Our stop in Houston was one of the shortest in MegaDO history. The time at the hotel was definitely a record low. We got to the hotel around 11pm and departed around 5 the next morning. A few of the people in the group even slept. I managed a solid 3.5 hours by the time I got to bed. On my way up the elevator to my room I did see a cool salute to the SMD crew the hotel had projected on the walls for us.
Our flight was a bit over 2 hours, with a full breakfast for everyone on board. I was seated in the first row of coach. Turning around to view the rest of coach yielded a bunch of people who looked about ready to pass out. I’ve never seen an SMD crew that tired. Everybody looked ready to pass out. How could you blame them? Most of them didn’t go to bed.
Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, potato gratin and turkey sausage. There was also a fruit salad and yogurt parfait. Probably one of the 5 best domestic breakfasts I’ve ever had. French toast was the other option and it looked equally tasty.
Though the sleep factor was low everyone managed to get up and hang out in the aisles for one last cocktail party in the aisle. Upon landing, we had a number of cool activities for participants. Some people got to head out on the tarmac and handle baggage, get trained on de-icing equipment and hop on a team to push a plane back from the gate. Others got to go to United’s HQ to see the command center. And others got to head over to the catering division for a tour of the foodservice operation. A smaller group won a nose-to-tail tour of a 747 with a captain as well.
It was a full day followed by a busy evening. We were all bussed downtown for a cocktail reception with United executives. There were better than 20 top-level executives in attendance, another big treat for a room full of airline geeks. They also announced 2 pretty cool contests for DO attendees.
First, they announced a contest for people who could earn the most PQMs in the first 3 months of 2013. The winner of that challenge gets awarded the Global Services status level with United, their highest. It’s an invitation-only level that’s supposed to be fairly rewarding.
Second was a fun challenge to see who could fly to the most airports on United. 20 airports in 3 months gets you 10,000 bonus miles and the big winner here gets 100,000 miles.
The night also featured a silent auction filled with sports and movie memorabilia where we raised thousands of dollars for MegaDO charities as well.
I’ve got a few more wrap-up posts left for the MegaDO including one that summarizes all the giveaways and benefits of a MegaDO. I’ll be working on those over the next couple of weeks along with a contest to award some of my swag from the trip as well. Stay tuned!