50-cent trips are offered by bank and airline
and US Airways
are offering a gimmicky way to lure people to sign up for credit cards.
The companies are inviting Americans to vote for their favorite travel destinations and then offering them a chance to buy 50-cent flights to the winning destinations.
As of last week, voters who visited www.50centflights.com had chosen Rome; Paris; Venice, Italy; London; and Dublin, Ireland as the top five international destinations.
The top five U.S. vote-getters were Las Vegas; Orlando, Fla.; Los Angeles; Honolulu and Phoenix.
Publicist Nick Leahy was unable to track whether votes came from Hawaii and, if so, whether Hawaii voters' No. 1 destination was Vegas.
Votes are still being accepted at the Web site, but for the first five business days beginning Feb. 1, people who have applied for the US Airways Dividend World MasterCard from Barclays will have the opportunity to buy 50-cent flights.
"This is a fare promotion, which does not fall under the same rules and regulations" as a sweepstakes, Leahy said.
The Web site says "only US Airways Dividend World MasterCard members can take advantage of this offer."
However, the official rules posted deeper in the Web site say no purchase is necessary and that completing an application does not improve a person's chance of winning.
The rules also direct entrants to send in a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a free game card.
If you're not online, your No. 10 envelope can be addressed to "Where Would You Fly For 50&CENT" Game Card, P.O. Box 4313, Manhasset, N.Y. 11030-4313.
The limit is one request per mailing envelope, which must be postmarked by Jan. 30 and received no later than Feb. 10. Mechanically reproduced entries won't be accepted.
When it's all said and done, 50 flight tickets valued at up to $500 will be offered as prizes for travel to any regularly scheduled US Airways destination.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com