Sitting in the middle seat could win you the lottery
October 31st, 2022
Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 46 seconds
Good morning and Happy Halloween to you all.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm SUPER excited about my costume this year, though I might get have a bit of trouble going through airport security later today...
Here are some of the scary good tips I have for you today:
✈️ Earn up to 75,000 bonus Etihad miles (today only)
💺 Virgin Australia's middle seat lottery
🎃 Spooky travel destinations
✈️ Earn up to 75,000 bonus Etihad miles (today only)
If you've been around since the beginning of The Daily Drop (almost three whole months ago), you may remember a special offer that I shared with you that involved earning bonus Etihad miles for renting a car with Avis.
Well, that crazy offer is back, but with a delicious twist.
Until about 3:59 P.M. Eastern Standard Time today, you can earn as many as 75,000 Etihad miles for booking car rentals with Avis.
If you book an Avis car rental of at least 3 days, you'll earn 25,000 Etihad miles in addition to the miles you earn from the cost of the rental itself. You also have the ability to do this for up to three qualifying rentals, meaning you could theoretically earn as many as 75,000 Etihad miles.
Since this is so pressing, I'll speed things up and lay out the details for yous:
Must book by today at 3:59 PM EST
Rental must take place between November 1st and December 23rd, 2022
Rentals in The U.S., Canada, Africa, Asia, and Europe all qualify
You must include your Etihad Guest number in your booking (free to sign up)
Just like last time, this could be an amazing opportunity to hack your way into some luxurious business-class flights around the world.
Here are a few ways you could use large sums of Etihad miles:
Fly from the U.S. to Casablanca in Business class for 44,000 miles
Fly from the U.S. to Japan on ANA business class for 54,000 miles
Fly from the U.S. to Europe on American Airlines Business class for 50,000 miles
Even if you don't want to travel abroad, you can use Etihad miles to fly domestically in the U.S. on American Airlines for as little as 12,500 miles one way. You Canadians (we Canadians?) can also use Etihad miles to fly on Air Canada.
So there's really no shortage of ways to use Etihad miles, even if you don't max out the opportunity to earn the full 75,000.
As for rental prices, it's really hit or miss. The nice part here is that the offer applies pretty much anywhere in the world. So if you're traveling abroad in a low-cost country, this could be a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one travel hack by booking a cheap car rental and earning some free flights.
For example, let's say you were traveling to Malaysia and wanted to drive around the country instead of trying to figure out the public transportation system. You could book this car rental for under $200 for a full 3 days:
Now the key thing here is to make sure that your car is what they call "Group C or above" in the terms I mentioned earlier.
Figuring this part out has always been a bit unclear, but here's how you can get about 97% of the way there.
If you go to the Avis website homepage and select "Guide to Renting" at the top of the page, you'll see another page on the left-hand side called "Car Guide."
There you can select a country and view the different "Groups" of cars for that country, along with examples for each group. Using the Malaysia version of the page, I can see that the exact rental car in the booking above is mentioned as Group D, meaning the promotion would apply to my rental.
It's a little bit tedious but worth it in my opinion. If you were to do that exact thing 3 times, you'd pay $600 and receive 75,000 Etihad miles in exchange, worth well over $1,000 (depending on how you use them). Oh, and you get 9 days of rental car usage as well, which hopefully means something to you if you're putting in this much effort.
Basically, this deal could be really good for those of you who are planning to travel soon and either need to rent a car or are willing to find cheap cash rates to pretend to need a car to reap this excellent points and miles arbitrage opportunity.
💺 Virgin Australia is holding a middle seat lottery
Gather around, friends. I'm going to tell you a story.
*holds flashlight in front of face*
This story is the stuff of nightmares and is so terrifying that it will change you forever.
The most horrifying part? It's 100% true.
The other day... I flew on a plane... and... I was forced to sit... IN THE MIDDLE SEAT.
*dramatic music, terrified screams, etc*
Now I know you're all probably really freaking out right now, so let me ease your fears by sharing a very special promotion that a certain airline is having right now.
Until next Spring, Virgin Australia is giving away weekly prizes to people who choose (or are automatically assigned) to sit in middle seats on their flights.
It doesn't seem so scary anymore, does it?
Here's how it works:
Every week until April 23rd, 2023, Virgin Australia will give away a prize to someone who has sat in a middle seat during the previous week. Prizes include free elite status, a million points, cruises, free flights, helicopter rides, and more.
Entering the contest is easy - fly with Virgin Australia and sit in a middle seat. Even if you sit in the middle by random seat allocation against your will, you'll still be eligible to win the prize for that week.
Virgin kicked off this epic contest last week when their CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka, informed passengers on flight VA219 that everyone seated in a middle seat won a free Virgin Voyages cruise valued at up to $6,000. Every. Single. One.
But the aisle and window peeps didn't completely miss out - they were each awarded 10,000 Virgin miles, which is not too shabby either.
Anyway, if you're traveling down under any time soon, I'd check out Virgin Australia to see if you can snag a middle seat and keep your fingers crossed for a potentially life-changing prize.
🎃 Spooky places around the world
Yesterday I was walking around in downtown Mumbai when I stumbled upon one of the most glorious, stunning buildings I've seen in this country; the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Look, I even took a photo because I was so impressed by the building.
After looking into what this building was, I was surprised to find out that it is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in India.
Over 100 years ago when it was still being built, one of the architects threw himself from the top of the building after finding out that the rest of the architects and designers had scrapped his plans and gone in their own direction for the building.
It's said that to this day, the ghost of the obsessed architect wanders the halls of the hotel to greet new guests... spooky stuff, eh?
Anyway, I thought it'd be fun today to share something "Halloween-y" with you all.
Rather than share stories of tragic plane crashes that went missing and other things that are actually scary and uncomfortable to think about, I'll leave you with this great article about some of the most haunted places all around the world ranging from Ireland to South Africa and everywhere in between (the Taj hotel included).
Personally, I think things like this are really interesting and fun to read. Learning about haunted buildings, landmarks, etc. can be a great way to experience unique parts of history from the destinations we travel to. Enjoy!
That's all for this scary Monday. I'm heading to the airport early tomorrow to try out some new Indian airlines and airports that have been on my (nerdy aviation) list for some time now, so I'm very excited.
What's the spookiest place you've ever been to? Do you prefer aisle or window seats (I assume nobody prefers the middle)? Let me know by replying to this email or reaching out on social media.