Tennessee To Give Out $2.5 Million Worth Of Flight Vouchers

The Governor of Tennessee has announced a new initiative to get people travelling again and help boost tourism. The state will hand out 10,000 vouchers for airlines, each worth $250. The vouchers can be used on flights with three major airlines to four of the state’s major cities.

Tennessee To Give Out $2.5 Million Worth Of Flight Vouchers
Tennessee state is handing out $2.5 million in vouchers to encourage tourism. Photo: Southwest

In the wake of the global pandemic, it isn’t only airlines that are struggling. Much of air traffic is tourism and leisure-related, so with fewer people traveling, many tourist spots are missing out on income.

Now, Tennessee state has decided to do something about it. Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee has partnered with popular country music star Brad Paisley to announce that over 10,000 vouchers will be handed out to encourage more people to travel. The state named the initiative Tennessee on Me.

Each voucher is worth $250, meaning the state is giving out over $2.5 million in travel vouchers. The vouchers can be redeemed on flights to the states four largest cities; Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

Tennessee To Give Out $2.5 Million Worth Of Flight Vouchers
Passengers can choose to fly to Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville or Chattanooga. Photo: Memphis Airport

Terms and conditions

The lucky travellers can choose from three major US airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines or Southwest. Anyone with a voucher must book the trip before September 15th, and the trip itself must happen this year. This gives people over two months to decide on their destinations.

Furthermore, the voucher must include a stay at one of 60 hotels that are participating in the deal. The aim is to boost tourism in the entire area, including hotels, not just for airlines. One voucher can be used per hotel package and not per person, which has resulted in some backlash.

The Governor received further criticism since the state halted unemployment benefits just last week. Some argue that although getting tourism going is crucial, it feels like money is being taken away from people in the state and given to those from out of state. The package is part of an overall plan to increase tourism in the area.

Tennessee To Give Out $2.5 Million Worth Of Flight Vouchers
Three major US airlines are part of the deal; American, Delta and Southwest. United Airlines is not taking part. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Possible flights

Passengers can redeem the vouchers with American Airlines, Southwest and Delta to four destinations, which means plenty of options.

American Airlines flies to Nashville from Charlotte, LA, Dallas, Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami, Phoenix, New York, Washington, Boston, Orlando, San Diego and more. Southwest has around 55 connections to Nashville and nine to Memphis, and flights to Chatanooga, but the airline does not serve Knoxville. However, Delta operates flights to all four destinations from across the US.

Interestingly, United doesn’t appear to be a part of the deal. The airline does regularly fly to all four airports and has direct connections between Chattanooga and Houston. The program isn’t specifically designed to help give airlines a boost. However, if most of the 10,000 people with vouchers book a seat, it will certainly help.

The programme certainly shows the close link between airlines and tourism. Perhaps if more programs are announced across the US, airlines could see a significant boost this summer.

What do you think of the program? Do you think United is missing out by not getting involved? Let us know your opinion in the comments.