Caesars, Sun Country Planning Iowa-to-Laughlin Flight

Caesars Entertainment and Sun Country Airways are offering a charter flight from Waterloo, Iowa to Laughlin, Nev.

A Sun Country passenger jet. The carrier is working with Caesars to fly customers from Iowa to Laughlin, Nevada. (Image: The Business Journals)

The offering is part of the Caesars Rewards program, but patrons do not have to be members of the loyalty platform to participate. The package includes airfare, ground transportation, and hotel accommodations. Caesars and Sun Country revealed a new five-year partnership last November, restarting a previous agreement that ended in late 2020.

The new partnership begins in March 2022 and will be fully ramped up in the second quarter of 2022. Additionally, the agreement calls for two aircraft to provide charter service for Caesars Entertainment guests. The initial aircraft will be based in Laughlin and Gulfport, Miss.,” said the companies at the time.

The Waterloo-to-Laughlin flight departs on April 14, with return service on April 18.

Iowa Connection Makes Sense

Caesars leveraging the Sun Country arrangement for a charter flight from Iowa is practical because the gaming company is well-known in that state.

Nevada-based Caesars runs Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Horseshoe Council Bluffs, the Isle Casino-Hotel Bettendorf, and the Isle Casino-Hotel in Waterloo, making it one of the largest gaming operators in the state. Harrah’s and Tropicana Laughlin are the Caesars’ venues in that city.

Caesars Rewards members earn points through casino play, hotel stays, dining, entertainment, and other activities. At least one credit is earned for every dollar spent, and there are six tier levels: Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Diamond Plus, Diamond Elite, and Seven Stars.

In addition to Laughlin, other cities that are homes to Caesars casino-resorts served via the Sun Country partnership are Atlantic City, New Jersey, Biloxi and Tunica, Miss. and Lake Tahoe and Reno, Nevada.

Airline, Casino Partnerships Fairly Common

Airline agreements are common in the gaming industry. It’s an effective avenue for casino operators to offer air travel to patrons without incurring the costs of owning traditional commercial aircraft.

For example, Sun Country also operates flights for MGM Resorts to Atlantic City on a 173-seat 737-800 jet. Those flights depart from Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Raleigh. MGM and Sun Country also have a deal tied to the casino company’s Beau Rivage Resort on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.

Likewise, Boyd Gaming and Hawaiian Airlines said they joined forces to link their customer loyalty programs last June. Under the terms of the agreement, Boyd Gaming’s B Connected Points can earn points with the carrier, and those enrolled in the HawaiianMiles program can add to their rewards at Boyd properties. The carrier offers multiple flights daily from Honolulu and Maui to Las Vegas.

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