SMD4

Star MegaDO 4 – Just DO It

British Airways 100,000 Avios Offer

REMINDER: The British Airways 100,000 Avios Credit Card offer ends this Thursday, June 7th, so if you haven’t already taken advantage of this offer, I’d highly suggest it.

The 100,000 Avios offer only happens once a year, and typically every year they make the qualifications to get the full 100,000 Avios more rigorous, so it is better to get this Card now than wait another year.

All the posts this week on FFU will primarily focus on how to use the British Airway Avios Points to redeem for award tickets to some really awesome destinations. Also I’ll take this time to answer any Reader questions about the British Airways program, as well as this offer. So if you have any questions, feel free to email me and I’ll write about them this week!

Link To Prior Post About This Offer

Link To Sign Up For The British Airways 100,000 Avios Points Offer

StarMegaDO4

For those of you new to the game of collecting Miles & Points, there is 1 event that the most hardcore of mileage addicts look forward to and that is the annual MegaDO.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here is a great piece in USA Today about it, but basically it is where a group of about 100-200 frequent flyers charter an entire plane to themselves and fly around the World to different Airport Hubs and get behind the scenes look at operations and other random stuff that you probably could only do if you worked for an Airline or were an Reality Travel Show Host.

I was fortunate enough to go on last year’s SMD3 as the social media guy, so I blogged, Tweeted, and Facebooked the entire experience. Needless to say, it was pretty awesome.

In the span of a couple days, we went from New York on Lufthansa’s A380, to Frankfurt, then Munich. Got a tour of Munich Airport, celebrated Ocktoberfest, hopped back on the plane within 24 hours and were off to Chicago to meet with United, then took off to Montreal to visit the Bombardier Factory as well as Air Canada, and then ended the trip in Denver.

For the full experience, I’d highly suggest checking out the photos on Facebook here.

SMD4

Last night in Washington D.C, there was an official launch party for the SMD4, which consisted of revealing the actual itinerary.

So the SMD4 is broken into 2 parts, the optional European Segment and then the Chartered U.S Segment.

For the European Segment, you just fly on a regular (non-chartered) flight to Europe. Some people I met last year actually used miles for that leg of the journey to keep the costs down, so I’d suggest trying that. The Chase Sapphire Preferred or the United Mileage Plus Explorer sign up bonus would almost cover that part of the journey for free.

For the U.S  Segment, the group actually rents out an entire airplane for the SMD4 that holds 150-200 people! It is really something special because everywhere you turn, people are talking about points, miles, and credit cards! Not to mention there are a lot of libations going around!

SMD4 Official Schedule

Link To Official SMD4 Blog

Optional European Portion

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

  • Bon Voyage Party at the Lufthansa lounge at Washington Dulles Airport.
  • Fly to Zurich, Switzerland via Frankfurt, Germany on Lufthansa’s brand new 747-8 plane.

Monday, November 12th, 2012

  • Land in Frankfurt and then fly onwards to Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Reception hosted at Park Hyatt Hotel in Zurich by Swiss Airlines and Lufthansa. 
  • The Park Hyatt Zurich is technically the host hotel for this stop, but due to price, you can stay elsewhere. If you have free nights from the Hyatt Card or Ultimate Rewards Points to burn, this might be a prime place to use them!

Start of U.S Portion

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

  • Back on the plane and off to San Francisco to meet with Singapore Airlines, EVA, and some other surprises!
  • Also in San Francisco, the European Section will meet up with the U.S portion of the SMD4.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

  • Back on the plane, but this time in a chartered 767 that stops in Houston for the night for a good old Texas BBQ party.

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

  • Back on the Charter and off to Chicago to meet with Executives from United. 
  • There is a reception that night which will be hosted by United. 

Friday, November 16th, 2012

  • In celebration of the 15 year anniversary of the Star Alliance Network, there will be another reception.

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

  • Randy Peterson is hosting an optional “Cowboy Day” in Chicago. Not sure what it entails, but I’m sure it will be a good time.

The Damage

So as I said before, you can get away with the optional European trip by using miles and points, but for the Chartered U.S portion of the flight, you have to pay out of pocket. The prices below are just for the U.S portion and do not include hotels, although a special rate has been negotiated with Hyatt.

  • Coach: $999 (will earn 5000 qualifying/redeemable miles)
  • Economy Plus: $1249 (will earn 7500 qualifying/redeemable miles)
  • Tommy Class (Middle seat blocked out in each row): $1599 (will earn 7500 qualifying/redeemable miles)
  • BusinessFirst: $1999 (will earn 15000 qualifying redeemable miles)

As you can see, this trip is not for the faint or heart (in either price or jetlag), but it certainly is a once in a lifetime experience.

I am reading that there are going to be some special offers from Hyatt and United on this MegaDO. In January 2012 when AA held their MegaDO with Hyatt, all participants got a special challenge offer that granted Executive Platinum status on AA if the participants flew only 25,000 miles on AA. Typically to get that status, you would need to fly 100,000 miles! Additionally, Hyatt gave everyone Diamond Status, which is their top tier status.

So if you factor those special offers in, the miles you earn on the actual flights, along with the sweet behind the scenes activities you get to take part in, it is a pretty sweet deal!

Hopefully, this has encouraged some of you to think about going on your first MegaDO!

Tickets are more difficult to get than to a Justin Bieber Concert, so if you are truly interested, check out the official SMD4 MilePoint threads here.

Tickets to the SMD4 should go on sale July 9 as of right now.

I am going to try and snag an extra ticket for the SMD4 to give away on the blog, but we will see if I can even get a ticket for myself first!

-Parag

 

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