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✈️ Positioning flights saved my butt

A classic travel hack, revisited. Plus, Flying Blue is offering summer flights to Europe for only 15,000 miles.

Estimated read time: 3 minutes and 38 seconds

🇨🇦 HEY CANADIANS. 🇨🇦 Later this evening, I’ll be hosting a live masterclass all about travel hacking for Canadians. If you want to get in on the fun, register here or watch the recording later in the Daily Drop Lounge. See you later, canucks.

Goooooooooood morning, my beautiful people. Welcome back to another week of Daily Drop, the only newsletter that is FDA-approved to cure wanderlust.

Here’s what today’s dose has in store:

🏃🏼‍♂️ Mike on the Move: Positioning flights

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you I wouldn’t be on the move for a while because I was trying slow travel…?

Well, I’m sorry to say that… I was completely right. I’m still slow traveling. And loving it.

But in life, there is one universal truth that we all know to be true… All good things must come to an end: Life itself, season five of Breaking Bad, and (sadly) amazing trips. 😭

A meme with a grown man crying because his vacation is ending tomorrow.

So, over the last few days, I’ve been looking ahead to the end of the month to plan my travels back home to Toronto.

Unfortunately, everything I’ve found is VERY BAD.

A screenshot from Aeroplan showing exorbtantly high award pricing

Most of the award flights I’ve found are exorbitantly expensive, as are the cash flights…

Bangkok is what we call a “sour spot.”

It’s very far away from North America, it’s a very popular destination, and getting here always requires some number of connecting flights.

As a result, it can be really hard to find reasonably priced award seats. 

Thankfully, however, I read Daily Drop (sometimes).

That’s how I learned about the magic of positioning flights from a newsletter a while back.

An airplane flying above the clouds at sunset

Instead of spending WAY too many points on an itinerary back home to Toronto from Bangkok, I decided to look at cheap cash flights to other cities.

From here, I ran searches from those cities back to Toronto and was able to secure a much better deal.

Specifically, I’ll be flying from Bangkok to Tokyo at the end of the month:

A screenshot from Google flights showing a positioning flight from Bangkok to Tokyo

Tokyo is much closer in distance to Toronto and much better connected with flights than Bangkok.

Because of this, I was able to lock in an award flight for under 50,000 points nonstop from Tokyo.

A screenshot from Aeroplan showing a cheap award flight from Tokyo to Toronto foe less than 50,0000 points

So, in the end, I’m paying around $150 extra in order to save around 70,000 points.

I value those points around two cents each, or around $1,400. In my book, I’m coming out WAY ahead.

However, there are some important caveats to booking trips this way.

For example, you will be on separate itineraries, so you should always give yourself a buffer between your positioning flight and primary flight.

Personally, I don’t mind spending an extra day or two in Tokyo, one of my favorite cities in the world…

So here’s the bottom line:

If you have trouble finding award space (or reasonable pricing) on the exact route you need to fly, look for cheap cash flights on either end of the itinerary.

You might just find that you can save a ton of points by doing so.

✈️ Flying Blue Promo Rewards (Feb 2024)

It’s that time of the month, folks. That means it’s time to unveil the latest KLM/Air France Flying Blue Promo Rewards.

In case you aren’t aware, Flying Blue offers monthly discounted award flights between North America and Europe (and beyond).

A banner image from the Flying Blue website showcasing the various promo rewards for his month

As you can see, this month includes some U.S. cities once again (yay). But here’s how this whole thing works:

  • You must book your flights by the end of February

  • Travel can take place through July 31, 2024

  • You must book your flights using Flying Blue miles

  • Only valid for select flights on KLM or Air France (not partner airlines)

If you live on the West Coast, this should definitely be exciting for you.

15,000 miles to get to Europe (especially if you’re looking for a summer getaway) is a fantastic deal.

But even if you live in Europe (or want to plan a more extensive trip), there are some other interesting options to get around Europe, or even from Europe to Asia and Africa, for good prices.

A map of the various Promo Reward destinations for this month

Theoretically, you could fly from San Francisco to Paris, spend a couple of weeks in Europe, then move on to Hong Kong for a grand total of 33,750 Flying Blue miles…

That’s a great price for a mini around-the-world trip if you ask me.

A sample booking from Los Angeles to Paris for 15,000 Flying Blue miles
A sample booking from Paris to Hong Kong for 18,750 Flying Blue miles

If you want to take advantage of this deal, you’re probably in luck…

That’s because pretty much every major bank in the U.S. (and even some in Canada) allows you to transfer points to Flying Blue - so earning miles is as easy as picking up a card that earns transferrable points.

If you don’t live out West, I wouldn’t worry too much. It’s highly likely that we’ll see similar deals from East Coast cities in the coming months, so stay tuned.

😜 Meme

A meme with the caption, "When you're out to dinner and your friend pays with a card that only earns 1x points on dining." The image below shows Taylor Swift not pleased.

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That’s all for today, compadres. I look forward to seeing some of your beautiful Canadian faces later today at the masterclass.

But for the rest of you, I look forward to seeing your beautiful email inboxes first thing tomorrow morning.

Love you ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

13.7563° N, 100.5018° E