Category Archives: Nashville

A Really Cool Perk For Kids from Southwest Airlines

A couple of months back Kim sent me an e-mail with a link to an article called Flights of Antsy which was posted online at DailyCandy. The article was about airline carriers that offer the best kid- friendly perks.
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One perk on this list caught my attention. It was something offered by Southwest Airlines. However, the article was pretty old (from December 2007) so I didn’t know if the perk mentioned was still offered by Southwest.
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Since Kim, Lucas and I were going to be flying Southwest Airlines on our trip to Louisville & Nashville, I had to look into it.
Daily Candy had mentioned:

If it’s your child’s inaugural ride on Southwest Airlines, you can arrange for a First Time Flying Certificate. Or see if the pilot will give a cockpit tour before your plane takes off.

Admiring the view

I would’ve been interested in finding out about a cockpit tour if Lucas was a bit older but this time around I didn’t bother asking about this option.

The perk I was really interested in getting for Lucas was the First Time Flying Certificate.
This wasn’t going to be Lucas’ first time flying. He’s had a very busy first year, but it was going to be his first time flying Southwest! (It was Kim and my first time too.)

I called up Southwest and asked about the certificate a couple of times. Each time the rep knew nothing about it. I figured that I’d wait to ask around at the airport.

When we arrived at LaGuardia Airport I headed over to the Southwest counter to get Lucas’ boarding ticket and check our bag. After sorting out these things I asked the agent if he knew about a First Time Flying Certificate for kids. He wasn’t sure about it and suggested that I ask a flight attendant while on our flight.

About half way through the first segment of our flight to Louisville I asked a flight attendant about the certificate. She happily responded yes that she knew about it and said she would check the back of the plane for me in a moment. She came back later on and said that they were out of certificates. Talk about disappointment. She did offer me a little coloring book and some wings for Lucas though.
(Probably not ideal toys for an 11.5 month old but a nice gesture & option for older kids.)

Coloring Book, Crayon & Wings
Southwest Wings
When we landed in St. Louis I asked a gate agent about the certificate. He looked in a few cabinets and had no success finding one for us. My next chance at the certificate was on the flight from St. Louis to Louisville. The flight attendant knew about the certificate and looked in the front and back of the plane, asked other flight attendants if they had seen one and came up empty handed.
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I was starting to wonder if these certificates existed anymore.They seemed to be the unicorn of Southwest Airlines!
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While heading home from Nashville, I had to get a gate-tag for our stroller from one of the gate agents. I decided to ask her about the First Time Flyer Certificate. She looked all over and could not find one. She then called a supervisor at another part of the airport. She told me if they had one, they would bring it to me. She also mentioned that they seem to be cutting back on these kind of things. I appreciated her effort but once again there was no certificate to be had.
The Prized Certificate

I was now down to my last chances to try to find Lucas a certificate. Our first segment back to New York was from Nashville to Chicago. This time I struck gold. Within minutes of asking about the certificate, the flight attendant came back with one. She filled it out with Lucas’ name, dated it and signed the name of the three flight attendants on board.

Although the date of Lucas’ first Southwest flight is incorrect, I was successful in getting him a really cool souvenir! We plan on framing and hanging the certificate in Lucas’ room very soon.

It’s too bad that Southwest is cutting back on offering this kind of unique perk for kids. I can’t imagine that it will save them much money. I’d think that the memories and goodwill that it creates would outweigh the pennies each certificate costs to print.

If you know of any kid- friendly perks offered by other airlines, I’d love to hear about them. Maybe I can take advantage of some when Lucas flies again in the future!

Check out the DailyCandy article Flights of Antsy HERE

A Meter You Won’t Mind Feeding- Nashville, TN

While walking around Nashville, Kim and I noticed something that seemed a bit odd.

There were parking meters randomly placed on sidewalks around the downtown area. We know that parking meters are usually placed on sidewalks, however these meters were very far from the curb. They definitely weren’t placed on the sidewalks for people to park and pay at.

After seeing these meters a bunch of times, we wondered why they were there. 

Kim and I decided to take a closer look at one of them.

Once we stopped to take a look at one of these blue meters, we were impressed by their purpose.

There was a good amount of information on the meter. The first thing we read  was on the upper, semi-circular area. It said “Help Us End Homelessness”.

It seems like the city of Nashville really did a great job and were extremely creative with the re-purposing of these meters.

There were also a couple of stickers with a graphic/ logo of a fist holding a key with the words The Key Alliance. We weren’t sure what The Key Alliance was but luckily there was more information to read so we could find out.

Inside the meter I learned that:

Donations benefit the outreach program of The Key Alliance. This program links homeless individuals to Housing First, which provides permanent housing and case management to the most vulnerable members of our community.

Although the meters seemed to be out of place when we first spotted them, they totally made sense now. We loved the idea of using these meters for good and to help others. 

Good job Nashville for finding a creative way to raise money for people in need!

Hertz Does The Right Thing- Sometimes It Pays To Call

Yesterday I wrote about our upcoming trip to Louisville and Nashville.

To make this trip happen there was a major obstacle that I had to overcome. I had to figure out a way to get a rental car that was not ridiculously expensive. 

This was virtually impossible. I looked into booking a car through various companies but all of them wanted over $500 for the dates we needed. If I couldn’t find a cheap rental, we would have to skip Louisville and limit our trip to just visiting Nashville. 

Renting a car in Louisville or Nashville and returning it to the same location would cost around $180. However, if we wanted to rent a car in one city and return it to another, the price would be over $550. Talk about a major difference in price!

After looking over a quote on Hertz, I was confused by the price breakdown. I figured that calling was a waste of time but then again, I had nothing to lose.
I called up Hertz and was greeted by a friendly agent. I mentioned that I was looking into renting a car in Louisville and would like to return it to Nashville. I had also said that I was confused by some fees and had some questions about a quote that I received online. She wasn’t too interested in the online quote and offered to check the price for me.

After going over the dates and locations for my rental, she came back with a price of $238.55. Not cheap but a bargain compared to the prices I was finding online. I asked why the price was such a big difference and she said that she did not know and that I should reserve it now because it could always go up.

I went ahead and booked the car. Within 5-10 minutes I had my flights booked on Southwest.

The following day I logged in to my Hertz account. I wanted to check out the price of a car seat rental for Lucas. I noticed that my upcoming rental was called Nashville. This seemed odd since the car was being picked up in Louisville. I clicked on the link and saw a big mistake. 
The Hertz agent had booked my car for a pickup and return in Nashville.

I had to think fast. If Hertz could not sort out this issue I would have to change around my trip. 

I called customer service and explained my situation in detail. The agent told me that she would be sending an e-mail with all of my information and that I would get a call back within an hour. 
I asked her if they could listen to  my original call (since they probably record them). I even told her the time of day I called. She was able see what time I booked my reservation and said that they would be listening to the call to verify the details. 

Within 40 minutes Hertz  called me back. The agent told me that she listened to my call and verified that I did ask for the car to be picked up in Louisville and returned to Nashville.
She said that Hertz would honor the price I was quoted and apologized for the booking error!

I was really impressed. Hertz could’ve avoided my issue and claimed that I made the mistake. However, they took the time to investigate the problem and resolve it in a fair and timely matter.

Hertz has made a new fan with their classy and awesome customer service!