Back to Skiing at the Pacific Northwest – Trip Prologue

While I picked up skiing in Canada, I have travelled with a group of my friends based in Asia to Japan where it is closer to my place of residence at this point in time. However circumstances on the last ski season somehow found us all heading to Canada and I was enthusiastic to show them where I honed my ability to ski and snowboard at – Whistler Blackcomb. Granted that Whistler Blackcomb might not be perfect or even lost some of its lustre after I visited so many ski resorts before. But to me it is just like that first love that you never fail to forget and yearn to return to.

Snow day at Glacier Creek
Snow day at Glacier Creek

Since I knew my destination was to end up in Vancouver, where we would drive up to Whistler afterwards, I searched for tickets there. Initially I was planning to fly with China Airlines or EVA Air since they have new cabins that fly to Vancouver and I have not taken either of them recently. I am particularly keen to try out China Airlines’ new A350 since their interior fittings looks fantastic and they are a member of Sky Team.

However more circumstances arise as I found myself required to be in China for business after my Canada trip. Since China is somewhere along the route, I planned to book 2 separate tickets, one from Indonesia to China, and another from China to North America. For some reason, the cheapest way to get from China to North America on Business Class was on Delta flying from Beijing to Los Angeles, with a return trip costing me around $1,800. Even with the additional $300 for the Los Angeles to Vancouver leg, it was still cheaper than most tickets. What attracted me to this fare was the fact that I would fly on Delta’s new Business Class suites for the trans-Pacific routing, with Beijing to Detroit on outbound and Los Angeles to Shanghai on the inbound.

Outside Terminal 2
At the older Beijing Capitol Airport Terminal 2

Between Indonesia and China, I booked 2 one-way redemptions. The outbound will be a flight redemption on Garuda Indonesia Business Class using Air France Flying Blue miles. This would be my first flight on Garuda Indonesia Business Class for a long haul flight. For the return trip, I would fly out from Shanghai and I chose to fly on Singapore Airlines, redeeming my Krisflyer miles back to Jakarta since they had the most availability with several promotional redemptions between Singapore and China.

Garuda Indonesia 777 at PEK
Garuda Indonesia 777 at PEK

On the return trip, a simple Singapore Airlines Business Class redemption yielded a surprise as I got to fly one of the newer Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A350 with regional seating configuration that has a lie-flat seat as well. That trip re-affirmed Singapore Airlines as one of the premier airlines in the world.

SQ Airbus A350
Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A350

This trip journal would cover more of the new hotels I stayed at, with the highlight being the Delta ONE suites flights. Along the way, I would cover as well some of the changes Vail has done to Whistler. Finally because I had spared some time in Vancouver to meet up with some of my friends there, I would review some hotels I stayed in the city. Do stay tuned as I slowly cover this trip, and do bear with me as I tend to update this blog a bit slower.

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