Several Caribbean hoteliers and service providers could be in for an unusual boost to business this winter when a bunch of losers comes to town.
That's because discount airline JetBlue is offering a novel backup plan to get out of the country to American voters apprehensive about what might happen if their favoured candidate isn't elected next month.
The airline is offering 2012 free flights, in the form of 1006 round-trip plane tickets, to a dozen Caribbean destinations -- including Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, St Lucia and the Dominican Republic -- exclusively for United States voters who vote for the losing candidate in the November presidential election.
The "Election Protection 2012" sweepstakes is a play on the common vow to leave the country if "the other guy wins."
"We've all heard it said before: if my candidate does not win, I'm leaving the country," said Marty St. George, JetBlue's senior vice president for marketing and commercial, in a statement.
"Fun is one of our five founding values, and in this spirit we decided to give people a chance to recover from the political noise and follow through on their claim to skip town if their candidate comes up short," he said.
Entrants just choose a candidate and a destination then sit back and hope their country goes to pot. Randomly selected winners get free passes that can be redeemed for flights in January or February next year.
Taxes, fees, accommodations, car rentals and suchlike aren't included, so it's not quite as easy to "Live Free or Fly" as JetBlue makes out. But few Americans are likely to turn up their noses at the idea of a Caribbean vacation in the middle of winter, with enough rum to drown the sorrow of four years up the creek.