NEW YORK -- Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus teamed to spur U.S.
departures to Ireland with new spring and summer discount airfare
and savings promotions.
The "1,000 Welcomes" savings program comprises hundreds of
discount offers available from more than 400 Irish travel companies
through Aug. 30 for U.S. travelers who fly Aer Lingus.
Perks range from car-rental upgrades to free extended hotel
stays and spa treatments.
The partners include hotels, b&b's, car-rental agencies,
museums, parks, attractions, golf clubs, spas, restaurants and
retailers in eight Irish regions.
In tandem, Aer Lingus will launch a "Welcome Fare" campaign,
with fares from the East Coast starting at $149 one way for spring
travel and $199 in summer.
The sale fares are available from Baltimore/Washington, Boston,
Chicago, Los Angeles and New York; pricing represents a savings of
35% over 2002 rates, according to Aer Lingus.
The new fares are bookable at www.aerlingus.com; however, travel agent and
telephone bookings at (800) IRISH AIR will cost travelers an extra
$10 each way.
But there are perks for travel agents, too.
For every 10 tickets booked through April 30, retailers can earn
either $20 per ticket, one economy ticket for every 10 tickets
sold, or one business-class ticket for every 20 tickets sold; the
choice is theirs.
The carrier also eliminated some restrictions, including
Saturday-night and minimum-stay requirements, as well as change
The program launches April 6 with a consumer media campaign;
Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus also distribute a special "1,000
Welcomes Passport" and savings guides that will be downloadable
from the airline Web site.