✈️ How to book an apartment in the sky... with points
January 6th, 2023
Estimated read time: 3 minutes and 38 seconds
Good morning from sunny Tunis, Tunisia! Although my trip here was off to a rocky start (more on that next week), I have been loving the city so far.
In my mind, there's nothing better than enjoying an Arabic tea and getting lost in the maze of a medina while the call to prayer sounds in the background. It's a unique part of the world that I can't recommend visiting enough.
But enough about my boring life, you came here for travel hacking. And travel hacking you shall have, my friends:
🛳️ Cruise news: This cruise line is offering free flights with their cruise packages
🤝 Southwest makes amends by offering 25,000 free points
✈️ Etihad brings the A380 back from the dead
🛳️ Cruise news: This cruise line is offering free flights with a cruise package
Y'all know I'm not a big cruise guy. But sometimes, there's an offer that comes along and makes me seriously consider getting on a boat and living my best cruise life.
This is one of those.
Right now, Atlas Ocean Voyages is offering some extremely valuable perks as part of their Winter Savings Event, an event that saves you money... in the Winter.
Let me fill you in:
Atlas offers a pretty valuable deal where your guest sails for free. Now, they've upped the ante by adding the following:
Receive a $1,000 airfare credit for suites
Receive a $600 airfare credit for staterooms
Save 20% when you book three cruises
Save 15% when you book two cruises
The offer is so well-suited for this particular cruise line because their eligible cruises are based in Europe.
Normally, the cost of luxury cruises is hard to swallow, especially when you need to fly across the ocean to even get there.
The fact that you could get $1,000 toward flights means that not only will your flights likely be free, but you could even fly in a little bit of luxury.
Economy flights under $1,000 are pretty easy to find,but there are also Premium Economy flights that you could get for around $1,200 round trip. Personally, I'd pay $200 to fly for 8 hours in a nicer seat in both directions...
But that's not all...
Atlas Ocean Voyages brands themselves as a luxury, all-inclusive cruise company. That means that ALL of their cruises come with the following perks:
When you initially look at the price, it may seem a little intimidating. But when you take into account the free guest privileges, free flights, and all the extra perks like food and activities, you'll realize it's actually a fantastic deal.
So if you're sick of the cold winter and want to go cruise the open seas in style, I'd highly recommend checking out this deal.
🤝 Southwest makes amends by offering 25,000 free points
Southwest has been in the spotlight a lot recently, and for a good reason. They made history by canceling more flights in one week than the other major airlines combined.
Last week they launched a program to refund people, compensate them for expenses, and rebook their flights.
But I guess their guilty conscience got the best of them because they've taken their apology one step further... Well, at least for some people.
Here's the deal:
Over the last two days, some people affected by the Southwest December Holiday Meltdown Fiasco (that's what I'm officially calling now) have received emails offering them 25,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points per passenger.
Here's a screenshot of what that email looks like (this was received by a friend, not myself).
To be clear, this person received codes for 25,000 for each of the four passengers on the itinerary, for a total of 100,000 points.
25,000 Southwest points is worth at least $300, but usually even more. For example, this round-trip ticket from Los Angeles to Hawaii costs $327. Using points for the same trip only costs about 22,000, so you'd even have some to spare.
I think this is actually a great gesture from them. I know people who have been reimbursed for expenses, received full refunds for their canceled flights AND received tens of thousands of points from this offer.
While they're pretty upset that the situation happened at all, free flights to Hawaii for their whole family definitely makes them a LOT less upset...
The downside is that not all travelers affected by the meltdown have received this email.
But don't worry, it seems like more people are getting it every day, and they are probably sending them out in batches. So if you were affected by Southwest's failures last month, make sure to check your spam folder and keep checking your email this week.
If you don't have a use for 25,000 points, I'm down to take a bullet and go on a free trip to Hawaii, so call me 🤙
✈️ It's official: Etihad is bringing back the A380
Since the pandemic began nearly three years ago, I think most of us have felt a communal sense of emptiness, grief, loss, and hopelessness.
The reason, of course, is the fact that Etihad retired their A380 fleet indefinitely.
Well I have been jolted out of my depressive, downward spiral thanks to Etihad's announcement that they will be bringing their A380s back into service beginning in the Summer of 2023, which is not very far away.
If you love planes like me, I don't need to explain why this is great.
But I will anyway.
The A380 is a majestic bird, a gem of the open skies, and an absolute marvel of engineering. If you've ever seen one up close, you've probably felt the awe of being in her presence and the alluring charm she exudes.
It also has some of the dankest seats ever built on a plane.
In case you weren't aware, Etihad's A380s are home to Etihad's unique first class called "The Residence," which they don't offer on any other plane.
And it is very much a residence. I can't call it a seat because it's not a seat. I can't even call it a room, because it's multiple rooms.
A first-class ticket on the Etihad A380 includes a living room, a private bathroom, and a bedroom. On a freakin' PLANE.
This ticket costs thousands of dollars, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars.
But since you read the Daily Drop, you can do it for roughly $0. Well, actually, about $60... but relative to ten thousand dollars, it feels like 0.