It’s deal alert time again, and this week our friends at Mighty Travels have come up with three hot deals for getting some winter sun this year. If you’re traveling from the UK, US or Canada, we’ve got some bargain breaks in lie flat business class available to book this week.
Deal of the week – Calgary to Honolulu just over $ 1k
The absolute deal of the week is a business class bargain with United Airlines all the way from Canada to Hawaii this December. Departing Calgary on Monday, December 12, the flight lands in Honolulu at 20:07 that day and returns eight days later on December 20. The cost? Just $ 1,076 return, with lie flat business for the transpacific sector.
Outbound, the first leg is in business on the E175 with United’s Skywest-operated United Express service. The three-hour flight is early enough and short enough that the lack of lie flat shouldn’t matter. The aircraft seats 70 in a 1-2 layout, with the first four rows dedicated to the premium class. The 12 recliners have 37 “of pitch and a 20” width, which should be nicely comfortable for the first hop.
The Polaris business class cabin is a great place to spend some time. Photo: United
The real treat comes in San Francisco, where a short layover will see you on United’s Boeing 777-300ER for the five-and-a-half-hour trip to HNL. United Polaris will see you in a modern, very comfortable premium seat, with direct aisle access and a 78 ”bed surface. By then, there’s a strong possibility United will have gone back to premium catering too.
This is a great opportunity to get away in style as the winter really starts to kick in in Calgary. Snowbirds will be able to swap the dark days and cold weather for ten-hour days of sunshine and some much-needed sun and sand for a full week. Adventurous visitors can hike the trails to Diamond Head, or snorkel off Ka’anapali Beach, as well as visiting the volcanoes, waterfalls, and luaus for which Hawaii is so well-loved.
London to Rio under $ 1.8
Europeans looking to get away at the end of the coming winter can grab their share of sunshine with our second excellent deal. Flying from London to Rio with SWISS and LATAM next March, this deal will whisk you away from the UK chill for 15 days in the South American sun. With premium service and a lie flat for the long-haul portion, the fee of just $ 1,785 seems well worth it.
Departure is from the popular London City Airport, adored for its direct access to the tube and ridiculously short check-in times. Leaving at 18:20 on March 6th, the first stop is Zurich Airport, where a short one-hour and 45-minute connection will have you in your business class seat on the Boeing 777 well before bedtime.
The seats are nicely designed, although with a bit less privacy than some modern business. Photo: SWISS
The flight is long, more than 12 hours in total. But thanks to the onboard bed and time zones crossed, the 06:50 arrival will feel a lot later. The SWISS 777-300ER has 62 open suites in business, which are somewhat lacking in privacy. If you can snag one of the ‘throne seats’, the experience will be a lot more pleasant. Nevertheless, the impeccable service and wonderful food served on board will undoubtedly make up for the slightly dated seat.
The layover in Sao Paulo is long, at just over six hours. That’s just about long enough to leave the airport if you really want, or you can head to LATAM’s VIP Lounge to chill until your flight. The lounge is very spacious, with room to work, rest, dine and relax and a wide selection of food and drink. There’s an X-BOX room and a fantastic view over the apron.
A few hours should fly by in these surroundings. Photo: LATAM
The final leg of the trip will be a short 55-minute hop on LATAM’s A320, arriving in Rio at 14:00 the same day. The return flight operates on March 21st, arriving back in London at 16:40 on the 22nd.
Rio is a wonderful city to visit at that time of year, with temperatures averaging 27 degrees and around 12 hours of sunshine a day. That’s warm and sunny enough to feel like a real break from Britain, but not so hot you don’t want to do anything. Which is good, because there’s a ton to do in and around Rio.
Sugarloaf mountain is a definite bucket list item, accessible by cable car and with stunning views of the city and surrounds from the summit. The same goes for Corcovado – the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer. There are miles of hikes in the surrounding mountains, opportunities to parasail off the top of the peaks and, of course, bags of shopping and cultural opportunity around the city. Or, you know, you could just spend two weeks on the beach at Copacabana – we won’t judge.
Portland to Dubai, just over $ 2k
Another one for the forward planners, this deal sees a few different options for chilly vacationers in Portland to head over to the sparkling city of Dubai for two weeks in January. Flying with either United and Air Canada, United and SWISS, or Alaska and Lufthansa, you can take your pick from your carrier of choice for the trip, all under $ 2,200.
The cheapest, and our top pick for the deal, is a United Airlines departure from Portland at 11:07. The Boeing 737 will shuttle you down to O’Hare international, to connect on to Toronto Pearson on the Embraer 175. Here, after a short layover in Toronto, you’ll settle in on the Air Canada Boeing 777.
Air Canada’s business class product is about as good as it gets. Photo: Air Canada
Air Canada Signature on the 777 comes with the Executive Pod, a 1-2-1 herringbone arrangement of Super Diamond seats, one of the best in its class. The fully flat bed is 6 ‘7 ”long, and food onboard is currently a hot casserole, appetizer, salad, dessert, a bread roll, cheese, and crackers, created by one of Air Canada’s award-winning chefs. This option is just $ 2,126
The next cheapest is presently showing as $ 2,137, and see the same first connection by United, followed by a SWISS A330 to Zurich. The layover is just over two hours, before another A330 connection to Dubai. There’s a 3rd option on our dates for $ 2,155 which has Alaska Airlines connecting to Seattle, where Lufthansa’s quadjet A340 will provide the wings to Frankfurt. From FRA, it’s a Lufthansa A330 for the six-hour trip to Dubai.
Both those options are workable but, in our opinion, the option to stay onboard for a nonstop 12-hour trip to Dubai is far more appealing than changing planes in Europe. Out of all the choices, Air Canada’s 777 product is head and shoulders above anything else, and well worth the investment at this price.
Flights depart on January 12th, with a return on January 24th, 2023.
Dubai is renowned as the playground of the Middle East, and January is a great month to go. Temperatures hover around 22 degrees, with a consistent 11 hours of daylight from its cloudless blue sky. From the heights of the Burj Khalifa to the extravagance of the Dubai Mall, from quad biking across sand dunes to learning to ski on real snow, the world really is your oyster when it comes to things to do.
Will you take up any of our featured deals this week? Let us know in the comments.
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