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Will Orlando Be My Happiest Place on Earth?

By May 2, 2019No Comments

This post was sponsored by National Car Rental. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of National Car Rental.

I am a heavy traveler.

I do more than 50 presentations at associations and conferences every year. I also travel for client projects. My in-laws live in the UK so my wife I and travel there a few times a year. And as much as we like going to the Jersey Shore (I live in Philly), we also like to visit other countries.

Because I live in Philly, I’m an American Airlines guy. The Philadelphia airport is one of their hubs and the airline provides me with the most destination choices. I’m an Executive Platinum member, which I believe is the highest status other than Concierge Key, and I have no idea who those people are! I do know that I have close to a million miles spent in the air.

I’m definitely not an irate or difficult traveler. I’m short, so even though American frequently upgrades me, I’m fine sitting in a regular economy seat. I have my laptop, Kindle and Spotify, so I’m happy. Ask me about pretty much any new show to binge on Netflix or Amazon, and I can make a number of recommendations. I’m the same with books and podcasts. Thanks to traveling so frequently with these amazing devices and technologies, I’m pretty much up to speed on all things pop culture.

My only thing with traveling – and you can call it a pet peeve – is speed. I understand that there are delays when you fly. When you think of all the things — from getting the crew to the plane, to the weather, the mechanics and the congestion – that can get in the way of an on-time flight, it’s a miracle that 95% of the time I’m actually on-time or close to it. It’s pretty impressive.

But once at my destination airport I want to go, go, go. I like sitting up front in the aircraft so I can be one of the first off. I don’t want to wait long for transportation or to check in to my hotel. And I specifically don’t want to wait for a rental car, which I frequently use. That’s why I just signed up for National Car Rental’s Emerald Club. To me, it’s all about speed, baby, speed!

My first test will be in a few days at Orlando’s International Airport. This is not an easy test. Orlando’s airport is a busy, crazy, chaotic place with lots of crying, yelling and screaming — mostly by the parents accompanying their children to Disney and Universal! I’m interested to see how organized National Car Rental is there, of all places. I’m curious to see just how quickly I get in and out. Will I get the respect for my time that I so desperately crave? More important, can I get in and out fast?

I know that Emerald Club members are entitled to car upgrades and other perks. That stuff is nice. But believe it or not, it’s not a huge priority for me. In fact, I’ve been known to turn down upgrades to larger SUVs or sedans in the past in lieu of a smaller, zippier car. Once on the road, will it be effortless? I’m driving to the hotel, but after checking in I’m meeting an old friend for dinner. Orlando has a lot of toll roads and traffic. Will my car be equipped?

Being an Emerald Club member means I can book cars through National’s mobile app and get reminders on my phone. Imagine arriving at an airport, avoiding the line at the rental counter, and just jumping into your car! I’m expecting to get there, choose my rental car and be on my way to my destination faster. That’s what I’m hoping for!

To me, it’s just speed. That’s what I’m hoping to enjoy during my first Emerald Club rental in Orlando. I’m hoping that my Emerald Club experience there will truly make Orlando the happiest place on earth…for this business traveler.

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