✈️ My favorite (and most valuable) airport travel hack

✈️ My favorite (and most valuable) airport travel hack

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 30 seconds

Fun Fact: Traveling is scientifically proven to make your brain work in different ways that increase your ability to be creative. Pretty cool, eh?

Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop! Let's start off the day with some affirmations. Repeat after me:

“I am strong. I am brave. I will not pay full price for flights and hotels ever again.”

Ok, good work everyone, let's get started:  

  • 🏆 Travel Tournament Grand Champion is announced

  • ✈️ Mike on the Move: Airline compensation, Part 1

  • 🏨 IHG 15% discount on award stays (TODAY ONLY)

🏆 Travel Tournament Grand Champion is announced

My fellow travel hackers, your efforts over the last few weeks have finally revealed a WINNER to the single greatest travel tournament there ever was.

A king has been crowned 👑

Are you ready to find out who has come out on top?!? In the famous 2004-era words of Usher and Lil’ Jon…

The winner of the 2023 Daily Drop Travel Tournament is… 🎉 THE MALDIVES 🎉

Most of you would rather enjoy your time at this dreamy destination over the eight, ten, twelve-hour (or however long) flight it’d take to get there… even if it was in business or first class 😉

Personally, I couldn’t care less about traveling to the Maldives… In fact, many of the winners and losers would’ve been different if I were choosing them for myself.

So to have a little fun, I thought I’d put together my ideal bracket for the entire tournament, which I’ve posted on the Daily Drop lounge. 👇

There you have it, folks. We hope you had some fun choosing your favorites throughout this tournament… even if you did make a few wrong choices… 🙊

✈️ Mike on the Move: Airline compensation, Part 1

You may remember that the last two Daily Drops were written from the same airport lounge, but one day apart.

And no, as much as I love lounges, I did not camp out overnight…

Rather, I had a fun adventure (of my own free will) at the airport that ended up earning me $600, a free hotel night, and some free food.

And I’m going to tell you about how you can leverage this very same tactic.

Many of you have probably been in an airport when the gate agents have said something along these lines:

“Our flight today is overbooked. Are there any volunteers who are willing to wait until the next flight? Compensation will be provided.

Most of you probably ignore these messages and cross your fingers that you aren’t forcefully booted from this overbooked flight.

I, however, run as fast as I can to the gate agent and volunteer myself as tribute.


A few reasons:

  • I rarely have a need to be home urgently. Since I work remotely, killing time at an airport is rarely an issue. I actually like it.

  • I like money. And if I can get compensated without any real monetary or logistical cost to myself, that’s sweet.

  • You can benefit in more ways than just compensation (like hotel points, nights, etc.)

Every airline has different policies around compensation for a voluntary delay. 

Most of the time, at least one of the gate agents will be able to tell you exactly what the policy is or even have a nice little brochure where you can read the policy for yourself before making a final decision on whether or not to volunteer.

As I said, I was rebooked on a morning flight and offered a hotel room for the night. I even got to pick which flight I was on the next morning.

The hotel they put me in for the night was actually quite nice. 👇

More importantly, it was an IHG hotel. So I even earned elite night credit, a room upgrade, and a welcome amenity because of my elite status - all on the airline’s dime.

In the event of an overnight hotel stay because of an airline delay, they are also required to get you to and from the hotel (in my case via taxi) and provide you with meal vouchers ($30 total, in my case).

For the $600 compensation, I had the option of having it instantly credited to a credit card of my choice, sent as a check, or as a travel voucher (worth more than the cash price).

All of these are great options. Given that I had just spent a few pretty expensive days in NYC, I opted for the cold, hard cash.

Most of the time, however, I opt for the voucher. Traveling as much as I do, travel vouchers are usually just as good as cash.

… and they also add up pretty quickly. 😏

On Monday, in Part 2 of this series, I’ll tell you how I booked a $4,000 flight this past weekend for $0 and 0 points using this exact strategy.

🏨 IHG 15% discount on award stays (TODAY ONLY)

Many of you recently signed up for a certain IHG credit card that was offering a certain ridiculous welcome offer.

Those of you in this boat will be pleased to know that IHG has a very limited promotion for TODAY ONLY that offers a 15% discount on all award stays of three nights or less for stays that you check in for by May 12th.

So if you’re wondering what to do with your fresh stack of 175,000 IHG points, now is the perfect time to put some of them to use.

A 15% discount might not sound like very much, but it can really add up depending on where you use them.

For example, hotels in Japan are CRAZY expensive these days… Booking a three-night stay in Tokyo with this promo could easily save you somewhere in the realm of 10,000 points per night, maybe even more.

To find these discounts, you don’t need any promo code or special link. Simply go to the IHG website, log in, and click “points” on the results page.

The prices you see include the 15% discount. If you want to verify further, do a search on the IHG app and you’ll see original prices slashed out like in my screenshot above.

This offer is only valid for TODAY, so hurry up and get booking. If this isn’t your cup of tea, IHG is also launching another decent promotion that I’ll tell you about one day soon.

As a side note, today also happens to be the last day to sign up for the aforementioned IHG credit card and get the whopping 175,000-point offer.

If you’re new around here, check out my deep-dive article on why this is the card I’m currently most excited about. I have a feeling you might be just as excited once you read about it… 😉

That’s all for today, friends! Now that the tournament has come to a close, I’m curious to know:

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

I know some people are very opinionated about this stuff, so I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Until next time, have a wonderful day!

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W

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