Quad Cities airport bets on new charter flights with Caesars 

There are winners all around as the Quad Cities International Airport (QCIA) and the Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf kick off a new partnership to provide Caesars Rewards Air packages. 

The new charter flights, which took off with an inaugural flight in late January, are providing direct connections from the airport in Moline to Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport in Bullhead City, Arizona. The airport serves Harrah’s Laughlin Resort and Casino, located on the other side of the Colorado River in Nevada. 

“We’re excited to partner with the QC Airport to bring the Caesars Rewards Air program to the region,” Nancy Ballenger, the Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf senior vice president and general manager, said in a news release. “As a Caesars Entertainment property, we are thrilled to offer this service.” 

Isle Casino joined the Caesars Entertainment family of companies in July 2020 when Isle’s owner and operator, Eldorado, purchased Caesars Entertainment. The company’s rewards program offers direct service to more than 150 cities nationwide where patrons can enjoy exclusive round-trip transportation, hotel accommodations and complimentary ground transportation.   

The new charter service began with about 100 passengers, who departed the Quad Cities on Friday, Jan. 28, aboard a 160-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft for Harrah’s. The resort, which also is a Caesars Entertainment property, features a casino, private beach, restaurants, entertainment venues, pools, a spa and more. 

Ashleigh Davis, the Quad Cities airport’s public relations and marketing director, told the QCBJ that the flights’ frequency has not yet been determined, But a second charter flight is scheduled for March 10-14. To learn more or to book a flight, visit here.

Ms. Davis added that the Caesars charters are open to all airport passengers although Caesars Rewards members receive additional benefits through the program. Under the Caesars Rewards program, participants can purchase or earn free vacation packages to Harrah’s Laughlin and other Caesars properties. 

Patrons who visit Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf, for instance, can earn rewards toward a free flight, Ms. Ballenger said.

“Charter flights are a great way for groups to get exclusive getaways and deals outside of the usual commercial flight schedules,” QCIA Executive Director Ben Leischner said in the release. He added that the airport also is excited to “bring a new travel option to Quad Cities travelers” and “embark on this new partnership.” 

Ms. Ballenger added that the charter flights already were operating out of the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids and the Peoria International Airport in Peoria, Illinois. After the merger of Eldorado and Caesars Entertainment, “It made sense to add Moline/Quad Cities,” she said.  

According to Ms. Davis, the Isle Casino approached the airport about offering the direct charter flights. “We were able to accommodate our charter flights with our same ground handling crew we use for Allegiant and other charters,” she said.

The Caesars charters also are helping raise the profile of the airport’s charter services. “Obviously, we hope more people take advantage of the charter services we’re able to offer,” Ms. Davis said in an interview. 

In addition, she said the new flights, as well as other charters QCIA provides – including for the Western Illinois University football team and Honor Flight of the Quad Cities – all help increase the airport’s tower movements. “When the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) looks at FAA air traffic control towers, they don’t care what type of aircraft it is (landing and taking off), but they do care about the number of tower movements.” 

For more information on QCIA’s charter services, visit the airport’s website. The program is supervised by Rhiannon Ill, who can be contacted at (309) 912-3230 or [email protected].

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