I recently had an opportunity to experience American’s Five Star meet and greet service through the eyes of my mother, so this is a second hand account (other than making the arrangements). That said, she raved enough about it that I wanted to share a few details of the experience with you. The service itself, in my opinion, is nothing more than what a real honest to goodness VIP (think movie star, important politician, pro athlete) might receive from American’s almost always excellent Premium Services personnel at airports that have Premium Services staff. What Five Star service does is open up the opportunity for VIP assistance to a broader client base….for a price.
There are three a la carte options for Five Star Service including departure assistance, connection assistance, and arrival assistance. Pricing is $125 dollars per person or $200 dollars for a party of 2, domestically. Internationally, the price is $200 dollars for one or two people. Each additional person is $125 dollars. You can read full details on pricing, service locations, and terms and conditions here.
Now let’s talk about my recent experience with the service. As I’ve mentioned on the blog, Mrs MJ on Travel and I recently took our mothers on a short cruise for Mother’s Day. We were cruising from Miami, and arrived the day before to ensure a low stress trip. My mother is in good health, but doesn’t travel a lot, and I didn’t really feel like turning her loose to fend for herself in the zoo that MIA can sometimes be. Since Mrs MJ on Travel and I were arriving on a Delta flight 45 minutes after my mother’s American flight from Raleigh (RDU), I thought this might be a great reason to give the Five Star Service a try. By the time we landed, AA’s Five Star person could have my mother met, bag collected, and be on their way to our meeting point at the food court outside Miami’s E Concourse.
Arrangements for the service were made with a phone call to AA’s Five Star line. I have no idea if the call went to a special office that only handles these calls or not, but it became clear that the very nice agent had access to my AAdvantage account information just based on the phone number I was calling from. I told the agent what I wanted to do, and she very graciously and efficiently went about making the arrangements. She appeared to have access to Miami’s “greeting schedule” for that day, but took the time to call Miami directly to ensure they could accommodate our request. According to the agent, they were busier than normal due to it being Mother’s Day. Hey…I’m not the only one with this idea. 🙂 Within a few minutes, she was back from her conversation with Miami, and all was set for my mother’s meet and greet at her flight complete with recording my flight information and cell phone number for coordination when we landed.
On Sunday, May 8th, my mother’s American flight from RDU to MIA went without a hitch and arrived right on time. My mother was met by a very nice agent and even got to hear her name paged as soon as the aircraft door was opened. 😉 The agent was waiting with a cart to drive her to baggage claim. Our Delta flight was a few minutes early, but I already had a voicemail from the AA Premium Services person meeting my mother. (Note: Five Star Service includes Admirals Club access, but there was no time for that in our case.) I immediately called back, and they had just picked up her luggage. Since Mrs MJ on Travel and I did not check luggage we were able to head directly to our designated meeting point where we met my mother and the very nice person from AA who took care of my mother’s meet and greet. My mother was in line to grab a cup of coffee, and told the AA agent she could go ahead and go if she needed to, but she wanted to stick around until my mother came back just to say goodbye.
My mother raved about the whole thing. While I’m sure she would have eventually found her way to baggage claim, and to us, I think this was probably the best $125 dollars I’ve spent in a while, and I’d do it again in the same situation in a heartbeat. Consider AA’s Five Star Service to be stamped with the MJ on Travel seal of approval.