As a leader in advancing marketplace trust, BBB is offering advice to consumers who may respond to a solicitation offering them airline tickets and other awards for attending a travel expo.
Randy Hutchinson, president of the BBB, received a postcard inviting him to attend a 90-minute “VIP Travel Expo” in celebration of Southwest Travel’s anniversary. For doing so, he would receive two round trip, coach class airline vouchers to most major airports in the continental United States. The earliest callers in response to the postcard would also receive a stay at a Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, or other 3 or 4 star hotel. People arriving early to the expo would also receive a $25 prepaid Visa gift card. Finally, attendees would receive $100 in dining dollars to over 200,000 restaurants.
The postcard includes a PROMO CODE of TIGERS1.
Hutchinson called the number on the postcard and was told by the representative that “they” want to present their travel services, which would be cheaper than booking travel online, and that appointments were being set for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at a Memphis hotel. When he asked who “they” are, the representative said Adventure Getaways.
Fine print on the postcard says the promotion is not sponsored by any specific airline, resort or hotel. When Hutchinson asked who “Southwest Travel” is, the representative said Southwest Airlines is a sponsor of the program. He verified that with her several times. Southwest and other airlines have warned about travel scams misusing their names.
We couldn’t find any information on Adventure Getaways and Southwest Travel is such a generic name that we couldn’t reliably check it out. There’s no address on the postcard.
The BBB offers the following advice regarding travel clubs and offers: