As some may have noticed, I've been a bit quiet this week and with good reason. This week marked an amazing event, the The Star MegaDO.
In a nutshell, this was an event that was hosted by Flyertalk, United, Continental, Lufthansa, SAS and Airbus. It involved a charter plane, much press and all told somewhere north of 200 people.
The event started in Chicago on Tuesday the 3rd. Unfortunately I was unable to attend this part, but from what I've been told there was a tour of the United Operations Facility, a reception hosted by United, and much schmoozing. There was an official flight to Newark for the next part of the itinerary and United had to upgauge that flight from a CRJ-700 to an Airbus 320 for the occasion.
The next part was at Newark where I joined in and we were hosted by Continental. Continental was gracious enough to put together three tour options for us. The first was a visit to their ramp control tower, the second was a visit to their maintenance facilities and the third was a tour of their Chelsea kitchen. Having done the first two at past Continental events, I was fortunate to visit the catering facilities. That was an amazing experience to see how much food is processed in a day for flights and how they manage it.
Next stop, the Lufthansa Business Class lounge at JFK. Star Alliance was kind enough to charter buses for us for the schlep from EWR to JFK. Amazingly, we beat the Van Wyck, total time just under a hour between the two airports. The lounge was closed off for us and we were met by an array of food, executives and a welcoming atmosphere. As we arrived we noticed our gate was empty and were assured that our plane would be there shortly, and it was.
Once we exhausted our time in the lounge, it was time for our flight. Imagine over 90 people walking out of the lounge and suddenly walking up to the Elite boarding line. It was quite the scene when the Elite line was longer than the general boarding line and those folks in the regular line seemed quite annoyed. As we boarded, we learned that the entire Business Class cabin on the 747-400 was exclusively Flyertalk members and that wasn't even all of them.
The flight was fun and very quick thanks to the tail winds. The catering was excellent as was the service. A few of the FAs would even qualify for Hunter's new contest. (Sorry Hunter, no pictures).