Winners Of The Travel Industry 2015: Megabus, National Car Rental, Parking Panda + Southwest Airlines
Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead Analyst): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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Chuck Booth’s 2015 MLB Park Historical Road Trip
The GOAL: 183 Straight Days (every single day at least 1 gm) Of ALL 30 MLB Parks Trip In 2015 (216 Games) view full year schedule.
The CAUSE: To Raise Money for Concussion Awareness (via Sports Legacy Institute. donate money here) Through Inspiring Others.
Needless to say I am going to triumph the company Megabus here in this article. For those that don’t know the story, they saved my trip from about a 185 games to about 215 – 220 games early in the season.
I bought half of my journey back then for $1 each, and did the same thing halfway through this odyssey. With me being handicapped as a Canadian – for a plunging Canadian Dollar, this help me off set this.
Back in mid 2014, I saw the trend of the Loonie heading south, so I invested as much savings as I could – stuffing my American $ bank account. So while I may have a tough time traveling to the United States past this year, I will make it through my trip.
In my original design of this concept, I planned to travel a lot of games on the Eastern Seaboard by car. As I like to say “Gucci this, you see the price of that s-it! So far, I have only made a few trips via my own vehicle. The only drawback was I wanted to see 20 MLB games at Fenway, and now that total is done at 6 parks.
Anyways, Megabus created a whole new scope of savings I could use for Baltimore, Washington and the New York teams. Being stationed in Philly is the middle ground between all – and the perfect conduit.
This is the reason I am at 33 games for Nats Park and 20 for Camden Yards. Coupled with Stub Hub cheap tickets, and you get the idea on how I have saved money.
I wrote a massive article on the Megabus company, and they actually sought out me as a potential partner – combining efforts to make this trip a media whirlwind. Having a “PR” guy from the 3rd biggest Transportation in America bodes well for having requests come back.
By the end of the year, I will have 100 interviews done for this trip in all forms of social media. This has been a great partnership, and I hope to work with them in the future.
National Car Rental:
I have been beating this drum for years. Yes, I rent a car for 365 days a year, entitling me to about 17 – 20 car rentals free, and instant ‘Executive Elite Status’ – however you can obtain this status just be qualifying for weekday or weekend rentals 2 times a month.
Starting in August they are also coming out with a promotion for RENT – RENT – REWARD. This means for every 2 qualifying rentals (you can ascertain this with just 2 – 1 day rentals) for 1 free day. signup here.
Not only are these the free rental days where you get a car with just minimal expenses to rent. This free days also give you an option to rent a car anywhere in a US Airport, and drop it at another US Airport (within 24 hours) and the one-way drop fee is waived. I once rented a car in Los Angeles, watched a Dodgers game, drove to the Grand Canyon in AZ for sunrise, and carried on to drop the vehicle at Albuquerque Airport. The car cost me $7.
Another caveat with the rental car free days, is they actually give you credit for the day towards another free rental day. As an Executive Elite Member, I only really need 4 credits to rent another car once I receive the 1st rental because of that.
I had 34 free rentals, with an additional 7 free rental days accrued because of cashing in the 1st 34 days. My cost on all of these vehicles was just over $10 a day, and that is because I opted for extra insurance when additional drivers came on board.
These car rentals all come with Unlimited Mileage, 4 additional drivers for free, and I pick the car of my choice on the lot (just like Patrick Warburton on TV (Puddy from Seinfeld). I always choose cars that have satellite Radio, are brand new, and depending on how many miles I am tacking on, I may even pick a car like the 2015 Chevy Camaro I drove in Florida during a weekend in June.
Seriously, even if National Car Rental is $12 – $20 more for a single day, by reeling in free days for later, you stand to benefit int the long run. Ideal for baseball road trips, where you aren’t circling back to the same
|Emerald Club||Emerald Club Executive||Emerald Club Executive Elite|
|Offered to all members enrolling into the program.||To reach this level, a member needs 12-24 rentals or 40-84 rental days per calendar year*.||To reach this level, a member needs to rent 25 or more times or have 85 or more rental days per calendar year*.|
|Reward Benefits||Reward Benefits||Reward Benefits|
Frequent Traveler Miles
7 Rental Credits = 1 Free Day Certificate
Frequent Traveler Miles
6 Rental Credits = 1 Free Day Certificate
Frequent Traveler Miles
5 Rental Credits = 1 Free Day Certificate
|Service Benefits||Service Benefits||Service Benefits|
|Emerald Club AisleTM:
Counter bypass with an Midsize car reservationEmerald Club Reserve:
Counter bypass with any reserved car class, excluding Midsize (Pay for what you drive)Emerald Club Counter:
Available where Aisle is not. Pre-printed rental agreements to expedite your service. (Pay for what you drive)Emerald Club Booth:Counter bypass at select locations
|All the benefits of Emerald Club, PLUS Executive Selection:
Counter bypass area with Fullsize or larger vehicles.
Requires a fullsize reservation, but you pay the Midsize rate.Executive Upgrade:
For non-Executive Selection rentals, reserve a Fullsize, Premium or Luxury car and pay one car class less every time.
|All the benefits of Emerald Club, Executive PLUS FBO Delivery:
You can arrange to have a car delivered to a Fixed Base Operator (Non-commercial airports) within 50 miles (80km) of a national location. (Charges may apply)Guaranteed Car:
Guaranteed car reservation up to a Fullsize car with 24 hours notice in sold out situations.
|Other Benefits||Other Benefits||Other Benefits|
I started using the website parkingpanda.com through an offer on the website ballparkchasers.com. I have to say, this is an undiscovered gem of the parking industry.
First off, you place the city and MLB park you are searching for. It compare shops many garages nearby – all giving prices to pay if you select. Obviously if you are budget consciousness like me, you can select to park further away from the yard, if it means saving a few dollars.
Forget about hassling with guys who bump up their rates to whatever they decide before the game. Get yourself a guaranteed rate.
The best part about these guys, is they allow you to cancel the reservation up to 24 hours, and credit your account towards a future parking purchase.
I have paid $5 to park in downtown Chicago, $9 to park a mile away in San Francisco, and just $11 to park 0.1 Miles away from Nationals Park. This is a wicked service.
The customer service hotline people are nice as well. I had a problem with a parkade in Chicago, and they were all over that parkade until the situation was resolved, and they also credited my account with some free cash.
Being able to cancel flights, have free luggage, and actually be served snacks and beverages is becoming a lost art in the airline industry. I bought 11 flights from SWA this year, switched 3 flights for free, and received a free voucher I can use for next year.
They have state of the art waiting area’s for their passengers, a great seating arrangement for boarding, and no one is in 1st class. If feels like you are all in the same boat on the flights.
Stadium Count after Aug.1, 2015 (26 of 30 parks, finished for year with Angel Stadium, Comerica Park, Busch Stadium, Fenway Park, Great American Ball Park, Progressive Field, Marlins Park, Globe Life Park, Minute Maid Park, Petco Park and Kauffman Stadium.)
Games Per Park Breakdown – 139
CBP – 22 (Philadelphia)
Nats Park – 17 (Washington)
Yankee Stadium – 15 (The Bronx)
Camden Yards – 15 (Baltimore)
Safeco Field – 8 (Seattle)
Wrigley Field – 8 (Chicago)
Fenway Park – 6 (Boston)
Citi Field – 5 (Flushing Meadows, NY)
AT @ T Park – 4 (San Francisco)
Busch Stadium – 4 (St. Louis)
Angel Stadium – 3 (Anaheim, CA)
Chase Field – 3 (Phoenix, AZ)
Minute Maid Park – 3 (Houston)
US Cellular Field – 3 (Chicago)
Globe Life Park – 3 (Arlington, TX)
PNC Park – 3 (Pittsburgh)
Miller Park – 3 (Milwaukee)
O.co Coliseum – 2 (Oakland)
Kauffman Stadium – 2 (Kansas City)
Progressive Field – 2 (Cleveland)
Great American Ball Park – 2 (Cincinnati)
Marlins Park – 2 (Miami)
Tropicana Field- 1 (Tampa Bay)
Petco Park – 1 (San Diego)
Comerica Park – 1 (Detroit)
Coors Field – 1 (Denver)
Still Left to see
27. Target Field, Minneapolis, MN (Aug.13)
28. Rogers Center (Aug.14) Toronto, Ont, Canada
29, Dodger Stadium (Aug.30) Los Angeles, CA
30. Turner Field (Sept.29) Atlanta, GA
Makes 139 Games in 119 through July – featuring 25 Doubleheaders, 1 missed and 1 madeup doubleheader, and one outright miss (Apr.07, that was cancelled and now rescheduled for July.07, 2015, in which I attended anyways. There was also a four day break for the ALL – Star Break). I have 79 Games Left in 65 Days..
2015 Trip schedule.
Posted on August 1, 2015, in ballpark roadtrips and tagged 95.7 the game bay area radio, All 30 MLB Teams, Angel Stadium, at &T park, ballpark road trips, Baseball 183 MLB Games in 30 MLB Parks Challenge, baseball park road trips, bob devries, boston red sox, busch stadium, chase field, chicago cubs, chris esrkine, Chuck Booth, citi field, Citizens Bank Ball Park, comerica park, Coors Field, damon bruce, dodger stadium, fenway park, fll airport, kauffman stadium, la times, los angeles angels, manfish brewery. manfishbrewing.com, miller park, minute maid park, MLB Ball Park Pass-Port, National Car Rental, National Car Rental Emerald Club, nationals park, New Marlins Ball Park, new york yankees, O'Hare Airport, o.co coliseum, oriole park at camden yards, parkingpanda.com, patrick warburton, petco park, pnc park, progressive field, prudential center, rent rent reward promotion National Car rental, safeco field, scott bultman jr., Southwest Airlines, sportslegacy.org, sunday night baseball game, target field, texas rangers, the ballpark in arlington, The Great American Ball Park, The Rogers Center, tpa airport, trenton. nj, tropicana field, turner field, us cellular field, washington nationals, wrigley field, yankee stadium. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.