81 Hours In Europe: A Running Start At Oslo And Copenhagen

The next MegaDO is upon us, and in case you haven’t been following along, this one is the NordicDO.  You can see the full itinerary at the MegaDO website and follow along this thread on Milepoint.

My trip will cover flights from IAD to JFK, then LHR-OSL-ARN-CPH-LHR-JFK-DCA.

For those not versed in the foreign language of airport cities, that’s Dulles, New York (JFK), London Heathrow, Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, London, JFK and finally Washington DC, Reagan.  In 81 hours.  Fairly normal right?  I’ll be documenting as much as I can live, but it will be a whirlwind few days so I apologize if I get behind.

Day 1 started with a quick flight from IAD to JFK on JetBlue.  Hopefully not a harbinger of things to come, my flight was delayed about 90 minutes.  I had an absurdly long layover of over 5 hours at JFK for just such a problem, so this turned out to be a non-event.  On the way up, while circling in a pattern before final approach, I was able to see my childhood summer home area in New Jersey.  This area was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy but also got doubly hit this past week with a massive fire in Seaside Park.  If you look closely at the coast line, you can see a big black spot on the sand where the fire burned up quite a few blocks.



81 Hours In Europe


A short time later we were at JFK and I elected to walk from T5 (where JetBlue arrives) to T8, where my American flight would depart.  I needed the exercise and it was only about 70 degrees outside. I’d walked from terminal to terminal in the past but didn’t realize this would be something of a challenge.  I took the long way towards terminal 1 and ultimately ended up hitting a dead end, not being able to cross the highway.  But, along the way, I took in some old sights.  It’s amazing how old the TWA terminal looks now and how new it looked when I was a kid.



There was also the destruction of one of the old Delta Terminals (T3) and some A380s picking on smaller planes.





I still had plenty of time when I hit the dead end at T1, so I looped back around and walked the entire way back.  This time, I made it all the way to T7 before I got stopped and ultimately took the AirTrain for the last leg.  Another remembrance of days past at JFK with the old United logo.  Don’t see that logo a whole lot anymore since they retired it a couple years ago.  United and British Airways are no longer partners so it’s a bit of an oddity to see the logos side-by-side.


Check-in was quick since I was in business class, having cleared my upgrade on the new 777-300ER just the day before. Woo hoo!  This was also my first international flight where I qualified for TSA Pre-Check, so I twas through security in a matter of minutes and on my way to the lounge.  On the way I saw this kinda cool piece of art in the American terminal.



Off to the club for some time in the Flagship Lounge. Again, another privilege of top-tier Executive Platinum status on American when traveling internationally.  The flight upgrades and lounge access make these trips much more enjoyable.  I settled in for a glass of champagne, a decent meal of grilled chicken, antipasto, caprese salad and some cheese and crackers.  Normally I would have waited to dine on board, but the flights from the East coast are so short I just prefer to sleep the entire trip.





The lounge time ended with me catching up on work and watching planes pull in and out while the sun set.



It was a busy work day so I spent a bunch of time on the phone but I got to do some exploring of the old JFK.  It’s going through something of a renaissance with lots of construction now.  For me, getting there is a significant part of the fun of traveling.  I’m looking forward to notching 2 new cities (Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm) before the week is over.  Stay tuned!

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