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US Airways usually offers each year discounted Envoy Class awards for 60000 Dividend Miles for transatlantic journeys between January 15 and February 28. This applies for the Transatlantic flights with the onward connection. This is a very good value as usually these number of miles has to be redeemed for an Economy award. Availability is not as bad if one is flexible in regard to airports and days. Discounted awards are only possible on US metal, which limits it for Germany to US Airways Airports MUC and FRA.

I had a bit over 60000 Miles from the US Airways Grand Slam Promotion and plans for a trip to Montreal in February. I had heard many positive reviews of the new Envoy Class of US Airways and thought I use my miles for award travel. I knew, that it was bit of gambling as both German destination would switch back to the A330-300 later in the year and not all of those planes were converted to the new Envoy Class. Of course, first I needed to find availability. As much as I would have preferred Frankfurt as airport for my departure there were no availability to both airport served from Frankfurt by US Airways, Charlotte and Philadelphia. Munich (MUC) had the better availability for the transatlantic flight, the onward connection was not so much a problem. Although I was a bit limited regarding the days I could travel, I had not problem to find a flight from Munich to Philadelphia and on to Montreal and back. And with the possibility to schedule a meeting in Munich for the day before my departure, this worked quite well. Of course I needed in addition to my award flights from Düsseldorf to Munich and back to Düsseldorf.

The flights showed the new Envoy Class as I booked them, but the plane type switched from a new Airbus 330-200 (A330-243) to an older Airbus 330-300 (A330-323X) with the old Envoy Class as I already had assumed. It was a bit back and forth the week before the flights but in the end it was old Envoy for the flight to Philadelphia and the new Envoy Class for the flight back to Munich. A good way to compare the service procedures on both flights.

I stayed one day in Montreal and drove with a friend down to Burlington and Vermont for the weekend to discover the region and make use of locations for trip planing for my travel agency. It was a surprisingly warm February and Lake Champlain had no ice and the ski resorts were lacking some snow and need snow cannons to improve the skiing conditions on the slopes. Nevertheless it is a beautiful region and even in winter worth a visit – not only in spring, summer and autumn.