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🛂 How to get a passport in a few hours

Plus, Southwest if offering a status match for U.S. flyers, and we'll break down, in detail, all of the epic new offers that are floating around.

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 10 seconds

✈️ Did you know that commercial airplanes, varying in size and complexity, comprise around 3 to 6 million parts, sourced and assembled globally by a network of suppliers. Read more about it here.

Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop. Here, we’re serving up travel hacks quicker than Cracker Barrel serves up biscuits. And, what we’re offering is equally delicious.

Here’s what we’ve got in the oven today:

✈️ Southwest status match

Status matches are dope.

It’s an easy way to get a taste of the elite life with an airline or hotel program without needing to put in any of the work.

One of the best ones out there for Americans is the Southwest Airlines status match program.

A screenshot of the banner for the Southwest status match program

Here’s how it works:

When you register for the status match, you get Southwest A-List Status for 90 days.

If you complete three round-trip flights or six one-way flights during those 90 days, your A-List status will extend for another year.

In case you don’t know, A-List status is not a bad thing to have as a frequent Southwest flyer and comes with some pretty tasty benefits:

An image depicting the vaious benefits that come with Southwest A-List status

To be clear, you need to book paid flights to extend your status past the trial period, so award flights will not count.

Still, if you fly even once a month domestically, you could get some EASY elite status.

Alternatively, you could do a mileage run with some dirt-cheap flights for the sole sake of earning status.

An example of a cheap Southwest flight to do a mileage run with

But now for the catch… Are you even eligible for this status match?

Well, probably.

All you need is some level of elite status with any other U.S. airline besides Southwest.

That means even if you have the lowest level of status (even with a budget airline like Frontier or Spirit), you can take advantage of this deal.

Overall, this is a great opportunity for frequent (or even semi-frequent) Southwest flyers to get some easy elite status and decent benefits.

💳 Credit card bonuses bonanza

Hey y’all, by now, you should know there are a ton of awesome elevated welcome offers floating around the travel credit card world.

We talked about it last week when the news originally dropped, and Brendan even made a shiny YouTube video all about this exciting time 😍

HOWEVER, if you’re still just SUPER PUMPED about all these elevated offers, Mike and Megan do an even deeper dive on all the happenings right now… including that coveted Companion Pass offer that went live on a few cards earlier this week.

It’s chatty, it’s casual, and it’s oh-so fun. Listen along anywhere you get your podcasts, or join us on YouTube for the video version!

Blue background with a global map and "Daily Drop Elevated Offers"

🛂 How to get a passport in a few hours

The other day, I was passing through immigration in Indonesia, and the immigration officer said something interesting to me while sifting through the pages of my passport:

“You travel a lot… this thing is almost full”

- Indonesian immigration officer

Sure enough, I looked through my passport afterward, only to see that I had about three full pages of space left…

And I had a little moment of panic.

A gif of Steve Harvey having a panic attack

My passport doesn’t expire for another seven years, so I had not even been thinking of the fact that it would fill up long before it expired.

As a travel addict, my biggest fear in life is having to sit at home for 6-8 weeks while I wait for a passport to get mailed to me. That and dying alone, of course.

Thankfully, there’s a way to avoid that whole waiting period. In fact, there is a way to get a passport in just a few hours.

It’s something I’ve done before a couple of times, and it’s super easy.

Here’s how:

If you have international travel booked within 14 days, you can get a passport made, in person, in just a few hours.

All you need to do is contact the U.S. Passport Office (you can find the phone number on this website) and make an in-person appointment at one of the dozens of passport offices around the country.

A map of the locations where you can have a U.S. passport made on the same day

When you show up for your appointment, you present the same documents that you normally do for obtaining or renewing a passport, and you’ll have the new document in your hand in just a few hours.

The best part about doing this is that the cost is no different than if you obtain a passport through normal channels.

For reference, here are the typical costs for adult passports in the U.S. 👇

A chart showing the fees to have a U.S. passport made

There are a couple of things to keep in mind here if you want to take this approach:

  • You NEED to have flights booked out of the country, including a confirmation number

  • When you call, they will ask for proof of your travel, which must take place within two weeks in order to get an appointment

  • There is an inherent risk to this: if there are no appointments left, you might end up in a dicey situation…

That last point is an important one… But there is a way to work around this…

Let’s say you have travel booked in about a month.

Rather than wait two weeks until the 14-day window, you could simply book a cheap international flight to Canada or Mexico exactly two weeks out… with free cancellation, of course.

An example of a cheap international flight you could book in order to get a passport made sooner

This way, you have a nice extra buffer to get your passport made, and you can simply cancel your placeholder flight after you have the passport in hand.

If anything goes wrong, you still have your original flight that you can use to book another appointment.

I have numerous friends who have done this over the last few months, and I did it myself a few years ago when I renewed my current passport - so I can verify that it’s a great way to get a passport quickly without the hassle of waiting for months.

If you want to read more about this program (and the other ways to get a passport), check out the official website for more details.

That’s all for today, homies.

Before I let you go for the day, I’m curious to hear about your experience with renewing and applying for passports:

Have you ever had a new passport made same day?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

See you tomorrow, beautiful people ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

13.7563° N, 100.5018° E