Election Got You Down? Leave the Country

The political cycle hit a new gear Wednesday night, as the two main presidential candidates debated topics face-to-face for the first time at the University of Denver. No matter who is elected come this November, there are bound to be disappointed voters who threaten to leave the country, jokingly or not. Fortunately, one airliner is willing to make that threat a reality.

JetBlue Airlines (NASDAQ:JBLU) is offering a free flight out of the country to unsatisfied American voters this election year. The retreat is only temporary, but will award 1,000 travel certificates for the base fare of a roundtrip JetBlue flight to a tropical location. The program is called Election Protection 2012. It allows U.S. citizens to choose their desired candidate and destination on a special JetBlue Airlines website. If a user picks the candidate that losses, they have a chance for a free flight.

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The company states, “On November 6th, America will elect the next U.S. President. If things don’t go your way, don’t worry. Here’s your chance to get a free flight out of the country with JetBlue. Participate in our Election Protection poll to enter. And remember, if you change your mind you can always come back, or not. It’s a free country.”

Participants may choose from the following destinations: Bermuda, St. Maarten; St. Lucia; Barbados; Dominican Republic (Samana, Santiago, Santo Domingo, La Romana, Punta Cana, or Puerto Plata); Nassau, Bahamas; Cancun, Mexico; Costa Rica (either Liberia or San Jose); Aruba; Colombia (either Cartagena or Bogota); Grand Cayman; Jamaica (either Kingston or Montego Bay); or Turks & Caicos. The sweepstakes runs from October 3, 2012 to November 5, 2012. The winners will be randomly selected on or around November 7, 2012.

Although blackout dates apply, the contest comes at a good time for fliers. Earlier this week, travel website Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) reported that the average airfare this holiday season is up around 3 percent over last year.

The Election Protection 2012 program is largely seen as a promotional stunt, but it appears to be working, at least for today. In afternoon trading, JetBlue shares rose 1 percent. Meanwhile, competitors such as United Continental Holdings (NYSE:UAL), Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) all descended into the red.

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