In a really close race, the ballots have been counted and the winner of the 2010 Star Mega Do 2 swag bag recognition award goes to US Airways — everything in the bag, including the bag itself was useable. I mean, when is the last time you took home a real cactus from a mileage run? Point made!

Baggage Fees?

OK, count this post in the “Got Ya!” file. Along the way, this mileage run gathers a lot of booty and just coming out of Germany I’m heading for baggageville. OK, no self-respecting member of FlyerTalk should ever have to pay a bag fee given the troves of advice on how to earn elite and bypass the piggy bank of flyers that forms to your right. So, here’s just a sampling of my “take home” pay just so far:

Who’s on First: Your bags will get to Houston before you do.

We all love the stories of common sense … as told through the eyes of the airlines. Today while checking in for the start of SMD2, I checked in at the Lufthansa First Class counter … compliments of the Star Alliance Gold-level membership. All is going well, only a single person in front of me vs. the estimated 34 people that would have been in front of me in the “other” check-in line. Passport and all details are fine and I’ve got a nice seat in biz class. The pleasant lady takes my bag to put the luggage locator on it and pauses for a second and says sort of off-handed, “Seems like a long way to go to get to Houston.” I am assuming she saw that on my return I was going to Houston, but replied, “Just a quick overnight and right back, miles, miles, miles.” She smiled and then replies, “So you have some overnight things with you?” To which I replied, “No, this bag is just my reading material and computer.” She pauses again and says, “Why wouldn’t you want your luggage in Frankfurt?” I reply, “Well, I do.” Then the lady pulls off the luggage locator tag and shows it to me. Because of the short turn around, the system actually printed my luggage to go to FRA and then on to IAH with no stop in FRA. Such is the bane of the mileage runner, luggage wants to go faster or slower than we want to.

So, a few clicks in the override mode of the system and now we have luggage and Randy all going, and stopping in the same place.

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