Bat out of JFK and convertible upgrade (get free Avis Preferred!)

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Scene 1: JFK Airport. Boarded Delta 87 to Miami. No delays. Everything suspiciously too smooth. Taxi out to the runway and immediately take off, up in the air only 9 minutes after scheduled departure. Unheard of for a JFK flight.

The flight attendant comes by, “The captain is wonderful, he negotiated with air traffic control and we were the last plane out ahead of a ground hold for a big storm coming in.”


Off the plane in Miami 49 minutes ahead of schedule. Bewildering to see the arrivals board.

Delta 87 JFK-MIA, last flight out ahead of a 6-hour hold, hauled ass, arrived 49 minutes early!

Delta 87 - 49 minutes early

Scene 2: Avis rental counter after enjoying the bouncy moving walkways. Avis Preferred (which is free) board does not show my car. Perhaps since no one has ever been early from a JFK flight. Unlike some airports, the Preferred station down by the cars is a  just a signboard with no staff. Back up to the place held by my wife. No sign of movement in the line. MIA rental car lines are some of the slowest with confused infrequent travelers and many international travelers unfamiliar with the bewildering upsell options. Wife spots a manager walking around, I flag her down and she agrees to help, but only if the reservation properly shows in the system with my Wizard Number. It does.

“Do you have much luggage?”

“No, just this carry-on for the two of us?”

“Ok, because the way to get you out of here fastest is a convertible, is that ok?”

“That is great, thank you.” Yes again!

Note: Avis Preferred is free, sign up for that and every other free rental program even if you rarely rent.

I love the bouncy style moving walkways at MIA

MIA's bouncy moving walkways

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Rapid Travel ChaimarkLufthansaFlyerAndy Recent comment authors

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No need to apologize and I wasn’t trying to be a jerk. I just read many travel blogs and after too many posts I think to myself: “what was the point of that.” If you had an IRROPs and you were explaining to readers how to handle- fine. Or, something particularly interesting happened- fine. But, other than telling people about Avis Preferred (which didn’t work but you were lucky to bump into a manager), I can’t say I learned anything or you were trying to teach anything. It was like Seinfeld says…it was the post about nothing.

Rapid Travel Chai

@mark – I guess an early/on-time NYC flight was so startling that I got carried away with delight.

The Avis worked partly, in the sense that I was able to cut in line and got a big upgrade, even though advance car selection flopped.


@Chai – Good post…..most of the time it’s negative stuff that gets the press. Nice to see someone write about when a few good things happen. But I guess thats typical of society…..every one wants to read about bad news, very few care when good things happen! 🙂

Rapid Travel Chai

@LufthansaFlyer – and good things that require no elite status, and in the case of Avis, just a free sign-up, open to all.


Really appreciate the entertaining perspective…keep up the entertaining anecdotes. Plenty of other people to rehash the same credit card news who true seem like they travel maybe 3x / year


I understand travel bloggers need content and that can be tough sometimes. And, I am not trying to be difficult. But, after reading that post, I fail to understand the take-away or point. And, maybe I am missing something. Is the point that everyone should get Avis Preferred? Or is the point that you had a good Delta pilot that was somehow able to “negotiate” with ATC? Or was it just simply today’s anecdote?

Rapid Travel Chai

@Mark – thanks for the feedback. The primary intention was to share a travel anecdote, which is why I filed in travelogues, similar to my series on Toronto last weekend. Many travel bloggers do not seem to travel or enjoy travel and are primarily selling things to readers. I like to intersperse practical and informative posts with anecdotes of life on the road, good and bad. I added the Avis Preferred because it is free and helped me. Sorry the post flopped, I will try to improve.