Las Vegas flights and hotelsBack to Forum
Anonymous8 Feb 2008
I’m flying to Vegas from the UK in August (bank holiday weekend) – should i fly Virgin ex London, Bmi ex Man, or connect in the US?
Any tips on hotels also welcome – there will be 15 of us in total.8 Feb 2008
Are you flying Business Class, Premium Economy or Economy?
Where is home (close to MAN or LGW)? Do you want to earn frequent flyer miles? What sort of prices are you seeing for the different routings for that number of people?
Do you just want to visit Vegas, or would you like a two centre holiday to San Francisco SFO , Los Angeles LAX or maybe even a spa break in Scottsdale via Phoenix PHX?
How much of a hassle is a connection to you – would you rather pay a little more and fly direct or are you happy to save money and connect? Especially an issue if you have elderlies or young ones in tow. Remember those under 21 do not have access to gaming floors and many hotels will not let rooms to minors without parental supervision.
You may find it cheaper to fly LON-LAX or SFO or PHX and connect on a cheap flight to LAS. You could try the new http://www.virginamerica.com from SFO.
I do this trip twice a year and usually fly into LAX and out of SFO (as I like a weekend in SF before flying out, and also flight is cheaper and shorter on the inbound to LAS from LAX, and departing from Tom Bradley Terminal at LAX is frankly horrific). You can use either Virgin or BA on these flights.
This August Bank Holiday I am flying out from Frankfurt on Lufthansa in First, via LAX continuing on US Airways in First, and returning from LAS US Airways First to SFO with a weekend layover and onwards to London direct on United First. Total cost was about £400 using my bmi cash + miles.
As far as hotels are concerned, Vegas is expensive at weekends (Thu/Fri/Sat nights) and cheaper midweek. The first week in September is among the cheapest weeks to go, after their Labor Day Holiday, as that is when the season ends, so do consider delaying your trip one week if possible – it could save you a LOT.
Remember with an 8 hour time difference your first night you will be in bed very early, and that is why I tend to stay in a cheap airport hotel like the 4* Westin LAX for about $60/night using http://www.priceline.com on the first night as there is no point in splashing out on an expensive Vegas hotel, and take the first flight out the next morning to LAS and maximise your time by the pool.
I would recommend hiring a car in Vegas as this gives you access to the great outlet malls, you can zip from hotel to hotel avoiding lengthy walks and visit some of the less touristed restaurants off the strip, and local non Vegas attractions; plenty of free parking everywhere.
Do check out the old part of Vegas, Fremont Street Experience, which although still not sophisticated has been smartened up recently and warrants an evening wandering round and seeing the free shows.
As far as hotels go, again depends on your budget. The best are http://www.bellagio.com http://www.wynnlasvegas.com and newest contender http://www.palazzolasvegas.com where I plan to stay on my next visit.
To get the best deals, sign up on each hotel’s website for their email newsletter which sends you discount promo codes (usually for midweek stays) every month, and can include freebies like gaming coupons and free brekky/cocktails.
The best time to book is between 2-3 months before your trip, when the codes are first released. But do get a feel in advance for general rates and peak times (eg conventions) which can double room rates; if it looks like a busy weekend it might be best to stay elsewhere and hit Vegas midweek.
If yours is a large group, then consider a property like the new Trump Las Vegas http://www.trumplv.com which has kitchens in the rooms (some good offers released today for booking by 18 March on http://www.tripres.com) or the Hilton Grand Vacation Club on the Strip from $99/night which has vast family suites with kitchens and can be had for next to nothing if you are willing to have a few hours of timeshare pitch thrown your way:
With a group of sixteen you may even be able to negotiate a group rate, maybe getting a mega suite to congregate in if this is a special event.
Plan which shows you want to see Barry Manilow in http://www.musicandpassion.com is the big headliner right now, but I would also recommend one of the Cirque du Soleil shows – the Beatles themed LOVE is best for Brits IMHO:
You can sometimes get half price tix on the day, but by booking well in advance you can get the very best seats for the same price as those booking later pay for ten rows back. Kids should see http://www.startrekexp.com at the Las Vegas Hilton.
If a show is central to your trip, then you can often find great accommodation packages by booking through the hotel at which the show is performed.
A trip to the Grand Canyon by air or car is a must, and the Hoover Dam is also fascinating day trip to escape the neon of Vegas.
Weather will be warm enough to sunbathe then, though gets cool around 5pm, so choose a hotel with a nice pool! Have a great stay!9 Feb 2008
If you do choose to fly to the US and then take an internal flight to LAS whatever you do don’t fly American – I have never experienced such awful cabin crew (who chew gum), dirty aircraft and cramp seating, as I did when I flew American in January…
You might want to look at BA or Virgin flight prices to SFO, LAX or ORD with a connecting flight on South-West who have fantastic prices, Allegiant Air, United, Continental, Virgin America or (I hate to say it) American, as it might be cheaper, especially with the BA sale is now on. I would fly the BMI option via MAN and of course Virgin, who may not be the cheapest.
You could try an in-direct option from London with Delta, American, US Airways or Continental – they may work out cheaper.
If price is important and time is no option, you may also want to look at charter flights with MyTravel and perhaps Thomas Cook if they fly there.
I was in Las Vegas in January and if you have time definitely take the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam tour – it does take all day but worth it!! We flew BA to Los Angeles and then American to Las Vegas, it was OK.
Good luck and happy travels.11 Feb 2008