MILE FAILTE: Aer Lingus is offering agents bonus
perks as part of the joint "1,000 Welcomes" and "Welcome Fare"
tourism campaigns it's developed with Tourism Ireland. The programs
offer passengers departing the carrier's five U.S. gateways new
spring and summer discount air fares and savings through Aug. 30.
But there are perks for travel agents, too. For every 10 tickets
booked through April 30, retailers can earn either $20 per ticket,
one positive economy ticket for every 10 tickets sold or one
positive Premier ticket for every 20 tickets sold: the choice is
theirs. The "1,000 Welcomes" program comprises hundreds of
discounts from more than 400 Irish companies; partners include
hotels, car rental agencies, museums, golf clubs, spas, restaurants
and retailers. Perks range from car rental upgrades to free
extended hotel stays and spa treatments. Aer Lingus announced
savings of up to 35% with its "Welcome Fare" campaign, with air
fares starting at $149 one-way in spring and $199 in summer from
the U.S. East Coast. Sale fares are available from
Baltimore/Washington, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
The "1,000 Welcomes Passport" savings guide and new air fares are
available on line at www.aerlingus.com; travel agent and phone bookings at
(800) IRISH-AIR cost travelers an extra $10 each way.
US, TOO: Jumping on the "1,000 Welcomes"
bandwagon, Albany, N.Y.-based operator Celtic Tours discounted
select June departures of its air-inclusive nine-night Celtic
Adventure and five-night Celtic Delight motorcoach tours by up to
$199 per person. Clients also receive a complimentary Travel
Protection Plan, worth $99; discounts apply to Aer Lingus gateway
cities and must be booked and paid in full by April 21. All Celtic
Tours' departures include roundtrip air, first- or
superior-first-class hotel stays, breakfast, most dinners,
entertainment, sightseeing, admissions and service charges. Travel
agent pay is 10%. For more information or to book, contact Celtic
Tours at (800) 833-4373; by e-mail at [email protected]; or on line at www.celtictours.com.
AND US: Joining the "1,000 Welcomes" effort,
CIE Tours Int'l will award a free Travel Protection Plan worth $99
to any passenger booking an escorted or self-drive vacation using
any Aer Lingus published fare through April 21 for travel in 2003.
The escorted or fly/drive vacation must be purchased on an air/land
inclusive basis; the offer does not apply to groups. For more,
contact CIE Tours Int'l at (800) CIE-TOUR or www.cietours.com.
HOTEL DEALS: The following Irish hotels are
pushing weekend packages:
• The Merrion Hotel in Dublin offers commissionable Easter weekend
deals April 17 to 22. The Off to the Races package -- $139 per
person, per night, double occupancy -- includes breakfasts and two
tickets to the Easter Festival at the Irish Grand National
Racetrack, April 19 to 22. The Easter Break Package is $123 per
person and includes full Irish breakfasts; packages include VAT of
13.5% and there is no service charge. Travel agent pay on both
packages is 10%. For reservations, contact The Merrion direct at
(011) 353-1 603-0600 or by fax at (011) 353-1 603-0700.
• Hastings Hotels' four-star Slieve Donard property, in Northern
Ireland's Mourne Mountains, offers Easter special rates of
one-night's dinner, bed and breakfast at about $139 per person,
double; two-nights of the same for $257 per person; and three
nights at around $364 per person. Kids under 14 stay free and eat
breakfast for $7.50; rates include full use of the Elysium Spa and
kids' participation in The Great Egg Hunt and Children's Bunny
Club. There is no commission on the Easter specials; the Slieve
Donard normally pays 8%. To reserve, contact Deirdre at (011)
44-284 372-1006 or Annamarie at (011) 44-284 372-1018, or e-mail [email protected]. For more on the
Slieve Donard, visit www.hastingshotels.com.