Trip Report: Excursion to the Pacific Northwest

Trip Report: Excursion to the Pacific Northwest

Flight Review: Delta First Class - Nashville to Seattle

Flight Review: Air Canada Express - Seattle to Vancouver

Lounge Review: SEA and YVR Priority Pass Options

Hotel Review: Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Vancouver

Hotel Review: The Westin Resort and Spa, Whistler, BC

Hotel Review: Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center

Flight Review: Alaska First Class - Seattle to Nashville

The First Class Battle for Seattle - Delta vs. Alaska

In late Fall, I was headed to a conference in Whistler, BC. In typical YTP fashion, instead of heading directly to Whistler and back and only staying in one place, I made the trip into an exciting excursion with stops in Seattle and Vancouver, BC along the way. Once I knew I was headed through Seattle (SEA), I figured it was a fantastic opportunity to test out the first class products of the two biggest competitors in Seattle, Delta and Alaska. Best of all, both airlines offered nonstop service to our hometown Nashville (BNA) airport.

In order to test the products, I booked a one-way flight on each carrier to see how they stacked up against one another. Once I got to Seattle, I had to figure out a way to get to Vancouver (the most convenient airport near Whistler). I debated taking Amtrak from city center to city center but the timing with my flights would have meant an extra night in in both directions. So in the middle of the one-way trips, I booked a round-trip flight on Air Canada from Seattle to Vancouver. Air Canada flies a Dash-8 Turbo Prop for the short flight between the cities so I anticipated some excellent views flying at a low altitude. An important note is that there are certainly potential concerns in nestling a flight between others with missed connections, but I scheduled the round-trip flight with time to spare in both directions (about four hours on the way there and an overnight on the way back).

Comfortable and efficient charter from Vancouver to Whistler.

Comfortable and efficient charter from Vancouver to Whistler.

Once in Vancouver, I needed a way to get to Whistler and back. I decided to book a scheduled charter bus service. It proved to be a fairly cost effective and efficient way to Whistler. The bus picks you up at two convenient locations in downtown Vancouver and drops you off directly at whatever resort or hotel you are staying at. In all, it was about $100 for the bus trip.

With travel arranged, the final piece was adding the hotels. I needed one night in Vancouver, a place in Whistler for the conference, and finally a night in Seattle on the way home before my early morning flight.

I settled on the Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown for my night in Vancouver. 

For my stay in Whistler, I opted for the Westin Resort and Spa.

Last, I chose Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center for the quick night layover on the way home. Although I could have taken the light rail into downtown, I was on a evening flight into SEA and left for Nashville on a 7:30am flight the next day. Convenience near the airport won out for this option.

Overall, I had a fantastic time visiting Vancouver and Whistler. Unfortunately the smoke from the wildfires dampened the views and the sunshine for the week, but the scenery was still stunning. Stay tuned for the the remaining posts on the trip report to find out our grades for the hotels and which airline one the First Class Battle for Seattle!

- A