- Introduction: First Family Trip To Europe and Dubai with WestJet and Emirates
- Review | WestJet Economy Class | Vancouver to Edmonton to London | 767-300ER
- Review | Eurostar e320 | London to Paris
- Review | Barcelona Sala Miró VIP Lounge
- Review | Emirates Business Class | Barcelona to Dubai | a380
- Review | Emirates Business Class | Dubai to Los Angeles | a380
- Review | Alaska Airlines First Class | Los Angeles to Seattle to Vancouver | 737-700
The idea of visiting Europe has come up within my family for a year or two now. While I was definitely interested in going, I also wanted to visit Europe as part of a bigger trip visiting multiple cities, connected with several flights, and perhaps even a couple of train segments.
To accomplish this, about a year ago, I convinced my family to start collecting points with the Alaska Mileage Plan, given the wide variety of amazing award partners you can redeem from (I’ll talk about the process of doing this in a series of posts later). Alaska frequently runs promotions for purchasing miles, and as we had already collected a bunch of Alaska miles, we were able to top off our mileage balances by simply purchasing through the promotion. This gave us enough miles to book an Emirates business class award from Barcelona to Vancouver, along with a free stopover in Dubai (being the hub of Emirates).
The free stopover in Dubai was a welcome addition to our Europe trip. Dubai is a city that has always fascinated me with its impressive skyscrapers, unique culture, and of course – being the home of the airline, Emirates. I visited Dubai just a couple months ago as part of another trip, and I was amazed at what the city had to offer, so I wanted to bring my family back to experience it. Additionally, being able to book my family on Emirates in business class would be a GREAT way to introduce them to the world of miles and points, and give them a taste of the benefits that can be had by using miles strategically.
Our award redemption covered the journey from Europe back to Vancouver. That left us with the problem of getting to Europe. As luck would have it, WestJet started offering service from Vancouver and Edmonton to London Gatwick at a reasonable one way fare with their recently acquired 767 fleet. We then decided to book an economy class ticket with WestJet from Vancouver to London via Edmonton, as that was the most convenient option for our travel dates.
Once all the flights were booked, we needed to find a way from London to Barcelona. I’ve been wanting to try Eurostar for years, and with the introduction of the new e320 trains, that option looked like the best way to go. We decided to take the Eurostar from London to Paris for a couple of days, before taking another high speed TGV Duplex train to Barcelona so that we can enjoy the nice countryside scenery of France and Spain.
Places to Visit
As it will be my first time visiting London, I thought it would be a good idea to take in the views of the city while enjoying a nice afternoon tea. I decided to reserve the afternoon tea at the Ting-Lounge, Shangri-La. The Ting-Lounge is located in the Shard and offers an amazing view of the London skyline and tower bridge. Hopefully it will be an experience to remember.
Other highlights of the trip include walking along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, the Jamon Experience in Barcelona, the Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark on the Palm Island Dubai, and a day tour to visit the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi. I will be taking notes and writing my trip reports during the trip and will aim to have it posted in the coming weeks.
Looking forward to this trip – One More Week To Go!!