America West Vacations, which recently re-entered the Hawaii
vacation package business, is paying at least 13% commission on all
bookings made by Dec. 31 for Hawaii travel through 2003.
The Arizona-based wholesaler also is offering Hawaii training
sessions in partnership with Aston Hotels and Resorts and the
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. The sessions will be held
during its Oct. 16 travel agent product show in Phoenix, and agents
who attend will get two free nights at an Aston property in
Jack Richards, president of America West Vacations, said the
company relaunched its Hawaii product after a code-share and
marketing agreement was established Aug. 1 between America West and
“We’re able to add the Hawaii vacations with minimal capital
investment, because America West Vacations already has the
infrastructure in place, plus 15 years of experience in the
tour-packaging business,” Richards said. “We have a reservations
center in Tempe, plus preferred relationships with several large
travel agencies that facilitate marketing and sales of our Hawaii
Since Sept. 20, America West’s Hawaii packages have been
available for booking from Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San
Diego, Ontario, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Seattle and Portland.
By mid-October, the firm will add packages from Dallas/Fort
Worth, Houston, Denver, Calgary, Toronto, Salt Lake City and other
gateway cities across North America.
America West also sells vacation packages to Las Vegas, Arizona,
California, Reno/Lake Tahoe, Canada and Mexico.
Richards said he expects Hawaii to represent 12% to 15% of the
wholesaler’s total business in 2003 and to increase to 20% in
“We believe Hawaii will contribute significantly to the
profitability of the company,” he said. “The average package price
for Hawaii is almost twice that of Las Vegas.”
America West offered Hawaii vacation packages from 1989 to 1991,
when America West Airlines operated nonstop 747 service to Honolulu
from Phoenix and Las Vegas. It discontinued the program when the
carrier stopped flying to Hawaii in April 1992.
To promote the Hawaii packages, America West is placing
newspaper ads in 20 major metropolitan areas to drive business to
travel agents. The ad campaign, which began Sept. 29 in Phoenix, is
scheduled to expand into the first quarter of 2003.
For its Hawaii product, America West is working with 60 hotels
and resorts on Oahu, Maui, The Big Island, Kauai, Lanai and
Molokai. Through 2002, a five-night Hawaii package from Los Angeles
is priced from $493 per person, double, including hotel, air
travel, airport transfers, a lei greeting and an orientation
breakfast. From Seattle, the package costs $564.
A number of Hawaii hoteliers, including Aston, Starwood, Hilton
and Outrigger, are scheduled to participate in America West’s 2003
travel agent product shows. In addition to the Phoenix show, there
will be events in Dallas/Fort Worth Oct. 15, in Denver Oct. 17 and
in Chicago Oct. 22.
Information is available from Michael J. Pierson Associates,
which handles America West Vacations’ travel agent product shows,
at www.mjpaseminars.com or by calling 800-853-5891.