Good morning from the confines of a dark sleeping pod in the Istanbul airport.
Sadly, I have fallen sick... again... I am REALLY on the struggle bus and finding it hard to stay motivated, so please bear with me today.
Here's what we got for you:
🏨 Daily Drop success stories from readers
📊 Who plans your travel?
✈️ Uh oh... Delta and JFK nearly collide at JFK
🏨 Wait, the Daily Drop actually gives good advice?
I just wanted to take a quick sec to celebrate some Daily Drop readers who reached out to share their recent travel hacking success stories.
Specifically, a few of you reached out to me over the weekend to let me know that you used Friday's newsletter to get free suite upgrades. 👇
First of all, congrats! I'm so glad to hear that you were able to put some of this travel hacking advice to the test so quickly. May you have many beautiful suite upgrades in the future, my dear readers.
While we're on the topic, I wanted to point out something else that I may have glossed over...
Okay, I definitely glossed over it.
When I spoke about using my template after "checking in," I was referring to checking in through the hotel app.
Since this feature is generally available a few days before arrival, you can be "checked in" while still allowing time for them to make changes to your stay before arrival.
Once you've checked in on the app, you can generally use the chat feature, if available (like in the screenshot above).
I always check in through mobile apps and I should've been more clear about this in the newsletter, as many people are used to checking in after arriving at the hotel.
Please forgive me?
Anyway, I LOVE when you reach out with your success stories, questions, and feedback - so please keep that coming. 🙏🏼
📊 Who plans your travel?
One of the questions we asked in our end-of-year survey a few weeks ago was, "Who plans most of your travel?"
The results weren't all too surprising, but there are some important travel hacks on this topic that you should all know about, especially if you have travel planning skills.
As you can see, roughly 83% of you say you plan most of your own travel. I was expecting this, given that you read this newsletter focused on teaching you how to plan travel.
But I also realized that many of you are building up travel planning skills. And these skills can be used to up your travel game in more ways than you may think.
For example, one of the ways I earn so many points and miles is by planning travel for my friends.
They know that I have some small degree of proficiency on the subject and know that I'll probably get them a better deal than they could find on their own.
In exchange, I book the travel for them and rack up all the points for myself.
It's a win-win.
So for those who feel like you're learning a lot from this newsletter, see if you can be a mini travel agent to build up an even bigger stash of points (and, of course, help out your friends).
It seems many of you also use travel agents...
Here's my advice:
Instead of a travel agent, find a travel hacker friend to do this for you. I can guarantee it will be cheaper for you and earn your friend some miles... another win-win.
As for corporate travelers, I also have some advice, though I'm sure most of you are aware of this already.
Even if your employer is booking your travel, there are still opportunities to rack up points and miles.
Airlines and hotels award points, miles, and stays based on the person staying and their loyalty number. So even if your employer books and pays for your flight, your frequent flier number is still attached.
This means that you earn the points, you earn miles toward elite status, and you can then redeem those miles and points for your own personal stays down the road.
So if you travel a lot (or a little) for business, always make sure you attach a loyalty number to your booking - you might be leaving tons of perks on the table if you don't!
✈️ Uh oh... Delta and American have a near-miss incident at JFK airport
You know that scene from Top Gun when Tom Cruise makes his own rules and starts playing chicken with the other pilots to show off his daredevil skills?
I need to tell you a secret that you probably-most-likely-definitely do not know…commercial planes are not supposed to do that.
Remember what I said yesterday about the plane crashing odds “getting even smaller as pilots, airlines, and manufacturers learn from the tragedy”?
Well, I think it’s safe to say everyone is going to learn a little something from yesterday’s events.
All jokes aside, accidents like these, as rare as they are, are extremely serious, and we are grateful that all crew and passengers are safe.
Here’s how things went down:
Right before 9 p.m. yesterday, Delta Flight 1943 was about to take off when AA Flight 106 was seen crossing onto the runway.
The radio heard, ″F—! Delta 1943, cancel takeoff clearance! Delta 1943, cancel takeoff clearance!” from an air controller.
Thankfully, Delta’s pilots hit the brakes at the last second, avoiding a runway crash with the AA plane while traveling over 100 mph and stopping just 1,000 feet away from the other aircraft... yikes.
Here is an aerial view of the scene on the runway:
The cause of the incident is still a little fuzzy, but I have some theories...
After this incident, the Air Traffic Controller said to the American pilot, "you were supposed to be at runway 4L but you were lining up at runway 31L."
If this is true, then the fault would be on the American pilot. But the tapes will reveal the full truth at some point.
Delta made a statement apologizing to their customers, and AA has yet to comment.
Federal aviation investigators will continue working with air traffic control, along with the airlines, to better gain a better understanding as to why this all went down.
All of that to say, a near miss is a near miss — and it’s scary.
I’m sure the pilots, crew, and passengers will be telling this story for a good while.
That's all for today, y'all.
I'm heading to Tanzania tonight where I'll be for the next week and a half. I was supposed to continue on to another 11 countries afterward, but I've decided to cut my trip short and head home from there.
Being sick on the road, especially a few trips in a row, is just too taxing and only compounds without taking proper care of one's self.
One day soon I'll share some of the ways miles and points helped me salvage this trip, but for now, I shall wither back into my deep, airport pod slumber...