😢 Hyatt gets... devalued...

Plus, one of the best airline sweet spots is disappearing next week... yeah, it's not a fun day.

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 13 seconds

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Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop, the newsletter that delivers all the best news and exciting travel hacks straight to your inbox…

… except today. No, no, today will be very bad:

😢 Hilton steals the SLH partnership from Hyatt

I hate to be a Debby downer. But part of my job is keeping you in the loop about what’s going on in the travel world, even if it’s bad news.

And that’s exactly the type of news I woke up to today when I learned that Hilton poached one of the most valuable hotel partnerships right out from under Hyatt.

I’m talking about Small Luxury Hotels of the World, or SLH.

A photo of an SLH property with their logo

You may remember just a few months ago when I told you about how this partnership with Hyatt allows you to get elite benefits without needing any elite status.

It is one of the best ways to redeem Hyatt points for outsize value, given the amazing benefits like free breakfast and more.

A screenshot of the hotel benefits when booking SLH hotels through Hyatt

Now, that is obsolete. Poof. Gone.

Instead, the 500+ SLH properties will soon be bookable with Hilton points (or cash when booking directly with Hilton)…

Here’s why this is less exciting…

Hyatt uses a fixed chart to price out award nights, which SLH hotels fit into - this meant that award prices for rooms were never exorbitantly high or unreasonable.

A screenshot of the World of Hyatt Award Chart

Being part of Hilton means that these properties (which are generally high quality) will now be priced more dynamically, so we can expect to shell out many more points for them.

It’s also unclear as to whether or not a similar set of “elite perks” will be available to non-elite guests who book through Hilton.

It also means fewer ways to rack up valuable Hyatt elite nights and shrinks Hyatt’s footprint across the globe (which was a weak point of theirs already).

Here’s the bottom line:

Everything is bad… and our favorite hotel program just got a little worse. The end.

😭 Turkish Airlines demolishes its award chart

In case you didn’t know, Turkish Airlines’ loyalty program (Miles & Smiles) offers some pretty solid rates for flying to Istanbul, Europe, and beyond on one of the world’s best airlines.

We talk about it every once in a while here at Daily Drop because of their solid deals and amazing redemption rates for flying partner airlines like United.

But today, we’re talking about them for all the wrong reasons… That’s because they’ve GUTTED their award chart, increasing prices drastically.

Here are the details:

On February 16th, new award pricing will take effect for both Turkish Airlines flights and partner awards.

For example, you could previously book business-class flights from the U.S. to Europe (via Istanbul) on Turkish for just 45,000 miles one-way.

An example of bookng Turkish Airlines from New York to Europe for 45,000 miles

With the new changes, this flight will now cost 65,000 miles one-way, an increase of 44%…

Even the economy awards on the same route that previously cost 30,000 miles are now increasing by 33% to a whopping 40,000 miles one-way, which is not the greatest deal for an economy flight.

The new award charts have been published on the Turkish website, but here’s what the pricing looks like for Turkish-operated flights:

A screenshot of the recently announced Turkish Award chart updates

Of course, some of the best uses for Turkish miles are in their hidden sweet spots, like the ability to book domestic flights on United for just 7,500 miles.

Now, however, these prices will also increase… though not quite as badly. But it’s still not fun.

A screenshot of the new Turkish Airlines domestic award chart for United flights within the U.S.

There is a TINY silver lining to this announcement, however…

We have a bit of a heads-up before these new prices go into effect on the 16th.

That means that if you have any Turkish miles (or want to transfer some miles from various credit cards), you should book your flights ASAP before these amazing prices disappear forever.

So here’s the bottom line:

Everything is still very bad. And an airline program with excellent redemption rates just got devalued.

😬 Boeing forgot to install bolts on a plane door

And for the final less-than-ideal news piece for today…

By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard about Alaska Airlines flight 1282 that lost an exit door panel on January 5th… mid-flight 😬

This obviously caused a rapid decompression of the aircraft and resulted in an emergency landing into PDX (Portland, OR). Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured.

But now, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has finally released its preliminary findings of the incident. Spoiler alert—it was far more than just a “defective door plug.”

Turns out, the four critical bolts that hold said door in place… weren’t even there.

*Initiating the biggest face palm to ever exist 😵‍💫

Just… What? How? Why? There are so many questions.

Obviously there will be further investigation and more to come from this, but for now, Boeing has their hands full in addressing their quality control operations.

And alas, after probably the most depressing newsletter to date, we can at least end with a meme…

Too soon? 🫢

Picture of Boeing plane with door missing that says "One door closes, another opens."

But in POSITIVE news…

One of my favorite ways to learn about new travel hacks is in our very own Daily Drop Lounge, an online community of DD fans and travel hackers.

And unlike your local airport lounge, you won’t have any trouble getting into the Daily Drop Lounge. 😉

Here’s a look at a post from this past week if you want a taste of what you’re missing:

A post from the Lounge about someone getting great redemption value from using their SW Companion Pass

That’s all for this week, kiddos. Sorry to end the week with so much negative news, but hopefully next week will bring some brighter skies in the travel hacking world.

In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful weekend. See you bright and early on Monday ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

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