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Grand Canyon & More: Scenic Flight On Dornier 228  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6640 posts, RR: 78
Posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 12991 times:




Background
In the middle of the cold and snowy December 2010 my brother and I decided to escape to the US West Coast for a few days in early February. My brother hadn't been to that part of the country yet and he was very interested in visiting Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. I always enjoy going to California and saw the chance to meet some very good friends again. We came to the conclusion that it would be a good opportunity to exchange accumulated miles for Business Class tickets. After checking all possible flight options on the Miles & More website, it was clear that we would try SWISS' new intercontinental Business Class with lie-flat seats. That innovative product was available on all A330-300s and a few A340-300s. Destinations served by the retrofitted A343s in early February were San Francisco, Boston, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and New York (once weekly).

I was first considering to take an A330 flight to Chicago and an A340 flight from Los Angeles or San Francisco so that we would be able to get both types. But I quickly scrapped that idea because I didn't want to risk being stuck at Chicago in a possible snow storm. So we finally booked Munich-Zurich-San Francisco and Los Angeles-Zurich-Munich, operated by Swiss A340s, a Swiss European Avro RJ100 and a Lufthansa A319.

After booking the long-haul flight combo, we added a few domestic hops. Of course I wanted to get some new airlines, so we decided to book a San Francisco-Denver-Las Vegas connection on Orbitz. There would have been cheaper options (including numerous nonstop flights), but Republic Airlines (Embraer 170) and Frontier Airlines (A319) were new carriers for me - and I had never been to Denver. Then we booked a cheap US Airways A319 flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. I would have preferred one of the few hops operated by Mesa Airlines CRJ900s in order to get another new airline, but departure times weren’t favorable.

Since my brother had never been to the Grand Canyon, he suggested to add a scenic flight from/to Las Vegas to our itinerary. After checking all available options, we booked a one-hour flight offered by Vision Holidays and operated by Vision Airlines. It wasn't cheap, but we were sure it would be a special experience - and I would get another new airline and even another new type, the rare Dornier 228.

Parts I and II can be found here:
Fully Flat Bed to SFO: SWISS' New Business Class
San Francisco Sunshine...and A Frontier Fiasco




Las Vegas Sightseeing
After our heavily delayed arrival from Denver, we took a taxi to our first Las Vegas hotel, The Venetian. Very pompous lobby and corridors:

Picture taken by my brother


Picture taken by my brother


After checking in, we had trouble to find our suite - one of a total of 4049 in that huge complex! We soon found out that it was normal to walk through endless corridors and to use two different elevators in order to reach our suite. I had never had to walk so far in a hotel - definitely not to my taste! The suite was nice, but not overwhelming:

Picture taken by my brother


Picture taken by my brother






The Venetian's impressive Grand Canal Shoppes:

Picture taken by my brother


Picture taken by my brother

Interestingly, a replica of the mall was built at The Venetian Macao. You also find a similar mall in Doha which I visited in 2009:
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK

What would The Venetian be without St Mark's Campanile...

Picture taken by my brother


...and the Rialto Bridge?

Picture taken by my brother


The Mirage:

Picture taken by my brother


On the next morning we were supposed to be picked up by a Vision Airlines shuttle at the Treasure Island at 10:30. The pick-up place was just a short walk away. Gondola ride, anyone?

Picture taken by my brother


Siegfried & Roy:

Picture taken by my brother


At 10:15, after arriving at the pick-up place, my mobile phone started ringing. The display didn't show a number - and after I had ignored two anonymous calls on the evening before, I decided to answer the phone this time. And now guess what - it was a friendly Vision Airlines agent who informed us that our pick-up time had been postponed from 10:30 to 12:00 due to a schedule change! I wasn't amused to hear this, but I was glad that the flight hadn't been cancelled.

Now we had about 1.5 hours left and decided to take the bus to the southern end of the Strip so that my brother could see the Luxor, the MGM Grand and other nearby hotels:

Picture taken by my brother


New York-New York:

Picture taken by my brother


Rollercoaster, anyone?

Picture taken by my brother


After returning from the scenic flight (see below), we picked up our luggage at the Venetian and took a taxi to our second hotel, the Bellagio. I liked that hotel much better than the Venetian - the room could be reached quickly and the welcome by the receptionist was much more personal.

The rooms were nice, but not overly impressive either:







No Strip view for us:





Is this Paris or Las Vegas?

Picture taken by my brother


The Paris Las Vegas is located just opposite of the Bellagio:



Our next destination was the Stratosphere Tower, the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States:

Picture taken by my brother


Even though huge crowds were moving through Las Vegas on that Saturday evening, we didn't have to wait in line on the way to the observation deck:

Picture taken by my brother


Picture taken by my brother


After enjoying a great dinner buffet at the Stratosphere, we took a taxi to the Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas. No matter what kind of music, the light and sound shows are always awesome. Amazing rocket launch:

Picture taken by my brother


Picture taken by my brother


Paris Las Vegas at night:

Picture taken by my brother


The Fountains of Bellagio:

Picture taken by my brother

Because I had visited Las Vegas not even two years ago, I let my brother take the city pictures this time. If you want to see more Las Vegas pictures, have a look at this report:
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class




Saturday, February 2011
North Las Vegas (VGT) - North Las Vegas (VGT)
Vision Airlines V2 192 (scenic flight)
Scheduled times: 13:30-14:35
Actual times: 13:39-14:46
Flight duration: 00:58 (hrs)
Distance: 275 miles
Seat 6A

Dornier 228-202
N405VA (cn 8144)
Built in 1987 and first delivered to Fischer Brothers Aviation in 02/1988


1st flight on N405VA
1st Dornier 228 flight
112th airline



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Radek Oneksiak
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jason Whitebird



The Vision Airlines shuttle showed up on time at the pick-up place at the Treasure Island:



After picking up an Asian family at another hotel (which took about 15 minutes) and a further 25 minute drive, we stepped off the bus in front of Vision's small terminal at North Las Vegas Airport:



Small and deserted check-in area. Fuel surcharge notification on the left:



During the check-in process, we had to step on a scale - and when the friendly agent handed out our boarding passes she told us that we should not switch seats due to weight and balance. Then we took a seat in the deserted waiting area:



It was soon clear that the two of us and the Asian family of three would be the only passengers on that flight - and we started joking that the 19-seater Dornier 228 would probably be replaced by one of these little machines:  Wink



Finally our plane arrived - the most welcome Dornier 228:





There hadn't been passengers on the plane, just the two pilots who walked to the gate exit in order to check our boarding passes. The two guys were in the late 20s or early 30s and wore uniform pants and shirts as well as sunglasses - and believe it or not, the captain wore a black woolen hat. Pretty cool appearance!

Before we stepped outside, I asked the captain how many miles we would fly. "About 260, but I can tell you exactly after landing", he kindly said. Then the pilots willingly took pictures of us and the Asian family in front of the plane - definitely a good start!  thumbsup 

Nice livery:





Vision Airlines - formerly known as Vision Air - calls the plane Visionliner:

Picture taken by my brother


N405VA, built in 1987, is one of four active Dornier 228s in the fleet:



Cabin view:



Here's the captain with his woolen hat - and yes, it was a pretty warm day in Las Vegas:

Picture taken by my brother


My seat 6A:



Legroom was very tight, but we wouldn't fly more than an hour anyway:



Headphones:



Vision's Dornier 228s are even equipped with a tour narration system:


Alternatively, you can listen to classic and otherwise relaxing music.

Safety card:



There were numerous scratches on the window...


...but I was still able to take decent pictures. However, Vision should have an eye on that issue considering that the windows are essential for the sightseeing experience.

We left the stand shortly after engine-start up - I was really looking forward to the flight on that noisy little plane! We taxied straight to the runway...



...and the Dornier lifted off quickly after a powerful takeoff run:



My brother's perspective:

Picture taken by my brother


Back again on my side:



I hadn't been sure whether I should use the headphones, but now I decided to do so - it was pretty loud on that small plane! Engine view:



Shadow Creek Golf Course:



Las Vegas Motor Speedway:



Las Vegas Lake:

Picture taken by my brother


Out into the desert...



Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States:









Hoover Dam, located in the middle of the Black Canyon of the Colorado River:



Nevada on the left, Arizona on the right:















Another part of Lake Mead:









Grand Canyon (west rim) right ahead - I'll let the pictures talk:





















My brother's perspective:

Picture taken by my brother


My perspective again: Grand Canyon West Airport...



...and Grand Canyon Skywalk:



My brother's perspective:

Picture taken by my brother


Back on the left side…



…and right side once again:

Picture taken by my brother


Back over Lake Mead:







More examples of the diverse landscape in the area:

Picture taken by my brother






Las Vegas in the distance:





McCarran International Airport (LAS) and the hotels along the Strip:







Viva Las Vegas!







Very sharp right turn onto final approach - these guys up front knew how to entertain us!  thumbsup 



Nellis Air Force Base from my brother’s perspective:

Picture taken by my brother


Picture taken by my brother


My perspective again:







The distinctive silhouette of a Dornier 228:



We touched down exactly 58 minutes after takeoff, a great flight had come to an end. Only small birds were parked on the apron:



When the first officer opened the door, he asked us how we liked the flight. He was glad to hear our enthusiastic reactions and asked which country we were from. When he heard our answer, he smiled and said with emphasis: "This is a German airplane!"

After disembarking, he willingly answered some questions. So I found out that we had flown a distance of 275 miles and had been cruising at an altitude of 7500 to 8500 feet.

Goodbye, N405VA, it was a great ride!

Picture taken by my brother

When we left the terminal, the Vision Airlines shuttle was already waiting for us. 25 minutes later, we were back at the Strip (see above). Story to be continued...

If you want to see more of the Grand Canyon (from another perspective) and other fascinating places in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah, have a look at this report about a trip in 2009:
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763



Conclusion
My first ever sightseeing flight had been on a full Airbus A380 (report here), so it was a completely different experience this time. Even though I'm not a fan of small planes, the noisy Dornier 228 left a good impression and I wouldn't hesitate to board such a plane again. However, what was much more important than the aircraft type were the fabulous views on this Vision Airlines scenic flight. Seeing Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon and other sights from the air was a great experience to remember. I enjoyed the flight so much that I may buy a ticket again when I go to Las Vegas next time. I can only recommend to take such a flight!


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - my previous trip reports:
San Francisco Sunshine...and A Frontier Fiasco
Fully Flat Bed to SFO: SWISS' New Business Class
Mountains, Meals & More: SunExpress Vs. Pegasus
Crossing Two Oceans: AKL-SFO-MUC, NZ 777 & LH A346
Bad Weather & Other Bad Luck: Touring New Zealand
Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Detours To Sydney: Wildlife, Tiger, REX & QFLink
Thai Fails To Impress: MUC-BKK-BNE On 744 & 777
Painful Delay & My 100th Airline: AF A380, VO F100
Fifth Freedom Tidbit: Kuwait Airways A300-600
Ship Vs. Plane: Porto Santo Line & Sata Air Açores
Awesome Approach, Splendid Scenery: LIS, FNC & TAP
Guernsey, Ash Cloud Alarm & Mostly Empty SQ 77Ws
Totally Thrilling: Scenic Flight On Lufthansa A380
Cirrus D38, Adria CRJ & Captain Niki Lauda On Duty
Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC
Premium Meal & Palma Spotting: MUC-PMI, DE 757-300
The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332
Cancellation Brings Joy: HKG-PEK on Dragonair A330
A380 Cacophony, 777 Star Livery: DXB-SIN-HKG on SQ
The Next 5* Carrier? MUC-MCT-DXB, Oman Air A330
Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
CO Scores Again: ATL-IAH-EWR-FRA On ERJ, 752 & 764
Riding The Ultra Long-Haul Twin: Delta 777-200LR
Pacific Coast Jaunt: 3 Carriers, E120, E140 & Fog
The Ultimate 737: LHR-IAH-PDX On CO 777 & 739ER
Bye Bye, Hell! TRD-OSL-TXL-NUE - DY/AB/HE DH4
My Trip To Hell: NUE-CPH-OSL-TRD On Cimber & SAS
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330
Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146
3 Hours On Blue1: HEL-MXP On The MD-90
BCN-MAD-ZRH-MUC: UX Shuttle Meets Swiss Quality
MUC-MAD-BCN: Star MD-87 & The Pain Of Vueling
Low Fares, Lovely Island: AK & Best Of Langkawi
4 Stars Or 5 Stars? FRA-KUL-FRA, Malaysia 777s
First And Last Time? JFK-FCO-MUC, Alitalia 777
JFK For 1 Day: Transatlantic Hop On CSA's A310
Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Top And Flop: KIX-HEL-MUC, Finnair A320 & MD-11
The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Kobe For 1 Hour: 767-Quickie On ANA & Skymark
Rocketing To Tokyo: FUK-HND On JAL (ex-JAS) 777
Oddities & Okinawa: JTA 734 & JAL 744D(Domestic)
MUC To Nagoya: Finnair E170 & (Old) "New" A340
Mad Dog, A320 Tech Delay & Best Of Lanzarote
Canaries Prop-Hopping: Islas Airways & Naysa
Canaries And Confusion: LH CRJ900 & Spanair A321
Hubbing For 162 Miles: HOQ-FRA-STR Ret On IQ/EW/LH
BOS-JFK-AMS-MUC: SSSS-Check And KLM 777
ATL-PIT-JFK-BOS: FL B717, JetBlue E190 And Delays
MUC-AMS-MEM-ATL On NWA A332 And 40-year-old DC-9
FRA-BKK-FRA Via CMB: SriLankan A332 & A343
BNE-SIN-DXB-MUC On Emirates B772ER & B773
2 Hours In Paradise: Hamilton Island (JQ/DJ)
BNE-SYD-BNE: Domestic Run On QF’s Oldest B747-400
Testing Qantas: SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE (B738, B763, A332)
Going Down Under: MUC-DXB-SYD On EK A332 & A345
9/11 Review: Failed Trip To LAX - Fuel Dump Pics
Surprised By NIKI's Newest A320 & Screw-up By AB
Leisure Vs. Full Service: Condor & SN Brussels
"betterFly" On LH: Business Class For 99 Euro
Weekend Transatlantic Trip (2): US A321 & B762
Transatlantic For A Weekend (1): MUC-DCA On US


[Edited 2011-06-21 01:33:10]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26497 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 12957 times:

Hey very nice report. My Father did that trip and his photos made me want to do it . Still on my to do list. Amazing views. Love the United Airlines seats  

Lovely photos by your Brother also . Is he a professional? Really sharp clarity.

Ive always wanted to see the Venetian but I want to stay at the Bellagio  


Thanks for the report.

Regards

Philip  



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1800 posts, RR: 42
Reply 2, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 12860 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hi Udo, nice report! Lucky you on getting the 228. Vegas actually looks better then I remember it!

Regards,

Martijn



Fly DC-Jets!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6640 posts, RR: 78
Reply 3, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 12852 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 1):
Hey very nice report. My Father did that trip and his photos made me want to do it . Still on my to do list. Amazing views.

Hi Philip, thanks for your comments!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 1):
Lovely photos by your Brother also . Is he a professional? Really sharp clarity.

No, but he got a new Lumix TZ-10 prior to the trip. And editing also helped a bit.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 1):
ve always wanted to see the Venetian but I want to stay at the Bellagio

The Bellagio is nice, but staying there was not as great as expected.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 2):
Hi Udo, nice report! Lucky you on getting the 228.

Hi Martijn, thanks for commenting! Flights on the Do 228 aren't easy to find in these days.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 2):
Vegas actually looks better then I remember it!

Well, many things in Vegas look better than they are...  




PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 12848 times:

Hi PH,

Fantastic report as always. Those pictures of the Grand Canyon are simply amazing and I think you've convinced me to add that to the to do list once I get around to visiting Vegas. Also congrats on logging the D228, it makes me wonder how many more types are there for you to log?

Thanks for writing and looking forward to the next installment.

Regards,
aflyingkiwi


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6640 posts, RR: 78
Reply 5, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 12830 times:

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 4):
Fantastic report as always. Those pictures of the Grand Canyon are simply amazing

Thanks a lot for your kind words, aflyingkiwi! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 4):
I think you've convinced me to add that to the to do list once I get around to visiting Vegas.

Very good - I'm sure you'd like it as much as I did.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 4):
Also congrats on logging the D228, it makes me wonder how many more types are there for you to log?

Well, I have concentrated on larger planes, so there are numerous smaller types left. And I still haven't flown on a Russian type yet, but I'm not attracted by those. You find all the logged types in my profile.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinedalce From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1661 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 12725 times:

Hi PH,

Great read, with some superb views of this very interesting part of the world!

Thanks for sharing again!
Joost (DALCE)

ps. thanks for the facebook invite! 



flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6640 posts, RR: 78
Reply 7, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 12715 times:

Quoting dalce (Reply 6):
Great read, with some superb views of this very interesting part of the world!

Many thanks, Joost! Nice to hear from you.

Quoting dalce (Reply 6):
ps. thanks for the facebook invite!

You're welcome. And you're also part of our new Facebook a.net group now!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineluxair747SP From Germany, joined May 2010, 502 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 12695 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi PH
another nice TR with many high quality pictures of Las Vegas and Grand Canyon.
The flight was for sure something special and the D228 is a very rare bird nowadays.
Interesting to see such flights, which are normally not covered at all in this sections.
Thanks a lot for sharing
Cheers
Johannes


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6640 posts, RR: 78
Reply 9, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 12659 times:

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 8):
another nice TR with many high quality pictures of Las Vegas and Grand Canyon.

Hi Johannes, thanks for your feedback! I hope you had a nice journey yesterday.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 8):
Interesting to see such flights, which are normally not covered at all in this sections.

That's true, those reports are quite rare here even though the Grand Canyon tours are very popular.


PH

[Edited 2011-06-21 05:00:15]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 675 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12355 times:

Hi PH,

thanks for this very nice report with some great pictures. My last visit to Las Vegas is more than 10 years ago, interesting to see how much it has changed, most of the hotels you wrote about didn't even exist back then.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The suite was nice, but not overwhelming:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The rooms were nice, but not overly impressive either:

Well, this is Las Vegas, you shouldn't spend too much time in your room anyway, they want you go out into the casinos to spend your hard earned cash  

This flight in the Do228 sure was something special, a rather rare bird nowadays. And flying over the Grand Canyon is certainly amazing. Done that a few years ago in a helicopter, was a very expensive ride, but worth every penny.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Nice livery

Agree, especially like that little painting on the nose.

Greetings
CaptainRed


User currently offlinejmy007 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 598 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12344 times:

Hey Planehunter,

Great report! Sorry to hear about the hotel exprinces in Vegas. If you do go back, and if you haven't stayed at the Luxor, I do recommend it.

Very easy to access the rooms, and if you request a high floor, east facing room, you'll get a fantastic view of LAS, and the desert to the east.



Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6640 posts, RR: 78
Reply 12, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12306 times:

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 10):
thanks for this very nice report with some great pictures.

Hi CaptainRed, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 10):
My last visit to Las Vegas is more than 10 years ago, interesting to see how much it has changed, most of the hotels you wrote about didn't even exist back then.

Yes, it's amazing how fast the city has been changing. I still remember well how deserted the area was around the Luxor when I first went there in 1997.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 10):
Well, this is Las Vegas, you shouldn't spend too much time in your room anyway, they want you go out into the casinos to spend your hard earned cash

That's certainly true. However, I had expected a bit more from these five star hotels. Interestingly, I was positively surprised by the three star Hampton Inn in 2009.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 10):
And flying over the Grand Canyon is certainly amazing. Done that a few years ago in a helicopter, was a very expensive ride, but worth every penny.

No doubt about that. Helicopters fly much lower and therefore you are closer to the canyon. I saw many of them during the flight, unfortunately, I wasn't able to take a clear picture.

Quoting jmy007 (Reply 11):
Great report!

Many thanks, jmy007!

Quoting jmy007 (Reply 11):
Sorry to hear about the hotel exprinces in Vegas. If you do go back, and if you haven't stayed at the Luxor, I do recommend it.

Very easy to access the rooms, and if you request a high floor, east facing room, you'll get a fantastic view of LAS, and the desert to the east.

Good to hear you had a nice experience there. We stayed there in 2009 and, unfortunately, we were deeply disappointed. I had never seen such a dirty and rundown room. We had a pyamid suite - did you stay in a tower room? Those are supposed to be much better.

Here are the details:
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class (by PlaneHunter Oct 30 2009 in Trip Reports)


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12285 times:

Hi PH.

Awesome report mate. Good to see the photography team working well together again here. Some really well captured images really adding to the storyline.

Congratulations on bagging this rare type/airline combination. Looks very small inside. Makes an E-145 feel like a 747  

Good to see the crew making you feel at home and keeping you up to date on the facts at the end of the trip.

Interesting to note how the water level has dropped on Lake Mead. I saw a programe on this a while back and it is apparently causing some concern. Good to get the birds eye view here.

Thanks for sharing PH.

Cheers, Lee.


User currently offlinejmy007 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 598 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 12258 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Good to hear you had a nice experience there. We stayed there in 2009 and, unfortunately, we were deeply disappointed. I had never seen such a dirty and rundown room. We had a pyamid suite - did you stay in a tower room? Those are supposed to be much better.

That's too bad! I did stay in the pyramid, because what would be the point of staying at the Luxor if not to stay in the pyramid?  
I agree that there where certain aspects of the hotel that could use some extra care. But, the room itself, while a bit warn was clean, and I guess I was so excited for the view, that I overlooked some of the lower points of the hotel.



Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1882 posts, RR: 25
Reply 15, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days ago) and read 12012 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report, Plane Hunter!

Loved your photos from your sightseeing trip. What fun! I've been to Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon, so your trip brought back memories!

Matthew


User currently offlineKingFriday013 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1294 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days ago) and read 12012 times:

Looks like you had a good time. Back in 2001 I took a similar flight on Scenic Airlines out of VGT but we actually landed at Grand Canyon West and took a helicopter down into the canyon. Was a lot of fun. We were on a DHC-6 VistaLiner.

-J.



Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
User currently onlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6403 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 11920 times:

Hi PlaneHunter !

Another amazing report with amazing pictures! Nice for you to get another carrier and type and especially with such scenery! I was in Las Vegas about a month after you and it your pictures bring back memories. We stayed at a hotel near Fremont St but it wasn't very good. I do remember the rocket in the ceiling which was neat.

Funny with the old seat covers from United Airlines.......Vision Airlines seem very nice and friendly. I had my only helicopter ride with Pappilion Helicopters about 12 years ago from the Grand Canyon West airport and it was amazing as well.

Very much looking forward to the next part!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineKLASM83 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 617 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11836 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
one of these little machines: Wink

Hey, I've had some of my best flight hours in those "little machines" :P.

With that being said, thank you for this unique TR from my old home airport-it kind of helps out with the homesickness haha.

It's good to see Vision still chugging along with their VGT-Somewhere Scenic-VGT runs.



Don't you want to hang out and waste your life with us?
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6640 posts, RR: 78
Reply 19, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11826 times:

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 13):
Awesome report mate. Good to see the photography team working well together again here. Some really well captured images really adding to the storyline.

Hi Lee, many thanks for your feedback! I'm glad to hear you liked it.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 13):
Looks very small inside. Makes an E-145 feel like a 747

  

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 13):
Good to see the crew making you feel at home and keeping you up to date on the facts at the end of the trip.

Yes, they added a special touch to the experience.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 13):
Interesting to note how the water level has dropped on Lake Mead. I saw a programe on this a while back and it is apparently causing some concern. Good to get the birds eye view here.

Interesting, hadn't heard about that yet.

Quoting jmy007 (Reply 14):
That's too bad! I did stay in the pyramid, because what would be the point of staying at the Luxor if not to stay in the pyramid?

Yes, the pyramid makes this hotel special. When we were planning to stay at the Luxor for the first time, we were only interested in the pyramid. However, according to numerous reviews, the tower rooms are better than the (older) ones in the pyramid.

Quoting jmy007 (Reply 14):
I agree that there where certain aspects of the hotel that could use some extra care. But, the room itself, while a bit warn was clean, and I guess I was so excited for the view, that I overlooked some of the lower points of the hotel.

Our windows were so dirty that we didn't see much...but it's amazing how different the ratings are for the Luxor.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 15):
Great report, Plane Hunter!

Many thanks, Matthew!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 15):
Loved your photos from your sightseeing trip. What fun! I've been to Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon, so your trip brought back memories!

Good to hear that!

Quoting KingFriday013 (Reply 16):
Back in 2001 I took a similar flight on Scenic Airlines out of VGT but we actually landed at Grand Canyon West and took a helicopter down into the canyon. Was a lot of fun. We were on a DHC-6 VistaLiner.

That must have been fun indeed! Vision Holidays offers several interesting tours. I may have a look at another one in the future.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
Another amazing report with amazing pictures!

Hi Lars, thanks a lot for your comments!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
Nice for you to get another carrier and type and especially with such scenery!

Yes, that combination is hard to beat.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
Funny with the old seat covers from United Airlines...

I wasn't sure whether it's really the old UA design or just a similar one. But you are the UA expert!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
..Vision Airlines seem very nice and friendly.

  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
I had my only helicopter ride with Pappilion Helicopters about 12 years ago from the Grand Canyon West airport and it was amazing as well.

No doubt about that!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
Very much looking forward to the next part!

Already in the making!

Quoting KLASM83 (Reply 18):
With that being said, thank you for this unique TR from my old home airport-it kind of helps out with the homesickness haha.

Thanks for your comments!

Quoting KLASM83 (Reply 18):
Hey, I've had some of my best flight hours in those "little machines"

Interesting - maybe a flight on such a plane would change my mind?

Quoting KLASM83 (Reply 18):
It's good to see Vision still chugging along with their VGT-Somewhere Scenic-VGT runs.

Let's hope they will continue to do so for a long time!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1194 posts, RR: 17
Reply 20, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 11751 times:

Hello PH - what a great excursion to take and on a type that's not overly common, even in Europe.

Fantastic pictures as well. I really enjoyed reading your report and fantastic that you've managed to rope your brother into being your assistant for the purposes of publishing your latest set of trip reports. You had some great weather too.

I particularly enjoyed the pics of the Hoover Dam, having visited there myself in 2005 but from the ground only (sadly).

I agree that if the aircraft is solely used for sightseeing trips - making sure the windows are spotlessly clean before each flight should be a priority!



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinelh4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1709 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 11672 times:

Hello PH, great report! Really nice pics too  

Seems like you and your brother had a pretty good time in Vegas, hotels looked nice.
The Do-228 is an interesting type, not too often we get to see it. Also those pilots, I'm guessing they were rookies?  

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6640 posts, RR: 78
Reply 22, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 11608 times:

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 20):
Hello PH - what a great excursion to take and on a type that's not overly common, even in Europe.

Hi Palmjet, many thanks for leaving nice comments!

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 20):

Fantastic pictures as well. I really enjoyed reading your report and fantastic that you've managed to rope your brother into being your assistant for the purposes of publishing your latest set of trip reports.

I'm glad to hear that. Yes, my brother and I turned out to be a good team.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 20):
I particularly enjoyed the pics of the Hoover Dam, having visited there myself in 2005 but from the ground only (sadly).

I'd like to see it from the ground one day, it must be impressive.

Quoting lh4116 (Reply 21):
Hello PH, great report! Really nice pics too

Hi Jonas, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting lh4116 (Reply 21):
Seems like you and your brother had a pretty good time in Vegas, hotels looked nice.

It's always a pleasure to be in Vegas - but it can be very crowded on weekends.

Quoting lh4116 (Reply 21):
Also those pilots, I'm guessing they were rookies?

They were still quite young, but they had four and three stripes.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineSloAir From Slovenia, joined Jul 2010, 339 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 11532 times:

Hi PlaneHunter,

thank you for posting this report, it brought back a lot of nice memories from my trip to Las Vegas. I had also taken a scenic flight, but with a helicopter. We landed in the middle of the canyon and had a snack, it was great.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I had never had to walk so far in a hotel

I have stayed at the old Russia hotel in Moscow back in 2001. There was some construction going on so we had to walk for almost 30 minutes to get from our room to the restaurant to have breakfast.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The Venetian's impressive Grand Canal Shoppes:

I loved the Venetian, the blue skies are great.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Rollercoaster, anyone?

I had taken the ride, it was fun  

I'm glad you decided to post this report, even if it is not about a bigger aircraft or a longer flight.

Blaž



Visit Ljubljana
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6640 posts, RR: 78
Reply 24, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 11491 times:

Quoting SloAir (Reply 23):
thank you for posting this report, it brought back a lot of nice memories from my trip to Las Vegas. I had also taken a scenic flight, but with a helicopter.
Quoting SloAir (Reply 23):
I'm glad you decided to post this report, even if it is not about a bigger aircraft or a longer flight.

Hi Blaž, thanks for your comments! Good to hear you liked it.

Quoting SloAir (Reply 23):
We landed in the middle of the canyon and had a snack, it was great.

Very impressive!

Quoting SloAir (Reply 23):
I have stayed at the old Russia hotel in Moscow back in 2001. There was some construction going on so we had to walk for almost 30 minutes to get from our room to the restaurant to have breakfast.

Terrible - didn't they have some kind of golf carts as shuttles?  

Quoting SloAir (Reply 23):
I loved the Venetian, the blue skies are great.

  

Quoting SloAir (Reply 23):
I had taken the ride, it was fun

Not to my taste...I prefer heavy turbulence over rollercoasters.


PH

[Edited 2011-06-22 12:17:49]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
25 KLASM83 : Indeed, should our paths cross, challenge: accepted. Hope to see you in the skies one day.
26 RvXKaz : Hi PH! What breath-taking pictures! I must say I enjoyed your (brother's) pictures of Las Vegas as much as I enjoyed your Dornier 228 insight! Las Veg
27 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Sounds good! Hi RvXKaz, thanks so much for your nice comments! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. Amazing, isn't it? These birds have become rare. Howe
28 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi PH, An amazing report - aviationwise a bit boring (but then again the Do-228 is still a nice aircraft and missing from my log), but it more than ma
29 Post contains images russiangirl : Hi PlaneHunter ! Wooow Outstanding TR!!!! It was great pleasure for me to read it! And...pics are breathtaking! Thank you!
30 Contact Air : Hi PH, Great report and fantastic pictures. The landscape is really breathtaking. I think the Do228 is a good sightseeing plane as it has got only win
31 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi FlyingFinn, thanks for commenting! Well, I'm not a fan of these small planes, as I have said before, but the Do-228 has left a positive impression
32 FLIEGER67 : Hi, PH, great pictures, superb. What an idea to catch that little Dornier in the States on such an experience. Also you´re Vegas pix, really good. Lo
33 Post contains images Luftfahrer : What a picturesque trip report, PlaneHunter! I just sat back and enjoyed the view. I would like to listen to ATC communications, alternatively... I ha
34 abrelosojos : Wow PH. I come back to A.Net and get treated to the second Dornier report. Pretty cool. I did not know Vision ran a Las Vegas scenic tour flight on bo
35 gabrielchew : Pictures of Vegas are great. I hear people either love it or hate it - I'm going to have to go and see for myself! Nice to have a sightseeing flight o
36 Post contains images airbuseric : Hi PH! that's what I call a nice sightseeing tour! So much views packed in just 1 hour. And on board a very welcome a/c type also, the Do228, somethin
37 EL-AL : Hey PH! Great photos, never had one of those sightseen flights, looks fantastic. The Dornier 228 is pretty rare bird in those areas of the world, grea
38 DeltaMike : Wow! Very cool way to get on the Do-228. I might have to make my way to Vegas!
39 akhmad : Hi PH, I have never been gone through photos several times and caught myself saying nothing more than, “WOW! WOW! WOW!” What an array of breathtak
40 LXM83 : Hi PlaneHunter Nice to see this Airline covered by a report! Something different for sure! Thanks for reporting, LXM83
41 CARST : Great TR!!! Very scenic views. I plan to visit LV, too and thought about making an helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon, but Vision Air with the Dornie
42 PlaneHunter : Hi Markus, thanks for your comments! Many thanks, Marius! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Would be a great option! However, I'm not sure whether there would
43 Post contains images Sultanils : Hi PH, That was 1 incredible picturesque report! Must've been really amazing to see it all from up above. Las Vegas is not my thing, I find it fake bu
44 Post contains links and images NZ107 : Hi PH, Another great report! Excellent photos from Las Vegas and also from the air! Thanks for sharing yet another scenic flight of yours! The Grand C
45 MH017 : Hi Udo, Sweet memories of reading your Grand Canyon scenic flight: did exactly the same thing in the 80's with Scenic Air going down to Grand Canyon A
46 MSS658 : Wonderfull trip report! I really enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
47 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Many thanks, Nils! It's fake, but I like it, nonetheless. Well, it didn't show kilos... Hi Nicholas, many thanks for your feedback! I'm glad you enjo
48 Post contains images ronerone : PH, What a stunning report with amazing pictures! A very unique one indeed. I have heard of Vision before, but i did not know they did these kind of f
49 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Roni, thanks so much for your kind words! I'm glad you liked it. Good to hear, I'm sure you will enjoy it! Seats with direct aisle access - what e
50 Post contains images aerocabin : Hi PlaneHunter, Thanks for the really interesting report and all the great photos! It seems funny how they've latched single seats to each other to ma
51 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Aerocabin, many thanks for your feedback! I'm glad you liked the report. Yes, I would book that flight again. I personally prefer the Do's design,
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