Estimated read time: 5 minutes and 20 seconds (sorry 😬)
Good morning from beautiful Niagara Falls!
As an American-Canadian, I frequently need to hop across the border here in person to take care of various immigration things and definitely NOT swing by the casino…
We’ve got a BIG BOY newsletter for you today, so enough small talk:
🧳 Track your luggage for less than $1… seriously
✈️ Book with Me: Etihad Apartments
🍪 Tasty Travel Tidbits
🧳 Track your luggage for less than $1
Rakuten is back with an upgraded offer! If you didn’t snag a (basically free) Apple AirTag last time this promo was running, now’s your chance!
As a refresher, here’s why having an AirTag in your luggage can be so helpful 👇
I'm not someone who checks bags when flying…
That's because bags get lost all the time these days, and the number of bags that are irretrievably lost is going up every year.
That brings us to the magic of Apple AirTags.
AirTags are these little poker chip-sized devices you can use to track your belongings. I personally have AirTags attached to my keychain, in my suitcase, and even one sewn into my travel backpack.
The reason I have so many is that if something with an AirTag attached to it gets lost, you'll be able to locate it with ease.
I read an article where a traveler who lost his luggage (which included expensive film equipment) was able to track it to a specific home in Alaska, seemingly stolen by an airport employee while in transit...
While the odds of your things being stolen are pretty low, the odds of your bag ending up at an airport hundreds or thousands of miles away are much higher.
Being able to get off the plane, go to the airline help desk, and show them exactly where your bag is can rapidly speed up their ability to locate the bag and return it to you.
Many of you probably already know about AirTags, but here’s a special treat: you can get an AirTag and keychain right now for around a single freaking dollar.
By signing up for Rakuten, an online shopping portal, you can get $40 back after you spend $40 on one of their retailers THIS WEEK ONLY (May 8th - 15th).
Apple is one of their retailers. So here's what you can do:
Sign up for Rakuten with this link
Go to Apple.com (via Rakuten, after you've signed up)
Add an AirTag and keychain to your cart
Get a $40 rebate from Rakuten
Let’s do some (relatively painless) math:
An Apple AirTag and keychain cost $41.95 in total (plus tax if you live in a state that collects that).
Because Apple offers at least 2% cashback on Rakuten, you'll get $0.84 cashback in addition to the $40 signup rebate. Plus, if you have an Apple Card, you get $1.25 in the form of 3% cashback on Apple purchases!
That means you could get an AirTag and keychain today for a grand total of under a dollar. Yes, that's real math.
If you’re on the fence, you can sign up for Rakuten this week, and you’ll get your $40 bonus as long as you make the qualifying purchase within 90 days of signing up.
So do yourself a favor… take 30 seconds and sign up now.
Really, y’all, don’t pass up this deal! I love my AirTags when I’m traveling, and now you can score one for almost free 😎
✈️ Book with Me: Etihad Apartments
Alright, kids, listen up.
I tell you about amazing deals all the time in the form of “you could use X points to book X amazing flight,” but we rarely do a step-by-step walkthrough of the logistics involved with actually booking said flight.
As beginner travel hackers, many people can get lost in this process even if they know exactly what they want to do.
So today, I’m trying out a new segment today called “Book with Me” where I’ll show you, in detail, how to book a specific bucket-list flight.
Our first contestant will be the one… the only…
Etihad A380 Apartments.
If you’ve never heard of this, it’s Etihad’s first-class product only offered on their massive, double-decker Airbus A380s.
And the name “apartment” is definitely accurate… 👇
This is an amazing seat that is often not available to book with points. Since Etihad only has a few planes with this seat, it’s also something that may not be possible to book in the future when these planes are retired.
Right now, you can book it for as few as 65,000 points, which is pretty incredible.
I booked this last week for a trip later this year, and here’s how I did it.
Step 1: Choose a points program
Etihad has a number of airline partners that allow you to book first-class flights, but Aeroplan is by far the most accessible.
After all, you can transfer points from just about every major credit card points program, so most people in the points game have access to it.
Step 2: Choose a route
Etihad only operates a small handful of these planes and only recently decided to bring them back into service.
Currently, the easiest route to fly this amazing product with points is between Abu Dhabi and London.
But there’s a catch…
Step 3: Search for your flight
When you search for this route on its own, you won’t see ANY first-class award space…
So at this point, you simply give up, crawl into bed with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, and cry.
But not really…
You see, if you tack on a flight before or after the Abu Dhabi-London flight you want, first-class seats actually DO show up.
In my case, I searched for a flight from Doha to London, which costs 65,000 points to fly this ridiculous first-class seat.
But before you book the first-class flight, you want to make sure you’ll be flying in the correct seat, so…
Step 4: Ensure you have the right plane and seat
Remember, I told you that this seat is ONLY offered on Etihad’s A380 fleet.
When you pull up the search results, you’ll see a little link in the route box labeled “details.”
Clicking this will give you some more information, including the type of plane you’re on.
In this case, some of the options in the search results are NOT on the A380, but one of them is:
Step 5: BOOK IT, and HURRY
This seat is one of the most coveted in the sky, so a lot of people want to use points to fly it. If you get to this point, book the thing.
With Aeroplan, you’ll always have 24 hours to get a full refund, even if you don’t book the flexible option.
So at the very least, you can book the flight, look into how you might make it work, and cancel if needed.
Step 6: Choose your seat
Since Etihad is a partner airline of Aeroplan, you can’t choose your seat through Aeroplan, but only through Etihad.
Thankfully, Etihad makes this super easy.
Simply go to etihad.com/en/manage, input your booking reference from Aeroplan, and navigate to the section of the page that says “Choose your seat.”
As a first-class passenger, you’ll be able to choose seats for no charge. On the A380, there really is no bad seat.
Personally, I always go for the window seat (when I can) on long-haul and/or business-class flights.
And voilà, you’re all done!
As a reminder, there’s currently a credit card welcome offer that could get you enough points for this entire flight…. And still have 15-20k points left over.
And the card costs less than $100 a year…
So if you want to trade $100 for an ultra-luxurious, multi-thousand dollar flight, now’s your chance!
🍪 Tasty Travel Tidbits
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Wow… that was a LONG freakin’ newsletter, huh? I promise the rest of the newsletters this week won’t be nearly as long, but I also hope you got some value from today’s content.
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Take care and see you tomorrow <3