How To Get To The Airport In Style – And Possibly For Free

I’m in sort of a travel whirlwind right now. I just got back from New Orleans last night, and we are leaving for our family trip to Hawaii within the next couple of weeks. (For those of you without kids, this may not seem like much of a whirlwind, but when you factor in the end of school, baseball, soccer, and musical theater class, trust me that there is a lot going on). 

Anyway, I am putting the finishing touches on our Hawaii trip as we speak. One of the final pieces of the puzzle is the question of how we will get to the airport. We are flying out of San Francisco and returning to Oakland, so we can’t just drive and park. I briefly considered taking BART (the Bay Area’s version of the metro), but I quickly came to my senses when I realized that our travel time is during rush hour. (Again, when you’ve got a couple of kids in tow, life is easier and infinitely more pleasant when you let convenience and comfort trump expense).

So we had a few options:

  1. Ask a friend to drive us to the airport. I am not a fan of this practice, but I was trying to keep an open mind as I reviewed all of my choices. I knew that in a pinch, I could always count on my friend Hottie (hi, Hottie, love ya!).
  2. Take a cab. Sigh. Again, not my preferred method of travel. Sometimes stinky, sometimes scary.
  3. Schedule a shuttle service. I really didn’t want to do this, because they would force us to leave at an ungodly hour, and then we would have to sit at the airport forever as our momentum waned and our nerves frayed.
  4. Find a good car service. I decided that this was the way to go.

As I searched for a car service with a discount, I was delighted to discover that there is currently a very good promotion going on through Gilt (my link), which as you may know, is one of my favorite shopping sites. Basically, through tomorrow (May 29), you can stack a couple of discount codes and get $35 towards Uber car services (also my link), which in some cases will be enough to get you where you want to go for free.

Gotta love that.

Here’s the deal. Uber is an on-demand car service. I think their website describes them best:

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If this sounds like your idea of a sweet ride, then head on over to Gilt City and search under the “Chicago” tab to find this deal:

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As you can see, it is completely free. Your personalized coupon code will arrive via email within 24 hours, and when it does, you can sign up with Uber. If you use my link, you and I will each get a $10 credit. (Just make sure to get your code from Gilt first, because it is for new accounts only, then sign up with Uber. Once you have an account with Uber, you can click on the “Promotions” tab at the top of the page and enter your Gilt code. You will then have $35 of credit – for free!

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Once you have an account, you can invite friends to join Uber. When someone joins using your link, each of you will get a $10 credit.

Now I am going to finish planning my trip!


  1. Kendra, you think of everything!!!!

  2. Points Pixie says:

    ElleX – Hope that you can use this deal! I do try to cover all the bases. I don’t always succeed, but that is my goal! 🙂

  3. Rebecca says:

    This is really helpful to know about, I use cabs, car service, car rentals, throughout my travels and will check this out. Particularly interested to see if they have national service available. thank you Pixie!

  4. thanks for the tips – did exactly what you said.
    looking forward to trying out the uber service.
    heard lots of good things, just a little expensive so $35 off is pretty sweet!

  5. Two things come to mind from this post. First, traveling with children. Husband and I do all the frugal hacks when it is just us, but when we’re traveling with 13 year old grandson, it is so much more complicated that I don’t know how you do it. Now his four year old sister is old enough to join us and I’m beginning to feel a personal assistant will need to be involved. 😉

    My other memory is the last time we went to Hawaii we paid a small private car service to pick us up at the airport and then return us a week later. Even though we confirmed the night before they never showed up nor answered their phone. We were standing in front of our hotel with our blood pressure rising by the minute with pictures of missing our plane and its, of course, non refundable ticket. We finally raced to a taxi and actually made our flight but not without losing a couple years off the end of our lives.

    We’re now terrified of private services although I’m not sure what we could have done differently.

  6. Points Pixie says:

    Rebecca – Yes, Uber has service across the country. This is a great time to give them a test-drive (pun intended) because of the discount.

    Soma – I’m happy you got in on the deal!

    Anne – I have a feeling that you will easily rise to the challenge! I’m still impressed by your colored folder system for different trips 🙂 Your private car experience sounds so stressful! We spend all this time trying to organize travel so things go smoothly, and when something like that happens you realize that you don’t always have as much control over the outcome as you’d like. But I’m sure you’ve made it into a good story 😉

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