3 Weeks to OWMD: Preparing for Seat 33A!

Things have been quiet in here about my preparations towards the oneworld MegaDo. Not really, a lot of action has been happening and it is time to give you all an update. However, a quick round up on whats happening on the MegaDo preparation before we go on to my preparations.

This past week, the waitlist was wrapped up, and all the original participants who looked like they could not participate in spite of having paid up (due to the multiple bookings), have now been accomodated. This, of course, comes with the sad news that some other people have to go off the charter, including fellow Boarding Area blogger Mike Reed of Getting Status. Some cool swag has been lined up, like this Qantas Q-tag RFID baggage tag.

The MegaDos almost always focus on creating a unique experience for the travellers on-board, and more opt-in experiences if you feel like. Contributions go to charity. While I’ve made the big opt-in with the trans-atlantic portion of the trip as of now, I’m yet to start bidding on the experiences on the charter leg. One just got announced today, where in DFW, for upwards of 40$, charter flyers will be able to bid to have a real experience of using a life-vest and going down a slide into an emergency water landing simulation. Now, there you go with the whacky things flyers like to do. 😉

More coming soon, and I’ll keep you updated here. Now, over to looking at my report card for the past 2 weeks

AA EXP achieved – Check

Like I mentioned in this post, I planned to take up the AA EXP challenge, and I went through some gruelling time, roughing it in the back to get there. But the good news is, that the EXP has been achieved, and the SWUs have posted, and all for $1,800 approximately. I don’t think that is a bad price to pay for EXP status and the upgrades on offer.

TATL ticketing – Check

The ticketing to go to Europe has been completed, although in the back of the plane only. I’m pretty tempted, when I think if I book up in business class for both legs, I’ll also be able to get 25,000 extra RDMs considering the AA transatlantic offer is now extended till March 2012, and also the comforts of J, but I’ll pass it this one time.  😉

Positioning flights – Check

I must admit I have been sloppy no end about booking my positioning flights. I’ve just been pushing it one more day, and one more day and then one more, amongst the mountain of things I have to do. As a result, I am now travelling on an AA codeshare with Jet Airways to Brussels and then hopping on to an AA plane from there to arrive for the OWMD TATL in New York.  In a way, it might be a good thing, because the DEL-ORD flight looks completely packed for those days, and I do not envisage having a cleared upgrade there even if I managed to get a seat there in the first place. Now time to pray that my upgrades clear. If anyone in AA is reading this, feel free to pull strings, the cabins are half empty just now!

Stay in LA – Check

Once ticketing was completed, it was also time to make arrangements for another night at Los Angeles before I start my about 21 hours of flying to get back home into India. So, an airport hotel has been chosen and booked, on points of course, for the stay!

Stay in London – Check and Confused

I did manage to snag a room at the fully sold out Hyatt Churchill, the official hotel for the MegaDo, and in London too. From the details emerging so far, this looks like just a place to eat dinner (courtesy British Airways I am guessing) and sleep. Now, paying about $500 for that is completely out of whack, and while I have a room booked, I am going to look out for better options once the plan of action in London is clearer. I know, I passed the Vacationist.com deal at the same hotel for ~$200, but then, I wasn’t sure of doing the TATL leg then. Point me to the cheapest Holiday Inn Express right next to the Olympic City then.

I guess, as you’d know, a lot has been done, and I am sure the organisers have done a lot more in this same span of time than the rest of us. So, look out for more updates in the coming weeks. Just 3 weeks to take off now. I am excited! And I sure hope experienced MegaDo’ers will have tips and tricks to share!


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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. I will see you there too – MilesFromBlighty – but will not be doing the Transatlantic portion as I live in London and have to be in the US for other purposes.

  2. Did you do the Radisson bonus promo? The Radisson Portman Square is right across the street from the Hyatt.

    • @Colleen yes I did do the Radisson promo. However, to use it there is the last option again. I am awaiting further details on LHR activities before making up my mind!

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