🚂 High speed trains... in the U.S.??

 

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Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop, the basashi of newsletters. It’s raw, but everyone seems to love it.

We’ve got a wide-ranging batch of topics today, so let’s jump in:

  • 👔 First-class Friday: Air India gets all spiffy

  • 🚂 High-speed trains might be coming to ‘merica

  • 🛳️ Cruise News: Up to $1,000 discount on Virgin Voyages

👔 First-class Friday: Air India gets all spiffy

When you think of sleek, sexy airlines, there’s one name that definitely never comes to mind: Air India.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a great time ripping around on Air India - and they get the job done….

But most of their planes are incredibly old, the seats are falling apart at the seams, and it just feels like they haven’t refreshed anything in decades.

That is… until now. *cue dramatic music*

Look at that sleek new paint job ✨

Air India just announced a MAJOR facelift, and it’s actually really exciting (if you don’t see the light just yet, don’t worry - we’ll get there).

To kick things off, they revealed a brand new logo and livery (a.k.a. paint job), both of which were much needed. And honestly, I love the new look.

But more importantly, they also revealed details of BRAND new cabins and seats ranging from economy to first class.

Ready?

Dear god… it’s… it’s… it’s stunning. 🥲

These first-class seats feature lie-flat seats along with fully enclosed cabins. Honestly, it looks similar to the famous Qatar Q-suites (although those are a business-class product).

Still, this is a HUGE step up. Even the business-class seats look super dapper, though definitely not as special as the first-class…

So here’s why this is awesome:

You may not realize it, but geographically, India can be a fantastic spot to transit through when traveling long distances from North America or Europe to Asia.

Delhi and Mumbai are very well-connected to the U.S. and the rest of the world, with plenty of daily flights connecting to major North American cities.

As a member of Star Alliance, Air India is also very easy to book with points through programs like Aeroplan or United.

Fly nonstop on Air India from Chicago to Delhi using Aeroplan

The only piece that was missing (at least for me) was their hard product, which is painful to spend more than an hour or two in…

With these new updates, I think I’ll be flying a LOT more Air India in the coming years, and I’m super excited to try out their flashy new vibe.

Good work, Air India. Mikey’s proud.

🚂 High-speed trains might be coming to ‘merica

The U.S. is notoriously known for enjoying our fast cars and fast planes, but the rest of the world looks at us and scoffs as they eat their croissant or bento box while being whisked away on a high-speed train 🙄

Well, guess what… America is (very) slowly coming up to speed in the train game.

Seriously, if I can zip through three European countries in an afternoon on one of their trains, surely I’d be able to reach a neighboring state on one, too.

We don’t know exactly when all routes will be operational, but here’s what’s coming up for high-speed train travel in the U.S. 👇

1. Houston to Dallas

These two major cities will finally be more accessible now that Amtrak is looking to partner with privately owned company, Texas Central Partners, as of last week!

The best part about this is they’re going to be using “advanced, proven Shinkansen technology” on these trains in order to mimic the high-speed service used between Tokyo and Osaka, for example.

The Texas Shinkansen (lol) will make travel between Houston and Dallas possible in just 90 minutes (normally 3.5 hours by car!).

2. Portland to Vancouver B.C.

The current Amtrak line between these two cities takes a disgusting 8.5 hours, but with plans for a new high-speed route, we’ll see that time drop to just two hours—with the train reaching speeds of 250 mph 😳

3. San Francisco to Los Angeles

I don’t even need to mention how bad the traffic between these two cities is. This project has been plagued by everything since it was initially proposed in 2008…

BUT 120 miles are currently under construction, and when completed, it’ll slash the more than six-hour drive down to under three hours 🙌

4. Las Vegas to Victorville (Southern), CA

A private company called Brightline West has picked up this project to bring high-speed transport from Vegas to the Californian city on the outskirts of LA.

They announced this year that plans to start are officially confirmed, and once completed, you’ll be able to race between these cities in under two hours.

Speaking of trains… TODAY ONLY, Amtrak is having a flash sale on certain Auto Train routes (load your car on board with you) from Florida up to the Northeast.

Fares start as low as $39, must be booked today, and are valid for northbound travel from August 21st - December 20th.

🛳️ Cruise News: Up to $1,000 discount on Virgin Voyages

Listen… we can’t promise deals for a free cruise every time we mention the words “cruise news,” but how does up to $1,000 off + free drinks sound??

Still pretty dope, if you ask me 😎

One of our favorite cruise lines, Virgin Voyages, is doing just that. They’re super bummed that summer is ending, and they want to help you extend those warm weather vibes into April of next year with some solid deals.

You’d need to book your cruise by August 23, 2023, and according to Virgin, all sailings through April 30, 2024, are eligible.

Here are the specific deals:

  • Up to $1,000 off Mediterranean voyages through October 2023

  • Up to $500 off Caribbean or Australian voyages through April 2024

  • Up to $400 off Caribbean voyages in 2023

  • Get a $600 bar tab credit (per cabin) for premium drinks on sailings of at least seven nights long

  • Get a $300 bar tab credit (per cabin) for premium drinks on sailings up to six nights long

For example, I was browsing through Mediterranean cruises in September, and you can see that a $1,000 credit will be applied as a limited-time offer 👇

In addition to these deals, you can also save an additional 10% if you book your cruise at least 180 days in advance. Plus, if you pay it in full, you’ll get another 10% off.

So there really are ways to stack some discounts and get the best bang for your buck.

If you’ve been looking at cruisin’ in the next eight or so months, and you’re feeling ready to pull the trigger by August 23rd… now’s your chance to score a worthy cruise deal!

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That’s all for this week, folks!

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I hope you all have a great weekend, and I can’t WAIT to raid your inbox again on Monday morning ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

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