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StarmegaDO 2010 (SMD2) Nov 1-6, 2010 Masterthread

StarmegaDO 2010 (SMD2) Nov 1-6, 2010 Masterthread

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Old May 17, 10, 2:11 pm
  #121  
 
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Smile

Originally Posted by tommy777 View Post
... but no Champagne breakfast.
Wot?! You call this a MegaDo with no Champagne breakfast?!

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Old May 17, 10, 2:47 pm
  #122  
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Added the charter pricing an operator. As usual, please refer to the first few posts of the thread for details.

We are in the process of clearing the legal hurdles to be ready to sign the charter contract and negotiate the paypal fees. Also xyzzy is slowly coming back to his home (the poor guy was home three nights the past month) and will reset the booking website. Sadly the fulfillment has to be done by ourselves again, so paypal and our own website it is...

Once theses activities are complete (eta May 31) we will start taking your hard earned cash.
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Old May 17, 10, 3:00 pm
  #123  
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Originally Posted by RCyyz View Post
Wot?! You call this a MegaDo with no Champagne breakfast?!

The Mega Do will, I was refering to that today is Norwegian national day (May 17th) and traditionally we have a Champagne breakfast. But not in Chicago on a regular Monday

Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
Added the charter pricing an operator. As usual, please refer to the first few posts of the thread for details.

We are in the process of clearing the legal hurdles to be ready to sign the charter contract and negotiate the paypal fees. Also xyzzy is slowly coming back to his home (the poor guy was home three nights the past month) and will reset the booking website. Sadly the fulfillment has to be done by ourselves again, so paypal and our own website it is...

Once theses activities are complete (eta May 31) we will start taking your hard earned cash.
Thank you Oliver.

A big thank you to Scott O'Leary at Continental Airlines and his charter group for helping us secure up to two 757-300s for our journeys this year.

Please note that the last leg PAE-IAH, which is the positioning leg, will be operated with only ONE plane that will overnight at Payne Field. The return is free and will be on a first booked first served basis.
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Old May 17, 10, 3:22 pm
  #124  
 
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It' probably too early to ask, but....

Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
The price currently is:
LH JFK-FRA-IAH: 2748US$++ (3128$ a.i.) in Z, 320US$++ (700$ a.i.) in W/S
LX JFK-xZRH-FRA: 1566$ a.i. in Business, 341$ a.i. in Economy (P)
OS JFK-xVIE-FRA: 1369$++ in Business (J)
I'm interested in taking LX or OS JFK-xxx-FRA in Business. How about FRA-IAH?
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Old May 17, 10, 3:43 pm
  #125  
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Wow - both the TATL & Charter are more than last year (C/F), making this basically a $5+K trip AI. Can't speak for others, but that's giving me a bit (a lot) of pause. I'll still do the trip, but before it was a slam dunk in C/F the entire way & now I need to rethink the Europe part (or decide whether to 'suck it up' in E on a non-E+ airline).

I was hoping the charter at least would be less (given we're paying in US vs Euros) to help offset the significant increase in the TATL (yes, I know $3.2K TATL is less than commercial, but it's basically double plus last year), but surprised charter's more than what last year was even w/ the exchange rate last year.

I realize the organizers have worked their arses off & this is what they've been able to negotiate, so this is not a diss against them per se. This is a thankless job & yet one I'm glad they're doing!

And this sounds horrible being an American, but I'm just wondering given how US-centric this is, if it can top last year's do (well, other than Payne). Then again, maybe it's just the memory of the singing flight attendant plus tommy sliding down the emergency chute plus the fly-by that has me waxing poetic I really don't want to say at the end of it, well the prior year was better -especially if I ante up the $5K.

A few questions:

* You mention 1-way prices via LX & OS, but basically few are doing 1-way (ie, just the way over), so is really the overall pricing re: of whichever airline you take on the way over for TATL, the same - $3.2K?

* Are there going to be 2-$150 add-ons (assuming price is similar to last year) - one to get us to JFK assuming we're not based there, and one from either SEA back to our originating airport (in my case ORD) or from IAH (assuming the charter heads back there) back to (in my case) ORD, or do we need to add on a 1-way commercial in addition to the 1-way (I think) positioning, which also raises the price?

* Not be crass, but what are the extra bennies for being in F on the charter vs E? Last year middle seat, better food & booze, etc.

* Are our hosts going via all 3 airlines on the way over (LH, OS, LX), or are they on LH?

Cheers.

Last edited by SkiAdcock; May 17, 10 at 4:59 pm Reason: add some ?s
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Old May 17, 10, 4:25 pm
  #126  
 
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Sounds great. I am ready to sign up. I will be in Germany when May 31st hits, so hopefully I will be able to find a terminal to sign up right away. I do want the CO flight back to IAH on the 6th.

A couple of questions (and comments):

1. Starwood does not have a hotel in the PAE area - so I assume the Sheraton in downtown Seattle would be used. This is about half way between Everett and SeaTac - so it would be just as convenient to have the charter ferry down to SEA for boarding. That would solve the TSA issue at PAE. Although if the return is from SEA - likely use a UA gate - since the SEA PC is too small. The UA RCC is much bigger.

2. A big plus that CO is doing the charter. Scott - how about making the charter coach flight a full Y - so people get 150% EQM. Hopefully we get regular CO miles for the three legs - IAH-PHX, PHX-PAE, and PAE or SEA to IAH.

3. LH405 - Is the A380 completely out 100%? I know LH has the schedules published and JFK is not in this time frame. I haven't worked out the LH A380 schedules yet but since there is 7 days in a week, not 6, there is a chance that an A380 could be sitting around for Monday only. Any chance LH would put in A380 for this flight for test and marketing purposes? AF flies A380 out of JFK Term 1 so it must be able to handle it.
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Old May 17, 10, 4:46 pm
  #127  
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
Sounds great. I am ready to sign up. I will be in Germany when May 31st hits, so hopefully I will be able to find a terminal to sign up right away. I do want the CO flight back to IAH on the 6th.

A couple of questions (and comments):

1. Starwood does not have a hotel in the PAE area - so I assume the Sheraton in downtown Seattle would be used. This is about half way between Everett and SeaTac - so it would be just as convenient to have the charter ferry down to SEA for boarding. That would solve the TSA issue at PAE. Although if the return is from SEA - likely use a UA gate - since the SEA PC is too small. The UA RCC is much bigger.

2. A big plus that CO is doing the charter. Scott - how about making the charter coach flight a full Y - so people get 150% EQM. Hopefully we get regular CO miles for the three legs - IAH-PHX, PHX-PAE, and PAE or SEA to IAH.

3. LH405 - Is the A380 completely out 100%? I know LH has the schedules published and JFK is not in this time frame. I haven't worked out the LH A380 schedules yet but since there is 7 days in a week, not 6, there is a chance that an A380 could be sitting around for Monday only. Any chance LH would put in A380 for this flight for test and marketing purposes? AF flies A380 out of JFK Term 1 so it must be able to handle it.
1. I'm sure the organizers will post final details, but appreciate you sorting out logistics for them on your own not being privy to what they have organized - again

2. I'm sure the organizers will post, but given a charter doesn't necessarily mean any miles, I'd say be happy w/ what you/we can get.

3. I'm sure (but it's just a guess) that LH's test & marketing for the A380 is based on bigger things than an FT Do

Cheers.
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Old May 17, 10, 5:36 pm
  #128  
 
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
I was hoping the charter at least would be less (given we're paying in US vs Euros) to help offset the significant increase in the TATL (yes, I know $3.2K TATL is less than commercial, but it's basically double plus last year), but surprised charter's more than what last year was even w/ the exchange rate last year.
To be honest, I would have been very surprised if the charter pricing would have remained at last year's level. The distance covered is nearly twice as far as last year's charter, and fuel is a major, if not the major, variable cost factor for an airline.

I think the pricing is reasonable, but I also think that I'll be slumming it down the back this time.
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Old May 17, 10, 5:46 pm
  #129  
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Originally Posted by alex0683de View Post
To be honest, I would have been very surprised if the charter pricing would have remained at last year's level. The distance covered is nearly twice as far as last year's charter, and fuel is a major, if not the major, variable cost factor for an airline.

I think the pricing is reasonable, but I also think that I'll be slumming it down the back this time.
Really, I forgot how close everything in Europe is . But you're right - it is 50% more miles. I thought fuel was down from last year (recent drill disaster aside ). It's probably more the TATL that has me debating, given the doubling in cost on that one.

Obviously booking isn't open for a bit, so time to decide & get answers to the questions I asked a few posts ago (after tommy gets done celebrating Norwegian Day ).

Cheers.
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Old May 17, 10, 6:31 pm
  #130  
 
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Originally Posted by tommy777 View Post
The Mega Do will, I was refering to that today is Norwegian national day (May 17th) and traditionally we have a Champagne breakfast. But not in Chicago on a regular Monday
Happy Norwegian Day!! But what's wrong with having a Champagne breakfast on a Monday? Or any other day for that matter? Honestly, you Norwegian/American people are weird.

Thanks for the details Tommy & Oliver. MegaDo II is looking good!
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Old May 17, 10, 7:58 pm
  #131  
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Originally Posted by alex0683de View Post
To be honest, I would have been very surprised if the charter pricing would have remained at last year's level. The distance covered is nearly twice as far as last year's charter, and fuel is a major, if not the major, variable cost factor for an airline.
The event will also span more days, have more events and include more transportation between airports and other events than last year's. We did the best we could to keep the price as reasonable as possible on the part where we have control (charter). The TATL is based on the rates the carriers are willing to offer. They seem to actually be selling the biz cabin more and more for real money these days...
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Old May 17, 10, 8:27 pm
  #132  
 
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Question

Looks good so far. +1 for CO as the charter winner. Looking forward to more details, yet.

Last edited by Richard Chen; May 18, 10 at 3:44 pm
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Old May 18, 10, 4:18 am
  #133  
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All,
Let me explain a little closer about the charter pricing and logic behind it.

The equipment being used
Last year we had a Condor 757-300 which is the exact same aircraft type we are using this year. The difference is that the CO version has a lot less seat than the Condor version giving a lot better pitch (29-30 in coach last year compared to a minimum of 32 this year). We sold 229 seats last year compared to a maximum of 216 possible this year.

The price in coach is about the same as last year (650-670 was the price last year) but as many point out, we are doing a lot more flying this year and we are adding the optional positioning flight back to IAH on Saturday which will have more basic service than the two big flights, but free alcohol even in coach.

The price in F is 350 dollars more just because we have only 24 premium seats to sell compared to last year where 72 business seats were sold to help us lower the cost in Y.

The service on board
Last year, the plane we had was missing a lot, like galley space which prevented us to do a very premium service in the premium cabin. Face it, we were on a charter plane used to fly cheap tourist to Mallorca, not set up at all for the target audience. But it was our only option.
This year we have double the galley space and only 24 premium seats and the service in F will blow you away, I can guarantee it!!
There will be a lot better food and it will be served like real international First, not on one tray like last year because there are so many less seats than last year and we have the galley space to support it.

Also, we won't have 16 clumsy moderators disrupting service this year

You have my word that what you will get served in F this year will be out of this world. You will also get a real premium seat and more miles than in the back.

In Y it will be about the same as last year, but as we all know, the legroom will be a lot better. We also have some nice surprises planned for the back of the bus.

The event
In the year were UA and CO is merging, the event in Houston will be extremely interesting. We will be meeting the major players of the merger. US is an important Star member and for the first time in FT history, we will be able to meet someone of importance there.
I was very underwhelmed by the Airbus visit, but as many of you know, I go to Everett very frequently and the tours there never get old. We also have Lufthansa as the airline requesting the tours and they will be taking delivery of the brand new 747-8i as the launch customer. Pretty darn exciting if you ask me.

Also, you have to realize that the program this year is a lot more extensive than last year and our goal is to top the event last year by a mile. This year I'm a lot more confident as we have aircrafts that are a lot more suited for our event and a partner (Continental) who are used to catering to our group.

So the prices are not very different on the charter in coach last year, but you will get a lot more bang for your buck and we are of course working with the airlines on awarding miles for the charter, hopefully a little better than the miles actually flown. Stay tuned for more info on that soon.

In F we had to jack up the price, but I promise it will be worth it.

Also, we have two aircraft available this year. If demand is there, we will be flying up to two 757-300 in formation. How cool is that??

So that leaves the transatlantic bit and yes, it has gone up, actually almost doubled.

A big disappointment to me as well, but the airlines won't budge and are claiming they have "much higher demand this year" which in all honesty have a hard time believing. They were able to support us with the price we had last year, but only in the summer.

Hope this post helps
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Old May 18, 10, 4:53 am
  #134  
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Firstly, thanks to the organizers for an amazing plan and great organization!
One question- any idea when the Europe originating fares will be posted, and will they be ex-FRA only or via other European points?
The reason I ask is that as of today, LH440 for the departure flight is zeroed out in Z, and that means that if other European points of origin are not included in the charter, it is probably cheaper to just go ahead and ticket in a mixed D/Z ticket. I would like to catch this before the return is also zeroed out in Z, as the price of D/Z is quite a bit, and a return within Europe can also be quite expensive.
I am not sure how many of us this applies to- however it can impact everyone departing from Europe if they are not based in FRA.
Again, thanks
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Old May 18, 10, 7:37 am
  #135  
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Originally Posted by tommy777 View Post
All,
Let me explain a little closer about the charter pricing and logic behind it. Hope this post helps
Thanks tommy; it does!

Can you also address the couple of other questions I had in my post a few posts ago - ie, 1) whether the TATL AI is basically $3.2K re: of which of the airlines you choose for outbound to FRA, 2) if there are 1 or 2 or none $150 add-ons to position us at JFK and getting back from IAH; 3) is LH the party plane ?

Cheers.
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