MegaDo Day 4: Waking up to a Canceled Flight, Park Hyatt Mallorca and More
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Welcome to the fourth and final installment of TPG Editor-at-Large Zach Honig’s coverage of the 2017 Star Alliance MegaDo. This year’s event takes AvGeeks from around the world on the adventure of a lifetime, including stops in Vienna, Brussels and Mallorca. Check back for daily reports, and follow along in real time on Instagram and Twitter.
Thursday night, I went to bed excited about the day ahead, which included a full day at one of my new favorite hotels, the Park Hyatt Mallorca. But then my ill-advised plan to book a flight home on bankrupt Air Berlin brought my peaceful morning to a screeching halt…
My Canceled Air Berlin Flight
First of all, no, you should absolutely not book a flight on Air Berlin. Part of me knew I was asking for trouble by booking a flight that was set to end just two days later, due specifically to the operating carrier’s bankruptcy, but the situation was a bit different two weeks ago — now, it’s clear that Air Berlin has entered a full-on shutdown mode.
I’ve covered the cancellation and rebooking process here, so I won’t go into detail below, but as of now this story has a happy ending — I ended up getting rebooked on a new flight for free, and I’ll even arrive in New York a few hours earlier than planned. Let’s just hope nothing happens to that plan between tonight and tomorrow morning…
Of course, that change did come at a cost — I’m spending the night at an airport hotel in Germany rather than in my incredible upgraded suite at the outstanding Park Hyatt Mallorca, but beggars can’t be choosers.
A Day at the Park Hyatt Mallorca
I did get to spend this morning and part of the afternoon in paradise, at least…
After a visit to the gym and an hour on the phone with Air Berlin, I made my way to the hotel’s fantastic breakfast buffet, which was included for all MegaDo attendees.
And there was more food after that, of course — a paella-making demonstration by the chef came next, and was immediately followed by a paella-tasting demonstration by the MegaDo group. As it turns out, I’m very good at eating paella.
Then, we visited the Presidential Suite for a housekeeping session. I even got to make a bed, which was far more complicated than you’d expect. These folks have some serious talent!
Then there was food again — an olive oil tasting, to be more precise.
Finally, the afternoon ended with lunch (snacks, really) and another auction session, with a variety of Austrian Airlines gear on offer.
My First (and Last) Niki Flight
Sadly, around 3:30pm, it was time to head to the airport — some 16 hours earlier than I had planned.
Lunch was on the light side, so I was looking forward to checking out the food scene at the Palma Airport.
I wasn’t about to stuff my face with “True American Barbecue” in Spain, so I settled on a German/Greek/Spanish hybrid of sorts.
After sharing my Air Berlin cancellation story, I boarded Niki Flight 3287 to Dusseldorf, which even ended up leaving right on time.
The flight was perfectly fine, although I was a bit bummed to see that no drinks are included — I was told I’d have to pay €3 ($3.60) for water, even though I was flying on a business-class ticket (with this segment in economy).
Overnight in Dusseldorf
We arrived at DUS 10 minutes early, which was nice, but any gained time was immediately lost when we pulled up to a bus gate. It made for some great photos, though!
From the drop-off point, it was a short 5-minute walk to the Sheraton Hotel, where I’m spending the night ahead of my morning departure to JFK.
One thing I wasn’t thrilled about at the Park Hyatt was the lousy Wi-Fi — connectivity was an issue throughout Mallorca, actually, so that wouldn’t be my first choice for a working trip. The Sheraton Dusseldorf offers outstanding connectivity, though, in addition to free snacks and drinks in the Club Lounge.
Day 4 Wrap-Up
The final day of the 2017 Star Alliance MegaDo certainly didn’t start off on a high note, thanks to my Air Berlin cancellation, but friendly rebooking agents, MegaDo friends and an out-of-this world venue at the Park Hyatt certainly helped to turn things around pretty quickly. I just wish I had more time to see Mallorca, which looked incredible — from the promotional seat covers on our airport bus, at least.
I had an incredible AvGeek week, and while I’m happy to have a full day at home before I head to the APEX conference in Long Beach on Sunday, I certainly wouldn’t have minded a few more days with the MegaDo crew.
For more on the 2017 Star Alliance MegaDo, see:
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