Waking up in Oslo, there was a bit of fog over the water and hills. 35 hours after leaving home I opened the window in my room to take in the city. Still a bit of an oddity to have a window that opens in a hotel room.
Today was to be a jam-packed day. We were squeezing both NordicDO flights into the same day. We’d start with a short hop from Oslo (airport code OSL) to Stockholm (ARN). After a brief stop there we would fly North to the Arctic Circle and hang a left to Bodo (BOO, one of the better airport codes). We would fly over Bodo and loop back down to Copenhagen (CPH) to end our day of flying.
As one of the volunteers for the event, I left with the organizers and headed to the airport on the 7:30 express train. The trains run to the airport every 10 minutes and make the trip in just about 20 minutes. Registration wasn’t supposed to open until 8:30 so we had plenty of time.
A bunch of the attendees were early birds with about 50 of the 150 attendees already there waiting for us. If you haven’t been on a MegaDO, we’ve only had one correct boarding process with the correct seats since I started volunteering. Getting a seat map right when working with a major airline and their somewhat archaic computer systems can be quite a challenge. Today would be no exception. Virtually none of the seats were correct and we had to start from scratch.
To further compound the issue, the plane was a different configuration than previously expected. We scrambled to hand write boarding passes and finally had to cram everyone on the plane so we wouldn’t run late. It was only a 40-minute flight but in true European efficiency the crew managed a breakfast and drink service. Shortly thereafter we landed at my second new airport of the trip in Stockholm.
This was to be a brief stop as well, meeting the executives of SAS airlines, our host for the event. They shut down one of their business lounges for us to invade for a quick snack, Q&A with the executives and a couple of beers. Soon enough we were headed back to the plane.
The crew had opened up the Tarmac around our plane for us to explore a bit, which is a rare occurrence. Nothing like standing next to a parked plane while other jets are landing and taxiing in. I’m sure the people on those planes were wondering who the 100 crazies were waving at them from the Tarmac.
Back onboard again for the longer segment of our flight up to the Arctic circle. As another cool add-on, 4 lucky auction winners got the chance to sit in the cockpit jump seat during take-off and landing.
Another difference between Europe and the US is that in Europe the captain has the discretion to allow someone in the cockpit during flight (and to leave the cockpit door open). That meant some spectacular views of the glaciers and fjords as we tooled around Northern Norway.
We were supposed to make a low pass at BOO but with the cloud cover that wasn’t meant to be. Shortly thereafter, things opened up a bit and we squeezed in a low pass at another airport further South. I couldn’t make out what the captain said, but judging our relative position and my perceived pronunciation I think it was Sandnessjoen, a small coastal town just South of Bodo. It was a picturesque town with lots of green open space, mountains and valleys near the water.
ETA: A couple of fellow NordicDOers have weighed in and they were paying better attention to the captain. It looks like our low pass was Stavenger, not Sandnessjoen.
This was by far the most sedate MegaDO flight I’ve been on. Sure, there was a high level of alcohol consumption by some. But, the aisle was mostly open. The crew served up a light lunch, which slowed down the pace of drinking a bit. There was still plenty of socializing. There was even a bit of slumber, a rarity on MegaDOs.
It was an easy landing at Copenhagen, my 3rd new airport of the trip. Our touchdown in Copenhagen marked hour number 47 on the road. We were off to the Radisson Blu Scandinavian in downtown Copenhagen for a reception with executives from Club Carlson. This was a shorter MegaDO than previous versions so I’d be heading home in the morning. That would mean a stop in Heathrow again and another ride on the new American Airlines 777-300ER