Travel Complaints Increase as Spring Break Approaches

March 10, 2014

DENVER – Because March is Colorado’s snowiest month and many other regions in the country have endured a brutal winter season, college students and consumers alike are looking forward to spring break getaways. With the U.S. Travel Association forecasting travel expenditures to increase to more than $940 billion in 2014, the Better Business Bureau of Denver/Boulder warns travelers to shop smart.

BBBs across the U.S. and in Canada received more than 7,500 complaints against the travel industry last year, a slight increase compared to 2012. Complaints often involve billing disputes or misrepresentation.

Travel scams are also common such as emergency scams, the front desk scam and shady travel club offers. Identity theft also commonly occurs in various ways while traveling.  

In addition to becoming educated on travel scams and identity theft before setting out on your getaway, the BBB offers the following tips when planning a vacation:

  • Book through a reliable travel agent. Find BBB Accredited travel agencies at BBB Accredited Businesses must adhere to the BBB’s Standards of Trust, which include advertising honestly, being transparent and honoring promises.
  • Get details about your trip in writing. Confirm details such as total cost, extra fees, any applicable restrictions, flights, hotel reservations and car rental information. Take copies with you on your trip.
  • Use a credit card as payment. Paying by credit card offers the most protection should something to wrong.
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance. Circumstances could cause you to cancel your trip, return home early or force you to seek emergency medical treatment while traveling. Travel insurance may provide the extra protection you need. Be sure to shop around and read the terms and conditions before purchasing.
  • Use caution when considering deals. If a deal or package offers a lot for a very low price, be wary. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Be wary of claims you “won” a trip. Generally if you’ve truly won something, it will be given to you as a gift. Be especially leery if the offer is unsolicited. Check on any offers with the BBB.

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About the BBB

The BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Reviews, BBB Charity Reports and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, there are 113 local, independent BBBs across the U. S. and Canada. Please visit for more information.