IBJNews

Ambassadair travel club scores on Colts' success

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indianapolis Colts’ second trip to the Super Bowl is scoring business for the Indianapolis-based Ambassadair travel club.

A Feb. 5-8 trip aboard a chartered Boeing 737 is about 80 percent sold, said Michael Grueninger, CEO of Grueninger Travel Group, which bought Ambassadair in 2005 from ATA Airlines.

The Ambassadair trip includes lodging at the Marco Beach Marriott Resort and transportation to Miami.  Ambassadair is charging an eye-popping $3,999 per person, although that includes a ticket to the game (it’s $2,149 without the ticket). A travel director flies with the group.

In 2007 Ambassadiair filled a 248-seat Boeing 757 with Super Bowl-bound Colts fans.  A tight economy is probably tempering demand a bit this year, although Gruenginer said he expects to fill up the 172-seat Boeing 737 bound for Fort Myers. “We knew with this economy it would probably be a smaller-sized group.”

Grueninger’s team has been piecing together the package for weeks, able to strike better deals on the west coast of Florida to avoid the crush in the Miami area. It’s about a two-hour ride to Miami to the game.

Ambassadair is the lone surviving entity of the former ATA Airlines, which folded in 2008 after losing a major military charter contract.  Grueninger snapped up the firm in 2005, shortly after ATA’s first bankruptcy filing.  The club has a mailing list of about 55,000 people versus about 20,000 when Grueninger acquired the club. Ambassadair has 36 full-time employees.

Grueninger Travel Group has several divisions specializing in areas such as corporate incentive trips, student performing groups and tours for associations.

With the loss of ATA, which provided many of the charter flights, much of the travel is booked aboard commercial flights except for special events such as the Super Bowl.

Additional charters may be put in place as the economy improves and passengers are willing to pay more for renting a plane, Grueninger said. Ambassadair is also responding to the downturn by offering more shorter-duration, less-costly travel packages of the three- to four-day variety.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

ADVERTISEMENT