Europe Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Porto in January
  2. 2 Amalfi Coast/Sorrento-which town?
  3. 3 Anyone Use the Venezia Unica City Pass?
  4. 4 The DCC scam is spreading
  5. 5 Scotland itinerary advice
  6. 6 Any downside when booking codeshare flights?
  7. 7 Rome Water Shortage
  8. 8 Amsterdam Train Help Please!
  9. 9 Really true that US passport needs 6 months left to enter Schengen zone?
  10. 10 European Sampler, 4 weeks, 6 countries?
  11. 11 Valencia Spain
  12. 12 Trip Report Whistle stop family road trip
  13. 13 5 nights in Granada and Malaga - what combo?
  14. 14 Lake Como,Italy
  15. 15 Greek Islands - Should we rent a car on Mykonos and Santorini?
  16. 16 Help with tips in UK
  17. 17 Advice needed re CDW for car rental in Ireland/N. Ireland
  18. 18 Cab cost from Tegel/ Germany/ to Charlottenstrasse
  19. 19 Trip Report MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland
  20. 20 Schengen question....confirmation needed
  21. 21 Provence Hotel and Flights
  22. 22 14 days from Frankfurt to Paris by train
  23. 23 Weather and clothes in Sakzkammergut in August
  24. 24 3 weeks in Scotland and Germany?
  25. 25 Trip Report Rouen & Paris Anniversary Trip
View next 25 » Back to the top

Trip Report Tedgale trip report: One glorious week in London, February, 2015

Jump to last reply

This will be a long, fact-laden report. I've used sub-heads for ease of reading and I will post in instalments. Here's my first bit.
Opening text seems a bit leaden to me. I will try to speed it up and liven it up from here on:

We have just returned from a week-long trip to London (Feb 9-17, 2015) -- a very successful holiday and the renewal of a long dormant love affair with a city I last saw two decades ago.
As this city is so frequently written up, I will make my report selective. My reports tend to the dry and factual -- no gush about "to-die-for" desserts I ate or the cute puppy that licked my hand outside Harrods. I'll try to focus on information that may be useful to other travellers preparing a visit.
I'll start with the background:
We are an older Canadian married couple, ages 62 and 71 -- frequent travelers interested in history, art and eating, who appreciate quality but always scrutinize the value-for-money ratio.
We winter in Savannah GA but pried ourselves away from the 70 F weather for a compelling personal reason: To attend the memorial service for my late sister-in-law, who died in a domestic accident only a few months after she and my brother moved to London from NYC.
Though the trip had a sombre beginning, we were resolved to have some good times with family and we succeeded admirably.

Flight booking: We traveled using Aeroplan points accumulated on Air Canada. As United Airlines seems to be the sole US-based Star Alliance member, we were compelled to fly UA from Savannah to London, making connections at Dulles in Washington.
On the outbound journey, we chose the late-evening flight (10 PM) so that we would arrive at 10 AM. (The other option was to arrive around 5:45 AM which, given the time change, means a sleepless night and an arrival shortly after midnight, East-coast time.) Since flights from SAV to IAD are few, this meant a six-hour layover at IAD, which we used to grab dinner with my younger brother and his wife near their Vienna, VA home.
I had read enough reviews of UA in general and its Boeing 777 refit in particular to be prepared for crummy service and a less than comfortable ride. To mitigate this, we chose to fly Business class -- 90,000 points instead of 60,000. Considering the cash value of a Business class ticket is approximately 4X the price of an Economy ticket, this seems a bargain.
When you fly to and from the US, the additional taxes and fees for a Business class flight are about $400 Canadian (20% less in USD). If you fly transatlantic from Canada or even if you fly from the US but change planes in Canada, your fees skyrocket: they can go as high as $1500 for a Business class flight.
...Which is probably why we had such a huge balance of points to begin with. There is absolutely no way I'd fly from Canada to Europe on an economy ticket purchased with points. Buying a Canadian seat-sale ticket is almost as cheap as flying on points and it gives you far, far greater selection of flights and carriers.

123 Replies | Jump to bottom Add a Reply
123 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.

Advertisement