Posted by: pizzainmotion | September 15, 2012

Hertz Platinum And TSA Pre-Check Save The Day

Some days, everything comes together exactly the way you need it to.  But, to even have that chance you need the right tools.  I had to use two of mine this week to make a flight I was running very late for.

Hertz Platinum is one of those services I’ve really grown to love over the last few years.  Most of the benefits are unpublished, but essentially you get tons of special treatment.  Most stations give decent upgrades without asking, and I’ve never been turned down for a specific request.  At most airports they bring the car to you at the terminal, which is a huge timesaver.  They also drive you back to the airport in your rental car, you just pull into the return lot and a driver hops in the car with you.

On this occasion, I was running way late to get back to O’Hare for a flight.  I had just about an hour before my flight departed, and still had a minimum 20 minute drive to get back to the rental facility.  Figure another 10 minutes total to get someone in the car, back on the road and to the terminal.  That means my flight would be boarding before I even got to the airport.

I called the special line Hertz ORD has for Platinums and asked if there was any way they could help me.  I had done this once before and figured it was worth a try.  The manager I spoke to immediately dispatched a driver to the airport.  The driver met me on the departures deck right by the Premium Access security entrance and I raced inside.

I was confronted by a super long line at Premium Access.  My heart sank until I saw the TSA Pre-Check sign right next to it.  Could I be that lucky?  My TSA Pre-Check batting percentage hadn’t been great, but when the service works it really is one of the best features of travel.

Ding!  I was lucky enough to get selected.  Less than 5 minutes later I was through security.

With the big assist from Hertz and TSA Pre-Check, I went from missing my flight to having time to grab a sandwich before I boarded.  There are many days on the road that don’t have storybook endings, so I’m happy to have one to tell.

Hertz Platinum may not be affordable/achievable for everyone, but TSA Pre-Check is.  Whether you qualify by being an elite with one of the legacy airlines or by applying for (and getting) Global Entry (also a great service), it can cost you anywhere from zero to $100 to be able to use the Pre-Check lanes.  What are you waiting for?


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