So, just what is a Mega Do??

Discussion in 'NordicDO2 (Scandinavian MD80 Farewell MegaDO)' started by Wandering Aramean, Oct 2, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    That's a darn good question, one which cannot really be answered easily or succinctly. But what we're lacking in answers is certainly made up for in excitement, activities and surprises.

    Just looking at the words you'd think that a definition is easy. Mega means "big" and Do means "party" so it is a big party, right? Well, yes, it is a big party every single time. But it is still more than that. It is more than a hundred similarly-minded enthusiasts gathering to celebrate an airline, an airplane, a hotel or all of the above. It is non-stop excitement, events and after-parties. And, from time to time, we even sleep a little.



    For Nordic Mega Do 2013 the celebration was centered around the MD-80. SAS has been operating the type for decades and they are getting ready to retire them out of the fleet later this year. Why not grab one and go for a joy ride around Scandinavia, both to celebrate the airline and the airplane. The Carlson Rezidor group – the name behind the Radisson brand and others – joined in the party, hosting the group in Oslo and Copenhagen at their Radisson Blu properties in each city. And, over the course of about 36 hours the 135 or so of us managed to party up a storm.

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    Let's go for a ride!

    Things started early on Friday morning at Oslo's Gardermoen airport with a dedicated check-in area set up for our flight. Of course, when you have 135 passengers who are all elite that means everyone gets to wait in line. Whoopsie. Eventually we got things squared away, boarding passes issued and it was on to the gate area.

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    The flight crew was aware that it was a special trip but not quite so clear on just how "special" we are. Our purser took extra care, decorating the plane for us and making sure that we were going to have a great time from the very moment boarding started. Even the pilot was in on the fun early in the day, documenting the event.

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    Time to board the plane…let's go, everyone!

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    Surprises are a big part of the fun in a Mega Do event (some more planned than others). On this particular trip one of the surprises came from the pilot as we were taxiing towards the runway:

    Because we have so many celebrities on board I have asked them to clean our plane prior to departure.

    Yup…we got a water canon salute before heading airborne for the quick hop over to Stockholm.

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    Upon arrival in Stockholm we headed up to the SAS Business Lounge where we met with executives from the EuroBonus program and were able to enjoy the snacks and drinks. The flight crew showed up after a bit and they were something like celebrities in the lounge. Flash blubs were popping all over the place with passengers acting like paparazzi.

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    Time to head back on board the plane and, again, a surprise for our group. The MD-82 has the option for boarding via the rear stairs and with the great weather in Stockholm and some help from PC the rear stairs were opened up to us. If you've never tried to herd 100+ aviation geeks away from their incredible photo opportunities and on to the plane then you're missing out.

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    Eventually everyone got on board and we were ready to go for the second flight, a 3+ hour tour of the Norwegian coastline.

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    Flying from Stockholm to Copenhagen is normally about an hour or so; our flight was just over three. The air traffic controllers along the way were quite confused by the routing – yes, we are flying north to go to a final destination which is south – but eventually they figured it out. And once they did things became even more fun. Our flight received several messages – both voice and ACARS - from various locations on the ground. Some were well wishes to passengers and others were requests for a fly-by or low pass at various airports along the route.

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    We eventually did make a low pass near Stavanger, with incredible views of the fjords and glaciers and other coastal scenery.

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    Remember how I mentioned the awesome purser before? She also coordinated a trivia quiz on board the flight with prizes for the winners. Congrats!

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    And then, all too soon, we were back on the ground, this time in Denmark. Sure, the flight portion was done but the party was far from it. On to the Radisson Blu Scandinavian in Copenhagen for another event hosted by Club Carlson and Carlson Rezidor. The spread was quite impressive, from duck to roast beef to lobster and more. And plenty to drink as well. The even also included the announcement of winners from the contests being run during the trip where Club Carlson gave away 1,000,000 points to participants. Yup…a cool million.

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    And then, as always, some chose to continue the party at local bars (photos not available here ;)) while others wound down the evening in the hotel. Just as they had gathered from the ends of the earth in Oslo to start the party, so did they depart on from Copenhagen to all corners of the globe.

    New friends were made and old friendships rekindled. Unique experiences were shared by a select few who sought them out, plus a few surprises along the way.

    So, what is a Mega Do? I still don't really know the perfect answer, other than to say that it certainly is a ton of fun.
     

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  2. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    Best part was the air stairs, first time I can recall ever getting to board via the rear air stairs of any aircraft.
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It was great, though hardly my first time. Not even my first for that month. :cool:

    You can still do it at a few airports in the USA, too. LGB does it for all flights. I believe BUR does, too. I'm sure there are others.
     
  4. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    I've only done it in Africa on smaller planes, Cessna's and CRJs...but never of a "real" jet...guess I've gotta try LGB or BUR sometime soon...I'm just too close to LAX to go anywhere else.
     
  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Even on aircraft that don't have the rear stairs into the, uh, butt of the plane? ;)

    I had that experience once on an AA 727 (if memory serves right... it clearly was a while ago).
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yup. Both BUR and LGB use ramps to get passengers up to the boarding door. They're "switchbacks" with two turns and three straight segments to get you up to boarding door level for the front door; the rear is regular stairs.
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    Interestingly, Ryanair got Boeing to install stairs in the front doors of their 737s so that the airline doesn't even need to pay for stairs at airports they serve. They just pop the door and lower their own ones out. I'm sure they did the math and carrying that extra weight is cheaper than gate fees versus the remote stand+bus option they use. They do pay for air stairs at the back if the rear door is used.
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  7. norge
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    norge Silver Member

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    Thanks for the fun report, Seth. ^
     
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  8. thesterlingtraveler

    thesterlingtraveler Gold Member

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    Looks like a mundane MD-80 flight turned into something much more fun!
     
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  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Sorry, I wasn't really clear. When Skyvan said "Best part was the air stairs, first time I can recall ever getting to board via the rear air stairs of any aircraft" I interpreted that (probably incorrectly) as referring to using the built-in stairs in the very back of the MD80. And when you replied

    I thought that it's quite strange that you'd be boarding/deboarding using those stairs on a regular basis. I have only experienced it once, but I have indeed seen the side doors in the back used on various types of aircraft. Including big 747s at FRA when an arriving LH or UA jet gets sent to to a remote stand.

    Sorry for the confusion.
     

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