I didn’t travel this week, but I feel like I did after building a relatively last-minute trip (72 hours out) for my dad from Connecticut to South Florida. My dad’s 90, and last month I got him a ticket to Connecticut to escape Hurricane Dorian, which was expected to wallop Florida where the Big Man now lives. Fortunately, that didn’t happen and my dad’s place was spared. And since he flew to Connecticut anyway, he was able to spend time with my brother, my sister, and his grandchildren and relatives.
This week, the time came to fly him home. I could’ve purchased a coach ticket with cash for cheap, but he’s 90 and he has a bad back, so I used 25,000 American Airlines (AA) miles so he could fly first class from New York’s JFK airport (44 miles from where we grew up) to Miami. AA flies this route daily with two wide-bodies: an old 767 and newer 777-200. Of course, I chose the latter since the seats are lie-flat and the plane doesn’t break down as much. On this route, besides the extra legroom, first class comes with two free checked bags, free food and drinks, and early boarding. Plus, you don’t have to pay extra for a decent assigned coach seat. It’s well worth the extra 12,500 miles when it’s available.
I wanted my dad to have a seamless experience, but neither my brother nor my sister could take him to JFK, and my other sister (in Florida) couldn’t pick him up in Miami, so I used some of my Blacklane credits (I’m a brand ambassador) to sort him out.
First, I ordered Blacklane car services to drop him off and pick him up at both airports. Then, I ordered Blacklane’s airport concierge service (PASS) so a greeter would met him curbside at JFK and escort him to check-in, through security, to the lounge (it costs $50 extra if you don’t have access with your ticket or credit card), and finally onto the plane.
If you order the concierge service on the arrival end, which I also ordered for my dad, another agent will wait on the jetway to greet you (or the traveler) the moment you step off the plane. The greeter then assists you by taking your bag(s) and walking you to immigration (if you’re traveling internationally), to baggage claim, and then to your arranged transportation, which in my dad’s case was a Blacklane car. On top of that you get to bypass any lines, which is why the service is popular with business travelers. It’s also great for those who get nervous traveling to places they haven’t been. Note: Blacklane PASS generally requires at least 72 hours notification to arrange a concierge.
In the end, the trip was a success. He told me that everything was perfect and the flight even got in early.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.