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.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49