✈️ Airport lounges just got a LOT better

✈️ Airport lounges just got a LOT better

Estimated read time: 5 minutes and 14 seconds

Airline Ratings just released its annual list of the best airlines around the world. This year, Air New Zealand landed the number one spot. Read more from the list here.

Good morning from lovely Poland, or the “Pierogi Paradise,” as the locals call it. And by locals, I mean me, of course.

While I demolish this plate of Pierogis meant for four people, here’s some content for you to chomp on:

  • 🥂 Wooh! Priority Pass just got a LOT bigger

  • 🏨 IHG brings back a fan-favorite promotion from last year

  • ✈️ First-class Friday: The $600 lie-flat business class seat to Japan

🥂 Wooh! Priority Pass just got a LOT bigger

Remember that time two years ago when Plaza Premium Lounges quit the Priority Pass program?


Well, it doesn’t really matter, because they just rejoined the Priority Pass program. And this is VERY good news.

Let me give you some background…

Plaza Premium is a network of lounges, mainly located around Canada and Asia (along with plenty of others scattered about the globe).

Until mid-2021, you could access these lounges with your Priority Pass membership (if you don’t know how to get Priority Pass access, keep reading).

But then, you couldn’t. But now, you can again. 🤦‍♂️

It’s basically the Jersey Shore of travel hacking. Loads of unnecessary drama, and at the end of the episode, we end up right back where we started.

Here are some more details:

  • As of June 6th, 39 of these lounges joined the program

  • On June 20th, 24 more will be joining

  • You’ll be able to access them effective immediately using your Priority Pass card

Here’s why I think this is great:

I LOVE Plaza Premium lounges. I think they offer consistently great value. They usually have bars, loads of food, and great working/lounging spaces.

Since I have this credit card, I already have access to Plaza Premium lounges.

But now, you can access them simply by getting a Priority Pass membership. 

There are tons of credit cards that offer unlimited Priority Pass lounge visits, including:

  • This card, the Jedermann of credit cards (the one we all love and relate to)

  • This card, the shimmering “bell of the ball” of lounge perks

  • This card, the ugly ducking that blossoms into a beautiful swan

  • Many, many other cards

Anyway, you can find a full list of specific lounges being added to the network on the Priority Pass website.

It’s rare to see a lounge program INCREASE in value over time, as it’s usually the opposite—so this is very welcome news in my book.

🏨 IHG brings back a fan-favorite promotion from last year

Wanna know a secret?

I LOVE hotel promotions. I know, you probably would’ve never guessed. I am great at hiding it. And by hiding it, I mean broadcasting it to hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis.

But it’s not without good reason. Hotel promotions are what I use to get the most value out of my travels, and this one is a perfect example.

IHG is currently offering a “choose your own adventure-style” promotion, offering you a choice of how to benefit from it.

Choose right and you’ll live a life of whimsical bliss—one filled with joy, fulfillment, and the universal admiration of your peers.

Choose wrong, and… well… you’ll still get a bunch of points.

Here’s how it works:

  • Option 1: Earn 2,000 points for every two nights you stay

  • Option 2: Earn 10,000 points for every four nights you stay

  • Only paid stays count toward the promotion

  • Stays must be completed before August 31st, 2023

  • You must register for the offer and choose only one of the aforementioned options

I love this offer. If you participate in the IHG program, it’s not hard to stay two nights and earn some outsize value.

Obviously, if you have the ability to stay four nights, this could be a game-changer when you earn 10,000 points.

For reference, I have some stays booked at Holiday Inns in Jakarta this summer that cost around $30 per night…

On a four-night stay here, I’m earning 10,000 points (plus points earned from membership, elite status, and the IHG credit card) for a stay I only paid $120 for.

I could use those 10k+ points to go book another two nights at other hotels like this one in the same city:

Of course, most of you won’t be staying in $30 Holiday Inns. But you don’t need to be that extreme to still get value out of this deal.

Overall, this is one of my favorite hotel promotions, and I’m glad to see that IHG brought it back for round two.

✈️ First-class Friday: The $600 lie-flat business class seat to Japan

Tiffany here to take over this section 🙋🏻‍♀️, and I’m excited to talk to you about this business-class flight I took on the Japanese budget airline ZIPAIR that… zipped me over to Tokyo this past weekend.

The pun was inevitable 🙃

Some of you are probably like ZIPAIR! Sweet! And others are like ZIPAIR? Sweet?

Trust me, after flying 11 hours in what they call their “full-flat” business-class cabin, I can confirm… it’s pretty sweet.

But perhaps the best thing about this flight is that it cost me just $600 🤯

Many of you might be hesitant to fly a budget airline, especially on a long-haul international flight just because you never know what you’re gonna get.

For starters, it was an especially exciting travel day as this was ZIPAIR’s inaugural flight from San Francisco to Tokyo. So naturally, it was filled with balloons, goodie bags, and celebratory speeches at the gate.

If you aren’t familiar with ZIPAIR, the low-cost carrier actually launched back in 2020—the most bummer travel year ever.

Since then, they’ve been growing their domestic and international routes, and they’re actually a subsidiary of Japan Airlines.

There’s definitely a perk to being owned by JAL because you can redeem your JAL miles for ZIPAIR points and vice versa.

So you could technically book one of their flights with JAL miles if you had a stash of them, but for its extremely reasonable cash price, I’m not sure it’d be worth it.

The actual business-class product was incredible—a sleek, black leather seat that fully reclined and had outlets and cubbies for tons of storage space.

The most noticeable things missing? An inflight entertainment screen, an amenity kit, and food. But don’t get scared off yet!

I knew there wouldn’t be entertainment, so I simply came prepared with downloaded audiobooks from my free Audible account (thanks to this card).

You also have the choice to purchase optional amenities like lounge access, additional luggage allowance, an amenity kit, and a meal. All very reasonably priced, I should add.

As a ZIPAIR passenger (no matter what class you fly in), you’ll also get access to free WiFi which I must say was quite fast and reliable.

Their customer service was impeccable, and I had a better flight experience from check-in to disembarking than I’ve had on some of the “nicer” big-name airlines 🤗

If you don’t want to pay $600 for this seat, they also offer economy seats that’ll take you from several California airports over to Tokyo starting at just $325. And just so you know, their economy setup looked pretty dang nice, too.

The only inconvenience in my eyes was their lack of an app that allowed me to check in online and have a mobile boarding pass.

As someone who never checks bags, I value this so much since I can always head straight to security and get to the lounge pronto 😏

Overall, my final verdict is if you don’t need all the frills and perks of champagne at boarding, complimentary coffee and drinks, etc., then ZIPAIR is an excellent airline, especially for a long-haul flight. I’ll definitely fly with them again.

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And with that, I bid you adieu, my friends. Have a great weekend!

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

50.0647° N, 19.9450° E 🇵🇱

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