American Express VIP Package
Shout out to all the tennis players and fans! Walking around the grounds of the venue you could clearly see that most folks there were tennis players back home, at the local courts or clubs. It’s just a look that tennis players have and if you are a player then you know what I mean. Anyway, I started to notice that everyone was in such great shape. I mean I found it hard to pick out anyone that was ‘over weight’ and almost NOBODY was ‘obese’. Guys, let’s get on the court, looks like a great way to keep in shape!
One of my dreams is to visit all of the major tennis venues around the world. BUT so far NY is the only major event that I’ve attended (LOL) although I’ve been to Miami event twice but that’s not a ‘major’ venue. I know I’ve got to get on this – giggle. Thinking about doing the Australian Open in 2014 but that’s just around the corner and I’ve made no plans so it’s slipping thru my hands at this point.
I arrived at Union Station just in time for boarding the Amtrak 162 to NYC. We pulled out on time at exactly 6:20am…very smooth. Its nice boarding out of DC as this train originates here which gives us first dibs on seats. As usual, I headed for the quiet car and I was sleep before Delaware. We arrived right on time at Penn Station and about a 5 minute walk up to the LIRR ticket kiosk.
I know a lot of folks take the Bolt or Mega Bus (I have in the past as well). Its like what, $5 or something like that but let’s be real, riding the bus sucks big time. If you wait to book your train ticket less than 14-days prior to departure you will pay double which is ridiculous so by all means make sure to book as soon as you can. If by chance you are unable to book your train ticket 2 weeks in advance you may want to consider a flight. The flight from DC to NYC is just as cheap when booking last minute but not as convenient getting into the city.
When arriving at Penn Station, I normally take the subway to Flushing but this time I tried the LIRR which is twice the cost but twice as fast. Turned out to be a good idea but they gotta come up with a better system then the mad dash for the train when the track is announced. Hands down this is the route you want to take instead of the subway.
So I called Amex about 2 months before the OPEN asking about tickets and I wasn’t happy with what they had available so decided to look forward to next year. Then about an hour later the Amex rep called me back with information on their VIP package which included a seat plus access to food and spirits…..has anyone else been to previous years and enjoyed this package?
Well there are so many VIP packages at the OPEN, almost as if Tennis is the last thing you go to experience. Chase had a lot to offer clients, Emirates Airlines and of course Amex. Some venues only require that you flash your card while others must be purchased. What’s available depends on which Amex card you hold so give them a call and ask. This year it seems that the Starwood and Platinum Amex cards had VIP packages.
Once inside it was great. Everyone was very nice and it was very comfortable – especially after all the walking and the heat outdoors.The food spread was very nice:
- beer and wine (also available to go)
- Shrimp Pasta (huge shrimp)
- Wheat Berry Salad
- 2 Types of Salads
- Beef Sandwiches
- some other stuff I can’t remember….(giggle)
Everything was set up in a nice room with tables and a bar with attendants. What made this especially nice is that you can come in and out all day as much as you like AND if it rains you have someplace to go until the storm blows over – while everyone else is outside with umbrellas.
There were all types of perks like, you get a $50 gift card if you spend $150 or more and if you tweet #AmexUSOPEN you get a $20 card credit if you spend $25 or more so not a bad deal since chances are you gonna spend at least $25 bucks right?
Amex also had a ‘fan experience’ building where Sloane Stevens made an appearance to chat and sign autographs. Also Nick Bollettieri held a little demo clinic and gave some great tennis information for players and parents of players. You could play virtual games and get your serve analyze by the pros.
I did see a few great matches:
Venus and Serena Williams #1
What Went Wrong – Amex
While the written communications from Amex were good, I received emails 2 days before and right after the ticket purchase, at the venue it was very bad.
Amex has several ‘experiences’ on site with several information booths as well but when I approached the venues no one had any idea about the VIP package and could not direct me to the proper place. I found this very odd because I figured there would have been some type of communication between everyone as they are all Amex reps on the same campus. I spent about 15 minutes being sent to the wrong locations but eventually found my way to the right place.
Now the seat…not so good but not horrible. I was in section 218 which is on the Loge level. This was not terrible but I think I would have paid a bit more if they had better seats available. I think the Starwood card had better seats but not sure about the entire package details though.
Anyway, this was not something that I planned way in advance but rather somewhat last minute as it was 2 days before my big trip here
So bottom line is that I really enjoyed the package and do recommend it.