Trip Introduction: Las Vegas, USA via Alaska Airlines


As the world slowly re-opened, MrsWT73 became aware of a concert opportunity in nearby Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America. Since we hadn’t been anywhere significant or substantial aside from our earlier Caribbean trip, it came time for a journey down south to beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America.

This post is one chapter on our trip during the end of the pandemic to Las Vegas, United States of America. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Trip Introduction: Las Vegas, United States via Alaska Airlines

Planning the Trip:

During the re-opening days of the pandemic, MrsWT73 happened to find out that her favourite high school rock band “Duran Duran” was playing at select locations while on tour around the world.

When she was unable to link up to attend her preferred concert at Hyde Park in London, United Kingdom, she set her sights closer afield. She ended up locating an Duran Duran concert event at the Wynn Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States that happened to be close to the Labour Day Long Weekend.

Unfortunately, by the time we got organized to purchase concert tickets, the prices for the concert had arisen to $500 USD per ticket. I wasn’t that much of a Duran Duran fan, so it was the perfect opportunity to go a celebrate a major promotion at work at one of the finest restaurants in America; Joel Robochon at Le Maison, Las Vegas. While MrsWT73 was rocking it out to “Wild Boys”, I was tucking into one of the USA’s most elaborate tasting menus.

Planning Flights:

Flights from Canada to Las Vegas

With the pandemic putting a bit of a pamper on travel plans, we had many unused travel credits and benefits just sitting around waiting to be used.

We ended up booking this trip down to Las Vegas departing from Bellingham International Airport (BLI), Washington state. At the time of our booking in May 2022, the United States required a tele-health supervised antigen rapid test to fly into the united states taken 24 hours before travel. However no such test was required for persons arriving into the United States by car. As a result, we booked around this issue by departing from our nearby suburban commuter airport in Bellingham, Washington.

We would end up using a handy Alaska Airlines 2 for 1 Companion Fare that comes with the Alaska Airlines Mastercard. Our flight sequence would have us travelling Bellingham – Seattle – Las Vegas – Seattle – Bellingham.

Our 4 Day Ticket to Las Vegas Was Ticketed Like This

While we initially had some long 3 hour layovers in Seattle, we ended up doing a same day flight change on a complimentary basis at check in that allowed us to move to earlier flights at no charge, courtesy of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold Status.

In the end, the routing ended up looking like this:


Flying From the Pacific Northwest to the Desert of Las Vegas

While the flight was pretty straightforward and uneventful, it was one of the first ones in a while that was actually in economy class in both our short single class of service Q400 and Boeing 737-9 Max legs. As a result, I didn’t bother doing a review on the various flight segments. Despite being near the top of the Alaska Mileage Plan upgrade lists, it was among the few that didn’t result in a first class or premium class upgrade.

Alaska Airlines Q400 Single Class of Service: Bellingham – Seattle
Alaska Airlines B737-9 Max Aircraft: Seattle – Las Vegas

Our ticket ended up being $730 USD for two (or $365 USD per person). It was not the cheapest ticket but we’d check a free bag courtesy of Alaska MVP Gold Status and the Alaska Airlines Mastercard.

We would naturally credit these flights to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and earn 100% elite qualifying miles and 100% Redeemable Miles eventually earning an easy 2,732 Redeemable Qualifying Miles with the special bonus of a minimum of 500 Elite Qualifying Miles for the short 94 mile segment between Bellingham and Seattle.

As always, we were treated to great desert views as we arrived into Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport. There desert landscape in Nevada is always pretty interesting, and a start contrast from our area in the Pacific Northwest.

Views from the Wing: On Approach to Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport

Planning Hotels:

We hadn’t visited Las Vegas in a while. We had access to a number of elevated hotel programs, including the popular American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts offered through the American Express Platinum Card. We were tempted to return to the excellent Aria Sky Suites Las Vegas, but instead we leveraged our affiliation with the Marriott Bonvoy program and stayed at two Marriott Bonvoy affiliated properties.

We booked ourselves in to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas by Autograph Collection. We had our sights set on a fountain view room and ended up booking a One Bedroom Suite. While the hotel is affiliated with American Express Fine Hotel and Resorts, we valued the elite night credits with Marriott Bonvoy more than the additional benefits and ended up foregoing the American Express Fine Hotel and Resorts benefits and going with a Marriott Bonvoy cash booking on the Marriott Website. I had read about challenges and a lack of consistency in getting any Marriott Bonvoy points and stay credits through the American Express platform, so we stayed save by booking through the Marriott channels.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas by Autograph Collection

Since Las Vegas hotel rates change in a New York Minute, we initially locked in for a One Bedroom Suite Fountain View on a flexible rate at $360 USD a night. This rate descended to $330 USD at the 30 day mark, and eventually $280 USD at the 7 day mark in advance of our stay. We re-booked in at the lower flexible rate, along with a nightly $45 USD resort fee. While we didn’t get a whole lot of Marriott Bonvoy Elite benefits, we did get the opportunity to earn 9,800 Marriott Bonvoy points along with enjoying a great room with a Bellagio Fountain view. We paid for this stay using the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card, allowing us to earn an additional 5 points per dollar.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas by Autograph Collection
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas by Autograph Collection

Our second stay had us at the nearby Marriott Grand Château Las Vegas. Staying in a One Bedroom Suite Fountain View at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas by Autograph Collection had a rate that was north of $800 USD per night on Friday and Saturday night of a Labor Day long weekend.

While we didn’t fancy downgrading to a regular Cosmopolitan 2 Queen City Room, we ended up walking one block off the strip and down the street to our first stay at a Marriott Vacation Club at the Marriott Grand Chateau Las Vegas.

Marriott’s Grand Château Las Vegas: Our First Stay at a Marriott Vacation Club Property

Our rate here was around $259 USD for a Friday and Saturday night; a steal compared to our rate at the nearby Cosmopolitan. We also paid for this stay using the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card, allowing us to earn an additional 5 points per dollar.

Planning Activities:

While I didn’t have too much on the agenda for this particular trip, I was able to get in three great dining experiences. The Joël Robouchon Restaurant Las Vegas was on my list for quite some time and I enjoyed an over the top experience dining. We were also able to get in an experience to Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen Las Vegas and a great breakfast brunch at Bouchon at the Venetian, along with a triple header concert of John Waite, Men at Work and Rick Springfield at Fremont Street; not bad for a brief 4 day visit.

Our points and miles redemption summary:

In summary, we earned and redeemed:

  • Redemption: Alaska 2 for 1 Companion Fare – Airfare Bellingham – Las Vegas
  • Earned: 5,464 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Points (1000 + 1732 + 1732 + 1000 Alaska MVP Gold)
  • Earned: 9,800 Points (5,600 Base + 4,200 Elite + 0 Extra) Marriott Bonvoy points at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
  • Earned: 15,300 Points (5,200 Base + 3,900 Elite + 6,200 Extra) Marriott Bonvoy points at Marriott Grand Chateau Las Vegas

While a trip to Las Vegas often covers familiar territory, it was a great relaxing trip punctuated by some great restaurants. I was able to get in a number of visits to three interesting restaurants, along with two new hotel stays.

If you visit Las Vegas, are there any tips or secrets you use to gain outsized value ?

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