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As the fourth Star Megado winds down to a close later today in Chicago, I thought I’d give you a quick snapshot of some of the highlights of this crazy whirlwind trip so far that’s taken me from Zurich to San Francisco to Houston and now to Chicago.
I met up with the Megadoers in Zurich, Switzerland, where we all stayed at the luxe Park Hyatt on Beethovenstrasse near the fancy shops of Bahnhofstrasse and on the edge of the charming Old City.
My Park King room was gorgeous, and I didn’t want to leave it, but I was tempted by a nice little reception the Park Hyatt gave us with a huge sampling of dozens of local Swiss cheeses and Swiss wines.
The next morning, we were off to the Zurich Airport for a quick tour of the newly renovated terminal.
Before we boarded boarded our Swiss flight back to SFO, we all gathered out on the tarmac for a photo op, and then it was time to take off back to the United States.
I had snagged a seat in business class, whose design I thought was really cool, even if the seat was a bit narrow. Still, it reclined to full lie-flat and I got a good 6 hours of sleep on the flight between the gourmet meals they served (I loved the Swiss Pinot Noir they poured with lunch). Expect a full report to come, since this was the first time I had ever flown Swiss.
After a nice reception at the Hyatt Regency SFO, we all turned in to get ready for the whirlwind that would start the following day.
When we got to SFO on Tuesday, the Megadoers were excited to learn that we would be flying United’s new Boeing 787.
We all boarded in a predictably chaotic manner as everyone snapped photos of the various cabins.
And then it was time for takeoff which was smooth and prompted clapping in the cabin as people started to play with the plane’s bells and whistles including the electronic shades on the big windows, the seatback touchscreen IFE’s and more.
The plane was great in the air, and we reached a cruising altitude of 41,000 feet surprisingly fast before being served a business class menu like roasted chicken and spice-rubbed pork chops.
When we landed in Houston, we were wheeled up to a hangar at the airport where a barbecue feast was waiting for us along with live music. Megadoers took the chance to walk all around the new plane both inside and out on the tarmac before getting in line for brisket and other southern specialties.
We spent that evening at the Hyatt Regency downtown, then woke up bright and early to catch a flight up to Chicago aboard the 787 again.
When we arrived, we were split up into groups, and I went with the one that headed to United’s offsite Education and Training Center to taste test new BusinessFirst dishes by Executive Chef Gerry McLoughlin’s Congress of Chefs.
After lunch, we split up into groups and competed in fun contests like assembling appetizer plates and beverage carts (my group did well!).
Then yesterday evening, there was another fun reception at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker, and now today we’re all headed to United’s new corporate headquarters at Willis Tower in downtown Chicago for another morning of programming with the airline.
I’ll report back on that later – I just wanted to share some snapshots of all the fun we’ve been having, and if there are any aspects of the Megado experience (airlines, hotels, plans from United and Hyatt) that you want to hear more about, comment below!