Airfare Mail Offer: Legitimate or a scam?
By Daniel Gutierrez. CREATED Aug 2, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Free Airfare: Words that grab anyone's attention. You may be one of the lucky ones to recently get this great offer in the mail. But is it too good to be true?
"This doesn't look right. What is this?" asked Kathie Pearson.
It's a letter going out to folks across the Valley. Kathie and Larry Pearson are just two of the people that contacted Action News after getting this surprise in the mail. It claims recipients "have qualified for an award of 2 round trip airline tickets." But there's a problem.
"Well first of all, I've never heard of U.S. Airlines," said Kathie.
That's because the Better Business Bureau said they don't exist. There are names that are close, like U.S. Airways and American Airlines, but no U.S. Airlines. So where's this offer coming from? According to the letter, it's from Juli West.
"The gal who signed it allegedly is Vice President. Vice President of what?" asked Larry.
Contact 13 wanted to know. So we called the toll free number on the letter.
"My name is Tricia Kean. I'm calling from the ABC station here in Las Vegas," said Tricia.
We learned the letter is from FeatureTravel.com
"Where are you based? Where are these airline tickets in the letter coming from?" asked Tricia.
But the customer service representative couldn't answer many of our questions. We left our contact information and emailed the company, and got a call back, but haven't been able to get any more information.
Feature Travel's website lists a number of different travel deals and packages. But no information about the company itself, like where they're based, or how to contact them. And the domain name is even up for sale.
The Better Business Bureau is very familiar with Feature Travel, also known as "American Travel Deals." The company has no rating, but 48 complaints filed against them in the last 3 years. And the BBB said it hasn't been able to get any reply from the business either.
"The more transparent the company is the better. This document doesn't have a lot of information inside of it," said Katie Robison with the BBB of Southern Nevada.
She said there's a number of other red flags. The letter said the tickets are valued at nearly $1,200, for "travel anywhere in the continental U.S. from any major international airport."
"What we've seen a lot with these types of notices, that there's a lot of black out dates on these, if in fact you actually ever receive the two vouchers," said Katie.
The offer claims "we have attempted contacting you several times." It goes on to say "we may need to issue the ticket vouchers to the alternate."
"They're using these words on purpose. To make the consumer seem that they're going to be missing out on something very important," explained Katie.
It's these red flags, Kathie and Larry want to warn folks about.
"People just should really pay close attention to stuff like this. Things just don't seem right," said Larry. "What bothered me more than anything else is the fact that is came in the mail. That gives it a little more credence," said Kathie.
So here's the Contact 13 bottom line: The BBB said companies making these kind of offers typically require you attend a presentation before getting your airline vouchers. There they usually try selling you a vacation package or timeshare. But before you agree to anything, we suggest you take the offer home and read it carefully.
If you've received a questionable offer in the mail, you can report it to the U.S. Postal Inspector.