Contest-Crazy Industry Tries to Lure Mr. Lucky

Article excerpt

FEELING LUCKY? The travel industry seems to have gone contest-crazy and at the moment is offering chances to win everything from free trips to part-ownership of French vineyards. Here are some examples:

Kiwi International Air Lines started the latest round of giveaways recently by awarding its millionth passenger a seven-day vacation for four.

BritRail offered a European trip to celebrate the new "Chunnel" linking England and France.

American Airlines plans to provide round-trip travel to 50 grand-prize winners and up to five guests each in its Take Six to London Sweepstakes, marking the airline's sixth daily nonstop flight between New York's Kennedy and London's Heathrow airports. The new service begins Thursday. No purchase is necessary to enter the contest, which ends May 31.

Travelers can get entry forms at American Airlines ticket offices or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to JFK-London Vacation Sweepstakes, Entry Forms, P.O. Box 8026, Grand Rapids, Minn. 55745-8026. Or you can enter by merely printing your name, address, city, state, Zip code, daytime phone number and date of birth on a 3-by-5-inch piece of paper and mailing it to JFK-London Vacation Sweepstakes, P.O. Box 4035, Grand Rapids, Minn. 55730-4035. The drawing will be on or about June 22.

The Relais & Chateaux hotel chain is celebrating its 40th anniversary by offering 1,000 winners a three-year ownership of six grapevines in France's Champagne region. The vines will be in the vineyards that are among the most prestigious of France, including Moet & Chandon, Mumm, Perrier Jouet, Pommery, Roederer and Taittinger.

While they are vine-owners, the winners will receive six bottles of the prestige cuvee annually from each champagne house. If they collect their bottles in person, Relais & Chateaux says they will receive "the VIP treatment a vineyard owner deserves." Several hundred thousand coupons will be offered at Relais & Chateaux establishments until Oct. 31. Drawings will be held July 5, Sept. 5 and Nov. 30.

Budget car rental is offering Smart Money Certificates good for a rental upgrade, a free rental day, daily and weekly rental discounts, a $50 savings bond or - for 10 grand-prize winners - the use of a 1994 Lincoln Mark VIII for one year. …