Saturday, September 3, 2011

Las Vegas scams. And tipping

Attached is a photo of New York/New York Hotel and Casino (on the left of photo) and MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (on the right of photo). Note the MGM lion, apparently the largest sculpture in America.
I was very scared about tipping when I was in Las Vegas. How to do it? When to do it? Do I give it to a person, leave it on the table just sitting there all by its lonesome? Will someone steal the tip? Will the wrong service person take it? How much should I leave? It was all a giant mystery. Luckily on my first night I watched the young women at the table next to me to see how they left the tip, and I followed suit. I estimate that I tipped over a hundred American dollars during the two weeks I was in Vegas. And I didnt tip a lot of times, especially the times when I felt it was absolutely positively stupid to do so.
When I moved to the convention hotel (The Rio All-Suites -' everybody has a suite' . See attached photo of view from my hotel room), the hotel was one road back from The Strip, and there was an advertised free shuttle bus to get you to a couple of sister hotels that were on The Strip. All the Americans tipped the driver! Just imagine you tip when you got off then when you caught it back to the Rio, you tipped again. Well, I didn't, neither did a lot of foreigners.
Going on my Colorado river rafting trip, people tipped the bus driver who collected us from our hotels, then the driver who took us to a meeting spot, then the driver who took us to the raft, then the raft driver (I tipped this guy), then they tipped all the earlier guys again in reverse order on the way back to our hotels.
Because the 'free' shuttle didn't start until 10 a.m. we were virtually prisoners in our hotel. Well, this annoyed me so I decided to take a taxi to Paris (Hotel) for breakfast. I had to go to a valet standing on the footpath, hand him a dollar, and he signalled a row of cabs that were lined up about 10 paces away (I could have done this myself!). The valet stuck his head in the taxi window and shouted 'Paris' to the driver. I slid in the taxi and repeated 'Paris'. The driver raved and rattled on practically the entire journey to me about how I was only going a short trip and he'd been waiting in line for ages and now he'd lost his place in the line for my tiddly little fare. Then he said "We'll be at the Palms in a few minutes".
I said, "I'm going to Paris"
He slapped his forehead and intimated what a silly billy he was, but that sorry I would still have to be the additional fare as it was automated on his meter. And I tipped him! Everyone has since told me how I was taken.
When I booked an afternoon tour to Red Rock Canyon, I told the concierge not once, not twice, but three times that I wanted to be picked up at the MGM Grand, not the Rio where I was staying because I would be at that end of The Strip at the given time. She handed me my ticket and said "pick-up at the Rio at 1.15." I politely pointed out "This will be the fourth time I've asked to be picked up at the MGM Grand." She altered my ticket.
Guess where I wasn't picked up? The MGM Grand. After waiting till 2 p.m. I buttonholed another driver and he found out that they'd been hunting for me all over the Rio. Well, they sent an emergency guy to pick me up. When I got back to the hotel, I kicked up merry hell. I got my money back the following morning. I refused to leave Reception until I got satisfied.

No comments:

Post a Comment