✈️ Shhh... No shade...

✈️ Shhh... No shade...

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 36 seconds

💡 Quick Fact: Did you know that the small European country of Liechtenstein is so compact that you can cross its entire length in just 20 minutes? Talk about efficiency in exploration!

Welcome to Daily Drop, the James Bond of newsletters.

Just like Agent 007, we'll take you on a thrilling five-minute journey that will help you outsmart the travel industry's villains so you can jet-set around the world with miles and points.

Here’s what today’s covert operation has in store:

  • 🤫 Shhh… No Shade (it’s a secret)

  • ✈️ AA offers complimentary upgrades to more flyers

  • 🥂 Lounge Lowdown: Which airline should I earn miles with?

🤫 Shhh… No Shade (it’s a secret)

You're probably wondering what the heck this first section of the newsletter is all about. I mean, what could "No Shade" possibly be referring to?

Well, I need you to lean in real close, because I have a secret to tell you.

The secret is this: You can unlock free stuff at various businesses by using secret passwords. I know it sounds a little crazy, but it's true.

For example, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, there is a pizzeria that will give you a free order of breadsticks if you walk up to the cashier and say, "Slice, slice baby."

I'm not kidding. And the breadsticks are amazing. But what I'm about to tell you is even better than that…

That's because Kimpton Hotels has released their new secret password, "No Shade," which will unlock secret benefits at hotels. To be honest, they're very bad at keeping secrets. I mean, they announced last year’s password in a tweet for goodness sake. 🤦‍♂️

Here's how it works:

Until September 3rd, 2023, use this secret password when checking in at any Kimpton hotel, and you'll get a free gift (which varies by hotel).

Kimpton has done this before with other secret passwords, and the secret gifts have included anything from free food and beverage credits to free full breakfast and even free parking.

Given that Kimpton hotels are part of the IHG loyalty program, this is a great opportunity for anyone planning to stay at a Kimpton who doesn't have the benefits of elite status. Of course, there's no way to know exactly what you'll get. But if you plan to stay at a Kimpton, don't forget to use the password.

Kimpton is one of the luxury brands of IHG, so you’ll also have a one-of-a-kind luxurious experience when staying at their hotels.

Personally, I’ll be at the Kimpton in Tokyo later this summer, so you can bet your butt that I’ll be using this password…

If I were you, I'd make a big deal by keeping it a secret. When you're at the reception desk, look around to make sure the coast is clear, lean in, and secretively whisper the password to the receptionist.

Maybe they'll give you a better gift if you entertain them a little. 😉

✈️ AA offers complimentary upgrades to more flyers

This is great news if you’re an AA loyalist and are working towards becoming an elite. This is even greater news if you’ve already got their Platinum Pro, Platinum, or Gold status.

And that’s because, starting June 9th, American will be offering complimentary upgrades to ALL elite members on award flights… not just the lofty Executive Platinums or the invite-only ConciergeKey status members.

Courtesy American Airlines

We’re talking about moving up the pecking order from economy and premium economy to business or domestic first, of course 😎

Previously, the three lower tiers of elite status were only eligible for upgrades on paid flights. Which was sort of a bummer… sometimes.

There are some obvious perks to this for those it now applies to, but there are always some specific conditions to be aware of.

For example, this offer is limited to domestic flights within the U.S. and short-haul international flights for those traveling to and from Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, the Caribbeans, Bermuda, and Central America.

So there are still plenty of options and destinations if you’re looking to get away!

And better yet? Eligible upgrades will not only apply to elites, but also for one travel companion (whether or not they are traveling on an award ticket).

This also means that paid tickets will no longer be prioritized over award tickets (as previously was the case).

BUT, there are some disadvantages for certain travelers in certain scenarios.

If you’ve got a lower tier of status and are traveling on a paid ticket… you’ll now miss out. Historically, you might have had a better chance of scoring that upgrade if you held Platinum status and were flying with a paid ticket, for example.

And for those very top-tier elites whom this upgrade was previously only available… are now competing with all the other greedy kids on the playground 😬

But, overall, I think many more travelers will be happy about this announcement than those that aren’t!

🥂 Lounge Lowdown: Which airline should I earn miles with?

Before I jump into the Lounge Lowdown, let me give you a quick reminder - especially for you new folks:

Later today, Megan (our community manager) and myself will be hosting Travel Hacking 101, a one-hour masterclass that teaches you the basics of miles & points, along with a Q&A section at the end. You can find the link to register and join in our Daily Drop Lounge. The masterclass begins at 12:00 p.m. (Eastern) TODAY, so don’t miss it! But… if you do miss it, you can always watch the replay later. 😉

Today’s question comes from Shaunna, who recently posted a great question in our Daily Drop Lounge:

First, let me give you some context.

Airlines have partnerships and alliances that allow you to earn miles with a DIFFERENT airline, rather than the one you’re flying on.

For example, if you’re flying on United, Air Canada, and Emirates, you could choose to earn only Air Canada miles from all flights, since all of those airlines are partnered with one another.

So Shaunna is asking which airline makes the most sense to accumulate miles in to get the best value.

The answer is very subjective, as it depends on your travel habits. So let me tell you MY opinion, and then a quick caveat to that opinion.

I would 100% accumulate miles with Aeroplan (Air Canada), and here’s why:

  • I live in Canada and have Aeroplan elite status (which likely doesn’t apply to most of you)

  • Air Canada has more airline partners than any other airline on earth, so you’ll have the most options for redeeming points

  • Air Canada’s redemption rates have remained stable, unlike United, which recently devalued their program

Now, here’s the caveat… If United elite status is something you care about, you should credit your flights to United instead of Aeroplan.

By crediting miles to Aeroplan, your United flights won’t qualify toward the PQF and PQP requirements for elite status (which you can read more about here).

So here’s what I’d do:

Run the numbers and see if your United flights would get you close to elite status. If not, then definitely credit them to Air Canada Aeroplan. If you don’t care about elite status, then… also credit them to Air Canada Aeroplan.

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That’s gonna finish things off for today!

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I hope you all have a GREAT day, and I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow,

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

50.0647° N, 19.9450° E 🇵🇱

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