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How I Roll: TPG Loyalty and Engagement Editor Richard Kerr

Nov. 28, 2020
12 min read
How I Roll: TPG Loyalty and Engagement Editor Richard Kerr
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Welcome to a special COVID edition of How I Roll, an airport routine series with a focus on health and safety while traveling. Today, we're asking TPG Loyalty and Engagement Editor Richard Kerr a shortlist of questions about how he travels during the pandemic, covering everything from how he preps for a trip to what he wears on the plane. Here's what he had to say. Safe travels!

The itinerary:

TPG: What is the last flight you caught?

RK: Delta from Houston back home to Atlanta.

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TPG: Was the trip for business or pleasure?

RK: Both really. I booked a Work from Hyatt package at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines in Austin and then drove over to see my sister in Houston.

 

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A post shared by Richard Kerr (@kerrpoints)

TPG: With whom were you traveling? If you had a travel companion, what conversions did you have to align on safety precautions? Did you need to reassure them?

RK: Traveling with my wife, 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. My wife and I have talked constantly about what precautions we are going to take and what our boundaries are as far as feeling safe. We feel like it’s up to us rather than any specific guidance we can follow. I think the problem is there’s no clear message from authorities on what is actually going on. Most of my TPG coworkers in New York live in a different reality than we do in Georgia because of the vastly different state governments.

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TPG: Did you plan this trip pre-pandemic, or were these new travel plans?

RK: New travel plans. Once you’re home with a 4 and 6 year old for 8 months, you all need a change of scenery.

 

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A post shared by Richard Kerr (@kerrpoints)

TPG: What’s a trip you’re hoping to take in the future, that’s been put on hold?

RK: I had an awesome trip planned to Turkey and the eastern block of Europe — starting in Istanbul and heading up to Serbia. I am looking forward to that trip happening as I feel it’ll be a sign the worst of this pandemic is behind us.

Related: Turkey is open to tourists – here’s how to get there on points and miles

Pre-departure prep:

TPG: What does your pre-travel to-do list entail?

RK: Probably too long to list here, but as far as the logistics of flying go, the night before a flight I confirm our seat assignments and check FlightAware for potential delays on the inbound flight and weather. I then make sure all our carry on bags have what’s required in worse case scenarios as far as a 4 and 6-year-old are concerned.

TPG: Are you purchasing any additional supplies, masks or protective gear for the trip?

RK: We have plenty of masks and hand sanitizer. We make sure to have plenty of both.

Related: Face shields and sanitizer: 5 things we’re packing for flights during the pandemic

TPG: Are you getting a COVID test? If so, what kind?

RK: We have gotten PCR tests at a local urgent care 72 hours before each of our trips (to allow time for test results to come in) to ensure as best we can we aren’t spreading.

Packing strategy:

TPG: What are your carry-on essentials?

RK: SNACKS (4 and 6-year-old), hand sanitizer, masks, wet wipes to clean up spills/accidents, activities to entertain the kids and then more snacks.

TPG: Is there anything you are leaving at home that you would normally take?

RK: Not that I can think of.

TPG: What’s your go-to travel outfit, and has it changed at all during the pandemic?

RK: Fair Harbor shorts and a polo — don’t care what the weather is. In winter I wear the same thing and pack a jacket/coat. In summer I bring a waterproof pullover. There’s nothing worse than being hot on a plane.

Before boarding:

TPG: Are you getting to the airport early or with just enough time to spare?

RK: Airports are empty and sitting at a gate with kids to entertain is no good. We still time it to get to the gate just before boarding starts.

TPG: Has that changed at all?

RK: Not at all.

TPG: How do you normally prefer to kill any extra time at the airport?

RK: I hope I don’t have any; if I do it's straight to the SkyClub to be productive or if it's a family trip we’re riding the ATL Plane train to entertain the kids.

Related: The ultimate guide to getting Delta Sky Club access

TPG: What is your airport food strategy?

RK: Snack in the SkyClub or whatever we brought ourselves. I can’t ever see myself paying inflated airport prices for food.

TPG: What differences have you noticed at the airport since the pandemic began?

RK: ATL at first was a complete ghost town, but on our recent trip it didn’t look too much different than normal for a midweek flight. There are plexiglass barriers and people have on masks, but not much else has changed from what I see.

Inflight routine:

TPG: What is your strategy for choosing your seat on the plane?

RK: Aisle, back of the plane. I have a weird tick where I keep all the action in front of me so I can see what’s going on and react if necessary.

Related: 7 tips for picking the perfect airplane seat every time

TPG: Were you able to work or relax during the flight?

RK: Relax with a 4 and 6-year-old is typically only when they are asleep.

 

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A post shared by Richard Kerr (@kerrpoints)

TPG: Do you eat or drink on the plane? Has that changed in any way?

RK: We pull our mask down, take a bite, and put it back up. I have little concern on our flights, especially with Delta and 60% capped planes, plus HEPA filters that the 3 seconds I pull my mask down to take is a bite will be the time I am infected.

TPG: Have you noticed any changes in in-flight service?

RK: It’s a shell of what it was; pre-packaged bag handed out and that’s it.

Everything else:

TPG: Overall, did you still enjoy traveling during the pandemic?

RK: Oh yea; probably more than previously.

TPG: How much traveling have you done since the pandemic began?

RK: Quite a bit relatively speaking. Several road trips and six flights.

TPG: Any travel pearls of wisdom or hacks for flying right now?

RK: Fly a carrier that is capping capacity. The biggest perk of that is an empty seat next to you and less stress.

Rapid-fire questions:

Are you Team Ask or Not Ask when it comes to fellow travelers who aren't wearing a mask? Lol, in Georgia you might have half the gate come after you for harassing other travelers.

Latex gloves — yay or nay? No, you’d have to change gloves after you touch every surface. You packing 350 pairs of gloves for your next trip?

Favorite hand sanitizer brand? Cheapest.

Favorite mask brand? Old Navy.

Favorite pandemic travel gear innovation? Capped airline capacity.

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Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases