US Airlines “Free Ticket” Offer Leads to High Pressure Vacation Seminars in Spokane
Spokane residents have been receiving solicitations from a business calling themselves 'US Airlines', telling consumers that they have "qualified for an award of two (2) round-trip airline tickets" and "two (2) nights at any one of over 1000 Marriott Hotel locations" worth up to $1,398.
Better Business Bureau warns that this solicitation uses deceptive marketing and urges caution when responding to this solicitation.
Spokane area consumers are led to believe the solicitations were from US Airways, the Phoenix-based airliner, and not from US Airlines, a false and non-existent airline company. A call to the 855 number provided on the solicitation directed consumers to sign up for a 90-minute seminar held at a hotel in Spokane Valley within the next two weeks.
A BBB secret shop investigation conducted on this business revealed multiple business names associated with this solicitation, many of which were based out of Texas. The business names led BBB to a company calling themselves 'Grand Travel Worldwide'. A BBB investigator had initially signed up for this vacation seminar to discover the real identity of the business, only to be denied access to the seminar and given an additional business name and contact phone number for questions.
Consumers have reported that to be admitted to the seminar, they were required to bring their significant other, two forms of identification, a valid credit card, and not be a part of another travel organization.
BBB warns that seminars like this often use high pressure sales tactics, and often target an older demographic. Also, attendees are often pushed to sign contracts with high price tags without full disclosure of contract details or valid contact information of the business. BBB offers this advice:
- Check bbb.org prior to attending a travel club or other sales presentation
- Be cautious of solicitations that fail to disclose the name and address of the soliciting company
- Question any offers that claim you've won a contest or reward that you do not remember entering
- Always research your right to cancel prior to attending any presentation or seminar
- Verify or ask for proof of any suspiciously high savings claims
- Do not be afraid to ask for time alone to discuss and review materials, especially when staff use high pressure sales tactics or tell you that the offer is only good for that day
American Airlines announced last week that they filed a lawsuit in Texas against entities operating a nationwide scam using very similar tactics as Grand Travel Worldwide.
US Airways also has a related scam alert posted on their website.
If you have any questions about this solicitation or sales seminars, contact your BBB at 509-455-4200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.