Buy A Car – Get Free Tickets on Eastern Airlines to Fly to the Sun

Young and the Stupid. Today’s episode of Cars with Memories! This is the car that launched us deeper in debt and on a spree of international travel intrigue.

198? Chevy Corsica.

I’m really stretching the old brain cells here, so if I’ve blundered, please correct me in the comments.

I used to have the stupid idea that we would always have a car payment, so no big deal about buying a new car ever time the urge hit me, or somebody else hit me, or when a super deal hit me.

Model year changeover used to be a huge deal.  Car styles actually changed and people knew if you were driving a new car. In the 80’s changeover became less and less of a big deal, until it finally disappeared. Cars became homogenized.  Detroit would build one basic car and just change the cosmetics to make a Chevy, Pontiac or Buick that were essentially the same car. But Detroit was flush and didn’t need to listen to customers.

Remember Eastern Airlines? How about If You Had Wings at Disney World? Yeah, that Eastern Airlines. The airline that was run by an astronaut. The airline that went bankrupt? Frank Borman, former astronaut-CEO once said:

“Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.”

Smart guy.

When he was trying to salvage Eastern, they ran a promotion with GM: Buy A Car, Get Two Free Air Tickets Anyplace Eastern Flies.  Obviously it was something more catchy than that, but it didn’t take much. We were driving the beat up Datsun station wagon.

OK then: we are buying a car, now let’s milk this “deal” for all it’s worth. Where is the furthest we can fly on Eastern Airlines? I went to Google a paper map and scouted out destinations. There it was. An international exotic location.

Cancun, Mexico.

Sun! We can fly to Sun! Fun in the Sun.

Yeah, we had to tell people it was in Mexico back then because nobody had ever heard of Cancun! It was our first international venture. (Trips to Canada didn’t count because where we grew up, Canada was a Detroit suburb.)

People did think we were nuts – Mexico? for vacation? Cancun? Never heard of it!

All because we could buy a car and Fly Free!

Yes, international travel intrigue. That is SO us!

Now, dealers are offering Buy Truck, Get a Truck Free.

Not interested.

I would rather the Former Big Three CEO’s fly to the sun – or a place equally as hot.

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