✈️ Rebuilding a trip at the last possible minute

✈️ Rebuilding a trip at the last possible minute

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 43 seconds

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give. To roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live.”

Hans Christian Andersen

Good morning from beautiful Tokyo. I’m still getting over my jet lag, but already enjoying the beautiful weather, people, culture, and food of one of my favorite countries on Earth.

As you’ll read in the first segment, I’ll be spending much more time here than anticipated, so let’s jump in:

  • 🏃🏼‍♂️ Mike on the Move: I canceled my whole trip today

  • ✈️ Flying Blue Promo Rewards (March 2023)

  • 😮 A shocking update to some crazy aviation news…

🏃🏼‍♂️ Mike on the Move: I canceled my whole trip today

As you may know from reading this newsletter every day, I have been sick pretty much nonstop for the last three months… As a result, I’ve been canceling trips left and right to try and take it easy.

I thought I was ready for this quick hop around the world, but…

As soon as I landed here in Tokyo, I knew I wouldn’t make it through the whole trip…

… so I canceled the whole thing.

Yep. Everything I had planned after this Thursday is gone, including seven countries that I was originally planning to go to.

I decided to hang out more in Japan, and also spend a week in one other close-by country before heading home later this month.

So today I wanted to share some ways that you can book travel strategically to give yourself more flexibility when you need it.

One strategy I use quite a bit and that really came in handy today is to take strategic advantage of airlines’ change and cancellation policies.

Let me explain:

I book a lot of Aeroplan tickets because… well… Canada.

Aeroplan has different price tiers for each level of service. For economy tickets, you have the following pricing options:

  • Standard Economy: Fees for changes and cancellations

  • Flex Economy: Free changes, but fees for cancellation

  • Latitude Economy: Free changes and free cancellation

Since each tier is significantly more expensive than the previous, I almost always choose to book Flex Economy fares. It gives me options for upgrading my flight, while also providing some extra flexibility in situations like this.

If I need to cancel, I use the free change policy to “change” my flight to a Latitude Economy booking of the same itinerary, which I can then just cancel for free because of the more flexible policy.

It also gives me the chance to change my flight to standard economy the day of or the day before to save some extra points.

Hotels, on the other hand, are much easier to work around.

I ALWAYS book hotels with free cancellation, because I’m the most indecisive person on earth and have been known to make last-minute changes to my hotel plans just hours before check-in.

The nice thing about booking hotels on points is that they’re almost always free to change and cancel.

Here’s a fun hack for getting added flexibility to hotels that aren’t booked with points:

Hilton (and some other programs) let you mix points and cash bookings. Usually, the cheapest cash options are nonrefundable and will cost you extra if you want added flexibility.

So what you can do is pay with cash and points, where the points portion is very small. By opting to use points (no matter the amount), the stay becomes an award booking and is therefore fully cancellable/refundable.

In general, this level of flexibility is one of the things I love most about the points and miles game.

I love knowing that if I’m on a trip and just not feeling up to it (or if there’s an emergency of some kind), points and miles give me the flexibility to adjust things as necessary without lighting money on fire.

Despite cutting out a lot of the “moving around” of the trip, I still have some really exciting things booked… so stay tuned. 😉

✈️ Flying Blue Promo Rewards (March 2023)

By this point, most of you know about KLM and Air France's monthly Promo Rewards. For those of you who don't, here's a quick refresher.

KLM/Air France Promo Rewards are deals that are published every month by KLM and Air France that offer huge discounts on specific routes with these airlines. One month might include routes like Chicago to Paris, while the next month, it could be Amsterdam to Düsseldorf. They are constantly changing and are only good for the month in which they are published.

This month, they are offering extremely cheap award flights between Europe and the U.S. cities of Austin and Miami.

For people outside the U.S., there are actually some really cool deals to other cities all around the world that might interest you.

Here is how these promo rewards work:

  • You must book your flights by the end of the month (March 31st)

  • Travel can take place through August 31st, 2023

  • You must book your trips via either KLM or Air France, depending on the city (see the screenshot above)

  • Discount will automatically be applied to search results

I’m glad to see that flights from Austin are still on the menu. It’s an incredibly good deal to fly from Texas to Europe for under 20,000 miles.

But what’s equally exciting is that there are some amazing deals to Africa and South America from Europe. Even North Americans could take advantage of cheap flights to Johannesburg.

In fact, you could fly from Miami to Europe for 12,000 miles and then from Europe to Johannesburg for 18,000 miles.

30k miles to get from the U.S. to South Africa is a HUGE steal and a great example of how you can mix and match these promo rewards to reap even better deals.

As a reminder, earning Flying Blue miles is about as easy as things can get in the points and miles world.

You can transfer points from every major bank, including American Express, Citi, Chase, Capital One, Bilt, and even hotel programs like Marriott Bonvoy.

Our Top Cards page includes several cards that could earn you enough miles for a few round-trip flights to Europe and/or South Africa, so check it out if you want to rack up some miles before the end of the month.

😮 An update to one of the most interesting stories in aviation

Hey. Remember that time I told you about a kid who “started an airline” in Germany and it sounded weird and like he had no idea what he was doing?

Well… that story got WAY crazier than I ever thought it would. Let’s just say… you should read this exposé that just came out.

It’s all in German, aber du kannst einfach eine Übersetzungs-App verwenden ... es lohnt sich.

That’s gonna do it for today, friends. I’m going to go stuff my face with ramen and pass out, as is tradition here in Japan.

Have you ever canceled a trip at the last minute? What is your favorite strategy for last-minute bookings/changes/cancellations? Let me know by replying to this email or reaching out on social media.

Have a great week ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

35.6762° N, 139.6503° E

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