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The Joys of ESTA (ie American Paranoia gone too far)

Well hello............ yes I'm back again.  I know I say it won't be too long and I promise I'll write more often but to be honest I don't think I can keep my promises any more.  I'm just going to be honest with you and honesty is certainly the best policy in life............lets be



So whats Cassie been doing, well we've been on holiday to Las Vegas and that is its own blog entry, so hey here it is, the whole story about our fantastic holiday!  We have been to Vegas before back in 2004 but this is Vegas and it changes a hell of a lot.   My whole entry could really start at the airport, at the end of the day this is Cassie and if it didn't involve an ounce of "drama" there would be something wrong.


So we get to the airport with plenty of time, because as as a traveller I want to be there well before the check in desk even opens!  We walk up to the desk and she checks the passport then asks us for the ESTA.   Both Neil and I look at each other rather puzzeled,  I look at the clerk and say "Sorry what's an ESTA"  The only words I heard the poor girl come out with is "I'm sorry but you can't fly today without it!"  Yes WTF very nearly came out of my mouth but it wasn't this persons fault.  We had booked our holiday with Sell off Vacations, we went in one of there stores as both Neil and I hate booking 'important" things over the internet.



Lets just flash back to that moment for a second.  It was one bright Saturday sunny day and we decided to go and enquire about booking a holiday in Las Vegas.  We had gone to enquire at West Ed Mall on the Thursday but Sugar Daddy didn't have his credit card with him to book (don't worry I used the term Sugar Daddy for comedy effect, he doesn't acually play that role very well) So lets get right back to sell off Vacations where we are greated by I think a seven year old sales assistant.............. no mistake that was her daughter.  So as you can imgaine the lady wasn't quite paying attention to our "British Accents" which should in theory set some sort of alarm bells that we would need a ESTA so lets give her another chance.  So we are asking about hotels and I stress.............I mean totally stressed that I didn't want to be in a crappy hotel.   She suggested Bally's, so not having Trip Advisor on hand or any other means I put my trust in this sales lady.  We show her our passports when we book, erm yes we show her our passports.  cough cough.   No.......I don't think she has noticed the colour.   The next part is just great she hands us a print out of our holiday details and the toner has nearly run out, some parts you can't even read.  I should have known this holiday was going to be fun.



So fastforward........................have I got you.  Great.  So we are stood at the check in with the desk clerk telling us that it's ok there are machines that we can get these ESTA's from it can take a few mins or 72 hrs..... Hang on, what did      she     just    say.    SEVENTY TWO HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I mean that would mean we were not going to go anywhere.  I nearly started crying. 



If you're bored and want to know more about these ESTA's that set you back $15 here you go




So, me at this point is panicing like a good Drama Queen, trying to punch my details in this stupid touch screen, will it or won't it let me travel today.  If I give it a kick, will it work faster?  Hey lady please don't walk away I need you to help me, which button do I press......oh crap 72hrs, as tears start falling down my face.  My helpful lady pipes up and insists that I complain to Sell off Vacations as they should have informed us.  At this moment in time I could have very easily have wrapped my hands around that sales persons neck (the sell off Vatation one).  Neil presses enter on his and not moments after he gets his ESTA I press enter on mine and nope I have to bloody wait WTF.      For the record, mister machine now waving my right hand at it! I don't do waiting at the best of times and to be honest now is not the greatest time to ask me to bleeping WAIT.



Every second drags, I think after 10 mins I get the all clear.  As they feel sorry for us they give us the extra leg room seats which is great, right at the front and my 6 foot 7 husband is very happy.  Now we are waiting to go throught security clearance.  I get to the screen and there is this big fat mean guy staring at me.  What are you going to America for?   I kind of looked shocked......... for     for   a vacation I reply.  How much have you got?    erm      $800  I think, yeah $800.  Put your four left fingers on the panel in front of you.     Now I don't know why.......I really don't know why but I put my god damn four Right fingers down........ yes I did.  "YOUR LEFT FINGERS" he states firmly.   I could have dropped a dump in my pants, he scared the crap out of me.  then we moved to the thumb  I swear if he asked me if I was English I would have replied I think so, he made me that nervous.  So my holiday or vacation if you want to be Canadian about it, started with a bit of a bang.



The flight was fine, we got picked up at the airport and taken to the hotel and we walk through the doors.  Immediately we get grab by this old lady, well you can't be impolite to the ederly can you.  She says that the line up is far too long at check in right now and we should come speak to her about some free show tickets.  Well we're in Vegas, this kind of thing that happens.   We are shown a selection of shows and trips that we could have for "free"  and yes I'm started to giggle..... no one ever gives things for free what's the catch.  No catch she insists, all free.   After a while I can't be bothered and want her to cut the crap and ask her to spit it out.  She proceeds to tell us that all we need to do is watch a 120 min video and all is good.  We get to say no and have our free tickets.  I was getting bored and just gave my details along with Neils $40 for transport and walked off.    We check in but don't get our room key, so we hand in our luggage to the bell hop and walk out the hotel having to come back again in a couple of hours for our trip out to see this presentation.   I'm getting increasingly upset about this now, getting a really bad feeling it's making me sick.  We get approached by another freak saying the same thing to us.  He holds us up another half hour.......we are surposed to be on holiday and everyone wants to suck up our time on these presentations that yes if you haven't guessed already are timeshares.  I nearly have to get rude with this idiot before he stops and gets the message.




We head back to the hotel and now I'm feeling terrible, there is something that's now saying DON'T DO IT.  It's really overwelming that as i'm walking even closer to the lobby I feel so sick it's intense.   Something is telling me not to do this, and I feel such an urge to listen.  Now how the hell do I get out of it, as we are being frog marched to the mini bus.   Come on Cassie think!   



I look at Neil, "I don't want to do this"  all have in my head right now is that this mini bus is going to pick us up and take us $40 worth of mileage away from town.  They could do anything, who would report us missing we have no family in Canada, would our work collegues miss us...... oh god I feel sick again.




The man is talking to us, it's going in one ear and out of the other he was talking crap anyway so who the hell cares.  A mini bus pulls up with other suckers on it, I don't want to be another sucker.  I'm going to stand up.   I walks up to one of the suckers and asks them what they had just had to endure.   The guy didn't seem too bothered.  He said that they start off nice and towards the end they are really mean.  They treat you like crap and say you are cheap.  I'm on holiday I thought........I'm not having someone bully me when I'm on MY holiday.   I turns to the guy and tells him that I'm getting a bad feeling about it and I'm not going to go on his minibus.  I hand in all my vouchers to the silly old woman with the most stupid job in America and we get our $40 back but to be honest I feel annoyed we got "roped" in so to speak.  Thinking about it I should write and complain to Ballys, I thought it was a part of the hotel, the way it was first handled.




Moving on,I managed to win money probally over $100 but not too much over.  There was a slot machine called the Godfather and he loved me.




Would I go back to Las Vegas, to be honest no.  The whole place seems to smell of cigerette smoke even outside.  It's really quite bad.  It wasn't as good as what it was back in 2004 but I think that was before the celebrity scene got into full swing.  Would I ever stay at Ballys again......No the place is horrible and noisy.



So here I wrap up my blog entry.  There is more but I'm getting tired and I'm not as witty when I'm sleepy, so see you.



 x o x o

Posted: 05:59, Wednesday 29 June 2011

Untitled Comment

Glad you enjoyed your holiday to Vegas, if not the experience at the airport. FYI the ESTA was established not for paranoid reasons but as a means of eliminating the form you complete before entering the US while on the plane. It is good for a number of years.

Posted by Rete at 03:00, Wednesday 29 June 2011



The same thing happened to me flying to LA from Toronto in August 2011. Running around the terminal like an idiot looking for a computer. The good news is the next time we flew to the US the lady just said visa or ESTA ...I said ESTA...and that was the end of that conversation. Good for 2 years too.

Posted by austinallegro at 12:53, Saturday 9 July 2011


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