Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Mega DO

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Instead of taking you through a step-by-step account of the Star Mega DO I was lucky enough to attend last week (since you can pretty much already read that on several other great blogs), I am instead going to give you a top 10 reasons why you should attend a Mega DO, based on some of my favorite moments of last week.  Additionally, I am going to tip you off about a little Mega DO-related giveaway I am doing tomorrow (Friday)!    Drumroll………….

10.  Get a whirl-wind tour of several great cities.  I snapped this picture on our way to the Park Hyatt Chicago on the first night of the DO.  While I wish we had more time in each city, I was absolutely left wanting more of everywhere we went.  Always good to want to come back!

9.  Try out a lie-flat first class seat without having to spend $$$ bucks!  This one was at the very enjoyable Air Canada program in Montreal.  First time in a fancy-schmancy seat for this Mommy!  I didn’t even spill my wine as I got tilted back into the lie-flat position.  😉

8.  Lots and lots of “free” food and drinks!  If you don’t want to spend any additional money on food while on the trip, you don’t really have to.  That said, you probably will get a little tired of hotel/airplane food after a few days, but some of it was actually pretty good!  I was just excited to not be the one cooking and cleaning.  There was also an open bar just about every night, and often during some the the daytime events, too.  Needless to say, I am “detoxing” this week.

7.  Try out some “lounge hopping”.  By that I mean, go from airport lounge to airport lounge getting drinks along the way.  No worries if you don’t have the status/membership to get in on your own, there will be plenty of new friends to help get you in.  Assuming, you don’t bite.

6.  Get to see a marriage proposal on the plane.  I was too far back in the “cheap seats” to get a good photo, but it was pretty cool to see two travel junkies get engaged on an airplane.  It was fun to hear the soon-to-be-fiance paged to the lavatory to help her “sick” boyfriend.  Good way to get her to come to the front of the plane.  My own personal vote is that they should get married on the next DO… airplane is already set up with an aisle and everything!

5.  Raid the drink cart of an airplane.  While the flight attendants did serve drinks on the charter flight, the self-service option was pretty fun.  I have no doubt that there wasn’t a drop of alcohol left on that plane by the time it touched down.  People were coming up with some pretty creative drink concoctions.  Most of them were alcohol, with a splash of alcohol, mixed with a touch of alcohol.

4.  Hang out in a suite on a beautiful day at Coors Field watching the Rockies beat the Reds.  The fridge was stocked with beer, there were plenty of snacks like pizza, brats, seven layer dip, popcorn, and peanuts.  I have to admit I didn’t see as much of the game as I should have, but I did get to hang out and chat with some really great folks for over three hours.  Fantastic time!

Such a beautiful day to be out and about in Denver.

I’m not normally a Coors drinker, but since we were at Coors Field, it only seemed appropriate.  Fat Tire was by far the most popular selection for most of the crew.

Hanging out in the suite – I decided this is, hands-down, the best way to see baseball games.  It would actually be easier attending games with Little C if we had a suite, too!

3.  Get to talk directly to airline/hotel executives.  It was awesome hearing directly from some of the top dogs at Hyatt, Air Canada, and Continental/United.  One of the neatest things I heard was that Hyatt is exploring a cash/points redemption option similar to Starwood.  Great news and very interesting information.  Most of the bigwigs were very nice and down-to-earth.

2.  Tour facilities you otherwise would never see.  It was so awesome hanging out for the day at Bombardier in Montreal and seeing where the airplanes we fly on are built.  Who knew only eight bolts hold the wings to the fuselage??!!  I also got to watch wijomas try to take-off on a simulator from the grass next to the runway (while our charter flight pilots were watching from the back of the room!).  It was freaking hilarious…..and he was a great sport about it all.

1.  Meet people who are crazier than you.  No matter what crazy stuff you have done for miles and points, I can guarantee you that someone there has done something even more crazy.  I basically sounded like I have never left the farm compared to the traveling tales of many on this trip.  It is so fascinating to hear the travel and points stories that everyone there seemed more than willing to share.  No worries if you haven’t been to the Maldives seven times in the last two years, people will still sit next to you and share a bottle of wine…. at least that is how it worked for me! 

Seriously though, I met some awesome folks who I am very much looking forward to seeing again at future DOs.  Some of those awesome folks include three of my favorite bloggers, who all happen to be great people.

From Left to Right: Mommy Points, View From the Wing, Million Mile Secrets, and The Points Guy.  Yes, he’s that tall.  Yes, we’re kind of all nerds.  No, we didn’t just talk about miles and points.  Yes, that is yet another glass of free wine in my hand. 

For those on a budget, Mega DO’s are not cheap.  I sat in coach, used miles to get to Chicago, stayed at a relatively cheap airport hotel the last night, mostly just ate and drank for free at the official events, and the four days still came in at somewhere between $1500-$2000.  In my world, that is a lot of money to spend for one family member to travel for four days.  While I do absolutely feel it was “worth it”, I know it is not in every family’s budget.  Heck, it wasn’t really in mine!  The good news is that you have time to save up.  There will be a OneWorld DO in January and another Star Mega DO some time next year (named after the respective airline alliances).  If you need more time to save than that, then shoot for 2013.  If you are a true travel junkie, it is worth doing at least once.

As for me, I am kind of hooked.  If I can find a way to pull off going to the OneWorld DO in January, I will. Until then, thanks to the organizers, sponsors, and all the other DOers for making it an amazing four days!

While I didn’t include it in the “Top 10 List”, another great part of the DO was some of the amazing swag that the sponsors gave us.  I am going to be sharing some of that swag with you via a contest tomorrow.  I will be giving away an (unworn) Star Mega DO 3 t-shirt, a wine stopper from Hyatt, a wine glass from United, and some of the other little items we were given along the way.  It’s my way of bringing the MegaDO to you!  This will be a one day only giveaway that will start at 9AM CST tomorrow (Friday) and run until 11:59PM CST. Come back in the morning to enter.

BTW, Million Mile Secrets is sharing his model airplane and seat belt from the DO in a contest that ends tomorrow!

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  1. OK, if you are bringing the SMD3 to your readers, then here are two other things from the SMD3 that I’ll give you to give away. I have 3 -$10 Starbucks gift cards for you to give away (remember those raffles) and will donate to LIVESTRONG for each of 5 FLYSTRONG bag tags you give away. You’ll remember that in the LIVESTRONG raffle the winner got an iPad. So there you have it, coffee and charity.

  2. Very cool write up! Indeed, very valid reasons to go on a Mega Do, and yes, there will be a lot of people crazier than (or at least as crazy as) you. It was great to share the baseball suite experience with you, and my honor to guest you into the RCC – er – United Club at ORD.

    One other piece of advice I will share with you and your readers is that if you can save a bit more money, go on the optional international leg as well. It is more intimate and hands-on, and if you can spare the two extra days and the cash, well worth it, IMHO.

    The last two years we have gone to Gemany – 2010 to Frankfurt, where we met with the Star Alliance folks at their HQ, and also with the Lufthansa folks, and got to inspect the A380 up close and personal; 2011 to Munich, where we first flew the A380 to Frankfurt, then in Munich we did a bunch of behind-the-scenes activities that I guarantee you will not be able to do in the U.S. Yours truly actually went into the luggage hold of a departing Lufthansa A340-600 bound for San Francisco and loaded the priority bags onto the plane – totally awesome experience! – while a couple of others removed the wheel chock blocks, and another rode in the tug that lifted the front of the plane and pushed the plane back from the gate onto the tarmac.

    There are rumors that next year’s event will not be US-based (just like the first Star Mega Do event in 2009), but only time will tell.

    Keep up the great writing!

  3. I’m jealous you got to go to the baseball game. I knew I should have bid on a ticket!
    Love your #1 reason too. In my small town, I’m the crazy person when it comes to miles. On the DO, I was one of the most sane people around.

  4. Looks like a great time, I will have to do the DO next year. Hopefully they offer the Diamond status again, surely a totally sweet perk.

    It looks like folks were kept well fed and never thirsty. Beer pong at 35,000 feet anyone?

    – An avid reader of MILFpoints

  5. @Jimgotkp, glad you enjoyed the write-up and yes we had standing assignments. Everywhere we went we actually marched in height order. 🙂 Or, it was just a pretty funny accident….

    @Randy, thanks so much for helping bring more of SMD3 to Mommy Points readers!! The giveaways on the trip were fantastic – they are absolutely an honorary member of the Top 10 list! I’m excited to include the Starbucks cards and FLYSTRONG tags to the giveaway!

    @Bluto, I think normally Hyatt Diamond status would have easily been in the upper half of the Top 10 list, but there are some “technical difficulties” with my particular Diamond status posting, so it hasn’t quite made the list yet. It really is one of the best perks of attending…..once I actually have it, I am sure I will be singing its praises.

    @Jetsetr, thank you so much for being my “lounge friend”! It was tons of fun hanging out at the game as well. You are a very good ambassador for the international leg. You guys really did some awesome stuff while on non-US soil! It’s on my “someday” list for sure. That is interesting that next year’s trip may not have a US component. Could be fun!

    @Steve, baseball was pretty great, sorry you didn’t get to join in! Steve also has an interesting write-up on the SMD3 on his site as well.

  6. @mommypoints: Sorry to hear about your technical difficulties on getting your Hyatt Diamond Status! I am familiar with those as I never got my Starwood Platinum status from #smd2 either:-( Then again, maybe I was entitled to it as I was a late addition to the trip…Oh well, it was great fun anyway as you discovered. Hoping to see a SkyTeam Mega DO with Delta not sponsoring;-)

  7. @gpapadop, Sorry to hear you never got your Platinum SPG status – boo! I have full faith my Diamond status will come….hopefully sooner rather than later. A SkyTeam DO would be fun!

    @Will, you are probably right – we are all crazy. Just maybe a little different crazy, but still crazy! Glad you liked the post and have fun at the OWMD launch party!

    @MMS, ha ha – you are hooked, too! 🙂 I knew we were both liars when we said we probably wouldn’t make the January DO.

  8. “1. Meet people who are crazier than you.” —> You have to be talking about ME! It was great to meet you. I had a LOT of fun! I am still in detox mode too! Describing my trip to regular people has been a real challenge. HA! Keep up the good work. =^..^=

  9. @Whiskarina, I loved hanging out with you!! Regular people aren’t near as fun as crazy people. Can’t wait to do it all again in a few months!

    • @AJ, I have full faith that the OW DO will be amazing. I am now 95% sure that I will be going and I don’t even know where it will be or what we will be doing. 🙂

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