Remember Ambassadair Daytrips? They’re Back

Legacy Travel Club resurrects the Indy company’s signature one-day escape.
When Ambassadair Travel Club was still flying high in Indy as a sister company to ATA Airlines, it would often charter an ATA 737 and whisk members from Indianapolis to places as far away as Quebec City, New York, the Bahamas, Mt. Rushmore, Nantucket—and arrive home by bedtime. Trips left around 6 a.m. for an adventure of around 18 hours, and they were offered only from Indianapolis. Residents of any other city couldn’t just jet off to Mardi Gras for a day. But daytrips went away when Ambassadair was purchased by Grueninger Travel Service, a longtime family-owned company here. Once the best reasons to play hooky in Indy, they became a travel legend.

Legacy Travel Club, started by a former ATA employee and an Ambassadair veteran, hopes to relaunch the one-day escape. After years of planning to revive the Ambassadair model by courting investors and finding a plane to charter, Legacy founder Chris Allen has announced the first trip: a jaunt to Mackinac Island, Michigan, on June 21. The quaint, car-free island at the top of the state’s mitten was a perennial favorite among Ambassadair members. Visitors will have the day free to explore the landmark Grand Hotel, bike the coastline, or eat their weight in fudge. The flight is scheduled to return by 10 p.m.

Legacy is rolling out with Ambassadair’s old pricing: $99 annual membership (required for the Mackinac trip) and $287 for the daytrip, which includes airfare, transportation to the ferry, and the ferry ticket. Legacy is also arranging a daytrip from Louisville to the Biltmore mansion in North Carolina on June 22 for $264 (no membership required). It’s too soon to tell if Legacy’s business model will fly long-term—but for a couple of days in June, at least, the old Ambassadair is back.