On the road today on a quasi-mileage run. Only quasi as we don’t get home until Monday.
Right now I’m taking a breather in the Newark President’s Club. By now I’m sure all of you guys have access to this place with your American Express Platinum cards! Take a shower, get your clothes pressed, it can all be done in here for free with your card.
We drove from Cleveland to Pittsburgh this morning to catch a $78 flight to Orange County, California. I’ll make some 7,400 miles just the one-way with the flying, which to me is worth more than the cost of the flight. Best of all is that due to my elite status with Continental the flights from Newark to Houston and Houston to Orange County will be in First Class. Even better? The flight to Houston is on a 777, the same plane that Continental flies to Israel. I’ve flown in BusinessFirst to Israel a couple times in the past with miles, but this will be the first time flying in that cabin since Continental changed the seats to 180 degree lie-flat beds, so I’m pretty excited to try that out!
Earlier today we stopped in the USAirways Club in Pittsburgh before the flight where I was excited to find a kosher snack, Baked Tostitos. They were actually pretty good! Before the new Priority Pass benefit came to the Platinum card, USAirways was the only club you could access with the AMEX Platinum card that doesn’t require you to be flying with them. Of course now with Priority Pass you can even access Continental or United clubs regardless of which airline you are flying.
Come to think of it, today is actually exactly 1 month since I was last in the NYC area. On April 3rd I got to get together with about 15 dedicated members of the DansDeals forums. One member (“Avid Reader”) even picked me up early in the morning from LaGuardia and chauffeured me around the entire day! We went to Clubhouse Cafe for drinks before crossing the street and feasting on steaks at Le Marais where we ate in the quieter upstairs section. We shared tips and stories, oohed and aahed over each other’s wallet candy, and everyone had a blast.
We even raffled off a few prizes using Random.org’s random number generator. A member won a free DansDeals vacation concierge package and another won a hardcover Starwood Coffee Table picture book. You might not know what Thomy is, but the stuff is legendary on the forums! When I was planning my Europe trip that we took last May I don’t think anything was hyped up about Switzerland more than it was. A forum member brought a tube of the famous Swiss Mayonnaise with him to raffle off as well!
When I handed out track-it-back luggage and electronics tags to the crowd they quickly figured out how to ship their bags worldwide for free…
The best part about it was seeing the diversity of the forum members’ backgrounds. From guys too young to rent a car, to people with grown kids. From Flatbush, Crown Heights, Lakewood, even a guy learning in the Mir.
I was in NYC that day for less than 12 hours, but my flight from Cleveland was just an hour…compare that to another super member who flew into NYC from Belgium just for the event!
The 4 hours literally flew by in the blink of an eye. Definitely will have to do it again!
Well, it’s about time for me to get off of this comfy couch and head over to the gate…catch ya’ later!
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