Winston Aldworth flies aboard UA770 from Las Vegas to San Francisco.

The plane:

An Airbus A320. United has 99 of them in the fleet, alongside 67 of the drop-dead similar Airbus A319s. But it's Boeing that feels the real love from the United purchasing team, with 329 737s working the US skies.

Class: Economy.


Seat: 29C.

On time: This little hop covers just 670km, meaning we were airborne for around 1hr, 40m.

Service: I ask Gary the purser if our flight leaving Las Vegas is full of unhappy people.

"You're a student of human nature," says Gary. "But certainly, the passengers coming into Vegas seem happier than the ones going out."

Gary's a top man.

How full: 100 per cent.

Fellow passengers: There was a Kiwi seated in the row ahead of me. While boarding, I slyly eavesdropped as he explained something about his business and something about Christchurch to the guy seated next to him.

Across the aisle from me, a wiry fella who looked like he might someday be known by his first, middle and last name was reading Principles of Personal Defense, by Jeff Cooper.

Sample quote: "This booklet was not written for cowards." Count me out then, bruv.

Food and drink: Pretzels to harden your arteries and cans of soda to bring on obesity.

Anything else costs cash money.

Airport experience: Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport is a short drive from Sin City central, though there's a bit of a hike once you've dropped off your rental car.

It was here that Haley Joel Osment (the kid from The Sixth Sense) got into a spot of bother after not being allowed on board his flight following last week's Super Bowl. A flight was missed, a celebrity was bumped from a stand-by list, rude things were said, police were called.

He couldn't ghost his way on to the flight.