SMD8 kicked off the start of the most-anticipated frequent flyer event of the year in Vienna, and it was an exciting hands-on day for all participants. The morning started with a conference room filled with cheerful aviation junkies gathered for a warm welcome from the executives at Austrian Airlines and Vienna Airport.

Shortly afterwards, everyone split into three more intimate tour groups. During registration, participants had a choice between cool tour experiences:

  • Airport operations: a fascinating look at the teams, tools and processes that keep VIE running, including winter service and snow clearing, police dogs, and the fire department.
  • Austrian technical base: kick the tires! We’ll check out the Austrian hangars and tour maintenance operations.
  • Do&Co: an insider’s look at the fanciest airline caterer.

While previous MegaDo participants have had many opportunities to see behind-the-scenes operations on the ground at many busy international airports before, a look inside the Do&Co operations was an exceptionally intriguing and unique offering this year. True frequent flyers know that Do&Co is behind the best food in the sky (and lounges, too like Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal), hands down, so a trip into the HQ was certainly one not to be missed!

We loaded into a van and headed downtown to the Do&Co catering HQ and we immediately knew we were in for a treat (several, actually). After seeing several samples of the various meals available onboard some of our favorite Do&Co catered flights, we put on aprons, and headed straight to the kitchen where we not only got to see the chefs in their element, artistically crafting culinary creations, but we also got right in there ourselves!

We started with a visit into the dessert kitchen and were immediately captivated by the delicious smells of freshly baked sacher torte, and we all took turns adding the finishing touches of ganache on the batch that just came out of the oven. Many of us wasted no time tasting the finished creations…

We then went to the main kitchen for a complete and extravagant, multi-course 5-star feast featuring some Austrian specialty dishes like weiner schniztel and goulash, to some exclusive dishes such as home-made gnocchi with truffles and the most mouth-watering steak known to mankind. You know, the kind that just finds a way to melt in your mouth with every bite!

The dishes flowed in generous portions one after another, and everyone was blown away by how amazing this tour turned out to be. Do&Co truly showed MegaDo participants how wining and dining should be done – in the air and on the ground!

We left with smiling faces, departure gifts, full bellies, and lots of raves. It was truly an exceptional experience from start to finish and without a doubt *the best* SMD tour I’ve ever been part of.

The day with Do&Co did not end there. We headed back to VIE to freshen up for the official SMD welcome reception, which was catered by Do&Co. The rainy weather in Vienna did not put a damper on the evening plans for the SMD8 crowd. Attendees mingled and got to know one another over cocktails inside the VIP Terminal at Vienna Airport, while many exciting experiences and items were auctioned off for charity.

It’s safe to say the Day 1 of SMD was a fun and tasty one! Feel free to share your thoughts and comments (and pictures with #SMD8) about the tours you’ve taken so far!

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