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Coming and Going

JetBlue Helps the Jobless, Ireland's Waterford Factory Closes

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Sunday, February 22, 2009; Page P02

DEPT. OF ECONOMIC DOWNTURN (1)

JetBlue's Stimulus Package?

Lost your job and can't afford the trip you had planned? If you're ticketed on JetBlue, the airline will refund your fare.

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The JetBlue Promise, announced last week, will allow full refunds to those who buy a ticket between Feb. 1 and June 1 and involuntarily lose their job on or after Feb. 17. The airline typically charges $100 for cancellations and issues the balance in the form of vouchers, which must be used within a year.

The person requesting the refund must have paid for the ticket or tickets, must be 18 years old as of Feb. 17, and must have worked for at least 30 hours a week. Refunds can be requested for up to nine customers on one itinerary, so families or groups traveling together will receive full refunds if the person who paid for the tickets is laid off.

Robin Hayes, JetBlue's executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said in a statement that the new policy allows passengers "to book early and take advantage of our low fares without worrying they will lose their money if they need to cancel their trip due to job loss."

Refund requests require documentation. They must be received by fax no fewer than 14 days before the scheduled departure of the outbound flight. The original must be notarized, sent via certified mail and received no later than the outbound flight's departure date. To download complete eligibility terms, a refund form and contact information, go to http://www.jetblue.com/promiseprogram.

DEPT. OF ECONOMIC DOWNTURN (2)

Dublin's Rocky Road, Cont'd

For years, visitors to Dublin have been taking side trips (and getting lost on the way, it must be admitted) to the city of Waterford, 100 miles south. Its presence on the Irish dance card was attributable in large part to the world-famous crystal company there and especially its factory tour, which drew more than 300,000 patrons a year, making it one of the biggest tourist attractions in Ireland. But, as a reader informed us during a recent online chat (thanks, "London"!), Waterford has become another casualty of the economic crisis. The factory closed on Jan. 30. The workers staged a sit-in almost immediately, but as of now Waterford remains closed.

The crystal company, part of Waterford Wedgwood PLC, says it's looking for a buyer, but the future of the factory and its tours is very much in doubt. Gone, at least for now, are the glass blowers and etchers and the exhibit devoted to the spangly orb that Waterford designed for New York's millennial New Year's Eve ball drop at Times Square. Regular readers of CoGo will remember that just a few months ago, Waterford unveiled a new 12-foot ball, which descended its pole for the first time this past New Year's Eve. A high-tech effort incorporating 2,668 Waterford crystals, the ball was designed not only to make that annual descent for years to come but also to be visible atop its pole year-round.

Prospective visitors to the Waterford factory might want to check the company's Web site -- http://www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com -- although, as of now, it gives no indication that the factory is closed.

BARGAIN OF THE WEEK

V Australia, the new international airline launched by Virgin, is offering sale fares from Los Angeles to cities throughout Australia. Cheapest fare of $775 round trip (including taxes) is available to Sydney for travel March 1-Oct. 24; other airlines are matching. Flights from Washington to Los Angeles start at about $220 round trip on several airlines. Purchase by Feb. 27. Info: 800-444-0260, http://www.vaustralia.com.

Reporting: Carol Sottili, Scott Vogel

Help feed CoGo. Send travel news, road reports and juicy tattles to: cogo@washpost.com. By mail: CoGo, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.


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