Hi Chris, fellow ziners.
We have onstar along with the cell phone and emergency button. The cell phone was free for 30 days, and, as you know, Onstar for a year. I used the phone a few times and because everything is local in the Contiguous States, it would be EXCELLENT for a road trip, but if you already have a cell phone, perhaps when your contract is up...? The Onstar is incredible if you USE it. One must get in the habit. I agree that it would be indespensible on a road trip if for no other reason than getting directions quickly and the simple fact that the car gives off a signal so that if stolen, it is quickly located. There are two times I can recall right off the top of my head when I took the wrong exit from a spaghetti bowl in DFW area and didn't even think to press the blue button. Instead, I took the scenic route for more than an hour and was very frustrated because it was the classic case of being able to SEE where I wanted to be but just couldn't get there even though I circled it like a vulture the entire time! I think it's a service that can be discontinued and then reinstated any time you like. We live in a smaller city and the concierge is wasted on me - unless it would get me to the front of the line at the cafeteria. We have no stage, concerts, or much other traveling culture, however, if we lived in Houston or DFW or even San Antonio, it would be a different matter.
The phone is like any prepaid phone and has a minute/month expiration in several choices (i.e. 45 minutes or 30 days which ever comes first). While I have a cell phone, it was very convenient to just press the button and do it all with voice commands and never take my eyes from the road or my hands from the wheel.
Onstar has a web site - you would have had to register there using the owner manual provided you by the dealer along with your car. If you've not done that yet, you will find the site very imformative. If you have an AmexCo Platinum card, disregard the above and enjoy the use of their services included in your benefits for that card. The annual fee, though high, is still less than the Onstar that includes the concierge, etc. I'm not certain that AAA provides the level of services that either of these provide.
I hope I have been helpful rather than longwinded... :-) sara wetegrove Corpus Christi, Texas