MY FIRST TIME FLYING WITH ALASKA AIRLINES .

I have flown on many airlines in the United States and Canada , but on my trip to San Francisco back to Las Vegas , I flew on an airline that I have never been on before , Alaska Airlines .

The Seattle , Washington based airline does fly out of all three New York City airports that I fly out of.

I never thought of taking Alaska out of JFK or Newark Liberty , because I’m not going to find a $49 one way fare like I did for San Francisco to Las Vegas .

For a flight to a destination like Las Vegas , which is always crowded , the plane was surprisingly empty.

If you happen to fly to Las Vegas on Alaska , you’ll be more than likely arriving in Terminal 3, where you have to get a shuttle to take you to terminal , where you can get Lyft, Uber, hotel shuttles, taxis, or good old public transportation like I always do if I get to Vegas at a decent hour, like before 9pm.

The seats are very comfortable and this time, I had a whole row to myself.

I was also able to sleep on the plane and not be disturbed by anyone , except the flight attendants passing out snacks , water or Orange juice as this was a very short flight .

Once again, with just my drawstring bag , I got out of the terminal very fast .

If I happen to get an inexpensive flight on Alaska out of Newark Liberty or JFK , you’d better believe I’m taking it, and because I just had to be “that Sports Diva who loves collecting air miles” , you just know that I signed up for Alaska Airlines Frequent Flyer Program.

Besides, you never know.

God willing, I may be doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour of the Emerald City, aka Seattle, Washington.

IT’S NOT A JOKE ANYMORE, IT’S SERIOUS NOW

The Sports Diva is interupting her usual funny and upbeat 30 Plus Teams Tour posts for something very serious.

It’s not only affecting people in the United States, but everywhere.

Two countries, Italy and China are on basically lockdown because of it.

It’s something called the Corona Virus.

It’s not the common cold or the regular flu.

This virus can kill you and it has.

Every day someone seems to contract it and unfortunately many have died from it.

It started in Wuhan, China and then spread.

Peeps weren’t taking it seriously.

Social media was full of memes making light of it.

One of the most popular ones was of a six pack of Corona beer standing by itself and in the far corner with a face mask on was a six pack of Heineken beer.

Then it happened.

It wasn’t just people in China who were dying from this disease.

They say you don’t care until it affects you.

Then it did and for some reason, people all over the world were going crazy and panicking over something that they really should have had before.

Hand sanitizer.

We don’t know how this virus started but my peeps really some of you don’t wash your hands coming out of the bathroom.

Are you for real right now?

This virus has hit everything and everybody.

No one is immune.

The actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson contracted the virus in Australia.

It’s hit the United States very hard to the effect that governors are declaring a state of emergency.

My governor, Andrew Cuomo, of New York is one of them.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade here in New York has been canceled for the first time in years.

258 of them to be exact.

After a member of the Utah Jazz basketball team contracted the virus, ALL NBA games have been suspended until further notice.

Soccer matches in England and Italy have been cancelled because of this.

As of today, the NHL may or may not follow the NBA because many of the NBA and NHL teams share arenas.

The President has even issued a travel ban on Americans flying to Europe, although for some reason, the UK isn’t on that banned list.

What does this mean for those of us who travel whether we’re doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour or not?

Do we suddenly stop traveling?

Or do we continue and enjoy life the best way we can.

I say, it’s up to the individual.

I can only speak for the Sports Diva.

I’m concerned about this virus yes, but I don’t live in a bubble.

I will continue to enjoy my travel as long as the good Lord allows.

But I will stay aware of all the goings on with this virus.

It’s not a joke anymore.

RIDING WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES

In my never ending quest to find cheap flights on my 30 Plus Teams Tour , I check out all of the United States and Canadian carriers I can find.

Since my 30 Plus Teams Tour only covers cities in the United States and Canada , you won’t see me checking out fares on British , Singapore or Qatar Airways , just saying .

My personal favorite airline is Southwest Airlines , mainly because they don’t charge you for checking up to two bags.

But even Southwest has gotten expensive and, sadly, they don’t fly out of Newark Liberty Airport anymore.

My second favorite carrier in the United States is Delta Airlines .

Not because I worked with them in Boston and Los Angeles , but because they finally stepped up their flying game .

That’s where American Airlines comes into the picture .

I hadn’t flown them in years and when I did, even as an employee of another carrier, I never had good experiences flying with them.

Where do I begin?

Bad service on the flight, rude customer service and even ruder flight attendants.

Not anymore .

I’m flying them more now because a girl has to get those frequent flyer miles to make even more 30 Plus Teams Tours .

American has gotten their act together and become an airline to passengers actually want to fly with.

They aren’t as unprofessional as they used to be.

(I think United Airlines has taken over as the airline people in the United States don’t want to fly with, if you ask the Sports Diva . )

Now if American can get me a cheap flight out of JFK, I’d be happy as if the New York Yankees won baseball’s World Series for the 28th time, just saying .

The seats on American are spacious , and even recline, unlike the Spirit Airlines flights that I take way too often.

They even have chargers for your electronic devices at every seat.

Some buses that I’ve been on don’t even have that.

As I mentioned, I fly out of Newark Liberty, even though JFK is basically in my backyard .

No, forget basically , JFK IS IN MY BACKYARD.

Between the planes at JFK flying over my house and the trains of the Long Island Railroad whizzing by my house at high speed , they seem to be competing to see who can make more noise when they pass by.

I do want my miles and cheaper flights , so I really don’t care if it’s Newark Liberty , JFK or even Philadelphia International that I have to go through to get that.

When I return home, God willing on March 3rd, I’m taking American Airlines again .

This time, Las Vegas to Dallas-Fort Worth to Newark Liberty .

Thank you American Airlines for making flying with you a lot more pleasant .

DISCOVERING PACKING CUBES!

Whenever I go on one of my 30 Plus Teams Tours, I usually bring a bag or suitcase that’s as unorganized as all heck.

There’s shoes , underwear, etc all over the suitcase no matter if they’re folded, rolled or usually just thrown in the bag which always happens .

Not this time.

I watch a lot of YouTube videos , which you might not know.

Or maybe you do if you follow 30 Plus Teams 30 Plus Dreams a lot.

As I haven’t been anywhere since February , those travel blues have creeped in and I’ve been watching videos on packing.

I noticed something .

People, and not just female or adult travellers, are packing their clothes in something called “packing cubes.”,which go inside your suitcase.

I had never heard of this and I’ve travelled a lot in my 66 years .

I was going to order them from Amazon , but on a trip to my local Marshalls Department Store, guess what I found?

You got it, packing cubes for my suitcase, even though none of the sales people had a clue what I was talking about.

One saleslady told me , “luggage over in aisle 3”

I guess she missed the part of the conversation where I asked “do you sell packing cubes that fit in your luggage?”

But in aisle 3 not only was there luggage up the wazoo , there were accessories also, which included packing cubes.

It was $9.99 for a pack of 3.

I wanted to see what all the hype was about.

It’s supposed to save space in my suitcase .

It actually does as you can see here.

My bag is a little bit more organized now than it’s ever been .

I wish I’d discovered packing cubes a lot earlier .

RIDING ON THE BIG YELLOW TAXI IN THE SKY

I’m at Newark Liberty Airport waiting for a 8am flight.

I’m standing in line at 3:40am to check my bag on Spirit Airlines .

I have a 5 hour flight to McCarron International Airport in Las Vegas .

That’s right, the Sports Diva is taking her 30 Plus Teams Tour to Las Vegas , but wait I have a surprise for you .

Sin City isn’t the only stop on this 30 Plus Teams Tour , oh no.

My next stop is a place that I called home for 10 years .

It’s the City of Angels , better known as Los Angeles , California .

But that’s later in the week.

Let’s talk about my flight on an airline that I said that I would NEVER fly again, Spirit Airlines.

Never say never.

Spirit airline planes are bright yellow with black lettering on it, just like a New York City taxi cab.

If you happen to be sitting near the wing, you’ll aee the word “howdy ” on the wing.

This is because one of their hubs is Dallas , Texas, and in Texas, folks great you by saying, “howdy “.

I had taken Spirit before, either from La Guardia in New York or Philadelphia and all four times I was flying into, you guessed it, Las Vegas .

All four times I didn’t have a great experience and said that I would take a Greyhound Bus before I ever flew Spirit again .

I decided to give them a try even though Newark Liberty is no where near my house, I live closer to JFK .

But when fares from Newark to Las Vegas one way are $62 , you find a way to get there.

Now if you’ve never flown them before, here’s some tips.

You’re going to be paying for EVERYTHING , carry on bags, check in bags, snacks, drinks, including water and credit cards only.

You’ll be paying for seats that don’t recline.

You want more leg room ?

You pay for those too.

The only thing that’s free is your personal item and a lot of people stuff a lot of clothes into a small backpack.

Don’t try to cheat on your personal item, because all the gate agents are going to make sure your personal item is legit .

If not, you’re going to be paying.

Your tray table is very small, so hold onto those drinks and snacks that you just purchased.

Now if this doesn’t seem like the airline for you, take another one.

A lot of people seem to like this airline , though, much to my surprise .

I was able to move my feet up and down , dancing in my seat to the

song that was playing on my tablet.

Speaking of electronics , don’t look for WiFi on the plane.

There isn’t any.

(C’mon Spirit, step up your game , my people. Let the peeps have some WiFi ! )

The fare was good and the flight attendants were truly helpful, I might just fly the big yellow taxi in the sky again .

Now if only they flew out of JFK .

COMING HOME ON A DELTA FLIGHT

My great 30 Plus Teams Tour of Las Vegas is over and I’m returning home to New York’s JFK .

I’m NOT a happy camper after a week in Las Vegas .

I used to work for Delta and fly them from time to time .

I had an idea of what their planes are like.

Or I thought I did.

At Las Vegas McCarron International Airport , you have to make sure that you have your boarding pass BEFORE you get on line.

If you have bags to check, pay before you get there, because they DON’T take cash.

There are machines in the airport where you can buy a card to pay for your checked baggage , but you pay $5 more for it.

The agent that checked me in told me a way to get around paying extra for a prepaid card and how to keep my money.

It’s called consolidation .

Put my handbag in one bag so that I only have a personal item and a carry on.

It worked as my carryon bag fit in the overhead bin and the personal item did fit under my seat, which had a blanket , still wrapped in plastic.

I relaxed on the flight even though as usual going through good old TSA, was always an adventure.

As I settled in my seat, I watched the safety feature.

I have to give Delta major props for having one of the most innovative safety videos .

Not only do they tell you what to do and what not to do, the flight attendants are all wearing Delta uniforms from all the years that Delta has been flying.

I don’t know who in Atlanta thought of this or how they found all of these uniforms, but it was brilliant , just saying .

I was able to take out my headphones and either watch tv, listen to music, track the flight, which I did quite often, or see a movie.

As I didn’t like any of the movies or music, I watched some tv.

Being the sports diva that I am , yes I did watch some of the shows on ESPN.

I can’t tell you about the beverages or food served on the flight, nor can I tell you if my flight had a lot of turbulence .

I have no idea on either.

After the takeoff, I settled into the middle seat and went to sleep.

I didn’t wake up until the flight was landing at JFK .

Yeah, I was THAT tired.

As much as I was unhappy about leaving Las Vegas , it was good to come home and just jump on my bed with my comfy pillow and my even comfy stuffed animals.

Thank you for getting me home safely , Delta .

LEAVING ON A SOUTHWEST PLANE

It’s that time again for the Sports Diva to do another 30 Plus Teams Tour of the newest city on the tour, Las Vegas , Nevada .

As usual I’m going for some fun, lots of sun, meeting up with some new and old friends, and since this is a 30 Plus Teams Tour , I’m going to the NHL Awards, not the ceremony itself , but the red carpet event, which is not only loads of fun , but it’s free.

I’ll talk about the goings on at the red carpet and other related things in another post as I will be in Vegas for about a week.

Last year around about this same time, I flew Jet Blue from JFK and my flight was delayed by two hours, which meant that I basically missed a day of getting lit in Vegas and acting the fool there .

This time I’m flying out of the other airport that I usually fly out of, Philadelphia International Airport .

Now you might be asking yourself since I lived in New York City, a bus ride away from JFK as a matter of fact, why would I fly out of another airport all those miles away?

In some cases, all three New York City airports are really expensive , and many times with as hectic as JFK is, I just don’t have the patience with that airport that always seems to be expanding and adding more and more carriers every year.

Now when I return home, I’m flying Delta nonstop into JFK , because by that time I’ll have been way too tired from all the “lituraration” in Vegas .

Many of you who don’t live in the Carribean , North America or Central America, probably have heard of Southwest, let alone fly it.

Maybe you’ve seen their planes, with their splashes of blue, red and orange all over it, and let’s not forget about the heart in the middle of all their planes as well.

Southwest mostly flies into the smaller cities, like Islip, Long Island , Harlingen, Texas and Long Beach , California .

They also fly out of cities like Atlanta, all three Washington area airports, as well as San Francisco and LGA and Newark – Liberty.

Southwest doesn’t have any assigned seats, so the next time you want to sit with your significant other or you and the friends want to do your own 30 Plus Teams Tour , Southwest has got you covered so that you don’t have to ask any other passengers to switch seats with you .

You all can sit together .

Do you have bags to check ?

Southwest has you covered there , too.

Bags up to three are free.

That’s right , you pay nothing unless of course your suutcase has everything but the kitchen sink in it.

If your suircase has that much stuff in it, you have to pay excess baggage charge and that some how defeats the purpose of bags fly for free.

The only drawback I have with Southwest , is their wifi.

If you want to watch movies or tv shows, no problem.

But if you want to seach the email or watch tv, it’s $8.

Today , my flight from Philadelphia took 4 1/2 hours rather than 5 1/2.

I’m not asking how the pilot know this ?

I’m just sitting back or resting , letting the pilot do their thing .

I can’t wait to get to where I’m going .

All I can say is give us wings and take the

wheel Jesus