Win a Seat on the MegaDO!

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Have you ever wanted to go on a MegaDO? Now is your chance. BoardingArea is giving away two seats for free to the currently sold out Star MegaDO 4. On top of the free seat, which you will be sitting right next to Randy Peterson, the miles and points guru – he’ll get the middle seat and the two winners will be on either side of him, your hotels will be paid for and you will receive $250 for additional expenses (which trust me, there really aren’t much – taxi to/from your home airport, and that is about all). They only thing you’ll be responsible for are the positioning flights to/from MegaDO (starts in San Francisco on 11/13 and ends in Chicago on 11/16).

For starters, if you are wondering what the heck a “MegaDO” is, let me explain. It is a very cool experience for overly obsessed flyers (like myself), where you will get some behind-the-scenes travel opportunities. This particular MegaDO will be sponsored by United Airlines and Hyatt, where you will fly United planes to various hubs (SFO > HOU > ORD) and stay at selected Hyatt hotels. You will meet other obsessed travel junkies, tour some cool air crafts, and earn some points and miles along the way. This is essentially a party on a plane. If you are looking for a quite ride, this is probably not for you!

I am currently scheduled to go on the MegaDO, however, there is a high probability I need to cancel – stupid global work meeting! I am really bummed about this as I went on the past MegaDO in January (sponsored by American) and had a blast.

MegaDO Schedule – you can see the official complete itinerary here, but to summarize:

  • Tuesday November 13, 2012: MegaDO starts at 8pm with a welcome reception at Hyatt Regency SFO.
  • Wednesday November 14, 2012: Morning program at SFO then 1pm flight to Houston. BBQ in Houston and accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Houston.
  • Thursday November 15, 2012: Morning flight to Chicago and spend the rest of the day with United. Reception at the Hyatt Schaumburg in Chicago.
  • Friday November 16, 2012: United Program continues and eases in to the 15th anniversary Star Alliance reception hosted by Star Alliance. There is also an optional dinner this Friday night for an additional $99 and all proceeds will be donated to charity.
  • Saturday November 17, 2012 (OPTIONAL): Cowboy day in Chicago. This event will be an additional $169 and again all proceeds will be donated to charity.

How to win:  In the comments section of this blog post, tell me the best airline deal you’ve ever gotten on. One reader will be chosen at random, using This reader will then be sent along with the other winners from the other participating BoardingArea blogs. BoardingArea will then select two readers to receive the MegaDO seats.You are only able to enter once on my blog, but you have the opportunity to enter on all the BoardingArea blogs! Make sure to check out the other participating blogs to increase your chances! Make sure to include your email address when posting a comment. Enter by 11:59pm EST on October 7.

The full official rules can be found here. You must be at least 18 to enter.

Terms: The seat giveaway gift from Randy Petersen consists of one economy ticket on the 2012 StarMegaDo4, hotel accommodations at partner hotels, and $250 cash for personal expenses. Expenses not specified above, including, but not limited to ground transportation and incidentals, are winner’s responsibility.

Two (2) winners will be chosen in a random drawing on Monday, October 8, 2012 from all eligible entries received during the Giveaway Period, as posted in the comments section of participating partnering blogs. The random drawing will be conducted by Randy Petersen, whose decision is final and binding in all respects. The winner will be notified via email within two (2) days after the selection is made. Each winner will have five (5) business days to reply confirming his/her acceptance of the giveaway seat. Failure to reply in the indicated time frame will declare that the seat has been refused and forfeited for all time and the first alternative entry will be chosen in random drawings as outlined above and provided the opportunity to claim the seat giveaway.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.



  1. unfortunately, i haven’t been able to take advantage of any airline deals yet. i did manage to book the recent 4 miles ticket on united, but it was cancelled!

  2. LIM-CUZ roundtrip on LAN for four passengers = 36,000 Avios points (9000 each) which I picked up on the Nordstrom 36X deal. Saved $1,200 essentially for free.

  3. I got my family of 4 RT from Atlanta to Norfolk for 9820 miles plus $20, then earned over 11,000 miles while there for a week between dining promos and an Avis promo.

  4. There used to be some great (25K) mileage bonuses for activities other than CCs. AA ran a huge bonus for number of flights, so we used to fly back-and-forth from SJC to visit friends in LAX for the day every weekend using nested tickets. IDine used to offer 25K bonuses once in a blue moon too. All my “deals” have related to the use of earned miles, not spectacular fares.

  5. I used to be able to buy round trip tickets spanning 2 weeks and use half of each one each week thus taking advantage of the old stay over the weekend and 7 day round trip special pricing

  6. Last Thanksgiving, 4 nights in Vegas at the Hilton and r/t airfare from MCO via LAX $199.30 all in (all upgrades cleared, too). Made money on that trip!

  7. RT from Phoenix to the Oregon coast for a $60 last minute fare on Allegiant. Not extravagant travel, but a great last minute vacation.

  8. Cabo-DFW (3 month stopover) DFW-Tokyo-DFW (2 month stopover) DFW-LAX all in First class for only 115k AAdvantage miles thanks to the “free” one-ways trick. $12,000 airfare for ~$100 in fees and 115k miles!

  9. BOM-STV when the new route was first announced on SpiceJet. The fares shot up three times shortly after we booked our tickets.

  10. Upcoming round the world trip thanks to the Singapore open availability weekend… And then getting upgraded to the A380 suite on the final leg!

    Close second was Jet Blue’s AYCJ, which was just crazy but a blast!

  11. I don’t know if this was a deal but last October I was able to fly from IAD to Brussels (through Madrid) for $497.00 on Spanair. All of the flights were codeshare flights so I flew on Aer Lingus and Brussels Airline. Now I did have to buy the ticket in January.

  12. When Jet Blue started flying from Chicago to Long Beach, they offered a crazy flight deal for $30 or less ($15 is what I have in my head, but it may have been more). My boyfriend (now husband) and I hopped onto a flight and visited some friends in Long Beach over a long weekend. It was a wonderful trip!

  13. About 5 years ago, I got a RT ticket ANC-ATL-PHL-CVG-ANC for $400 roundtrip. To this day, it’s the cheapest ticket I’ve ever flown on out of Anchorage.

  14. Got a reservation for US-NRT-BKK-SYD-AKL-SYD-BKK-ICN-US in F that includes new Asiana suites TG A380 and many 737-300 and a 737-200!

  15. I did a ROC-LAS turn a few years ago for about $43 ai. That was a fun day, since I made $80 on the slots at the airport. Paid for the airfare, parking and lunch!

  16. DEN-NRT-DEN on a United 787, and apparent S fare that booked into B. Upgraded to BusinessFirst. My first time in Japan

  17. Delta upgraded me from their one stop CLT-PVD flight to a US Airways non-stop and threw in a $200 voucher after my flight was cancelled due to an unspecified “crew issue.” And the non-stop got me home two hours earlier than my original flight would have.

  18. Best recent deal for me was an award ticket booked through USAirways. Flew IAH to IST, with a stopover there. Continued to FRU….. that’s Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Return was FRU-IST-IAH. Cost was only 60,000 Dividend Miles and, of course, USAir’s booking fees+taxes.

  19. I haven’t had the luck of getting any great mistake fares, milage runs, etc. But I do remember the first time I got bumped up to first class (before I even knew anything) for flirting with the check-in lady. Good times!

  20. SQ mistake fare in F for business rates. But couldn’t fly it so had to cancel and redeposit but it would have been the best.

  21. Booked in-laws for YYZ-EWR for total cost $4 with Expedia $200 off package at end of 2011. Threw away stay at hostel : ). Was just staring out so didn’t aggressively leverage for free spa, helicopter rides, etc.. that many others did.

  22. The best airline deal I’ve ever gotten is way back in the dark ages: World Airlines, remember them? had a $99 round trip (or maybe it was each way I don’t remember now) from West to East coast deal. I flew from SFO to NY and had the time of my life!

  23. Wife and I took advantage of the $300 Spanair-ticketed, US Airways-flown fare to Madrid last year. Helped us find our favorite city!

  24. First class from PHX-YYZ-PHX on an award ticket, this is back when taxes were low so the entire trip was in first class for less than $15:-)

  25. The very best airline deal I’ve ever gotten was about 20 years ago. US Air had a deal that you could fly anywhere, unlimited, for 30 days. The price was just a little more than a round-trip to Chicago, which I needed to book for a conference for my job. I paid the extra few dollars and took a month off from work (except for the conference) and flew everywhere! Everywhere I had a friend I went. The only catch was that I had to go through Pittsburgh, no matter where I went!! I wanted to go from San Francisco to Los Angeles and had to do so by changing planes in Pittsburgh! It was worth it though. It was a great month, and a great way to see the country!

  26. I’m flying from Anchorage to Nairobi (for a safari)for $350, using 125,000 Alaska Air miles to fly Anchorage to London, then London to Seattle First Class!! Have to fly coach from Seattle to Anchorage. Between London and Nairobi I’m using Capital One points accumulated when I signed up for their credit card and they matched my Alaska Air miles up to 100,000. I’m feeling pretty good about this trip.

  27. I have yet to redeem my points for anything other than a family emergency, so I guess that was a deal since I found out the situation and was on the plane 4 hours later. Last minute would have been very expensive!

  28. A yesr or two ago, I was researching another topic & reading some past blog posts when I realized I missed an spg promo to get 1000 bonus southwest miles per night for Sheraton stays. I registered on the final day of registration and before I knew it I had a few thousand extra rapid rewards miles in my account for some past stays that were credited retroactively. By the end of October I had a couple thousand more. Those points – that I could have missed out on completely – gave me enough points to top off my southwest account for a free roundtrip domestic flight! I used it to fly to las vegas!

  29. Easy – 2 First Class seats on Singapore Airlines, obtained a couple of months ago when they were doing their computer reservation transition.

  30. Freddy Laker Skytrain $99 from NYC to London r/t in 1978. Matched by British Airways, which flew me first class when I showed up at the airport because, I was told, I was “such a nicely dressed young man.”

  31. UA’s 20% off for award tickets to Hawaii in 2010. Though availability was TOUGH, could only swing it by taking a trip for 18 days. Such a hardship.

  32. All You Can Jet pass from JetBlue for $500. I literally traveled nonstop the entire month hopping from city to city. Wish they would offer it again.

  33. Five years is a long time. But, pessimisim aside, we are all going to keep finding ways to travel the world through incredible deals. Especially by communicating great finds instantly throughout our unique, if diverse and sometimes fragmented, community. Its always going to be too hard for the average traveller to follow this fastinating pursuit.

  34. Best airline deal ever is the Southwest Companion Pass. There is nothing first class about it but it has saved us many thousands of dollars and we’ve flown all over the place!

  35. Best airline deal I’ve been on is one of those $99 Alaska credit card companion tickets… sadly, I’m a bit slow on the trigger for most of the really good deals.

  36. During the transition from RR 1.x to RR 2.0, I dumped a bunch of transfers into the Southwest Rapid Rewards program and exchanged a bunch of standard awards (capacity controlled) to freedom awards (no capacity controls but with a dozen or so blackout dates per year). Powerful to be able to fly anywhere Southwest flies with last seat availability. Similarly, have made excellent use of last seat availability with the legacy airlines that still offer it (United, American… but not Delta).

  37. A few years back I flew all over southeast Asia using all kinds of regional carriers. The deals were great but I think the seats aren’t made for the average Westerner. I had to literally bend my legs sideways to fit.

  38. By far the best deal I ever got was a $89 roundtrip ticket on Air Asia from Osaka to Kuala Lumpur. 7.5 hour international flight for less that it cost for me to get to the airport (which was a $100 train ride)!

  39. The best deal I ever had was tripe medallion qualification miles for 3 round trips on delta airlines from BOS to NRT! I’m almost a a Million Miler for fling Delta just under 4 years!

  40. Asked for
    Bump PBI NAS $100.00 flight Got free ticket JFK SEA
    Asked got bumped to earlier arriving non-stop in First on return
    Collected enough Cognac to get through winter

  41. Best deal $5 (after $300 rebate) ny to vegas thru canada expedia. That included a night’s lodging. I got a double benefit brought Bacc35 with me. No takers from my friends and family either didn’t believe or couldn’t get their act together quick enough.

  42. Just booked a flight on Alaska Airlines from Oak to Ord for $201. Haven’t seen fares like this since the early days of Southwest where $238 was a great fare. Only negative is that you have to fly to Seattle first.

  43. Best airline deal so far has been the triple EQM’s back in January 2012 that AA ran. Was able to go from no elite status to EXP in two weeks of flying SFO-ORD RT… and the status is good for two years (Jan 2012-Feb 2014).

  44. My family flew on Delta miles to Athens in 2007 with a connection at CDG on the way home. We knew the flight from CDG to IAD was oversold so we volunteered for the bump. $800 cash for each of our 3 tickets (which were “free” to us) and 2 swank hotel rooms at the Paris (Airport) Hilton because there were 3 of us – luckily they gave us adjoining rooms so our son didn’t have to sleep all by himself. This was the first time in Paris for my son and husband so we immediately went to the Eiffel Tower and then saw as many sights as we could before falling asleep in the cab back to the Airport Hilton. And being frugal travelers who weren’t in the hotel game yet, it was the nicest hotel we’d ever stayed in! Flights the next morning and home again home again jiggety jog with $2400 in our pockets (less the bit of money we spent in Paris).

  45. Took advantage of the recent EWR-HNL fare on United for $465 ai. Not a mistake fare, but still half the price of any fare I ever paid to fly to Hawaii!

  46. Old school AA NetSAAver deal. PHL to Heathrow – $240 round trip. I and 20 of my co-workers jumped on it and we all went together. No lip-dub videos like those Google twerps in Cyprus though (thank God).

  47. My best (and first) deal was my trip to Thailand in Dec 2011: LAX-HKG-BKK in J on CX courtesy of the 100k Chase BA offer!

    Also used CapOne points for my roundtrip train/ferry to Koh Tao, then for round trip BKK-CXM.

  48. I got in on that Travelocity NFB deal and although my ticket was canceled, I got a Delta voucher worth the amount I spent – free money!

  49. I’ve never jumped on any spectacular deals, unfortunately, just run of the mill cheaps. The best might’ve been the one way award ticket on United for 12,500 miles that I booked for my brother’s Xmas ticket last year–much cheaper than the $400++ one ways for sale.

  50. Best deal for paid ticket: JFK — MXP in Feb 2011 for $251 AA flight round trip, also earned 8k AA miles.
    Best deal for reward: LGA — YUL in July 2012, used 9k avios paid ~$50 tax, value of ticket was about $450.

  51. just booked two one way ATL-ORD-ICN-TPE tickets featuring the new Asiana first class suites with 140k united miles and $25 in fees!

  52. Nothing I have even comes close to readers of this blog. Have lots of miles and points to use, but still planning. Best I did was get r/t on Virgina America from IAD to SFO for $220, that included taxes. I know, not spectacular, but still good for me.

  53. Agree on the short-hop on AA using BA Avios. It’s *so* easy to get 4500 Avios, and short-haul on American Eagle can be expensive! (ORD-CHO is the route I have in mind)

  54. My best deal is getting in on the Singapore Air IT maintenance weekend where we got access to SQ first class using United miles. Bumping the Sapphire Preferred bonus from 50k to 100k Ultimate Reward points helped too.

  55. One of my best deals was UA Wash.DC to Sydney for $725 in Aug’10. I was able to combine that fab airfare with 10 free nights at the Park Hyatt Sydney thanks to the Hyatt Faster Free Nights promo. Dang I miss those days.

  56. Back in the day, college students got four $99 round trip vouchers on Northwest for getting an American Express card. I loved those trips – wouldn’t have been possible for me otherwise!

  57. I also haven’t been able to jump on any homeruns. I had picked out flights and was ready to book a trip to Easter Island on LAN using BA miles, but a change in work assignment caused me to change plans and then Avios came along.

  58. got an award seat on a BA from LHR to BOD. WAs extra special as the flight was sold out due to our team being in a semi final there and so I got to see it

  59. I am such a beginner – so I thought my 50,000 Southwest miles for a credit card was my greatest deal. Now that I am learning the tricks of the trade – no telling what is in store for me now.

  60. My best airline deals have always been from unexpected upgrades. i once got bumped up from a BA business class seat to the Concorde where the pilot allowed us to come into the cockpit to look at the curvature of the earth.

  61. I was able to snag 5 round trips (3 ORD-DAL and 2 ORD-LAS) in March of 2011 for free from There was a coupon of Euro 70 from where in the combined Hotel + Air was deducted after the package cost. I was able to create creative itins using a cheap hotel and flights.

    This was important because I was able to get AA-Gold and UA -Silver after these flights. I never checked in those hotels. In 1 of the trips I took a flight to LAS. Checked into free hotel. Slept for 3 hours took the return flight.

  62. the recent round 3 RGN First class deal (RGN-PEK-(a380)FRA-PHL-YUL) all in first.

    Looking forward to checking out RGN and Bagan

  63. SFO to LHR Iberia mistake fare for $400. Surprise op up on the way home to business class. Great trip to London with sunny and warm weather.

  64. Redeemed membership rewards for ba on 40% discount, booked a ticket to Vancouver rt for 25k ba miles (or 15k mr) rt economy versus paying 500$.

  65. I got double bumped and turned one super-cheap economy trip into two additional free r/t economy trips. Not bad for a couple of hours of waiting at the airport.

  66. The best airline deal I managed was ding able to grab one of the Singapore Air F awards. What makes it even better is that they have now swapped out the 777 for a 380….. From Hong Kong to SFO on the return. A380 First Suite…..sweet!

  67. I’m pretty proud of my 25k rt BOS-DUB for next summer, but the absolute cheapest was 4 tickets on Spirit RT DCA-FLL for a grand total of $49 including tax. $5.75 per leg per person!

  68. Recent ANA/United deal SBA-SFO-NRT-SIN… $700/ea.

    4cpm out of a tiny airport for a great start to honeymoon!

    (Runner up: Geneva to Nice for 11 Swiss Francs when my McDonalds mean that day cost 12)

  69. When UA DEN-NRT 787 flight announced booked promotional April 2013 RT B fare @$989 & upgraded to BizFirst for 30K miles (no co-pay) each way. Hat tip to Seth for alerting me. 17K PQM. Big score!

  70. Hmmmm, so many to choose from, but I’ll say NW Plat value-wise, two end-on-end AZ Cyprus tickets in J for $170 each. Award-wise, SQ in F on the A380.

  71. The best deal I’ve ever gotten in on was the Oneworld Megado charter in January! What a blast. Thanks for the contest.

  72. United flights SFO-LAS-SFO [upgraded to First] and two days in Tropicana for C$3.60 [courtesy of C$300 off deal].

  73. In 2010, I took advantage of the USAir “100% Bonus on Miles Transfers” offer to double my banked miles and send my parents to Hawaii for an Anniversary trip. My dad still says it was the best vacation they have ever had!

  74. My 1st points trip–lucked into apparently!! Family of 4 first class on Lufthansa from San Diego-Bologna Italy-Bucharest Romania for $134 each!!

  75. Lots of bonuses when Delta and NW merged. This got me on the way to Delta status. Where are the Delta bonuses this year????

  76. Free Business/first seats on CO from EWR to Copenhagen because my spouse saved CO from landing without putting the wheels down when they overlooked that detail!

  77. the BA 80k points to Easter Island in J on LAN from NYC – included Santiago and Lima and a Richard Branson at breakfast sighting at the W

  78. I want the deal that Michael Travels got. For points, first class ANA LAX to NRT and then Asiana PVG to LAX for 100K miles.

  79. Mine was 10+ years ago – a one day trip PDX to SFO for $20 RT all in. Shopped, ate, walked a ton and was hooked on bargain travel ever since.

  80. Nothing to match the other people’s heroics but being able to redeem 60,000 United miles for a multi-city ticket to less traveled European destination (think Vilnius) in the peak summer season was pretty good for my book. Saved about $2,600 per person or so.

  81. I have not done a lot of reading but I hope United use 787 to Europe and/or Asia. Yes, I am very excited about this!!! Count me in!!!

  82. I’ve sent my daughter from LAX to Seoul Korea, stopover, and on to Shanghai, and back to Tokyo, stopover, and then back to LAX. All for 65K United miles. that was during June – July of 2012.

  83. Well the best deal I have ever gotten a ticket for(not flown though) was round trip in F to HKG on United for 4 miles and tax. But that appears to be going no where.

  84. My favorite deal was when PanAm offered triple miles. Even a short segment would be worth a lot of miles with the triple miles. My husband and I flew from West Palm Beach Florida to Orlando had lunch and turned around and flew home in order to get the triple mile bonus to top off our mileage so we could then fly to India for free!

  85. Best deal I ever had was the Concorde from London to NYC for about $300. I used to fly as an air courier back when you could do that for free, or for a very small charge. The Concorde flight was a premium — outbound on a regular flight and back on the Concorde, and the cost was about $300 round trip.

  86. I guess the best deal I have ever gotten was when I was a kid, my parents paying for my trips to Germany each and every summer.Now thats a great deal.The best deal I myself paid for was a trip for my son and myself on St.Patricks day a few years ago for under $400.00 each tax in. The exact amount escapes me, but I do remember it was cheaper to fly from Boston to Dublin roundtrip than it was to fly from Presque Isle Maine to Boston.

  87. IAH-HNL in which the plane was overbooked, so I got upgraded to Business on the next flight and given $600 which paid for my trip!

  88. Volunteered to give up my seat for an overbooked flight on United. Somehow got both $300 in flight credit AND free RT voucher. Good ol days! (1999! :))

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