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Group travel idea/question
Hi everyone, wondering if some of you may be able to help me with an idea.
I travel with a band, we fly quite a bit. As you may imagine, we travel with guitars, some drum parts, other gear which ends up being 10 pieces of luggage or so, among 4 to 6 people.
The baggage fees add up to be lots of money, every time we fly. No one in our party has elite status on any airline so we pay for bags.
My idea is- would it be worth it for one or all of us to purchase elite status just for the waived baggage fees? And does someone know about the airport lounges, as in how many people can one elite member get into the lounge?
Many years ago an elite member of NWA (no not the rap group) could get 2 other people into the lounge. So, if 2 or 3 of us from our 6 person party bought elite status, we could all get in (my theory)
Sorry for the long winded post, I’m new to all this and I know we’ll be traveling the world over the next year, so I’m beginning some research into how to make the travel more pleasant and perhaps cheaper.
Thank you in advance for your help and feel free to make fun of me for being ignorant to this stuff.
Welcome [USER=2222]@Larry Footsmith[/USER] –
One thing to consider is for each of you to get the affiliated credit card for the airlines you fly the most as these cards give you one free checked bag. Even with annual fees of $95 each they’d pay for themselves quickly. Of course this assumes everyone can use them responsibly and pay them off in full each month. Carrying a balance would negate the saved money. (And if you’re flying United, you MUST pay for the ticket with the United card or you won’t get the free bag.)
American, United and Delta all offer other, more expensive ($450+) credit cards that will allow you access to their lounges with a guest or two though in some cases your flight must be on the affiliated airline for you to be admitted. (By contrast, the AA Exec card gives you a full AAdmirals Club membership and you may use their lounge regardless of what airline you’re flying.) These cards also offer at least one free checked bag.
The Amex Platinum card gives you access to Delta lounges (if you’re flying Delta) and if you frequent airports with Amex Centurion clubs you’ll have access there as well.
So I’d compare the lounge benefits of the AA Exec, Delta Reserve and UA Club cards and balance them and their fees against how much you value lounge access.
If I’ve just confused you more, feel free to ask more questions! 😉
@MidSouthSkier, thank you for taking the time to help me out. Not confusing at all!
I’ll continue researching the differences between the cards.
Larry, if you and your crew frequently fly through airports with Admiral’s Clubs, the Citi Executive AAdvantage card is probably hard to beat.
It’s a hefty $450 annual fee, but only one of you needs to get the card. Then, for no additional fee, that one person can make each band member an authorized user. So, you’re effectively paying $75/person annually for lounge access.
The card gives each authorized user Admiral’s Club membership, so it doesn’t matter what airline you are flying, you still get access.
+1 on the Citi Executive AA card! In addition to the lounge access, which sounds like it would help quite a bit. You also get your first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight travel companions, so the annual fee would pay for itself quickly.
If you don’t fly American, well — let us know, and we’ll see what else we can come up with.