losing streak continued when I checked on the status of our tickets to see Cirque du Soleil . After a 30 minute wait , I connected with a ticket agent. I explained I had not received any ticket vouchers and we were to go to the performance the following week. “I see the problem,” explained the ticket agent. “You paid for tickets for last week's performance.” Stunned, I said “you mean I ordered two tickets for the wrong date?” “Oh no “she replied, “you ordered three tickets.” Three unused tickets at $200 each came to $600.


Before we even boarded the plane, I was $1200 in the hole.


I blame technology. Planning a trip now requires a level of cyber-comfort and internet knowledge I do not possess. Finding the appropriate web site, creating new passwords, figuring out concert dates, airplane schedules, seat selection—not my forte.


The Chicks (formerly Dixie Chicks) concert episode is clear proof. We arrived at the ticket counter at Planet Hollywood for the Saturday performance. I gave the woman my cell phone so she could find the ticket voucher. She quickly navigated to the right site and said “One ticket for tonight.”


“What?” I exclaimed. “I booked two seats for my husband and me.”


“No, she said, “you only reserved one seat.”


How in the world did I pay for 3 seats on the wrong date for Cirque du Soleil and only 1 seat for the right night for the Chicks concert.? Clearly, I am ill-suited for the cyber world of travel arrangements.


Fortunately, there was a vacant seat next to me still available for the Chicks. I told my husband I needed a beer. (That cost $16.00)


My trip to Las Vegas proved a bad gamble. I am going with a sure bet our next trip. I plan to let someone else make all the arrangements.

(published in Spirit of Jefferson Advocate, August 2023)

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