Free Airfare Offer Too Good To Be True?

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Friday, August 17, 2012

We've been flooded with questions about a letter with an offer that seems too good to be true. The letter, which appears to be an offer for free airline tickets, landed in many Wichita-area residents' mailboxes this week. Now, the Better Business Bureau is getting involved.

David Young is one of perhaps thousands of local residents who received the offer. The letter from U.S. Airlines states the recipient has won and award of two roundtrip airline tickets for travel in the U.S. worth up to almost $1,300.

"The first thing I thought was odd was that it didn't have a return address and that it was hand printed," said Young. "I Googled that and I didn't find a U.S. Airlines in there - that struck me as pretty odd."

Those who call the number in the letter get a call center clearing house. Operators ask questions to find out whether the caller meets income guidelines to qualify for the deal. To redeem the offer, the recipient must pay all taxes and fees associated with the tickets and attend a 90-minute meeting this weekend at one of two Wichita hotels.

Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Roberta Namee says they are working to learn more about this offer.

"Right now we're not calling this a scam because we know that consumers have gone, sat through the 90-minute seminar and received the travel voucher," said Namee. "We're doing more research. We're going to contact the company to get more answers. And as soon as we have that we'll get it out to consumers."

Young says he and his wife will not be going to the seminars. Still, he says the offer sounded pretty good to him.

"I was kind of tempted to at least call," said Young.

The Better Business Bureau says the company offering the deal has a good rating in California. Namee says if you choose to consider the offer, go in with your eyes wide open and make sure to ask a lot of questions about fees, memberships and restrictions.

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