Season Plans: 2022-23

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
I booked next ski season's Euro flights just a couple of hours before we left for Sweden, after some offline correspondence with James.

James, ChrisC and I have all found that his is the general time frame when FF deals can be had, albeit for very limited dates. In this instance we will be paying 34K miles + $102 to fly to Geneva Jan. 21 - Feb. 9. This deal is naturally only available on two-stoppers: SEA and AMS on Jan. 19 and CDG and SLC on Feb. 9.

The above cheap miles deal with two stops is deja vu from our original 2019-20 plans. I was allowed to redeposit those miles with no penalty due to first Liz' shoulder injury, then the COVID shutdown. Delta also froze its Medallion qualification miles for 2020 and 2021. I'm now Platinum Status with an MQM stockpile that assures I will retain that status through at least 2025.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
James, ChrisC and I have all found that this is the general time frame when FF deals can be had, albeit for very limited dates.
I've been keeping an eye out for FF-award deals but no dice so far. If nothing changes, I'm looking at the usual situation: 22.5K each way on American through JFK and 30K each way on United through Newark. Glass half full: my flights are nonstops. :eusa-whistle:
 
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Sbooker

Member
Just after New Year we fly Brisbane to Paris with a transit break of 2 hours in Changi Singapore. A couple of days in Paris then train to Bourg Saint Maurice. 18 days based in Les Arcs then 6 days in Chamonix. Flying out of Milan back to Brisbane via Changi. We paid about $1500 Aud per person for flights.

Flying Air Canada from Brisbane to Portland on April 16. Returning April 27. Nothing set in stone yet but hope to visit Mt Hood and Mt Bachelor. $1580 for the return ticket.

@Tony Crocker are you heading to Canada this year?
 
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Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
18 days based in Les Arcs
??? So it's only the last week that you are down to three people? I'd even more recommend splitting that up with some time at Val d'Isere or Val Thorens if it's 18 days.

Yes Liz and I will be returning to Island Lake/Fernie/Castle again for a week similar to last year. We don't have plane tickets for that yet.

The travel planning we need to work on is Western Australia next April. The eclipse/scuba cruise is out of Broome April 14 -24. We will probably take an extra day around Broome on the front end and about a week in areas easily driveable from Perth on the back end.
 
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Sbooker

Member
??? So it's only the last week that you are down to three people? I'd even more recommend splitting that up with some time at Val d'Isere or Val Thorens if it's 18 days.

Yes Liz and I will be returning to Island Lake/Fernie/Castle again for a week similar to last year. We don't have plane tickets for that yet.

The travel planning we need to work on is Western Australia next April. The eclipse/scuba cruise is out of Broome April 14 -24. We will probably take an extra day around Broome on the front end and about a week in areas easily driveable from Perth on the back end.
We’re a crew of 6 for the time in Les Arcs. The first week will be an exercise in getting the newbies mobile. We’ll then break it up with some day trips. The girls will have an overnight excursion to Lyon in the middle. If conditions are poor I may go with them.
This will be a holiday that will involve a lot of skiing but will also allow everyone to have a relaxing time just hanging out if they want to.
It’s actually pretty easy to have a day in the Three Valleys. Train to Moutiers and bus to Brides Le Bains (only about 15 minutes) for the gondola.
As it happens there are a group of Aussies that are staying in Val D’Isere at the same time. They’ll have a car and have asked myself and Kylie to stay with them for a few days at some point.
Broome sounds great.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
It's not skiing but yesterday I just bought the air tickets for next April: LAX - Broome April 11-13, Broome - Perth April 25, Perth - LAX May 1. They are only one stoppers, Sydney April 13 and Melbourne May 1. Price is $2,112pp. Sbooker can comment whether that's reasonable.

Delta/Skyteam has zero presence in the South Pacific. Virgin Australia was Skyteam for awhile but dropped out this June. United/Star Alliance only has Air New Zealand. You have no chance of using miles unless you have a stockpile from American/One World where Qantas and Fiji Air are members. That's also why our more complex itinerary in July 2019 (Tahiti, Auckland, Uluru, Darwin, Vanuatu) cost $2,800pp.

This morning I booked our Canada flights. It will be similar to last year, WestJet (Skyteam partner) nonstops from LAX for 25K miles + $61 vs. cash being $550. We will do a longer Calgary loop trip through Panorama and Banff from Feb. 17 - Mar. 1 because this is the year Iron Blosam Week jumps forward (March 11-18), while the last few years I would be driving to Utah within a week of returning home from Canada.
 
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Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
As it happens there are a group of Aussies that are staying in Val D’Isere at the same time. They’ll have a car and have asked myself and Kylie to stay with them for a few days at some point.
That sounds great. As for Trois Vallees, that daytrip sounds masochistic. You have:
1) Transfer from Arc 1800 to top of funicular
2) Funicular down to Bourg St. Maurice
3) Train to Moutiers
4) Bus to Brides Le Bains
5) 3 lift rides before you get as high as the Val Thorens base.
You'll be lucky to get there by noon.

Liz wandered by and she believes Trois Vallees has better skiing than Les Arcs/La Plagne. Sbooker and family have never been there. She thinks it's an easy call to relocate to a Val Thorens (or maybe Les Menuires if price is much lower) apartment for up to a week out of those 18 days. FYI Liz thought the farmer's market and shopping in Val Thorens were pretty good. She found my new ski jacket there. So there's no reason to think the non-ski aspects for your kids and their friends would be in any way inferior to Les Arcs.

Even if you are insistent on spending the 18 days in one place, you should not be committing non-refundable $$$ to lodging now due to the usual early season snow caveats.
 
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Sbooker

Member
It's not skiing yesterday I just bought the air tickets for next April: LAX - Broome April 11-13, Broome - Perth April 25, Perth - LAX May 1. They are only one stoppers, Sydney April 13 and Melbourne May 1. Price is $2,112pp. Sbooker can comment whether that's reasonable.
That's very very reasonable. Nice buy.
This morning I booked our Canada flights. It will be similar to last year, WestJet (Skyteam partner) nonstops from LAX for 25K miles + $61 vs. cash being $550. We will do a longer Calgary loop trip through Panorama and Banff from Feb. 17 - Mar. 1 because this is the year Iron Blosam Week jumps forward (March 11-18), while the last few years I would be driving to Utah within a week of returning home from Canada.
You live a tough life Tony.
As for Trois Vallees, that daytrip sounds masochistic. You have:
1) Transfer from Arc 1800 to top of funicular
2) Funicular down to Bourg St. Maurice
3) Train to Moutiers
4) Bus to Brides Le Bains
5) 3 lift rides before you get as high as the Val Thorens base.
You'll be lucky to get there by noon.
One person's masochism is another person's pleasure.
I'll get an early taxi from our lodging to get the first train from Bourg. I'll have breakfast in Moutiers. The first gondola from Brides is 8.30am. The kids will no doubt spend that time in the gondola doing their Insta and whatever else they put selfies on. We'll be catching the first lift in Meribel. I'll be sure to post a report. :)
Liz wandered by and she believes Trois Vallees has better skiing than Les Arcs/La Plagne. Sbooker and family have never been there. She thinks it's an easy call to relocate to a Val Thorens (or maybe Les Menuires if price is much lower) apartment for up to a week out of those 18 days. FYI Liz thought the farmer's market and shopping in Val Thorens were pretty good. She found my new ski jacket there. So there's no reason to think the non-ski aspects for your kids and their friends would be in any way inferior to Les Arcs.
The dollars aren't a huge consideration really. If I was trying to stick to a budget I would have taken the group of 6 to Caloundra for the holidays.
Firstly I'm one of six. My wife is one of the other 5. Her preferences are important.
1. Packing up for 6 people is a chore (for her primarily). Checking into new accommodation is a pain. Restocking groceries in the new accommodation etc etc
2. Easy proximity to the train station is the big advantage in Les Arcs.
3. Les Arcs has more tree lined runs and tree skiing than anywhere else in that region. I'll have newbies who will really struggle on snow days if above the tree line.

Liz wandered by and she believes Trois Vallees has better skiing than Les Arcs/La Plagne. Sbooker and family have never been there. She thinks it's an easy call to relocate to a Val Thorens (or maybe Les Menuires if price is much lower) apartment for up to a week out of those 18 days. FYI Liz thought the farmer's market and shopping in Val Thorens were pretty good. She found my new ski jacket there. So there's no reason to think the non-ski aspects for your kids and their friends would be in any way inferior to Les Arcs.

I respect the opinions of you and Liz. Obviously. If it was just me or just me and Kylie I would be moving about as we have many times in the past. I have not committed to lodging but have a couple of places on hold and have to make a call by December 30 from memory. I am open to the idea of spending half the time in Tignes/Val (my preference) or somewhere in the Three Valleys. We'll see. I have to fit in Kylie's planned train trip to Lyon into plans too.
Even if you are insistent on spending the 18 days in one place, you should not be committing non-refundable $$$ to lodging now due to the usual early season snow caveats.
Fair point I guess.
We're flying into France. I can't see us changing to Austria at a late stage though. If snow is questionable we'll know by late December and can probably move to Tignes/Val that is apparently the best bet early season in most years. I don't know that anywhere else in France is likely to have more snow if they don't??
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
We're flying into France. I can't see us changing to Austria at a late stage though.
Recall that we flew into Geneva in Jan. 2018 and were in the Dolomites 2 days later, and again in 2019 and were in St. Moritz 2 days later. Driving distances in the Alps are child's play compared to Australia or western North America. An 18 day commitment is not one to make before you know something about the snowpack. There can be a north/south split in the Alps with snowpack though that more often favors the north as in 2022. Read Fraser's summaries and you'll find a few seasons that favored the south.
That's very very reasonable. Nice buy.
Remember the $2,112pp is in USD.
 

ChrisC

Well-known member
I've been keeping an eye out for FF-award deals but no dice so far. If nothing changes, I'm looking at the usual situation: 22.5K each way on American through JFK and 30K each way on United through Newark. Glass half full: my flights are nonstops. :eusa-whistle:

I am flying to Milan (mid $500s) for 8 days to ski Courmayeur and hopefully Monterosa/Alagna plus La Thuile (possibly divert north into Switzerland/France (Gstaad, Verbier, Avoriaz) if snow is bad).
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
I am flying to Milan (mid $500s)
Not a bad fare from SFO (one stop?).

I'm hoping to make another attempt at the itinerary I cancelled last season due to a snow drought in the southern French Alps (Serre Chevalier, Vars/Risoul, the Queyras region, Puy St. Vincent) but I'm not psyched about flying into Milan followed by three hours of driving to reach the region -- and that's the closest nonstop gateway airport.
 

ChrisC

Well-known member
Not a bad fare from SFO (one stop?).

I'm hoping to make another attempt at the itinerary I cancelled last season due to a snow drought in the southern French Alps (Serre Chevalier, Vars/Risoul, the Queyras region, Puy St. Vincent) but I'm not psyched about flying into Milan followed by three hours of driving to reach the region -- and that's the closest nonstop gateway airport.

Yes one stop in JFK...American since that is what I have status on and can get a free semi-decent seat (plus a chance of upgrade). I prefer to connect in a US city. Never lost a ski bag yet.

There are only non-stops to Zurich or Munich for Alps gateway cities - which go over the North Pole practically.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
I prefer to connect in a US city.
From the West Coast that extends travel time compared to a change in Europe. Of course we are doing both next season in order to get that dirt cheap mileage deal. Actually ChrisC's $550 is about as good a deal as our 34K miles + $102.
 
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jamesdeluxe

Administrator
From the West Coast that extends travel time compared to a change in Europe.
I did a quick check for that itinerary on AA. Departing on weekdays (below), there's a very small difference in total travel time (15:35 hours through LHR vs. 16:10 hours through JFK); however, on weekends through LHR it's 13:35 hours. The catch is that the layover in LHR is only 70 minutes, which goes against all conventional wisdom for that airport as there's a decent likelihood of either a missed connecting flight or your luggage won't transfer through.
AA MXP.png
 

snowave

Member
I don't know how people can be on a plane that long, as I get antsy after about 2-3 hrs. I know at some point I'm going to have to suck it up if I want to see other parts of the world, though. I actually don't have that much interest in skiing overseas, but would love to visit some areas of Europe in summer.

This winter's plans for me are regional again, with a trip to UT around Presidents week (friend will be at powmow so plan to use my indy pass there and also a day at Snowbasin). We also bought 4 packs to Bachelor, so will probably do 2 short trips over there. I will also do a solo trip again, maybe hitting a couple other areas in the PNW with the Indy Pass.

We just got back from a 10 day driving trip to Banff/Icefields Pkwy. It wasn't that great as smoke the first 5 days, then clouds/rain the last 5. We are planning on Alaska next summer.
 

Sbooker

Member
I don't know how people can be on a plane that long, as I get antsy after about 2-3 hrs.
I think timing of the flight is important when going long haul. I like to get on the plane, get settled and watch a movie, then eat and then be nearing my usual sleep time. I put on an eye mask and shove in ear plugs and pop a light sleeping tablet and can usually get 6 hours straight.
I am short and fairly slight though so it’s easier. I wouldn’t like to be in economy for 24 hours if I was 6’4” and 250 pounds.
 

q

Member
During my ill-fated trip to MT in March 2020 my company that I worked for lost the contract for IT support of Total O&G. I touped over to the new company but had big doubts and a battle to get them to allow me to use most/all of my vacation time on a trip each year. During my last appraisal having busted my coupon in during the last couple years I was granted permission to take 4 weeks with the Friday of the week prior and the Monday/Tuesday the week after the 4 weeks bolted on.

So as things stand I will either fly to Seattle on Friday 10th or 17th March and home on Monday 10th or 17th April. I will then tie together some running with my ski trip at Discovery where the season ends on Sunday 9th April. Ideally I'd fly home on the 10th to get maximum time at Disco but with Easter falling that weekend the flights for that week are extortionate even with my voucher I have from 2020. Along with car hire which has soared I am also dealing with a £v$ rate which will make everything way more expensive for me.

Roll on March!
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Ideally I'd fly home on the 10th to get maximum time at Disco
Take your car to Mt. Bachelor for that week after Disco closes. That's often prime time for its backside corn. Usually Bachelor sells a Springtacular pass for about the price of 3 day tickets. You can also stay reasonably priced in Bend with its large collection of craft breweries for apres ski.
 
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