FunJet's Lucky Seven

FunJet's five-month promotion draws to a close

By: Kathy Espin

 The tension mounted. Not just for the six lucky finalists in the FunJet Vacations promotion but also for the marketing and PR executives holding their collective breaths hoping nothing had gone wrong.

It was the final event of a five-month promotion with the rather audacious title “The Funjet Vacations Las Vegas 100th Anniversary It’s Your Chance to Win Incentive.” In the promotion, the top 100 agents who booked the most Funjet Vacations Las Vegas air/hotel package between June 1 and Nov. 5 were invited to Las Vegas for a chance to win a new Ford Mustang. Out of the 100 agents, 76 accepted the invitation and spent at least three nights in Las Vegas beginning on Dec. 12.

The MGM Mirage Corp. provided rooms at one of the company’s properties.  The agents with the most sales stayed at the Bellagio, those with the least stayed at Circus Circus. The rest were housed at MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, TI-Treasure Island, Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Luxor or Excalibur depending on the level of sales.

On arrival day, Dec. 12, the MGM Grand sponsored a cocktail party at Tabu, the hotel’s ultra lounge. There the agents and their guests were wined and dined in style and a drawing was held to award a $500 shopping spree at the Fashion Show Las Vegas, a shopping mall on the Las Vegas Strip and one of the contest’s sponsors. Peggy Strang of Four Seasons Travel near Milwaukee won took home that prize.

The next day, Dec. 13, the agents gathered again for a cocktail party at Maggiano's Little Italy in the Fashion Show. Next they were treated to a family-style Italian dinner in the Great Hall in the center of the mall. Santa and some Las Vegas-style elves (leggy and shapely) did some singing and dancing complete with a snow flurry then Ray Snisky, president of Funjet Vacations, presided over the car giveaway.

Oprah he isn’t, though everyone in the crowd was hoping for a repeat of the talk show host’s PR stunt where she gave a car to everyone in her audience. It was not to be.

Each agent received a key chain with a locket device attached. When opened, the locket revealed a variety of logos representing each of the sponsors. The seven agents with FunJet logos on their key chains were the finalists.

The lucky seven, Kelly Sadler of Skymaster Travel in Victoria, Texas; Sandy McCarthy of TravelUSA South in Orchard Park, N.Y.; Patty Levens of Kings Crossing Travel in Kingwood, Texas; Lori Bergman of Quincys Discount Travel in Quincy, Ill.; Rosalind Mierzejewski of Travel Visions in Milwaukee; Becky Keller of Four Seasons Travel in Penfield, N.Y.; and Lynn Galante of TravelUSA Central in Buffalo, N.Y., each received a car key car and lined up to see if her key would start the car.

As each finalist tried her key with no results, the marketing execs began to sweat. Even Snisky started to get nervous when the fifth contestant’s key turned the on electronics with a tell-tale “bing, bing, bing” from the open-door signal but would not start the engine. All were quite worried that none of the keys would start the car. It all worked out fine when Sadler, the seventh finalist, started the car on the first try. When asked if she was always this lucky, Sadler replied, “Hell no.” Before she could get back to her banquet table, her husband was on the cell phone telling folks back home about the big prize. In the one to 100 ranking in sales, Sadler said she was number 79. She was staying at the Luxor.

The promotion was co-sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority in honor of Las Vegas’ year-long 100th anniversary celebration that wraps up on New Year’s Eve.

Travel agents can book Funjet Vacations through VAX VacationAccess at or the VAX VacationAccess through Amadeus AgentNet, Sabre Vacations and AgentNet. Funjet Vacations is also available in all electronic reservations systems by using vendor code FJV or by calling Funjet Vacations at 800-558-3050.