5 Weeks to OWMD: Preparing for Seat 33A!

I am writing this post sitting in SFO, which is about 7,700 miles away from my normal daily posting schedule in BOM. But then, this is all a part of preparing for all the exciting things that are going to happen on the oneworld MegaDo in January 2012. Hence I am hoping the slight delay in posting from a new city will be excused.

In the past week, 3 new passengers got on board the oneworld MegaDo charter. One of them was Pat, who takes away Randy’s seat on the charter. Her post was the lucky one amongst the over 77,000 posted on the thread which Randy started to give away his seat. Congrats Pat, and I hope to see you on the Charter! In the meanwhile, I am hoping Randy will be able to find a jumpsuit seat on the same plane and does not have to do a commercial flight to be at the venues!

The other 2 seats went out via an auction conducted by AA. The lucky bidder posted to win with 453, 000 AA miles for this experiential flight for two and the hotel costs also covered. The miles go to charity, and I also hope to meet the winner on my flight in a few weeks time.

The past couple of weeks have been a good going on my preparations for the MegaDo although I still do think some things need to fall in place before I get back on track fully. Lets see where we stand…

American Airlines EXP Challenge: Check

Like I mentioned a few weeks back, I’d decided to take up on the American Airlines EXP Challenge, and figured the only way to complete the challenge would be to be able to head to the USA on AA Metal and do some mileage running. As a result, I got on a DEL-ORD AA flight on 17th December (in Y, sigh, and no op-ups) which netted me a good 7484 miles for one segment itself, and I managed to do a quick turn after arriving in ORD to BOS, and just be back in time for my ORD-SFO flight which brought me over to a friend’s in SFO for the rest of the weekend . So, as I write this, I’ve already done about 11,000 miles in one day and taking it easy for the rest of my little holiday trip, before getting back into BOM later this week.

<Rant> Although I must rant here that the sudden 15-20% uptick in the USDINR conversion has made it 15% more expensive at least for me in rupee terms already to be on the OWMD. </End of Rant>

Maybe I’ll get lucky and AA will get me an op-up or some sort of upgrade on the return segment when I am on my way back, I’ll let you know. I am already looking forward to the DEQM that will post on this trip, though they were not a part of the original plan! The whole trip is going to be captured in this Trip Report I initiated here on 130 Hours to Executive Platinum.

Find a buddy on the trip: Check

I reached out to a fellow MPer who was looking out for a room-share on the trip and we have now agreed that we will use the room as a storage for our bags and hit it out partying when not on the official OWMD engagements. Yes, I could be kidding and you’ll only get to know how it went once we are on the plane!

Hotel Rooms in London: On Hold

I haven’t been able to quite work on this due to work commitments so far, and I am hoping I’ll be soon able to find a good deal on a hotel room in London for the night. I am not very keen on paying 200 pounds to Hyatt for this room, especially when it only entails sleeping over the night! I could use the money to buy myself some more tickets or gizmos instead. Winking smile

TATL Ticketing: On Hold

Yes, well, I do want to save the 25 $ on ticketing via phone. I’ll do it shortly after I turn EXP!

There is sure more coming, but if I don’t get the chance to update you all next week, here is wishing you all Happy Holidays!

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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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