When I was asked by Swagbucks and El Jet to participate in a free-trip-to-Las Vegas contest, I was thrilled. Showing off my adopted hometown is one of my favorite things to do! And as if that wasn’t enough, there was something for me, too: I got to leave the office for a few hours to meet the winners in LA. I had been talking to Daneille and Alyse for weeks, planning their trips. Finally, the day arrived for them to meet Las Vegas for the first time. And they sent me a private jet charter to scoop me up and head to LA to greet them.
Yup, they sent a jet, just for me.
Getting on a private plane as the only passenger is a bit like jumping into a cab. Once I found the sort of-hidden entrance with double barriers, I drove right up to the hanger and boarded my jet. And we took off — just like that.
In the air, I had nothing to do but gaze out the window, not having brought a book or anything that would take away from the experience.
One thing that hadn’t occurred to me: how much attention I would get during my one hour of celebrity treatment. The pilots were hilarious, asking me if I’d like more photos and making quips like, “Where to?” as if this really were my little taxi in the sky! While I waited in the lounge at Van Nuys Airport, the private airport that had welcomed Jennifer Aniston home just the previous day, two older men grilled me about what the heck I was doing. I guess they’re more used to celebrities, businessman and high-limit gamblers, not single chicks like me who had rolled up to the hanger in a seven-year-old Honda Civic!
And then… the winners arrived! I finally got to meet Daneille, Alyse, and their “plus ones.” They could not have been nicer or more excited about their trip. And then we were off to Vegas, baby!
Touchdown! The airport is so close to the Strip, that you can make it from the private airport to the gambling tables in 20 minutes flat.
When we landed in Vegas, the guys had my Honda ready to go, AC blasting so I wouldn’t be too hot in the desert heat. The Swagbucks winners drove off in a limo to start their trip, and I headed back to work.