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Ask the Slot Expert: Tip for a comped limo from airport to strip hotel

5 January 2022

Question: I visit Las Vegas about 3 or 4 times per year. I play enough that my casino host provides limo service from & to the airport. My question is, what would be an appropriate tip for the driver? Also, my destination is always located on the LV strip.

I always enjoy reading your column.

Answer: Thanks for the kind words about my column.

I'm going to be of minimal help for this question because I've never played enough to get comped transportation. The closest thing to a limo ride I've gotten from a casino was when a maintenance worker gave me a lift from the Pro Shop at the Desert Inn Golf Course to the Wimbledon Tower in his golf cart.

The slot floorpeople have paid my last few -- and there have been very few -- royal flush handpays in hundreds. Usually the handpay would include five 20s, presumably to encourage tipping. Either they have completely misjudged me and think I'm a George who will tip a C-note or they don't expect a tip. I think it's the latter because I've had to ask them not to leave yet as I take out my backup tip $40 from my shirt pocket.

Has anyone else gotten the impression that slot floorpeople aren't expecting tips?

Have you heard of the Wisdom of the Crowd? It's the phenomenon that individual people may make rotten guesses about something (like the number of jellybeans in a jar), but the average of the guesses from a large number of people is frequently very close to the right answer. I'll give my suggested tip and then ask others to share theirs.

It's been a long time since I've taken a taxi from the airport (now called Harry Reid International Airport -- I would have been happy with Las Vegas International Airport because nobody could complain about that name) to a strip hotel. If I remember correctly, it was usually about $40 or so to Treasure Island. When they opened up the airport connector tunnel, your trip to the strip took less time because the speed limit was higher on the highway than on the surface roads, but the trip cost more because it was a longer distance.

It reminds me of my first trip to Germany. My sister, her youngest son, and I were going to stay with a family she had met from a joint venture her husband worked on with the father of the family. The whole family met us at the airport with two cars. My sister, nephew and I went to their house with the two children on local roads so we could have a scenic ride. The parents took the Autobahn, which has all the charm of the New Jersey Turnpike. Even though the Autobahn route was three times longer than the local roads route, the parents' average speed would be five times ours so they would get to their house with enough lead time that dinner would be ready by the time we got there.

The Nevada Taxicab Authority received so many complaints from passengers being long-hauled (taken on the scenic route) from the airport to their strip hotel that it instituted flat rates. The strip is divided into three zones and the rates are $19, $23 and $27.

I suggest a tip of $40. My original basis for that amount was that I figured that was about what a pre-flat-rate taxi would cost, but maybe I'm a bit high with that amount. I'm going to stick with that suggestion, though, because you're going to add a few bucks to the $27 fare for a tip and it's worth a few bucks more to have someone meet you at baggage claim with a sign with your name on it and help with your bags and not have to wait in a taxi line.

That's the base your tip on what you would have paid in total without the comp formula. Another formula is give the same tip as you would have given without the comp. That's appropriate for dining comps, but I don't think it's necessarily appropriate for a limo comp.

Searching online, I found people who said they tipped $20 for a trip between a strip hotel and the airport, but those posts were made over a decade ago. That amount might be a bit out of date.

Help us out, folks. How much should one tip for a comped limo ride between the airport and a strip hotel?


I get the feeling that no matter what guidelines the C.D.C. issues, someone is going to find fault with them. The latest issue is with cutting in half (from 10 days to five) the isolation period for Covid-positive asymptomatic people and for symptomatic people whose symptoms are improving. Talking heads on news programs were quick to point out that requiring a negative test to end isolation would have been better.

What good would it have done to have recommended getting a test that was difficult to find? These same talking heads probably would have criticized the C.D.C. for requiring a test that many people couldn't get.

Isn't the guideline mostly common sense, anyway? If you don't feel well, stay home until you feel better. The only thing that is added is isolating even if you have no symptoms.

I get what Dr. Walensky was saying when she said that they wanted to give a guideline that people could follow. After I had some dental work done, my dentist prescribed an antibiotic for me. The signatura on the prescription was "take 1 tablet daily". These pills were so big that even Mr. Ed would have said, "Whoa, Wilbur. What's with the horse pills?"

Fortunately, these pills could be cut in half. The next time I saw my dentist, I told him I'd rather have smaller pills, even if it meant taking multiple pills at once or one pill multiple times a day.

He said that studies have shown that there is high compliance with one-a-day dosing and compliance falls the more pills a patient has to take. "Just cut 'em in half," he said.

Better to have an imperfect guideline that many people will try to follow, than a perfect one that few will follow.

We'll see whether any of the New Year's Eve events were super-spreader events. I've never gone to Times Square on New Year's Eve, but many years ago I was on the strip on NYE. There were no fireworks then. The big show was a new light display on Luxor. Chaser lights that went up and down the edges of the pyramid. Very exciting.

Continental had a super-cheap fare. I flew out NYE morning and flew back to NJ at around 1-2 AM on New Year's day. A daytrip to Las Vegas. (And if you think that's crazy, I've also made a couple of daytrips to London.)

A cold front hit the East coast while I was in Las Vegas. The temperature was in the mid-50s when I left Newark airport and in the mid-20s when I got back. I was really cold walking to my car in the short-term parking lot.

New York City scaled back its NYE plans for Times Square this year, but Las Vegas didn't make any changes. The Chyron on one of the local newscasts said, "NYE Party Is Ago!" (Does anybody proofread these things?)

There are significant differences between the two events. In New York, people pack into a relatively small area and spend hours in the same spot. On the plus side, though, the police can limit the number of entrances to the area so they were able to check the vaccination status of the revelers.

I don't see any way access to the strip could have been limited to check vaccination status. But on the plus side, the strip is a much larger area than Times Square and people are always moving around.

If there is a super-spreader event, I wonder if it might be the new Spider-Man movie. Right before Thanksgiving I made my triumphant return to the Century 16 theater at Suncoast after a 16-month absence. Cinemark had restarted charging the MovieClub membership fee over the summer, so I had a number of free tickets in my account. Plus, if I saw eight movies before the end of the year, I could qualify for the Platinum level in MovieClub until the end of 2022 -- and you know that I'm all about elite level status.

I saw one of the theater employees I knew B.C.E. (Before Covid Era) and said hello to him. I was disappointed that he didn't realize he hadn't seen me for a year-and-a-half.

Assigned seating is the best thing to happen to movies since sound. I can see how crowded a showing is before buying a ticket and go some other time if there are too many people or I can't get my favorite seat (middle of the last row). There are no capacity restrictions in Las Vegas and theaters are no longer doing social distancing when selling tickets.

You're asked to wear a mask in the theater unless you are eating or drinking. As you might imagine, some people take off their masks for the duration of the movie, even if they don't have any snacks. Others put their masks back on when not eating and I've seen snackless people wear their masks through the whole movie.

I'm able to go to the first showing, so there are usually very few people in the theater with me and I've even had a number of private showings. I had a $4 ticket offer for Spider-Man that had to be booked by 12/26. First showings on opening weekend were almost completely sold out. Not surprising. But I was surprised to see that the first showings continued to be packed for the following week. (No wonder Spidey made so much money.) I finally booked my favorite seat in the XD theater on the latest day that was available before my offer expired.

Now I remember that I didn't go to the movies when the kids were off for the holidays.

Plenty of showings with few empty seats. At least the auditoriums in this theater all have Luxury Lounger seats, so the rows are farther apart and your next-seat neighbors aren't as close to you as they are in a theater with regular seats. Even the smaller theaters in a multiplex have a large volume of air and Cinemark has taken steps to improve the HVAC systems in the theaters.

Keeping my fingers crossed that a visit to the MCU doesn't result in a stay in the ICU for the millions of people who saw the movie.

Click here for the latest Covid data.

John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots