Chase United Cardmembers Get Special View of Iconic NYC Parade 



If it’s Thanksgiving morning in New York City, then it’s time for a very special event: the Thanksgiving Day Parade. For nearly a century, New Yorkers and tourists alike have gathered alongside Central Park West and 6th and 7th Avenues, braving the weather and enormous crowds for a chance to view giant balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns and performers.

But this year’s parade was made even more special for Chase United Cardmembers, who were treated to a unique VIP event. They gathered before the parade’s kickoff at the Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle, and were then whisked up to Robert, a restaurant on the ninth floor, where they were treated to a vast breakfast and brunch buffet, craft activities for children and adults, unique photo opportunities and a curated gift bag to take home.

Perhaps most exciting about the space was the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows. The vista opened to reveal the trees of Central Park bursting with seasonal color and a long view of Central Park West and Columbus Circle below — a key point of the parade route. Chairs and pillows lined the curve of the windows to create a comfortable viewing gallery for the parade, which began at 8:30 a.m.

The special viewing event has been held for 12 years and has become one of the most popular events offered to Cardmembers.

“In addition to the unique United Airlines benefits provided to our Cardmembers, the United co-branded credit cards provide access to exclusive events and experiences,” Laurinda Rainey, managing director and general manager, United Airlines Co-Brand Card Portfolio, explained.

“Our team curates once-in-a-lifetime experiences, putting you closer than ever to richer, more meaningful moments that truly make life more rewarding,” Rainey said. “We enjoyed kicking off the holiday season by enjoying a festive brunch and panoramic views of the 97th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade at Robert restaurant.”

The entire morning felt bounteous — especially the buffet. Along with donuts, pastries and yogurt parfaits, Robert restaurant provided bagels and smoked salmon, avocado toast, eggs (benedict and scrambled), sausage, bacon, potatoes (homestyle and tater tots), pumpkin spice pancakes, brioche French toast and steel-cut oatmeal with toppings.

Drinks at a separate station included mimosas, bloody marys, espresso martinis, juices, mulled apple cider, coffee, tea and hot chocolate (with and without marshmallows). In case breakfast wasn’t a Cardmember’s thing at 10 a.m., there was salad, roasted tenderloin of beef, chicken tenders and small bites — followed by desserts that included pies, cheesecake, cookies and pumpkin ice cream sandwiches.

In addition, a green-screen photo booth provided guests with fun souvenirs of themselves with different backdrops. Tables had also been set up for kids and the young-at-heart to exercise their crafty imaginations. Children colored in Thanksgiving-themed drawings, decorated their own gift bags with stickers and assembled their own “My Pet Turkey” in a jar with easy-to-peel foam stickers. An actor dressed up in festive Thanksgiving wear made balloon animals, wrist decorations and swords; after the parade’s end, he put on a magic show.

Still, the real show was over by the windows, where guests were glued to the parade, exclaiming as balloons and floats featuring some of their favorite characters sailed down Central Park West to come into view.

Along with the traditional Thanksgiving turkey, there were character balloons from “Kung Fu Panda,” “Peanuts” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.” And while attendees clearly enjoyed the parade for its own sake, their favorite activity was likely taking the dozens of photographs and videos that will keep these special memories sharp for many years to come.

When the parade ended and the crowds down on the street began to disperse, Cardmembers also began to leave — undoubtedly to start the next part of their Thanksgiving holiday. But before they left, they picked up special gift bags featuring sugar cookie mixes, hot chocolate flakes, an apron and Thanksgiving-themed cookie cutters.

“I have to start going to more of these Chase events,” one Cardmember exclaimed. “I had no idea!”

To learn more about the one-of-a-kind experiences offered to Chase United Cardmembers like this one — and to view past events — visit


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