Flying from Hilton Head saves me a 50 minute derive to Savannah and the extra hours sleep is welcome. I got up at 5:30, left the house at 6 and was at the airport at 6:15 with boarding at 6:30. Small airports do have their advantages. The downside is the Dash 8 prop plane that they use on the shortest commercial aviation runway in the continental US. That thing was older than me, cramped and two by two seating. The Embraer 145 that American and United fly offer one-two seating which I enjoy way more than this configuration. But that option is in Savannah. My only choice on Hilton Head is US Airways and the Dash 8 prop.
After our one hour flight we landed in the E concourse at the absolutely farthest gate and hiked it to the B concourse. I had an hour and 40 minutes so grabbed some breakfast and watched the masses of people just before the next bank of flights took off. It was crowded, pushing shoving passage down the halls on a Sunday AM. I forgot my Club pass for the US Airways Club I got from applying for the credit card so stayed with the masses until boarding which was chaotic to say the least. Maybe because it was Sunday, but everybody thought they were in Zone 1. I jumped in Zone 2 by virtue of my credit card again and remembered I had a mere 7 days left as a United 1K. The six across coach seating in the A321 is crowded with little legroom but Wifi was available, a big plus for me.
I’m just too big for coach and now that I’ve spent the last several years primarily in premium cabins, I admit, I don’t like the coach experience. It makes perfect sense for the occasional traveler on a limited budget or using miles instead of cash once a year to save his miles stash, but the trip confirmed for me, why I’m in this hobby. A club pass, with free diet coke out of the crowds and room to breathe. Priority boarding again into a more comfortable seat and an attendant that should be a cut above those in coach.
I don’t want it to sound snobby, but it is worth it in many cases to make the effort to learn the game and get the bennies so freely offered to us. A road warrior that is delegated to coach and flying every week has my eternal sympathy. The term “warrior” makes more sense to me. May all your upgrades clear and a lounge pass find a way into your pocket.
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases