Delta postcard about free airline tickets & hotel

The strategy has evolved again (maybe just experimenting) by sending out a Delta Airlines postcard.  (See other posts about previous mailings here.) Please comment if you received one with your location.

See below for the postcard images and text.

The postcard says that they have been trying to contact you about free round trip tickets and a hotel stay you have won. Once you go to the sales pitch and sign up, you book through a fulfillment company. I’ve seen two lately: Universal Travel Vacations (website, BBB report) or the The Vacation Station (website, BBB report TN, BBB report SC)

Also, here is another blogger with information about a postcard that looks like it is from Southwest Airlines: http://talestoldfromtheroad.com/2011/11/02/consumer-alert-southwest-escape-offer-grounded/

I have found the answers to this mystery thanks to the great work of the folks at BBB in Tucson, AZ:

http://www.bbb.org/tucson/business-reviews/travel-clubs/southwest-travel-club-in-tucson-az-20007983

http://www.bbb.org/tucson/business-reviews/prize-promotions/patterson-bell-in-tucson-az-20027549

An actual story: http://www.kgun9.com/features/investigations/122887609.html

NEW video from INSIDE THE SALES PRESENTATION: http://www.9news.com/news/article/362984/339/Companies-behind-free-airline-ticket-letters-

Great reporting from WKMG: http://www.clickorlando.com/news/Free-travel-offer-mystifies-consumers/-/1637132/15701330/-/8s7gus/-/index.html

Video from inside the first ever video encounter I’ve seen: http://www.kboi2.com/news/local/Travel-service-vacation-smart-international-us-airlines-vacationanddeals-com-175915611.html?tab=video&c=y

If you would like to read more about these folks, visit this post. You can read all about the sales presentation, the free offer and the what you get for your vacation membership club cash outlay.

ADVICE:

When I read this, it was just too good not to post.  It’s from the Nebraska Attorney General (page 13 printed/page 15 PDF).

Look for the warning signs that may indicate a scam:

  • Benefits sound too good to be true.
  • The company has no permanent address and all presentations are held in rented conference rooms.
  • They can’t, or won’t, provide you with references.
  • They don’t want to give you an itemized list of what’s included in your trip until you have already signed the contract.

What you should do if you suspect a scam:

  • Don’t sign any contract during the travel presentation. They are high-pressure events intended to stir the emotions of an exotic vacation.
  • Contact a respected travel agent in town, give them the specifics of the trip, and ask if that seems  consistent with industry pricing.
  • Shop around. Compare your trip with other travel packages being offered to seniors.

Here is Michigan’s Attorney General’s advice:
http://www.michigan.gov/ag/0,1607,7-164-34739_20942-44762–,00.html

Here is the of the postcard:


DELTA / FLY AWAY ESCAPE

Dear x,

Congratulations! You have been selected to receive 2 Round Trip Airfares to anywhere Delta flies in the continental USA. Call within 48 hours. You will also receive as a  bonus 3 day 2 night hotel stay!

We have been trying to contact you! (This is not a timeshare or land sale offer)

Toll free 1-800-313-1263 (or other numbers)

RSVP xxxx (your ID in their database) MON-SUN 9am to 8pm

Fine print: Certain restrictions apply. Call for details of participation. This offer is not sponsored by or affiliated with Delta Airlines but they are a major supplier. Taxes, processing fees and reservation fees are the responsibility of the recipient. Offer void where prohibited by law. Not applicable to Alaska or Hawaii.

[UPDATE 12/2/2011] Apparently Delta isn’t the only carrier they are testing out in their new postcards — Southwest Airlines is targeted as well: http://talestoldfromtheroad.com/2011/11/02/consumer-alert-southwest-escape-offer-grounded/

Here is what would happen if you did call:

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  1. Connie says:

    I got one with American Airlines for free airfare to anywhere in the “contiguous” United states. Who uses that word. I called and a woman answered and when I gave her the promo code she could not find anything. The code was under someone else’s name. She was stumped, put me on hold and then disconnected. I knew it was too good to be true. My husband and I could not agree to where we were going to fly to. I said San Diego, he said Puerto Rico. I don’t think Puerto Rico is contiguous. I don’t want to go to any stupid meeting to buy anything though. He would buy a time share in Puerto Rico and I would never want to go.

  2. Julia says:

    I received the Delta version today using number Phone# 877-480-3684.

    Congratulations! You have been selected to receive 2 round trip airfares to most major airports in the continental US. CALL WITHIN 48 HOURS. YOU WILL ALSO RECEIVE AS A BONUS 3 DAY 2 NIGHT HOTEL STAY!

  3. Julia says:

    I received the Delta version today using number Phone# 877-480-3684.

    Congratulations! You have been selected to receive 2 round trip airfares to most major airports in the continental US. CALL WITHIN 48 HOURS. YOU WILL ALSO RECEIVE AS A BONUS 3 DAY 2 NIGHT HOTEL STAY!

    Roswell, GA

  4. Sam says:

    Received a card today but for American Airlines not Delta. Since I just took a trip on American I wonder if American gave them my name.

  5. Eddie says:

    I’ve posted this same post on the BBB site as well…

    I too received one of these cards. The one I received had Expedia on the top with the image of a plane. It came from West Palm Beach FL Permit 1002.

    Says you will receive 2 round-trip airline tickets on Southwest, Jet Blue, US Airways, or a comparable airline, plus a 3-day/2night weekend getaway at a hotel such as Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton. Promo code was xxxx.

    This company’s name is Island Rays. This seminar takes place in Richmond, VA at the following address…

    4240 Dominon Blvd. Glen Allen, VA 23063.

    The number is 1-877-283-6156.

    I did call and they ask you like 7 questions and then tell you that you qualify for the presentation. “Its not a timeshare presentation” is what the girl said. I figured I would sign up to go so I gave them my address and they had my cell phone from when i called.

    After I signed up, she said we would get our free gifts after the seminar and we would have to pay the taxes and other fees associated with flights and hotels.

    After I hung up the phone, I got on google and found this site.

    Thank you to everyone who posted!! I called back and told them I wasn’t going to be able to make it and they kept talking over me saying all I have to do is sit through a seminar. I finally told them no and then they said “fine” and hung up. So while I didn’t give out any money, I still gave them my home address so I hope all i get out of this is junk mail. I can live with that.

  6. Elaine says:

    Received one on 10-3-2013.
    877-480-3684 (local toll free)

    No one has tried to contact me prior to this card. Obvious lie.

  7. Charles says:

    Guess these are starting to hit Arkansas.
    Received the Delta card with identical information on 10-21-13

  8. EH says:

    Recieved my this past weekend. US Airlines.
    Respond by Oct 14
    Slick package with the whole security tear of the tabs to open letter. Standard postage from Tampa.

    855-879-8217
    Elise Warren

    Thank you for sniffing this out for us.

  9. Mark says:

    I received a card today, almost identical to the example provided. It was mailed from Jacksonville, Florida. It’s kind of ironic, the phone number to call was not readable. These idiots never give up.

    Alpharetta, Georgia

  10. Brenda says:

    Received a Delta postcard listing the phone number as 1-888-215-3143. Have received dozens of missed calls listed on my caller ID from random major cities all over the country. Must be the same scam organization.

    BL, Vermont, 10-29-13

  11. Jim says:

    Got my postcard today in Rochester, NY. Jet Blue this time. Mailed from Las Vegas. Wording nearly identical to original example. If it were legit, you would think they’d be proud to list their website and/or address.

  12. Paul Z says:

    Received a postcard today (12/10/2013) in Gloucester MA almost exactly like the one pictured.

    A Google search for the phone number listed on the postcard, 888-542-7791, produced no results, so I Googled the ZIP code shown in the postal indicia and came up with Jacksonville, Fla.

    My search for the USPS First Class permit shown— No. 584— brought me to this web page.

  13. Paul Z says:

    I think I’m going to mail my postcard to Delta Airlines corporate headquarters, and copies to Hilton Hotels and Mariott Hotels & Resorts (whose logos are also listed). Their company names are being used without their consent in connection with an illegitimate, if not illegal, operation, and I’m sure their legal and public affairs departments may want to do something about it.

  14. Michel says:

    Got one on Jan 27 with a Frontier logo on it. As much as I would love two free tix, it’s too good to be true.. Thanks for the info.

  15. Stephanie says:

    Received this in Maine. It had the United Airlines logo on it with basically the same wording. I would have fallen for this as I do have a United Airlines credit card… they slipped up as it was under my maiden name. SCAM.

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