Intro: Circling Southern Norway With A Side Trip To Turkey
Part 1: Getting To Oslo Via ORD Seminars
Part 2: Exploring Oslo
Part 3: Circling Southern Norway: Kristiansand, Stavanger And Bergen
Part 4: Norway In A Nutshell With A Stopover In Flam
Part 5: Turkey – Exploring Istanbul
Part 6: Turkey – Magical Cappadocia
Part 7: Flying Home In Style
My award booking to OSL was one way, so I would not be allowed a stopover in Chicago. In order to position myself for the weekend stay, I used a stash of Virgin America miles I had acquired from a previous credit card application to get there. It was my fourth time attending this super fun annual gathering with attendees ranging from newbies to seasoned vets. I mostly enjoy going for the side conversations and to see old friends, but there is also a lot of great information shared in the scheduled daily sessions and more private, improptu evening gatherings. Whatever your level, its always a fun time.
Because I stayed at the event hotel, I was also able to complete my Big Win IHG challenge, netting me in excess of 200k points for my efforts.
I had booked the evening red eye flight to Frankfurt in business class. First class eventually opened up and I could have upgraded, but with a short FRA layover and a plan to sleep the entire flight, it seemed silly to upgrade. If splurging for the first class Lufthansa experience, I prefer to fly back through Frankfurt, with a long enough stopover to get to and enjoy the legendary First Class Terminal. Afternoon or early evening departures are also preferable, as this also allows for plenty of time to enjoy the top notch on-board service.
After a fun dinner at the hotel with other points and miles junkies, I took the complimentary hotel shuttle to ORD. I spent an hour or so in the unremarkable United business lounge, and then headed to the gate. Even though I was flying on the 747-400, the J seats on this particular plane had not yet been upgraded, so instead of the new lie flat versions, these were angled.
It didn’t really matter because as planned, I instantly went comatose, arriving with just enough time for a quick visit to the Business Class lounge before connecting to my onward flight.
The flight left on schedule, and a short time later I was landing in Oslo.