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MegaDo6 hidden(?) program changes  

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okrogius
(@okrogius)
Silver

DesertRose, post: 2588394, member: 997 wrote: I had though I saw a number that 250 attendees were expected, but obviously I made another mistake. 😀

The Megado site claims the plane has 183 seats. The economy seats all sell for $1000 (even the $1500 price is equal to $3000 per 3 seats). So that would make the math: 183 * $1000 + ($800 * the number of J seats). So it's probably closer to say it's $190-200k minus whatever value of seats are comped/given away.

I was looking at 737 instead of 738, pardon. Do note that business and exit rows come with empty middles.

8*1499+x*4*1799+(183-12-x*6)*999 = ~190k.
(or simplified to 183*1000+300*numberOfJ)

And of course reduce number of seats for various reasons (mechanic, press, partner reps) - so you're probably looking at 170-180k in revenue. I wouldn't be surprised if 150k goes towards the charter, say another 10k for buses/trains.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 8, 2015 9:09 pm
tommy777
(@tommy777)
Admin

[USER=997]@DesertRose[/USER] , we've had extensive communications with you already and have tried to explain, but as it is now a public matter, I'll make a post so the folks here understand better.

For the folks who have been putting up and citing to various parts of the contracts and such as well as pointing to various consumer laws of various countries I would make sure that you fully understand what it is that you bought in the first place.

You bought a ticket on an airplane from ARN-TLS-LGW. That is it. Everything else is bonus and run by someone else, and not part of the purchased ticket.

Allow me to explain.

In order to make a MEGADO we coordinate with partners. We try to have an airline partner, an industry partner, and a hotel partner. We do this to help each one of you enjoy the experience as well as to try to save you some money along the way. The partner hotel is a great way for folks to interact with each other before, during or after the flights. We work with our partners to explain to them our charter flight schedule and see if they are interested in doing something while the folks are there. However, these events are run by the various partners, and not by us. Once the partners have agreed to their programs we can set the charter flight up.

To get you to these events that are put on by our partners we charter an aircraft or provide transportation to the events (bus, train). We do the charter as this is the most convenient way to get 150+ people to the events that the partners put on. Plus it provides a chance for experiences that you wouldn’t normally get if we used scheduled service. We pay for the charter out of our own pockets, (the revenue numbers you've suggested is way off) and then sell the seats on the charter to everyone here. What we are selling is the transportation aspect. When you purchase the ticket from us, what you are getting is the flights, and that is all. Our marketing does call out events and receptions, too, but not hotels as they are optional.

You are not getting any hotels as part of the purchase. If hotels were part of what you purchased, then we would be making the reservations at the hotels and collecting the money for the hotels from you directly and paying the hotels on your behalf. We are not doing this, and never have. There is no requirement to stay at any particular hotel, nor can we force you to stay at a particular hotel to participate on the charter flight. The partner hotels are arranged as a convenient option for those on the charter flight. Most folks choose to take advantage of the partner hotels, but some folks for a variety of reasons choose not to. The partner hotels determine a program that they would like to offer our passengers and they define the rules for their programs. So for example, to get the concierge status with Club Carlson, Club Carlson has decided that you need to stay at two of their hotels. So if you choose to stay at a different hotel, Club Carlson has determined that they will not give you the status. This is not our decision, its theirs. We offer these programs a very good opportunity to showcase off their programs and possibly earn new customers. This is why the partners want to do these things. However, they have limited budgets and are constrained by their own partners. These constraints often dictate that an event must move to a different location. This can occur for a variety of reasons on the partner’s side. (Space, another event, conflicts, catering, etc.). But again these portions are outside of the charter ticket that you purchased.

The reason hotels gets mentioned in the terms and conditions, is because the T&C are in the standard form required by the DOT. The form is designed for wide use, including all-inclusive charters where the room is part of the price, and therefore contain language about "a substitute of any hotel not listed in this contract". However, you'll notice that there in fact are no hotels listed in the contract at all, because they are not part of the purchased package.

That's the legal part of the deal.

Now, let's chat about the MegaDo program and what these changes actually mean. We are talking about where you put your head for a few hours. A major change would be "we're not going to Airbus for a once in a lifetime A350 experience, we're going straight to London". That's a major change.

In fact, these are the highlights promised and there has not been any changes to them.

Up, close and personal with the Airbus A350
[LIST]
[*]A day with Scandinavian Airlines in Stockholm.
[*]A day with Star Alliance in London at the brand new T2, The Queen's Terminal
[*]New hotel partner, Club Carlson.
[*]Flights with SAS Scandinavian Airlines.
[/list]
These are the things people sign up to do.

And there are more exciting things happening as well, but we've learned from the past and the team has been very good on managing expectations for this event, much better than I've done personally in the past.

The hotels are a very minor deal for pretty much everyone here, but we've been contacted by 3 people who were excited to stay at The May Fair, so we've checked with Club Carlson and yes, you are welcome to stay at The May Fair and still receive the status, campaigns and bonuses from Club Carlson. Also, if you want to stay at the Radisson Blu SkyCity (which is 3 minutes away from the host hotel) you are welcome to do that as well and still receive the status, campaigns and bonuses from Club Carlson. Also, Club Carlson is really sorry about the changes and they have offered to come up with a nice, extra surprise to everyone for the changes. And they were very generous at the NordicDo. It's a great partner and I hope everyone can give them a chance to deliver -- again.

When it comes to this years event, we had a very short leadtime if we wanted to have an SMD at all this year. And I have to admit, I was a little worried about having 2-3 months to sell it vs. the usual 6-7 months. But I was willing to take the chance as there were some cool elements that were pretty new to everyone. Fortunately, the event sold out quickly, but the after market suffered as we were already really close to the event. There has been several ticket exchanges in the last month (I delete all tickets that has been successfully traded in the ticket transfer thread), but it looks like it has cooled down now and there's about 5-8 tickets for sale on the secondary market. And I would not give up hope to get your ticket resold just yet.

The team had a call just today about these folks that can't go and we've decided to send an email blast out to our entire database about tickets being available. That always generates interest.

And that's not something we are obligated to do or any company that sells anything would do, but we're doing it in the spirit of the MegaDo: We're a bunch of aviation / miles and points geeks who get together once a year for a great time. And we don't want those seats to be empty, so we'll go above and beyond to try and find new owners for them.

To charter a plane STARTS at 6 digits, We are chartering it for the whole day for two flights plus a ferry flight back to Stockholm. Oleg did the math above pretty accurately, a little on the low side, but not by much The plane has 180 seats, we are allowed to sell less due to crew/mechanics space requirements in the contracts. In addition to the plane, we have to pay thousands of dollars for buses, train tickets for 1xx people and many other costs. Yes, the volunteers get a free ride on the plane, they get a free, but sponsored hotel room etc. But trust me, these guys are working their tails off and deserve it.

So I suggest that we focus on having a great event. It's going to be awesome as usual. If you have any questions or concerns, I suggest you take it up with us directly. For those who knows us, if you have an issue, a problem or concerns, my team will do their very best to try and accommodate you.

Thank you all.

Join us for the FIRST ever SkyTeam MegaDo in October 2018 www.megado.com

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 8, 2015 9:13 pm
DesertRose
(@desertrose)
Silver

tommy777, post: 2588407, member: 88 wrote:
You bought a ticket on an airplane from ARN-TLS-LGW. That is it.

That is not what is communicated on your website. Even your FAQ says:

Q. What does the ticket cost cover?
A. Your ticket includes:

[LIST]
[*]A reserved seat on our exclusive SMD flight operated by SAS Scandinavian Airlines, in the class of service of your choice, with full meals and an open bar in all classes of service.
[*]Access to all events and receptions (except those marked “optional” on the schedule such as the pre-event reception.)
[*]Bus transportation to the events in Stockholm.
[/list]
Although IIRC, the bus transportation was originally for 'the events', not just the ones in Stockholm.

tommy777, post: 2588407, member: 88 wrote: To get you to these events that are put on by our partners we charter an aircraft or provide transportation to the events (bus, train). We do the charter as this is the most convenient way to get 150+ people to the events that the partners put on. Plus it provides a chance for experiences that you wouldn’t normally get if we used scheduled service. We pay for the charter out of our own pockets, (the revenue numbers you've suggested is way off) and then sell the seats on the charter to everyone here. What we are selling is the transportation aspect. When you purchase the ticket from us, what you are getting is the flights, and that is all. Our marketing does call out events and receptions, too, but not hotels as they are optional.

Except your marketing did call out hotels, and the fact that we would be given special rates to stay at the advertised hotels in exchange for status:

rehoult, post: 2549722, member: 478 wrote:
Here are some highlights, you don't want to miss this one -
-- A very exclusive and up close look at the new Airbus A350 - the future of aviation
-- Spend a day with Mark Schwab, President and CEO of Star Alliance and get a behind-the-scenes tour at their biggest investment in a long time: T2, The Queens Terminal at London's Heathrow
-- A day with SAS -- SAS put on an amazing show, one of the most loved programs of the MegaDo back in 2009. Now they are back and they are inviting us to spend the day with them in their hometown Stockholm. We'll get to take a look at their new Business Class and newly refurbished planes in addition to SAS Eurobonus, their revamped loyalty program with a brand new tier.
-- Club Carlson is our new hotel partner. Enjoy their top tier status Concierge with their compliments and join them for a very exclusive reception at their flagship property, the luxurious The May Fair in London.
-- More surprise status miles and points to follow
-- To kick off the festivities the night before the charter flight, there will a optional dinner hosted at Kitchen and Table at Arlanda Airport, Clarion hotel. Very limited seating at this awesome restaurant with spectacular views.

Transatlantic flights will be offered when booking goes live along with the host hotels, but feel free to book your flights to Europe using money/miles as there will be no restrictions or requirements to join the program starting in Europe.

You will be required to stay at the host properties to earn Club Carlson Concierge status. The Stockholm property will be about 120 dollars per night, while The May Fair will be around 250 pounds but there will be a less expensive sister property available in London, The Park Plaza Victoria.

The full program is posted on www.megado.com, so take a peek.

Booking link: https://megado.com/registration/

tommy777, post: 2588407, member: 88 wrote: The reason hotels gets mentioned in the terms and conditions, is because the T&C are in the standard form required by the DOT. The form is designed for wide use, including all-inclusive charters where the room is part of the price, and therefore contain language about "a substitute of any hotel not listed in this contract". However, you'll notice that there in fact are no hotels listed in the contract at all, because they are not part of the purchased package.

You'll have to excuse me, I have never received a contract from you, or any communication from Megado other than denials of my request for cancellation. I do recall plenty of information about the hotels, the special rates that would be offered, the fabulousness of the hotels being a highlight of the MegaDo, and how staying at the hotels is required to receive status from Club Carlson, when I was deciding to buy a ticket.

tommy777, post: 2588407, member: 88 wrote: The hotels are a very minor deal for pretty much everyone here

Good. Then it shouldn't be a big deal to refund the few people who are truly irritated and offended by the bait and switch.

But I was willing to take the chance as there were some cool elements that were pretty new to everyone.

But I WASN'T willing to take that chance, and if I had been informed of it, I would have chosen not to buy the ticket. I have vaguely heard that these things are fun and I have friends in Norway. So I read the stuff MegaDo website, and the promotional material on Milepoint, and I decided to buy a ticket. I had no idea that your apparent popularity is due to your ability to consume alcohol rather than your ability to plan events. I had no idea that several of the "highlights" that were advertised, such as the hotels, were subject to change. And in fact, your contract DID have a cancellation clause if the hotels were changed.

So why on earth would I think twice about the possibility of a hotel change, or that somehow, despite all the hype over the hotels, and despite the hotels being advertised as highlights of the event, and despite being promised discount rates at the specified event hotels, and despite a clause allowing refunds for hotel changes, I would get screwed over by a downgrade of both properties and get stonewalled when I requested a refund?

Now, let's chat about the MegaDo program and what these changes actually mean. We are talking about where you put your head for a few hours. A major change would be "we're not going to Airbus for a once in a lifetime A350 experience, we're going straight to London". That's a major change.

The DOT and most European governments disagree with you. The DOT disagrees with you so much that they require listing a hotel change as a major change resulting in a refund in their boilerplate.

tommy777, post: 2588407, member: 88 wrote: In fact, these are the highlights promised and there has not been any changes to them.

Up, close and personal with the Airbus A350
[LIST]
[*]A day with Scandinavian Airlines in Stockholm.
[*]A day with Star Alliance in London at the brand new T2, The Queen's Terminal
[*]New hotel partner, Club Carlson.
[*]Flights with SAS Scandinavian Airlines.
[/list]
These are the things people sign up to do.

Hmm, it appears that you have subtracted a couple from the ones rehoult advertised in the list above... the one about the CC flagship property, the luxurious Mayfair. And the bit about receiving CC Concierge status, which will be given after staying at a discount rate at the Mayfair.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 8, 2015 9:56 pm
rehoult
(@rehoult)

[USER=997]@DesertRose[/USER] As Tommy has explained, what you purchased was clearly laid out in the contract that you acknowledged reading as part of your registration.

You clearly disagree, and have apparently filed both a charge-back and regulatory complaints, as is your right. We will of course dispute them, as is our right. Beyond that, we will not be commenting further on this matter.

Get the latest FTU news on Facebook, Twitter and www.ftuniversity.com!

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 8, 2015 10:44 pm
DesertRose
(@desertrose)
Silver

rehoult, post: 2588436, member: 478 wrote: [USER=997]@DesertRose[/USER] As Tommy has explained, what you purchased was clearly laid out in the contract that you acknowledged reading as part of your registration.

You clearly disagree, and have apparently filed both a charge-back and regulatory complaints, as is your right. We will of course dispute them, as is our right. Beyond that, we will not be commenting further on this matter.

Then please be so kind as to forward a copy of it to me, along with all the other communications you have supposedly sent out to registrants. I have received nothing confirming my registration except for a charge on my credit card.

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Posted : April 9, 2015 2:10 am
LIH Prem
(@lih-prem)

you know, I still haven't been to South America ... ever ...

[MEDIA=youtube]gICR0efm2Eo[/MEDIA]

Some things never really change, but I'm still attending the MegaDo.

Ryan: Can I credit to BMI or US Air this year? 🙂

-David

DYKWIA? Really? (even though I haven't posted 12 program logos?)

Don't forget about The Lesser Known Blogs especially Frequent Whiner

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 9, 2015 7:53 am
tommy777
(@tommy777)
Admin

OK, I think we're done here. We will follow up with DesertRose, please contact us with questions/concerns [email]megado@megado.com[/email]

Master thread is here:

https://milepoint.com/forums/threads/official-master-thread-smd6-sold-out.114061/

Join us for the FIRST ever SkyTeam MegaDo in October 2018 www.megado.com

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 9, 2015 2:19 pm
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