Welcome to my next trip report series, which will recount my summer family holiday to Europe earlier this month, with transatlantic crossings on Star Alliance.
Summer 2023 Europe Trip Report
Until we can move to Germany on a more semi-permanent basis (not full-time, but part-time), I think it is vital that we continue to make two visits per year so that my children can spend time with their German grandparents. That was the primary purpose of this trip and is the primary purpose of every family trip to Europe.
Summer award space using miles has been tricky this summer, though not as bad as last summer. As is often the case, we were a few days away from travel with no ticket booked, but some saver award space opened on United from Los Angeles to London so I took that (40K miles in economy class and upgraded to business class using PlusPoints from a friend who has Global Services status). Flying business class on an overnight flight is a great way to beat jet lag, though we took United’s midday departure to London, which made sleeping a bit difficult (less so, however, after we ran into a three-hour mechanical delay).
As an aside, UK261 only applies to US carriers when departing from the UK, not flying to the UK, so there will be no cash compensation for the delay.
We spent a couple of nights in London with my sister-in-law before continuing to Basel, Switzerland on British Airways (9.5K Avios + $40 each in business class) and spending a very relaxing week in Germany. During that time we made a day trip to Lichtenstein, which turned out to be a lot of fun.
Then to conclude our trip, we spent a couple nights in Malta, another spur-of-the-moment trip booked less than 24 hours before departure (Air Malta for $238 in business class). We stayed at the new Hyatt Regency in St. Julian’s, which was quite nice (about $240/night).
Business class space did not open for the return, but we flew from Malta to Copenhagen via Frankfurt on Lufthansa (with a brief overnight in Frankfurt) then SAS to Los Angeles on an A350-900. I hate using 44K miles for economy class tickets, but flight pricing was through the roof…this made a lot more sense than spending $ 1,500 cash.
I had wanted to do Vienna on this trip and even had booked us a few nights at the Park Hyatt Vienna (under the old rates), but we decided to remain in Germany to maximize our time with family.
Here are the segments for this report:
- United Polaris Lounge LAX With Family
- My Celebrity Captain On United Airlines
- United Airlines 787-9 Business Class Los Angeles – London
- I Love London
- Touring Buckingham Palace
- Great Coffee At Buckingham Palace
- Heathrow Express To LHR
- British Airways Galleries South Lounge
- British Airways A319 Business Class London – Basel
- LOL: Special Meals On British Airways
- Photo Essay: Summer In Germany
- Avis Car Rental: Sorry, We Are Out Of Cars…
- Driving A Polestar On German Autobahn
- Me And All Hotel – Ulm, Germany (Hyatt JdV)
- Our Day Trip To Lichtenstein
- Great Coffee In Lichtenstein
- Aspire Lounge Zurich
- Air Malta A320neo Business Class Zurich – Malta
- VIP Arrival Lounge Malta (MLA) – Priority Pass
- Depressing: Attending Church In Malta
- High Winds Limit Our Time In Malta
- Hyatt Regency Malta
- Photo Essay: Three Days In Malta
- La Valette Club Malta (MLA) – Priority Pass
- Lufthansa Crunchy Chicken Bowl Via Onboard Delights Menu
- Coffee And Chocolate On Lufthansa: A Nice Upgrade
- Lufthansa A321 Economy Class Malta – Frankfurt – Copenhagen
- Hyatt Place Frankfurt Airport
- Lufthansa Panorama Lounge Frankfurt (FRA)
- SAS A350-900 Economy Class Copenhagen – Los Angeles
Thanks in advance for reading!