I guess 2016 will be considered the year I get to ski on 3 continents. This is likely a penultimate sort of trip as I burn up most of my miles, and I might not undertake such a trip again for a variety of reasons. As one ages, there are probably limits to the amount of flights they want to take for long haul flights.
The background for this story is that I had to return to Canada and my return flight to Canada is via a return ticket for LOT Polish on the Warsaw to Toronto route. That meant I needed a flight between Asia and Europe, and I had long wanted to try Lufthansa First Class for its impeccable service in Frankfurt Airport. In addition, I do fancy German products (BMWs, Volkl skis, Beer, Pork Knuckles) and you get the drift.
For this trip, I had to find availability revolving Lufthansa First Class, and surprisingly I manage to get several routes available when searching for departure dates within 14 days. Lufthansa flies airplanes with First Class to Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore. While Singapore was the most convenient, availability was zero, and I fancied the trip on the 747-8 which flies between Frankfurt and Beijing or Tokyo, but the timing and connecting flights were none to be had. So that left Hong Kong as the most viable stopover point.
Then I managed to get a Singapore to Hong Kong first class flight on United Airlines flying a 777. Not bad since I have never tried the Global First product on United before.
And now for the best part, I have planned a 6 hour layover in Frankfurt to enjoy the First Class Terminal. That should be enough time to get a shower and enjoy the terminal facilities to my heart’s content, before my connecting flight to Paris. I would spend a couple of days to explore Paris since I really liked exploring this city and have yet to return for some time.
For the skiing portion, I was keen on spending time in Zermatt again after visiting it during the summer last year. Then news of some Design Hotels joining SPG gave me some new ideas as 2 of the hotels were ski-lodges near St. Moritz in Switzerland and La Thuile in Italy. However, I was also aiming to ski at the Les Trois Vallées which is considered as the largest ski area in the world spanning 8 ski areas in 4 different valley regions with a network of inter-connected pistes. The search for the best value lodging came down to an itinerary of staying 4 nights at Hotel Pashmina in Val Thorens with a half board (breakfast and dinner included).
From Switzerland, I had a return ticket to get to Toronto on LOT Polish Airways which is a nested itinerary from last year while I would fly back to Vancouver onboard Air Canada’s new 787. I would take some time to settle some business in the city and ski in Whistler Blackcomb which I consider as my ‘home’ mountain as I spent a lot of days learning there.
Finally, the return portion of the trip will be on a mix of Korean Air and Cathay Pacific back to Asia. Think of this as a round-the-world using a mix of itineraries that I booked on points and purchased separately.