26 June 2012

2012: NYC Pride March!

New York City dragged itself up in aid for a fabulous cause. Shining with the six bright colours of the freedom flag, the beautiful people came out to play. This month just keeps on giving, I've only been back from Las Vegas three weeks! I certainly wasn't prepared for what I was about to see! We lived our truth, enjoying 2012s NYC Pride March to the fullest! Yass!

NYC was ready for the Pride March 2012, I made my way back to Greenwich Village! All lined up in our thousands the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgendered folk of NYC waited for this year's Pride March to begin. Flying the rainbow flag for the community, everyone waited out in the beautiful sunshine on New York's Christopher Street, that glorious Sunday. I had never been to a Pride March before, it was a great opportunity for my first to be in no other place like NYC! Waiting in our perfect spot along Christopher Street, I had managed to trade a shift from work to make it to the march, I have the best colleagues! The pavements were beginning to get increasingly busy, filling up with more excited pride goers. The other guys who were rocking their skimpy tank tops and cut up tees, I served my own flex because we are who we are! Another reason I was living a dream, it was a reality in living motion! OK!

Like Christmas this event only happens once per year so the reason behind people's way of thinking must have been to categorise this celebration as our LGBT Christmas. I'm certain that this event will be the first of many for me, its just to good to miss! Work has been crazy but I'm really enjoying myself, I'm not going to lie that it's been difficult to adjust from the craziness of Las Vegas so the hype of the parade really helped balance that out. I have been lucky making new friends from outside work, well from my co-worker Anthony. Me and Dean made our way from New Jersey to Greenwich Village for the Pride March. I'm new to this Pride lark so I just had a great day, I embraced the energy that could be felt along Christopher Street, after meeting Dean's friend we found a spot to wait for the March to make its way down to our side of town. I felt at peace, I had no worries nor did I need to look out for any hateful people! Pride was on and NYC had us safe with its embrace!

Cyndi Lauper made her appearance early on in the march as it made its way. The Pop Icon didn't look a day older than 40, something somewhere tells me that she's had a bit of help in that department? Well, I suppose girls just want to have fun? Another appearance was made by Drag Superstar Manila Luzon and her drag new Drag Daughter. Manila looked stunning in her outfit, she out-dragged the other queens at the March that I saw, and I tell you there was a lot of competition. Other famous faces did appear throughout the March but they weren't really as fabulous as Cyndi or Manila? Advertising is big business at Pride events for the Gays have a bigger capacity of disposable income compared to our straight counterparts. Money makes the world go around! Many sponsors used their logos during the march, showing their alliance with maximum exposure. We know our brands, we support them as much they do us, B!

Delta flown through with their band of enthusiastic staff, some of which were quite easy on the eye. The dancing cowboys from bar "Flaming Saddles Bar" made their entrance onto Christopher St with much gusto. If nothing else made you gasp about this Pride March then I would have to say the talent was exceptional! You had to appreciate the real meaning of this March, It was really good to see the couples that had been through Gay Liberation and the Stonewall Riots. Honestly to have to imagine of living in a world where you're committing a crime for loving the person you are meant to be with. Aside from seeing the Eye Candy it was great to see the golden oldies that make Pride so significant. As we get a step closer to having Marriage Equality, we already live with so much freedom to be with the person that one is meant to fall in love with. Representing the pioneers such as; Marsha P. Johnson I'm with you, let's celebrate those greats! All of us need to fight whilst striking a pose! We do, yes!

We had been standing for ages but the momentum of the March was really quick so it was easy to forget that time was racing past. I was loving the fit bods and the dangerous amount of disco pant wearing! I want some disco pants now! Drag Queens worked it past our spot, some of them were flawless but others needed to sashay away! Even though I missed Birmingham Pride I know that I'll make it sometime soon! From the muscle bound bodies dancing on the outrageous floats, to the Transgendered Divas there wasn't a second where I thought this March was nothing less than amazing. There were parts I do admit that weren't too great but I will not go into details! Please don't make me! I would have to say that one community in-particular knew how to strut their stuff! This group had to be the Puerto Rican's. Now the dancers that I saw were absolutely amazing! Puerto Rico does it better! ¡Hazlo bien, perra!

Sure, my first Pride experience was amazing, something truly great that I will not forget for a long time. From all the campery and fabulousness I'm still thankful that I got the day off work to enjoy the Pride event, after seeing Cyndi Lauper as the Grand Pride Marshal made my day. Like I mentioned I haven't made it to Birmingham Pride yet but its going to happen eventually, I'm going to get the most out of this year. Talking of the Puerto Rican's, I'm going to look at United for some flights from Newark Liberty because I want some sunshine within a holiday environment. Will I hit the town for a night out in NYC? I honestly don't know but I've fallen in love with this maniac city so I know full well I'll make my return when the time feels right. Pride was great, making our exit at the right time was the one, those bars were mad busy and I wasn't going to queue for that one drink! I know that NYC 2012 will the first of my Pride experiences, trust and believe! Giving it all to you NYC, strike that pose! Now!

Flying The Flag!

Joseph Harrison

21 June 2012

NYC: The United Nations HQ, World Peace & Bedazzler's...

The United Nations play a huge part in fighting humanitarian issues across the world, using their peacekeepers to restore calm in places like Palestine and Libya. I decided to take an unplanned trip to the United Nations Headquarters in New York to see for myself what Ban-ki Moon and his colleagues are doing to make the world more peaceful. No NY, I definitely won't forget it!

Sitting on the banks of the East River the Headquarters of the United Nations stands proud with a procession of flags flying for each nation that plays a part in this non-for-profit organisation. Generally speaking its not the most traditional pick for visiting during a holiday or in my case a day off. I needed an intervention, my friends from England had finished their placement and the summer flight loads were so high! I missed my English friends, they had become brothers during our time shared in the USA! I found that the security at the Headquarters mirrored the procedures at any international airport. Baggage screening and body scanners checked each visitor, there was even a whole different entrance for visitors to enter due to the nature of the UN's operation, no person could enter without their purpose of visit defined. I felt relaxed within the safety of the United Nations Headquarters, that 'world peace' had me feeling nice.

I look back and think to a time where I tried to write a series of short stories about a group of peacekeepers who are called the 'Bedazzlers' these strong women are sisters and fight peacefully with power of their spirituality. Visiting the United Nations Headquarters made me think that if I was talking about real life 'Bedazzlers' what would they be like? They would be glamazons! I may have transitioned my writing into my blogs, I shall revisit the lives of the heroine I created one afternoon when I have nothing better to do. Belisha and her sisters were watching me, I had a sense that they were around me. I half imagined seeing one of her seven sisters walking through the highly guarded iron gates that surrounded the U.N HQ. I know that one day I'll revisit that writing phase, I feel that I'm doing just that with this blog. Seeing the flags of the agreeing countries had me feeling a sense of security once again. My friends has gone home, I needed to represent myself! I was ready!

I was all cleared to enter the visitors centre, so I took some time to view the exhibits on display, most of which could be described as thought provoking and somewhat sobering. Its not difficult to work-out that our world has troubles that affect people in the poorest corners of the globe, to see the facts in large print was quite an eye-opener to say the least. I really found the exhibits really quite something that made me take stock of my sheltered and trouble-free life because the world isn't such a happy place for lots of people in other continents. The amount of tourists capturing photos on their cameras almost seemed disrespectful because their manner was just so rude and quite inconsiderate comparing to what issues that were on display. Such issues like poverty, terrorism and past atrocities such as the Holocaust were highlighted for visitors to see as a reminder. I was ready to feel that sobering feeling, that was natural, NY!

I didn't need anybody to tell me that my day out could have been seen as 'unorthodox, did I care? No! I was being schooled, reminded that the world need to be ready to hear and see things from history that made them feel a little uneasy. I didn't have time to try to understand the guilt of the next person that was standing next to me, I used my afternoon to get my life together to feel clearer about the world that was going on around me. The United Nations isn't a playground, keeping things serious it was amazing to see the children's books that were on offer! If I don't fly high as a member of cabin crew, those books might be needed as a teacher in a far flung eastern land? After visiting Auschwitz a few years previous, the impact had me feeling all kinds of emotions as I stood inside the building that embodied the meaning of 'freedom'. I used that afternoon to pay thanks for all the work the United Nations does to keep people safe from harm, securing their rights! World, come on!

My wait was finally over as the audio tour which, I booked the previous day was about to begin. As shown in the picture captured to the left, I got the chance to sit in the assembly room that's used for debates and conferences to solves global humanitarian issues. Unfortunately, I didn't see the United Kingdom's desk but Turkey's was in clear view so all was not lost. It wasn't exactly Times Square but I want to believe that I'm quite a cultured soul with an appreciation for things that are a little deeper than the norm. This value for money tour lasted just over one hour, showing me various visuals and displays that showed hope for the future. Such issues like sending school boxes to remote places around the world to ensure children are literate showed that the United Nations has a clear and concise plan to help specific problems facing a large magnitude of people. At the end of the day, we are only human! Are we?

Listening to the terrible things that have now been stopped by the United Nations with the help of their peacekeepers was great to witness. As my afternoon drew to a close I sort of knew that I would have visited a place like this, one could say the outcome was nothing but positive. From the fluttering flags to the ever so predictable gift shop it was a pleasure to have seen the things that were on offer that day. In actual fact the Headquarters of the United Nations is currently undergoing a major overhaul, captured to the right is a photo of the ongoing construction work. I loved that some of the cement mixers were from Portuguese contractors, I live in an area that's highly populated with Portuguese and Brazilian people so it was nice to see that. Hopefully a new chapter for the buildings of the Headquarters could well mean that more positive movements can be accomplished. Feeling humbled by that experience I took my ass to Chinatown for some interesting food. Belisha, I see you!

World Peace!

Joseph Harrison

18 June 2012

2011: One Year On... My Walt Disney College Program!

Orlando, Florida became my home for three months last year. I had the amazing opportunity being a Cast Member at the Walt Disney World Resort. Future World North merchandise at Epcot enabled me to work with some amazing people that made my experience unforgettable. Disney life lasted for just under three months during the summer of 2011, it was utterly magical!

From the moment I smiled through my interview at University the whole experience seemed very surreal. I got the job and I couldn't believe I would be making the journey back to Orlando, Florida to work at the Walt Disney World Resort. For the first time visiting America I wasn't going to be a tourist so I had to make an appointment at the American Embassy in London for my visa interview. With a new sense of confidence I went down to London independently I secured my J-1 visa. I had already been very fortunate enough to experience the theme parks of The Walt Disney World Resort before on more than one occasion but working rather than being on vacation proved to be very different! The sweltering Floridian weather blessed the days I spent playing in the parks meeting the character performers, especially Princess Tiana from 'The Princess and the Frog!' Trust me, I saw a lot of characters! Yes, it was so exciting!

Looking back I can't believe that I worked at Walt Disney World Resort, cliche as it sounds I was living a dream. Working for the 'Mouse' nearly every night and day has led to been a very useful decision for future projects, lets just say other components of the experience are helping me now on my Virgin Atlantic Airways Placement. Chatham Square became my place of refuge when I could not find the willpower to smile any-more or wish a guest a magical day. Living at the Chatham Square Apartments was a truly great experience, well there were times when it drove me crazy. I was lucky enough to have a great flatmate, Chris worked in entertainment and had the coolest job in my eyes! Chris happened to be a Goofy character performer and allowed me to see some secret areas at Magic Kingdom that opened my eyes to the life behind the closed doors at Disney. Communal living away from university halls had me fronting new situations and characters who tested my patients!

Maintaining a work/life balance I managed to make the most of my days off and some of the late nights after my scheduled evening shifts. From lovely nights at the Polynesian Resort within Disney World Resort with my UK friends who all lived in Chatham Square, some were university classmates who were also working on the same college program. Those evenings in the parks were great because we didn't spend much money. I really enjoyed those low key evenings that were spent gorging on ice cream at the 'Kitchen Sink' ice cream parlour at the Beaches and Cream Soda Shop, the peanut butter ice cream was to die for! Downtown Disney was also a nice place to spend a quiet evening because I wasn't quite 21 years old at that point. The day down to Miami was amazing, it was such a long day but we soaked up the vibes of South Beach brought something different to our American experience! It wasn't all about the Mouse! No!

Leaving the Mickey Mouse appropriate night outs I regrouped with Zach and Alexis, we snuck out after hours to turn up the music at Pulse! It was Latin night at that Orlando Gay club, I had never experienced a night out before without consuming anything alcoholic! Remembering everything from that night with a clear head we moved onto 'Denny's' for some 'Eggs Over My Hammy!' That was what Zach had to eat! To my horror during June 2012 an unforgivable act of terrorism was committed at Pulse, a mass shoot out rained gunfire and bloodshed upon the same club that I had frequented the year before! No mistakes made, I had some unforgettable encounters of a Fuego Puertorriqueño with a period of summer love! I was learning so many things about myself, I loved what was unfolding because in my current American life those choices have prepared me for a part of life. No, it wasn't all as it seemed within Celebration, my squeaky clean neighbourhood harboured secrets! O, dios mio!

Working at Future World North was a complete pleasure, on the whole it was crazy to say that I worked at the 'Happiest Place In The World'. Whether If I would be cleaning strollers, selling gifts or making a magical moment at either Gateway Gifts or Camera Center. Believe me I did have some days when I didn't want to smile but the magic of the Walt Disney World Parks is infectious so I got over my sullen mood pretty fast indeed! I must admit that it was my co-workers that made it so special. There was so many people like Ritika, Janice, Alexis and of course the fabulous Zach Airstarr, just a few of the long list that made working at Epcot that lot more special. I'll keep in contact with you guys! I promise! Away from work I loved playing at EPCOT on my days off, I knew where the secret doors were and it was always great to talk with my colleagues who were busy at work. It was such an experience! See you soon, no goodbyes now!

It was definitely a case of international love at my department at EPCOT, I'm sure the whole of Central and South America had chose to work at my location! I had the best co-workers from places like Puerto Rico, Honduras, Dominican Republic and the good old United States of America that gave me a great insight to the beautiful people of the Americas. Who knew that my dear sister friend Fiorella Sanchez once worked as a Disney intern on her International College Program! I had been on holiday to Spain a few times before my working summer at WDW, during the summer of 2012 I learned a whole new tone of Spanish. From the Puerto Rican tones, the Dominican Republican quirks blended with the Honduran variations of that Spanish language. I definitely took those different strands of Spanish with me to Newark! I adored my time at FWN EPCOT, I didn't want to leave but university had me boarding my JFK Delta flight back to Manchester Airport, England. New York City was in my sights! Yes!

Don't be Strangers! 

Joseph Harrison

8 June 2012

USA: Viva Las Vegas!

Las Vegas, its Nevada's devilish deserts paradise that boasts casino's, hotels and wedding chapels. Not having lived long in New Jersey, I was so excited to be experiencing a whole new state! Sin City was the choice for my friends 21st birthday celebrations, being a complete freeloader I gatecrashed this trip that ended up to be a lot of fun! Hand me a tequila, please?

Las Vegas would be two flights away for the three of us friends, I chose Southwest Airlines whilst Tom and Paolo had already booked up with Delta before I had arrived in New Jersey. I reported early for my Phoenix bound flight with plenty of time to spare. Being a passenger for the first time since arriving into Newark Liberty International Airport felt amazing, the trip had been hyped up and then some! Visiting the check-in desks of my placement location to see my co-workers had to be done, I was mad excited to be on my way to Sin City! Taking my extra self from Terminal B to A via the Air Train had to be done. Boarded with cabin crew that were the friendliest I had met before that flight, I knew that I was in good hands for those flights to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport! Southwest Airlines kept me on time, for my Delta friends they were delayed from Newark Liberty! Yes, Southwest was the right choice!

In place of a hot meal, Southwest Airlines did things differently with cute snack boxes and free non-alcoholic drinks from their debit card friendly cabin service. I hadn't had much breakfast so Beverly helped me out with a few extra Nabisco snack packs! The flights purser gave such a reassuring pre-flight announcement and throughout that first flight her country drawl set the relaxed mood of the flight. I was thirsty and on my way to a crazy place, getting a gin for less than bar prices I enjoyed my first mixed drink nicely. One of the crew members had me covered for the flight over to Phoenix, needless to say I was on the right level for my Las Vegas arrival! Switching places in PHX allowed me to refuel with a Pizza Hut treat, boarding and negotiating another drink allowed me to arrive into LAS feeling just right, or down right on it? Clocking the Delta baggage claim belt I took a seat, set my alarm and initiated my first disco nap of the trip! Seeing slot machines in arrivals was so mad!

I don't stay in hotels that are squalid, so our accommodation the Monte Carlo Hotel Resort & Casino gave us the perfect pad to rest after our Las Vegas Strip escapades. I never had a reservation so I waited in the lobby area while the boys checked-in, I had to live up to my Britney B*tch persona from the very beginning of that Vegas trip! Las Vegas lures gamblers from far and wide, manipulating their wallets to give that extra dollar to win the jackpot, I was wiser! No sleep for the Nevada trio, we hit the Vegas Strip to see the countless range of casino's to try our luck and to just have a general nose around. I didn't quite understand the whole politics of the gambling games that were on offer in such venues like the MGM Grand and Planet Hollywood. Being extra in my own way, I embraced those Las Vegas experiences to their fullest! I just needed another tequila to keep that Vegas state of mind going! Lime and salt BB!

Throughout our time in Las Vegas along the strip, we marvelled at the amazing landmark hotels. Each hotel had its own personality, I loved the Stratosphere for its towering vista of the strip! Having a hire car allowed us drive away from the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Boulevard core tourism area, I was living for the street feeling that kept us aware at all times. We were used to the craziness of Newark, New Jersey so the wilder side of the Las Vegas strip made us feel closer to our mad placement home. Going with the flow, I didn't need to dictate where we went because it was Paolo's birthday and his choice took precedence for that trip only! We hopped from one casino to the other, I also loved the grandeur of the MGM Grand! As mentioned before I never envisaged going to Las Vegas, it was all meant to be that it all happened! Las Vegas is definitely a destination that's for the gambling first but having a great time applies to all, I'd return for something extra! I need a Cosmo!

Our epic assault that incorporated visiting at least seven of the provincial casino's was amazing! MGM was out-of-this-world I couldn't believe my half-drunken eyes, yes I had been drinking all day! Myself and my friends had hit the Las Vegas strip like the stars of 'The Hangover' movie! During a short break from gambling in Excalibur's casino I ran off to buy a vest that displayed a suggestive design, it was a Vegas moment! Collecting an array of poker chips, the feeling of this immense place exceeded all my expectations. You can't get away from the slot-machines in Las Vegas, I just decided to embrace every single experience because I desperately seek adventure! This time last year I was finishing my first semester at University College Birmingham getting ready to embark on my International College Program in Orlando, Florida. Did I mention that Tequila was my best friend for the whole weekend? Another shot, please?

Now, the stars of "The Hangover" film featured such casino's like the Bellagio and Caesar's Palace which takes centre stage out of all the other casino's on the Vegas Strip. But none of us were about to get married nor arrested! Suited, booted and ready to take on the night as the lights shone bright through the Las Vegas Strip we made our way to the Bellagio and Caesar's Palace to gamble the night away. Those casino's produced my biggest win of $106.00, which was not too bad for me. I loved the system in the casino's! I kept putting coins into the slots, those drinks were free-flowing for that period! Naturally, tequila became my new best friend as the waitresses' made their way around the casino floor. I didn't care for the big money tables as I was just loving and living for the moment for the memories I made that night could never have a price tag! From night to day the Las Vegas Strip did its business, we enjoyed our time but on our own terms! Come on, I just wanted to see that sign LaVe!

On Tom and Paolo's final day before we took our hire car back, we saw the world famous Las Vegas sign! Stopping for the perfect photo opportunity I didn't care taking any photos of myself in front of the sign, I was content with the photo captured above. It was a bucket list moment, I had never envisaged travelling so early into my placement period! The whole situation was meant to be! The sign sealed the experience, it begs the question if I would ever return to Las Vegas in the future? Yes, I never made it to the Grand Canyon and with the pace of the Strip I know that the residency shows will continue to evolve further. Bidding the boys a fond farewell, it was time for them to take the hire car back before they caught their overnight flights back to Newark. I wasn't about to fly via Memphis to arrive back into LaGuardia when we lived so epically close to Newark Liberty, I didn't have the time for that! Oh, that sign though!

Spending one extra night in the city I relaxed to the max in my New York, New York hotel room before my breakfast time flight headed back to Newark, New Jersey. The whole trip had been everything and more, even though I didn't make it to the Grand Canyon I had freeloaded onto an already planned birthday trip! I'll definitely make another trip to Las Vegas to see it from my own perspective as a solo traveller! The rest of the final day was a pretty sedate affair, the week had been mental with the drive to Los Angeles and back to Vegas in one day. Feeling refreshed and ready for another drink, the flight back to Newark Liberty via Pheonix got very boozy but I was good enough. All I needed to know was that my flights were on time and that the connection would be seamless just like the outbound sectors were. Making it home to Lafayette Street was a relief, this independent travel lark is still relatively new to me! Vegas was well worth it, Vegas was amazing and yes I loved it baby!

Bright Lights, Big City!

Joseph Harrison 

6 June 2012

Flying High... Southwest Airlines!

Flying from Newark Liberty, NJ to Las Vegas, NV via Phoenix, AZ with Southwest Airlines allowed me to see 'No Frills' from an American perspective. Whilst my friends Tom and Paolo flew with Delta Air Lines, would my budget Southwest Airlines experience champion their series of unfortunate events? So, America's answer to 'easyjet' impressed me for several reasons.

I must admit it was quite strange to be at Newark Airport as a passenger because my Industrial Placement takes up most of my time spent at the airport. Nevertheless holidays my Vegas holiday had arrived, after printing my boarding card and clearing TSA screening I felt the holiday vibe kick in! Bound for Phoenix, AZ with my Las Vegas experience about to begin my Southwest jet boarded in a manner that was both organised yet crazy. As I've had the pleasure of travelling with Ryanair, I was pleasantly surprised not to see passengers running to the boarding gate after the first announcement to wrestle for a seat. As I work for an airline the usual questions from passengers like 'is this the boarding gate for this flight?' Yes, I did the unthinkable by making the same mistake, to then later find out that on US domestic flights I.D doesn't have to be checked, even UK domestic flights require passport checks! But do they?

Southwest Airlines amazed me by not charging for their non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, well when I'm on my holidays soft drinks are simply a mixer, please! I was embarking on my very first holiday since starting my Industrial Placement and I wanted my flying experience to be as good as my holiday time! Our crew passed through the cabin shortly after take-off with their quirky clipboard and debit/credit card machines to take drinks orders, no trolley dollies on-board this Phoenix, Arizona bound flight. Due to the light load of passengers on this flight I made myself comfortable lounging in my very own row. Beverly, one of the lovely crew members fulfilled my request that was a Gin and Tonic, only $4 dollars as the tonic was free, what a bargain! As I neared the end of my first holiday drink I requested another Gin and Tonic brandishing my debit card to be told "Honey, don't worry about it" looking like it was free drinks, I was living my Southwest dream! No, Ryanair it was not!

Touching down at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport feeling very boozy, making my way to the transfer screen to see which gate my Las Vegas bound flight would board from. Grabbing a small pizza, I needed to keep it together because my Newark flight to AZ had been boozy indeed. The experience transferring flights with Southwest was fine, I didn't have to change terminals or concourses so I had no stress, if truth be told I was quite apprehensive about changing planes. Boarding my Las Vegas flight I had to move because a passenger needed to sit by the window with his oxygen tank, I bargained for another drink because I was in that crazy Vegas mood, or just feeling like I had too many Gin and Tonics by that time? A bit of both I protest! Meanwhile Tom and Paolo had been delayed in Newark and had been transferred onto another flight, I didn't pay any mind because I had a smooth trip without any hitches at all! Yaass, SWA!

Looking back at the time when I booked my Southwest Airlines flight it was a very rushed decision, I wanted to fly from Newark direct with United Airlines but my budget would not allow those ridiculous prices, I know that making my Southwest choice to fly via Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Las Vegas was meant to be! United, thanks for being so damn expensive! I also looked at the possibility to fly on the same flights as Tom and Paolo but their flight times via Memphis were crazy and their return flight landed into New York La Guardia Airport! Newark Liberty International Airport only being twenty minutes or so from my Ironbound residence had me ditching any LaGuardia arrival! I am proud to say that all of my Southwest Airlines flights pushed back and arrived bang on-time, which worked great because I was pretty worse for ware on the return leg from Phoenix to Newark, actually I almost missed that flight! Oh Phoenix, you already know that Tequila was the one! Not good!

No meal service for Southwest Airlines, that's just not the way this airline does things. Southwest Airlines like to mix things up by offering snack packs, mind you I was starved so the crew slipped me a few extra treats. My special pre-Vegas cocktails kept coming throughout the flights, adding that my friends were on a different flight amazingly made the crew take care of me more. It was like no other set of flights that I had experienced, our flight service manager from Newark to PHX looked just like Dolly Parton with her country talk and bouffant hair style, comedy was served up in place of a hot air-plane meal. Southwest, an airline that serves every beverage with a smile, rivalling their budget Irish cousin Ryanair. Arriving at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport before my friends, I found a little spot in the middle of baggage reclaim to have a nap! I was a mess but it was completely justifiable because it was Vegas!

Honestly, speaking I usually travel with Delta Air Lines domestically within the United States so I've had the pleasure of transiting through the monster that is Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport so I know to keep my cool and look for the correct gate. Delta had my friends delayed and their inbound flight was just not something I wanted to deal, no overnight flights before work! The meal service might have been non-existent but I embraced the budget service, those snack boxes contained yummy treats like Oreos, Ritz crackers and more things I can't quite remember because I was so boozy. In-flight meals aren't usually very good so I was able to deal without one on Southwest. Would I fly with Southwest Airlines again in the future? The service was great and I arrived at my intended destination and back to Newark Liberty bang on-time! It goes without saying that Southwest Airlines are awesome, so I know I made the right decision over their market competitors! Fly S!

Fly Southwest Airlines!

Joseph Harrison