MASTER Q/A

Discussion in 'SMD5 (Star MegaDO #5)' started by Randy Petersen, May 19, 2013.  |  Print Topic

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  1. Randy Petersen
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    Welcome to the Star Alliance MegaDO 5 (SMD5) Master Q/A. This thread is designed to capture some of the more popular questions into a single thread with a single answer for you to refer to. We hope you find it helpful and useful.

    What Time To Be Where
    Seat swaps
    Promo registration
    Passport requirement
    Refunds from bookings
    Split reservations SO/Significant other
    Attending activities but not flying on the Charter?
    Hotel splits / Room shares
    Positioning flights / Saturday departure
    Transportation
    What if I have to cancel?
    Good seat / Bad seat
     
  2. Randy Petersen
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    WHAT TIME TO BE WHERE
    Q. What time are we leaving the Ritz-Carlton for Rimowa program on Wednesday?
    A. We are leaving at 10 am local time from the host hotel. However, there will also be a bus leaving from the YYZ Airport for those flying in that same morning—that bus leaves the airport for Rimowa at 11 am.

    Q. What time are we leaving the Ritz-Carlton for the Air Canada session on Thursday?
    A. We are leaving the hotel by bus at 9:30 am so plenty of time to enjoy a leisure breakfast and social time among your many frequent flyer friends.

    Q. What time do we leave the Ritz-Carlton on Friday morning?
    A. The buses will leave at 7:30 am. We will be checking out of the hotel at this time and loading luggage on the buses. We will NOT be coming back to the hotel.
     
  3. Randy Petersen
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    SEAT SWAPS
    Q: I tried to book a seat near someone else and did not get it. How can I switch seats?

    A: Good question. We're certainly aware that the popularity of the SMD5 will make for displaced opportunities to sit near others you might have hoped to sit next to. As veteran frequent flyers, we know how this works ... a simple tap on the shoulder and a quick doe-eyed explanation about a seat swap not always, but many times can get it accomplished. Actually, here's a suggestion. Identify where your seat is and hover around those seats in the immediate area and with months to go before flight time, just inquire to their online name (most likely milepoint/flyertalk) via a PM/Conversation and see about a simple seat swap. This is a very friendly group and you may find a friendly receptive reply. If so, please notify the organizers of the SMD5 so we can verify and update the seat map of any changes. Remember that the flight is but one part of the actual SMD5 and if you aren't able to complete a seat swap, there's plenty of other time to be around others you know personally during the programs. As for what might be used as an enticement to ensure a seat swap? That list is far too long to post here ...
     
  4. Randy Petersen
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    PROMO REGISTRATION
    Q: Are we automatically registered for the Aeroplan and/or MileagePlus bonus miles (or Marriott promo)?

    A: Yes. We made a decision to make life easy for all participants and both Aeroplan and/or MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards are working with us for an "auto-enroll" system for both bonus promotions. Once those details are confirmed we'll get the appropriate membership numbers from you.
     
  5. Randy Petersen
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    PASSPORT REQUIREMENT
    Q: Wondering can you clarify for me, if I am getting one but do not currently hold it, can i fill in whatever info then and edit it out later or do you want valid at time of booking?

    Also what is it being used for other then proof of citizenship? I am not a US born citizen and has caused problems for me in the past. If they scrutinize country of origin I would like to know beforehand.

    A: Let's try the answer in several parts. The first answer is YES, you can fill in the information later on and it is not necessary to actually confirm a booking. The passport is an absolute requirement in SMD5 (Star MegaDO5) when you enter Canada. There are two concerns which we want to address in using a passport requirement. First obviously is ID acceptable to the TSA. As we know, this one document for sure will be 100% acceptable by the TSA for passage through security and access into the country. It eliminates questions about what documents are acceptable (National ID cards, etc.) and gives us clear definition in the event that a person is denied passage though TSA. It also covers us in the event that for some reason we have to divert the aircraft to another country (i.e. Mexico since will be close when flying to Tucson) in which case we don't have to leave everyone on board the plane. And it helps us in case there are certain activities in the program which we find out later on are restricted to U.S. citizens only, etc. There are any number of things that may come up and we want to be better prepared to respond to those in real time with the information we have.

    The information will really only be used to make sure that you are prepared to fly along and get though TSA security. We actually have no plans to actually look at your travel documents or send the information along to anyone else at this point. If anything changes relative to that—each person will be apprised of that and the reason for the information use.
     
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  6. Randy Petersen
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    REFUNDS FROM BOOKINGS
    Q: Refunds from bookings occur in two or more situations: waitlist not cleared, actual cancellation or something beyond our control for the actual Charter to fly.

    A: The terms for cancellations are actually spelled out in the terms and conditions of the Charter itself and those terms are HERE. Basically the terms state that if you cancel 45 or more days before departure: you are entitled to a refund of $100.00, within 44 days before departure a refund of $0.00. However, let's be more relaisitic. This is a popular event and there is a burgeoning waitlist so we can with some certainty be able to exchange your seat with another waitlist hopeful and ensure a full refund to you until about 30 days in advance of the Charter flight, let's say until September 20, 2013—minus a $150 change fee. Refunds will be made within 14 days of receipt of your notice of cancellation. Such refunds and substitutions are subject to acceptance by FTEF. Except by way of such acceptance, tickets are non-endorsable and non-refundable.

    After commencement of travel, no changes, substitutions or refunds on any portions of tickets may be made.
     
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    SPLIT RESERVATIONS FOR SO/SIGNIFICANT OTHER
    Q: How can I avoid booking the two of us but avoid two different reservations and two far apart seat assignments?

    A: That's a really good question and for this event we've made it more convenient to book pairs of seats at the same time. you can select two seats together and pay both in single transaction. Easier for you, easier for us—good luck, good question.
     
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    ATTENDING ACTIVITIES AS A LOCAL / NOT FLYING THE CHARTER
    Q: I wasn't able to book a seat on the Charter but live in the Toronto/Tucson/San Francisco area. Any problem attending that part of the program?

    A: A common question and we really wish we could say yes. There are at least five different events planned and each sponsor has created a program based on the passenger count of the airplane. Given that there are transportation, security, banquet and many other issues that go along with each event, we're really concerned that opening any event up would lead to confusion and a strain on the budgets of those sponsors who are already working full-time to account for just those final confirmed for the Charter flight. The idea is a good one, but honestly the planning that goes into these is better at this point based on a finite number of attendees.
     
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    HOTEL SPLITS / ROOM SHARES
    Q: I was going to book a hotel room but worried about the budget I've got. Any advice for seeing if I can share a room with a fellow passenger?

    A: That's a really good question and there is a thread within this forum which is designed specifically for helping you identify a possible room share. Post your interest wither is being available to share a room (you have not booked yet) or looking to share a room (you have booked a room). Good luck, good question.
    THREAD LINK
     
  10. Randy Petersen
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    TRANSPORTATION?
    Q: Will there be a charter bus between the events and the Ritz-Carlton hotel on the itinerary? Or will we be responsible for our own transportation of some sort?

    A: No one has ever walked that we can recall. All transportation is provided for the events and to and from the hotels. Some of this years sponsors of busses are Rimowa and Milepoint.
     
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    WHAT IF I HAVE TO CANCEL?
    Q: When I booked the Charter I had cleared my schedule. But now there is talk of a new project which may prevent me from going. What is your cancelation policy?

    A: Things happen, we know. If you have to cancel, please contact any of the organizers and we'll step in to assist you in managing your refund and your replacement passenger. Refunds for canceling are referred to HERE. And as for a replacement, we have an anxious waitlist and we'll work with the next person on the waitlist to fill your seat if you cancel. By helping you not only with the cancelation and refund, it makes for an orderly process to ensure that the plane still leaves full and that those who have expressed a sincere interest from being overbooked get the first seat availability for any changes.
     
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    GOOD SEAT / BAD SEAT
    Q: I tried to reserve a Tommy Class seat but it was sold out and snagged an Economy Class seat instead. I'm not that comfortable in the middle seat i ended up with. Is there a waitlist for an upgrade to Tommy Class?

    A: Let's answer your question. Honestly, there is no such thing as a good seat / bad seat on a MegaDO. The activities on board, the conversations and yes, the occasional antics make the time pass all too quickly. Now, if the assignment of a middle seat was not acceptable given the choices and the circumstances, we'll participate as best we can to find something else, but let's just be reasonable an understand—on this Charter, all seats are excellent. Now to really answer your question ... we do have a waitlist for all upgraded classes so please let us know how far to the front of the plane you want to go.
     
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    POSITIONING FLIGHTS / SATURDAY DEPARTURE
    Q: Any ideas on the length of the Friday program as I want to start looking at flight connections back home?

    A: Well, the good news is that we have a full day planned of events and at this point we feel safe to say that you can make flights outbound from San Francisco on Friday, October 25, 2013 after 8:30 PM which means likely any time beginning Saturday morning October 26th. Hope this helps. It is likely many will want to stay around for the afterglow meetups that will likely spring up all day Saturday in the city that San Francisco is and fly out on Sunday morning, October 27, 2013.
     
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