Best SA Carrier for YYZ-TXL?

Old May 2, 19, 6:37 am
  #1  
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Best SA Carrier for YYZ-TXL?

Looking to book a vacation in Berlin with the g/f next April; we bank miles with Aeroplan but are not especially concerned with status on Air Canada.

Business class on either AC or LH is out of our price range, but the following options seem doable:

Business class on LOT (B787) with a connection in Warsaw;
Premium Economy on Air Canada to/from Munich with a separate J booking on LH;
PE on LH to/from MUC (A350) with separate J booking to/from TXL.

I've read reviews that the LOT lounge in Warsaw is small and crowded, with the shower situation especially bad. But an overseas flight in business seems like a good deal at current prices. Since we're travelling as a couple seat pairs aren't an issue.

Is there another carrier we should consider, or would LOT be our best bet? Trying to keep ticket costs below $8,000 CAD.
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Old May 2, 19, 9:54 am
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I think you're looking way too early if you're paying cash rather than an Aeroplan redemption. Flights between YYZ-TXL are usually never competitive so have you considered flying into FRA, MUC, or even HAM and then taking a train/driving?

Excluding AC/LH flights, I'd pick a TK YYZ-IST-TXL flight over the LO one. That said, Germany is close enough that I'd personally just fly YYZ-FRA/MUC direct with AC or LH with a preferred seat over paying hundreds to thousands more to transfer in WAW.
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Old May 3, 19, 7:13 am
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Maybe it doesn't fit your needs but I saw AC Rouge at TXL last week and I saw publicity of a direct service to Toronto.

LOT business is OK and so are the lounges at WAW, they don't get any more crowded than others can.

I would fly directly to Germany and would suggest you look at Deutsche Bahn for the journey from your arrival point to Berlin. There is a station in Frankfurt Airport where many long distance trains stop, Munich is a bit more hassle and you need to go into town. DB in second class is pretty good especially on the ICE trains and few pay for first on DB with their own money.

https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml

Berlin is a great city to visit so do make the most of it.
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Old May 6, 19, 7:32 am
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Taking the train from MUC to Berlin adds around 5.5 - 6 hours of travel time.
  • 45 minutes from landing, going through passport control, getting you luggage until you get to the train station at the airport
  • 40 minutes from the airport to Munich main station by train
  • 15 minutes time buffer for connecting to the train to Berlin
  • 4 hours from Munich to Berlin
From Frankfurt it is around 4.5 - 5 hours since you can get the train to Berlin directly at the airport

Not sure if this is really something you want to do.

While 2nd class is okay I would always look for saver-fares in first class. (important remark: saver-fares are not flexible meaning you have to take the exact train you booked. In case your flight is delayed and you miss you train you need a new ticket)
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Old May 6, 19, 9:13 am
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Why would you even consider PE on LH or AC over J on LO? That's insane. As is paying for J only on the intra-Europe segment to TXL. Intra-Europe business class is just Y with the middle seat blocked.

Also, it's too early to be buying for next April.
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Old May 7, 19, 6:25 am
  #6  
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Thanks to all for the replies and suggestions!

A couple of you have mentioned that it's too early to book for April, 2020. My experience with Aeroplan reward space has been that seats show up about 13 months out and get booked very quickly. Right now I'm not seeing anything on Air Canada or Lufthansa for my dates.

So if I'm paying for the tickets, when would be a good time to look out for a business class seat sale on AC or LH?
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Old May 8, 19, 4:41 pm
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Aeroplan seats show up 12 months out for AC. 11 months out for LO and other partners like TK.
If you are using miles (110,000 for business) - you definitely dont want to be flying AC/LH or you ll have to fork out another $1000+ per ticket

LO business (and even PY) is great (as is already mentioned TK). I'd never pay money or points to fly Rouge. AC PY is as a budget product that I would never consider paying real money for,. Havent flown LH PY, but it cant be worse than AC PY.
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Old May 11, 19, 8:10 am
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So I ended up booking TXL-WAW-YYZ in J on LO (via Aeroplan) for inbound; for outbound we're using Avios for YYZ-LHR in F, then LHR to TXL in J. Except for the taxes I'm pretty happy with this itinerary... thanks again for your collective wisdom!
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