Now that the elections are behind us, I will not bore or agitate the readers with how I feel about the results. That issue is left to be discussed, debated and fought over on other sites and forums. I do want to share my closest call I had to both candidates this past October 2016. I was in Las Vegas and scheduled to fly back to Hawaii on October 19 at 6:20 pm from McCarren International on Hawaiian Airlines.
I knew enough ahead of time that the Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was to be held at UNLV on the same date at around the same time. From experience, I know that the area around McCarren International and UNLV will be swarming with Secret Service and police. When the candidates land and start moving, all roads and air traffic surrounding WILL be shut down, no movement at all. With that in mind, I planned to be at the McCarren Rental Car Center by 4:30, which would give me almost two hours before my flight.
As I was driving to the center, I saw that Paradise Road and the intersection of Tropicana Blvd were lined with mostly Donald Trump supporters. Many “Make America Great Again” banners and other signs of support as well as negative messages directed toward Clinton. I have to assume that the Clinton supporters were closer to the UNLV campus? Considering the City of Las Vegas overwhelmingly voted for her, they had to be visible somewhere. The officers of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department were out in large numbers at each intersection. Up to this point, I was grateful that I was ahead of the motorcades and that I would be at the gate with about an hour to spare.
After dropping off the car at 4:40pm , I went out to the shuttle and found that the Secret Service had just given the order to “lock it down” meaning all affected roads and air space are stopped. There were about five shuttle buses full of people just sitting at the rent a car center, idling. We ended up sitting there until almost 5:50!! Luckily, there were other Hawaii people on my shuttle, hoping to make the same flight so I know that I was safe because there must have been 20 or 30 of us that still needed to make it. A lot of other passengers for other airlines were getting nervous too. One man asked if it would be faster if he and his wife walked to the airport!! And his flight wasn’t until 8:00 pm!!!
When the all clear was given we made it to the gate and to walk very briskly to gate 35. As soon as we boarded, the doors were closed and we off! Right on schedule!!
When I had booked my flight back in August, if I had known about all this, I would have arranged to leave either the night before or the next day.
What I was hoping for was would bump me out and I would HAVE to stay another night in Las Vegas!