To Europe and back


For the past two weeks my family and I have been mostly off-line during our European vacation.  While we were away, the big and horrible news was the Malaysian Airlines tragedy.  My heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy. 

Regarding points and miles, there were several minor things of note:

About the flights…

While some were making fun of blogger “Vendoming,” my family and I were ironically out Vendoming away.  As I outlined in the post titled “Vacation Notice,” we hopped over to Toronto on a Delta flight, then flew to Europe on Lufthansa 1st class (Toronto to Munich) and onward to Paris in business class. In Paris, we stayed at the Park Hyatt Vendome for 5 nights.  We then took the high speed TGV train to Switzerland, changed trains in Basel and de-trained in Lucerne where we spent 4 nights at the Radisson Blu.  From there we took trains and cable cars to get to Murren in the Swiss Alps where we stayed that the Hotel Bellevue.  We wrapped up the trip with a 3 night stay in Zurich at the Park Hyatt.  Our return flights were: Zurich to Munich business class (Lufthansa), Munich to Toronto 1st class (Lufthansa), Toronto to Detroit (Delta).

2014-07-05 12.59.11

Lufthansa 1st class was very nice.  As expected with an international first class flight, we were offered champagne and caviar, given pajamas and slippers, and our lie-flat seats were prepared with comfortable bedding when we were ready to sleep.  It wasn’t Singapore Suites nice, but still it was very nice.  With Lufthansa, flying international 1st class entitles you to the 1st class lounge in Germany which offers excellent food (order off the menu or grab from the buffet), private bathroom/showers, etc.  And, if Munich is your international gateway, passport control is handled inside the lounge which makes it a really easy non-event.  If you’re lucky, you may get a chauffeured Mercedes ride to your next flight.  This was our ride to the plane that took us to Paris:

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And, upon return to Munich at the end of our trip, a driver was waiting to take us back to the lounge:

2014-07-20 10.21.57

All of these things were really nice and special, but in the end I realized that I probably wouldn’t do it again.  We could have flown a perfectly nice business class product across the Atlantic directly from Detroit, but instead hopped over to Toronto to experience all out in-flight luxury.  The extra hop in each direction was a hassle which required terminal changes and extra border control hoops.  And, I can’t really say that the extra in-air luxury was a big deal.  At least, it wasn’t to me.  If given the option to fly Lufthansa first class through Germany without extra stops, I would do so more for the benefits associated with the first class lounges than for the extra comfort in the air.

For those interested, I’ll follow up soon with some highlights from our adventures in Paris and Switzerland.  For those not interested, I’ll get back to my usual points and miles blogging very soon.

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