David J. Danto


Travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion




eMail: ddanto@IMCCA.org      Follow Industry News: @NJDavidD on all          


New Year, Old Issues – January 2024


  I’ve just returned from my first business trip of the year – my annual sojourn to the CES conference in Las Vegas.  I’ll be writing and podcasting about what I saw there over the course of the next week or so, but for this week I wanted to get some trip details written out before I forget them.  I and many other authors have often written about travel to and around Las Vegas, but the experiences continue to get worse there, and they warrant another report. 

·   Avis: I’ve explained before how bad the Avis service is at this location, with an app that never works to let one change their car, and preferred service almost never being preferred.  For this trip I was shocked that the Avis app automatically assigned me an upgraded car – an Infinity Q50 – with my name right up there on their board as well.  The car was clean and sleek and drove like the parent Nissan cars that I am familiar with – all in all it was a great choice.  I loaded my bags and drove to the exit, but as I was driving there I saw a tiny crack on the windshield.  It was no big deal to me, but I wanted the check-out agent to note that I didn’t cause it.  When I mentioned it, she said “It doesn’t matter if I record it.   When you bring the car back, if it spreads, you’ll be the responsible party.  You should go get a different car.”  Wonderful.  More wasted time at Avis.  I re-parked the car in the spot it was in and went to the Avis preferred office.  There I found two agents and a customer, all chatting about careers and food deliveries, and totally ignoring me.  I waited for my turn, but after ten minutes that turn still hadn’t come.  It was at that point I realized that (as I mentioned above) the app actually worked this time, so I opened it, and it actually let me switch to another car – another no-charge upgrade to an Acura MDX.  So I went to that spot, loaded-up that car, and drove it out.  With Avis, even when everything finally works they make me waste more time than necessary.

·   Las Vegas Traffic: The insanity of driving around this city is way over the top at this point.  CES is the largest conference in North America with attendees and exhibitors estimated to be in the 200K range, and CES, the LVCVA and the city really dropped the ball.  The press events take place on Sunday at Mandalay Bay, and this year it conflicted with a Raiders football home game (a disaster I predicted to the CES staff the year the Raiders moving to Las Vegas was announced.)  The access to the area was severely cut-off and a crazy burden to get around.  However, that Sunday debacle was only the start.  The city is preparing to host the Superbowl, so street construction was in high-gear everywhere.  The Las Vegas Strip had only one lane open from the Bellagio driving south every day, starting at about 7pm and lasting all evening.  Ten-minute trips took up to an hour.  The alternate streets were also very backed-up.  In addition, there were still a few remnants of the Formula One race track changes being removed.  It was a mess that the attendees shouldn’t have been burdened with as attending this conference – that takes place all over the city – is painful enough.  The CTA really has to threaten to move or withhold payment or something to get the town to take these issues seriously.  The raiders could have been scheduled for an away game that week and the construction could have waited to another week.

·   Boeing: I also need to acknowledge the burden on this conference caused by the latest 737Max9 disaster.  I won’t rehash the story that I’m sure most of you are already familiar with, but I will point out that when there is an enormous event like CES attended by hundreds of thousands of people coming from all over the world, taking one aircraft type out of service due to its inherent danger wreaked-havoc on many attendees.  More than one person told me XXX people or YYY gear was not at the event because a flight was cancelled.  Meetings, meals, events and the like had to be shifted, changed or cancelled.  It was just one more burden everyone had to deal with.



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Finally this week I’ll remind anyone who hasn’t been to CES that while it’s full of news and technology and innovations, it’s not “fun.”  Anyone who thinks a trip to this conference is a junket filled with partying and gambling has never been there.  It is really, really hard work, with events and commitments that push people to exhaustion.  I’m very happy to have attended for many years, but I’ll definitely need a few days to rest and recover…and maybe get some sleep. 




This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.

All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.

Copyright 2024 David Danto


As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree.  Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me.  Thanks!