This Viral TikTok Hack Shows How an Empty Tote Bag Can Get You Free SkyMiles

Turns out carrying an empty tote is good for more than just looking mysterious at coffee shops.

Artit_Wongpradu/iStock/Getty Images
Artit_Wongpradu/iStock/Getty Images
Artit_Wongpradu/iStock/Getty Images

Remember the wise phrase, “work smarter not harder?” Now apply that to travel, et voil√†-you’ll get 2,500 free miles just for checking an empty tote bag on your next flight.

That’s not a made-up airline perk, even if it’s not one we’ve personally pulled off. It is, in fact, the latest purported¬†TikTok travel hack. In a recent video that has since gone viral with 1.6 million views as of Monday, a clever TikTok user Janelle, who goes by @janelleonajet on the platform, caught the attention of many travelers with her creative way to gain 2,500 free Delta SkyMiles.

The trick really has to do with Delta’s luggage blueprint. According to the airline’s rules and regulations, passengers are entitled to get free miles when their luggage is late at baggage claim. “If your checked bag doesn’t arrive at the carousel in 20 minutes or less after any domestic flight,” reads the Delta website, “you are eligible to receive 2,500 bonus miles.”

And that’s where Janelle’s quick thinking swooped in. Through her credit card, she had a free bag to check, and in order to try and get her free miles, she decided to check an empty tote bag. Why? Partially because it was likely to get mishandled and therefore arrive late at the carousel, but also because 20 minutes is a short time range for any bag.

“Bags are always late,” Janelle explains in a comment. “The commitment is 20min from when the aircraft door opens to my bag arriving to the claim. I get the miles almost every time!”

Redeeming the miles is quite simple, too. According to Janelle, all you have to do is do a quick Google search using the terms “delta bags on time,” and the form to get your miles will appear.

Don’t get too greedy with it, though. “Is it PER bag or just per flight‚Ķ ,” asked a TikTok user in a comment. “Per flight, but per person! So if you’re traveling with people make sure that everyone has a bag tagged to their name,” explained Janelle.

You don’t even have to worry about playing lawyer and prove that your bag was late. Online tracking will come to your rescue, and the system itself will see if you’re eligible for bonus miles or not.

And apparently, airport agents themselves are into Janelle’s travel hack, and aren’t looking to side-eye you or question your odd choices. “The agent who checked my bag told me I made his day hahahaha,” said Janelle in a comment. “After he looked at me like I was crazy LMFAO.”

While we can’t guarantee this hack will work every time, or that it will be around forever or even much longer since it went viral, but with the cost of travel these days it sure doesn’t hurt to try.

Looking for more travel tips?

Whether you need help sneaking weed onto a plane, finding an airport where you can sign up for PreCheck without an appointment, or making sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to when your flight is canceled, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for up-to-date travel hacks and all the travel news you need to help you plan your next big adventure.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on¬†Instagram,¬†TikTok,¬†Twitter,¬†Facebook,¬†Pinterest, and¬†YouTube.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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