By Ray O’Hanlon
Thinking of flying to Ireland for the last Christmas of the century? Well, if you’ve got the energy to deal with another Christmas so soon after the last, you can book your tickets now.
Aer Lingus accepts advance bookings 11 months before flying, so this week is just about that length of time shy of Christmas ’99, an event that still carries considerable cachet despite the fact that it’s only days before the biggest New Year’s bash in history.
"We have a lot of inventory at this point," Brian Murphy, vice president for sales and marketing for Aer Lingus told the Echo.
So at least the rumors of all seats booked up are untrue. How about prices?
According to Murphy, Aer Lingus will be offering normal enough Christmas fares during the peak flying period, which officially begins on Friday, Dec. 17.
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As for New Year, the millennium and all that, Murphy is hoping that business will simply be good and flying smooth.
"We’re not planning anything out of the ordinary. The prices will still be 20th century ones," Murphy said.
He said that the airline was expecting to be busy no matter what, although the pattern of travel might be different for the Christmas/New Year period to come than it was for the one which has just flown by.
"We saw a lot of people flying from Ireland to the U.S. this past Christmas. It looked like more than the usual number of grandmas and grandpas did the flying while more Irish families remained in the U.S. But next Christmas could well be different," Murphy said.