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Tue
17
Feb '15

Trip Report: The One I Let Get Away

A couple of years ago I did the Star MegaDo 5 (you REALLY should click on that link) –the penultimate aviation geekdom event. Even more than AvGeek (http://www.airlinereporter.com/2015/01/aviation-geek-fest-2015/) here in Seattle that sold out in 90 seconds for hundreds of places. Fico and I were there in I think 2010. Wish I could find the photo of Fico and I in front of a 777 engine.

Soooooo, there was another Star MegaDo announced on Monday. Initial email: 647am PST with a “Tickets On Sale” time of noon CST. Less than four hours, and I sleep late.

The itinerary? ARN > TLS > LGW > LHR

Stockholm > Toulouse > London Gatwick > London Heathrow

So, there is a group flight (not mandatory) from ORD to ARN, hopefully with a group rate. And then there is the schedule:

5/09 Saturday

12:00 PM

ORD

Optional: US send-off event

For participants joining us from the US: we are planning a brief send-off event at Chicago O’Hare. Details will be communicated soon.

05:00 PM

ORD/ARN

Optional: Transatlantic flight

Participants who fly from the US depart Chicago O’Hare on the Star Alliance MegaDO party flight. The exact schedule and details on the group rate will be communicated shortly. You are not required to fly on the official transatlantic flight and/or use the group fare in order to join the MegaDO. Feel free to book your own flights at your convenience. See the FAQ for more information.

5/10 Sunday

10:00 AM

ARN

Arrival in Stockholm

Participants who fly from the US arrive in Stockholm Arlanda. (Exact schedule TBD)

07:00 PM

Kitchen & Table, ARN

Optional: Welcome dinner

Optional welcome dinner at Kitchen & Table at Arlanda Airport, Clarion hotel – an awesome restaurant with spectacular views. (45 attendees max – we will provide a separate booking link for those who are interested.)  

5/11 Monday

08:00 AM

Radisson Blu SkyCity Arlanda

Breakfast and registration

Welcome breakfast and event registration.

10:00 AM

SAS HQ

A day with SAS

The SMD6 official program starts with a full day with SAS Scandinavian Airlines. Buses will depart the Radisson Blu SkyCity Arlanda at 10am.

07:00 PM

Radisson Blu SkyCity Arlanda

Welcome reception

Evening reception and charter flight check-in for passengers with carry-ons only.

5/12 Tuesday

04:30 AM

Radisson Blu SkyCity Arlanda

Breakfast

Good morning! Breakfast is served from 4:30am.

09:00 AM

ARN

Official SMD6 charter

The official SMD charter flight, operated by a SAS 737-800 with 183 seats, departs Stockholm Arlanda! (Check-in closes at 8:15am for passengers with baggage.)  

12:00 PM

TLS

Arrival in Toulouse

The official SMD6 charter flight arrives in Toulouse, France (TLS).

02:00 PM

Airbus

A350 assembly line tour

Witness the future of aviation! An exclusive insiders’ tour of the A350 Final Assembly Line. (Transportation by bus from/to the airport.)

05:00 PM

TLS

Charter departs from Toulouse

The SMD6 charter flight departs from Toulouse. On to London!

06:00 PM

LGW

Arrival in London

The SMD6 charter flight arrives at London Gatwick Airport (LGW). Transportation to London by Gatwick Express (pre-paid tickets will be arranged.)

08:00 PM

The May Fair

An evening with Club Carlson

A very exclusive reception at the Club Carlson flagship property, the luxurious The May Fair in London.

5/13 Wednesday

06:30 AM

The May Fair

Breakfast

10:00 AM

LHR

A day with Star Alliance at LHR T2

A day with Star Alliance at the brand new London Heathrow Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal – the alliance’s biggest investment in a long time. Enjoy behind the scenes tours and meet Mark Schwab, President and CEO of Star Alliance. The event starts at 10am. Transportation to LHR is not included in the charter price – see the FAQ for details.

03:00 PM

LHR

Program concludes

The official SMD program concludes, but for many, the party continues! We have not scheduled official flights to the US. Feel free to book the flight of your choice on your own or using the group rate. Details on the group rate will be announced soon. See the FAQ for details.

 

As much as I loved the last MegaDo, my Million Mile Status on one airplane puts me at the bottom of the people there, though I did get an interesting business contact with RocketMiles which I’ve bid some direct mail jobs with.

And then there is the price:

Economy $999.00
Business Class $1799.00 (blocked middle seat – the European carriers, SAS in this case, often have odd Intra-Europe seating configuarations)
Exit row $1,499.00 (blocked middle seat)

A little rich for my blood considering I was in Stockholm last year and stayed in a converted 747 turned into a hostel (http://blog.unclemarkie.com/2014/08/03/trip-report-the-long-road-home/) and I’ve been to the Airbus Plant in Toulouse (thanks Jill for putting up with my obsession). I haven’t seen the new T2 at Heathrow, but trust me, it’s a hub, and I’ll be through there.

And it’s a weekend. I can negotiate maybe 3-4 a year with my business partner.

And I’d have to get to either Chicago or Stockholm, and home from London.

I blew all my banked miles (75,000 on Alaska and 75,000 on United for my all Business Class round the world flight in March when I visit my ex and my nephew in JapanLand. 777-300ER, Seattle to Dubai; after an overnight, a 777-200ER Dubai to Haneda (the close in Tokyo airport [with car service on both ends, so they say]). 8 days in Japan between two cities, then back on an ANA flight from Nagoya to Narita, then a 787-8 Business Class flight from Narita to Seattle.

Sounded like fun. Drunken fun – the flights are triple catered with free booze. And then there is the food, and the party atmosphere. I’m I’m sure I’d see people from the last one.

Guessing tickets are gone. Just as well.

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