Firms Unveil Caribbean Fare Sale

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NEW YORK -- Caribbean tour operators and wholesalers introduced spring discount packages with American Airlines and Air Jamaica.

Twenty-four firms are offering American's 35% discount fares, and about 20 firms will sell Air Jamaica's version, which offers savings up to 35%. Packages must be booked by Feb. 13 for travel from April 20 through June 26.

Delta Vacations was working out the details of a spring sale with "similarly aggressive pricing" on packages to Nassau and St. Thomas, a spokesman said.

AA's participants include:

  • Apple Vacations, of Elk Grove Village, Ill., offers 17 destinations and "59 hotels so far," planning director Ray Mathes said. Reservations made during the sale will count toward Apple's frequent booking program, offered in select markets.
  • Gogo Worldwide Vacations in Ramsey, N.J., offers 25 destinations in the Caribbean and Bermuda and some 175 hotels.
  • New York-based Island Resort Tours has more than 100 hotels in 25 destinations on sale, according to director of marketing Melanie Alexander. IRT will honor its offer of free travel insurance on seven-night bookings, which was announced in December.
  • Travel Impressions, of Farmingdale, N.Y., will offer 24 destinations in the Caribbean, the Bahamas and Bermuda, with more than 100 participating hotels, according to Claire Lockley, director of products, Caribbean and Florida.

    A list of operators offering the Air Jamaica program was not yet available, but Miami-based Air Jamaica Vacations said more than 50 hotels would participate in the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and St. Lucia.

    Island Resort Tours' Alexander urged agents to compare features when shopping for the best package, because they can differ dramatically from firm to firm, even when they offer the same airline discount.

    "We have found that room tax and service charges are not always included in price quoted over the phone, but it may be on documentation," she said.

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