Southwest Airlines Review Las Vegas (LAS) to San Francisco (SFO) during Covid-19 + The Club Lounge Las Vegas Review
The Las Vegas to the San Francisco Bay Area is a competitive route - especially in summer when demand for Vegas is typically down. I had no issues finding a one-way ticket under $50 for my specific travel dates. Las Vegas airport seemed much less busy than usual - but also not exactly deserted. As with much of the rest of Las Vegas, there was a mandatory mask requirement in place. I'd wager about 50% of the restaurants and shops behind security were open. I walked over to the 'The Club' lounge to use my Priority pass membership (which has had barely any visits this year). The check-in attendant was mightily confused and it took her lots of help to conquer her own check-in software. Not a good sign? I had low expectations for the lounge - I had been in 'The Club' in Atlanta and the experience was not memorable. The lounge looks brand new and has a beautiful finish to it. I loved the spacious seating (this may have changed past Covid-19) and the fresh colors. The bathrooms seemed exceptionally clean as well. To make it even better there were incredibly friendly bar attendants and buffet attendants who would serve you alcoholic drinks and quite delicious snacks. I admit I'm a food snob but the hummus and the fresh vegetable soup were very delicious. The lunge attendants came by from time to time to check on us - that was a quality of service I hadn't seen in the US in decades. Since just about a dozen travelers were in the lounge it was also quiet and the Internet came in at 150Mbit(!). Quite amazing. I actually did not want to leave the lounge - that's how well catered I felt. The boarding gates Southwest uses are in the older part of the airport. It's more grubby but not in a bad shape. There would be just about 70 passengers for our flight (so just under 40% of capacity). Boarding was very quick and almost everyone had a whole row to themselves. I had used N95 masks in most public places at the beginning of the pandemic and put efforts into sanitizing seats and wearing gloves. Frankly, I feel it isn't such a big deal anymore and wore a very simple face-covering - nobody worried about that. There was just a service with ice water - no other drinks but a snack was served as well. The flight attendants were extremely friendly and after a bumpy first 35 minutes (but amazing views over Death Valley) the flight smoothed out and it was almost time to land in San Francisco deserted Terminal 1. In conclusion - this was an (unexpected) exceptionally good experience. The lounge was likely the best experience I ever had inside the US. The flight was very enjoyable and empty. If Covid-19 means the US is getting more competitive again and airlines and service finally improve to an international standard - I'd be very happy. Personally, I'm not worried about the virus anymore. It was scary at first but the world has erred on the side of caution too much. It wasn't something anyone knew but the virus turned out weaker (for anyone under 70) than we all imagined. That is a good thing and I feel perfectly safe flying again.