StarMegaDO 3: Flying in a F16, Aircraft Factory Tours, & Hyatt Diamond Status

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StarMegaDO 3: Flying in a F16, Aircraft Factory Tours, & Hyatt Diamond Status

Million Mile SecretsStarMegaDO 3: Flying in a F16, Aircraft Factory Tours, & Hyatt Diamond StatusMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Gary recently reminded us that StarMegaDO3 has officially launched!

At StarMegaDO3 you can meet other like minded folks who obsess over miles and points and the top management of United Airlines and Hyatt Gold Passport.

You get to go on behind-the-scenes tours of Chicago O’Hare airport, fly on a charter plane to Montreal where you tour a Bombardier plane factory, fly on the same charter plane back to Denver where you could tour United’s training facilities or get to ride in an F16!

And that’s just a few of the many activities planned.  What a terrific way to spend 4 days!

Here’s what the Wall Street Journal had to say about StarMegaDO1.

Hyatt Diamond Status

But, you also get free Hyatt Diamond status just by attending StarMegaDO3 and staying 1 night each at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Hyatt Regency Montreal, and the Grand Hyatt in Denver.

Hyatt Diamond is the highest published elite level offered by Hyatt and requires either 25 stays or 50 nights in a year to qualify.

One of the main benefits is that you get 4 confirmed suite upgrades, which allows you to upgrade a room to a suite, 4 times, when you make your reservation.  This is a big advantage, because you can choose when you want to get upgraded to a suite (as opposed to hoping you’d get a suite when you check-in)!

You also get free breakfast as a Hyatt Diamond member which can save you and your companion, say ~$30 per day in the US or ~$50 in Europe.

I’ve recently been thinking of getting Hyatt Diamond Status, because I want to be able to upgrade our paid reservation to a suite when I go with my dad and sister to Thailand later this year.

Emily and I will also be staying at the Park Hyatt in Paris and the Hyatt Regency in London next year thanks to the points which we transferred over from the Chase Sapphire credit card.  Breakfast is expensive in Europe, so having Hyatt Diamond status would let us save ~$50 per day or ~$500 over a 10 day stay.

I also have a lot of Hyatt gift certificates which Emily & I earned by applying for the 100,000 mile Capital One Venture credit card and which expire next year.  So there’s a lot of Hyatt hotel nights in our future where I can take advantage of Hyatt Diamond status!

Now Hyatt usually has a promotion, once a year,  where you can earn Diamond status for only 12 stays (instead of 25 stays) or 25 nights (instead of 50 nights). There is a cheap Hyatt Place hotel nearby and I was thinking of “mattress running” or staying there 12 times just to get Hyatt Diamond status.

Earning Diamond status this way would cost me $960 at $80 a night for 12 nights.  Since Hyatt Diamond status earned now will  last until February 2013, I’ll make up for the $960 spent in earning Hyatt Diamond status by getting free breakfast and the 4 confirmed suite upgrades.

But this approach will require me to check-in and check-out of a nearby hotel 12 times which would be an inconvenience.

Hyatt Diamond via StarMegaDO3

It costs $750 for an economy seat on the StarMegaDo3 chartered plane, and I would have to pay for 1 night at each of the following hotels:

  • Hyatt Regency O’Hare – $99
  • Hyatt Regency Montreal – $169
  • Grand Hyatt Denver – $145

That is $413 for 3 nights of Hyatt hotel stays.  I will also have to pay to get from Kansas City to Chicago and from Denver back to Kansas City.  If the flights cost more than $300, I will use miles.  If they cost less than $300, I will pay for them with cash.

So the total cost of getting Hyatt Diamond status by attending StarMegaDo3 is $750 (for the chartered plane) +  $413 (for the hotels)  + $300 (for the tickets to Chicago and from Denver) + another, say, $100 for incidentals. To keep it simple, I have not included the value of the Hyatt points earned during my stay.

That’s a total of $1,563 to get Hyatt Diamond status by attending StarMegaDO3.

But I was willing to spend $960 to get Hyatt Diamond status by mattress running or waiting for a promotion where I can get Diamond status by completing 12 stays at a Hyatt.

So the real “cost” for me to attend StarMegaDO3 is $603 ($1,563 – $960)!

Now $603 is not small change, plus I would have to take 2 days off work to attend StarMegaDO 3, but I am strongly leaning towards attending.

I love factories and an aircraft factory tour would be a good treat!  Not to mention a behind-the scenes tour of O’Hare airport and that F16 ride!  Though the F16 ride is not yet an confirmed activity at StarMegaDO3, but I’m sure the team running Star MegaDO3 can pull it off.

So what do you think?  Should I attend StarMegaDo3?

I’ve got a few days hours to decide!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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You’re not taking into account the points that you would earn by the 12 stays

Million Mile Secrets

@Mike – I didn’t take into consideration the miles earned by the 12 stays, because I wanted to keep it simple! But I’ll update the post to mention that.

This sounds amazing! I’m fairly new to the points and miles obsession (I’ve got two airmiles credit cards and done one mileage run) but I was wondering whether you think it would be worth it to go on this. I’m a graduate student, and definitely want to learn more. It sounds like a really fun experience from the blogs I’ve read about it. Thanks for the info!

Million Mile Secrets

@Nguyen – Thanks for explaining! You used to be able to redeem Cap One venture points for Hyatt Gift Certificates (which can be used anywhere) for 51,250 points for $900 in certificates. The redemption rate is now 64,500 for a $900 gift card which can only be used in the US, Canada, and Caribbean.

@Trevor – I do think that it is worthwhile to do this, at least for me. Steve and Angel have provided very compelling reasons to attend! I will be staying in quite a few Hyatts over the next 2 years, so picking up Diamond status while having fun at StarMegaD03 sounds like a no-brainer for me. The registration re-opens later today, so hurry if you want to take part!

You can also attend the Chicago DO in October where you can share and learn lots of new tricks and tips.

@wazup — “To earn Hyatt Diamond status, with promotion either has 12 stays (instead of 25 stays) or 25 nights (instead of 50 nights).” To get certs from Venture Card, you can get $900 Hyatt Cert from Venture Card by redeeming your points in the beginning. I believe the rate for redeeming the Hyatt Cert has gone up since then.

Yes! You should definitely attend! I wish I could, but I’ll be working in Vancouver for 3 weeks at that time so it is a no go 🙁 I’d love to get the Diamond status and I think it is a steal when you factor in the gifts, personalized tours, meeting fellow mile junkies and everything else associated with the DO. If they do it next year, I’ll be there for sure!

Million Mile Secrets

@Steve – Thanks for sharing the high cost of breakfast at the Park Hyatt in Paris. This makes it even more valuable for me to get Hyatt Diamond Status! Yeah, I know, I should go to StarMegaDo3, and I most probably will!

@wazup – I don’t currently have Hyatt Diamond status, but I will get Diamond status by attending StarMegaD03. I redeemed our Capital One Venture points for Hyatt Gift Certificates which was one of the best ways to redeem Capital One Venture points.

@Angel – You’re right – it is a great deal, not only for the Diamond status, but for all the other perks as well! Perhaps we’ll meet next year. 🙂

still dont iunderstand how you got hyatt diamond status and how you got certs from the venture card

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