Letter from US Airlines about free airline tickets

Here’s another mailing about free airline tickets, only instead of coming from a fake incentive company, it is from a fake airline called US Airlines – “Fly the US skies”! (See other posts here.) Please comment if you received one.

They have a variation that includes an award notification and boarding pass.  See below for pictures.

It tells you that you have qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip airline tickets. It looks like it was actually signed by Barbara Dion or Alexia Pitt or Kate White or Loretta Cape or Ann Roy or Charlene James or Angela King or Marcia O’Neal or Janelle Kelly or Candice Bray or Phyllis Neal or Melanie Car or Jessica Clay or Katherine Cota or Christina Jud or Shauna West or Jane Austin or Hillary Baio or Jessica Nish or C.  Ray or Dorothy Wade or Linda Ford or Jade Beal or Nicole Clay or Valerie Fay or Erica Bale or K. Mane or Loretta Pine or Alexis Doug or Kristina Bar or Brittany Hunt or Doris Jack, the “Vice President.” They hand write the address on the envelope and use a real stamp (sometimes!).

Here is the cheesy website for this letter. 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)

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.

LETTER:


I am pleased to inform you that you have qualified for an award of 2 roundtrip airline tickets. Congratulations. These tickets are valid for travel anywhere in the Continental U.S. The retail value of this award is up to $1,400.00. Certain restrictions apply.

We have attempted contacting you several times without success. This is our last attempt. If we do not hear from you soon, we may need to issue the ticket vouchers to the alternate.

Please call me today at 1-866-995-7151 (numbers always changing).

Regards,

VP du jour (see above)

Vice President

AWARD NOTIFICATION/BOARDING PASS:

Here is what would happen if you did call:

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

1227 replies
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  1. CAROB says:

    If everyone that receives these cards would make reservations and NOT show up (as I did); it would cost these scam artists money and they would stop this stupidity. They must rent a meeting hall in a local hotel and they say seating is limited. I’ve made reservations twice and not shown up, so hopefully saved someone the grief of going for their scam.

  2. Nancy says:

    Got the letter from US Airlines, 1-855-879-8217, signed by the Guest Services Manager, Elise Warren. Called the number and found out it is a marketing ploy, 90 minute presentation for a travel company. She asked a series of questions, one of which was are one or both of us gainfully employed. I responded no, so she came back and told me we didn’t qualify, even if we are fully retired. Since we didn’t qualify for the 2 free tickets, they wanted to give me a consolation price of a Bahama Cruise for 2, only paying port charges of $59. I’m not sure it’s a scam as much as it is a way to drag people into their office to sell them a travel package.

  3. Susan Kain says:

    I received my letter today in hand addressed envelope with no return address. Thought it was too good to be true, especially after reading that they have tried to contact me several times (they did not). The telephone number on my letter is 1-866-753-5871 and signed by Mia Hale, Vice President. From this blog, it appears this scam has been going on for a long time.

  4. Minnie says:

    Just received a phony “Travel Check Voucher” from US Airlines signed by Kristina Meyer. The voucher is in the amount of $1,229 and reads as several have mentioned above. The phone number listed is 866-896-8599. I haven’t called and won’t. Just a waste of time.

    I wonder if I received this because my husband and I went to a timeshare in order to get free tickets while in Vegas. Whatever the reason I knew it was too good to be true. In this town the airport is suffering; so there is not way they’re giving away flights.

    Thanks for creating this website!

  5. Dean says:

    New Phone # 855-464-0315. Not signed by anyone. Glad I did some research. Always to good to be true. Not calling. Been through their speals before.

  6. mimi says:

    Got mine with Mia Hale as vice president with # 1-866-891-4817. I did call them and Lisa picked up but it sounded phishy so i ended the phone call.

  7. VGN says:

    I feel honored. My letter from Elise Warren, Guest Services Manager, not only tells me I’m qualified for 2 round trip airline tickets but in addition I will receive 2 nights at any one of over 1000 Marriot Hotel locations. Retail value $1398.00! Don’t know from whom they got my name. Haven’t flown in years.

  8. ksfauch says:

    I got one too. Thank goodness I found this site. I thought it was a real airline but I didn’t trust the way it looked.

  9. Lake Rat says:

    Wow, this crap has been going on a looooong time!

    I didn’t read all the posts so excuse me if this has been brought up, but do you know what this sounds like? One of those make money at home addressing envelopes scams that you see in the penny saver.

    Reason for the different addresses and numbers is because it is just something people do at home in the hopes of making some extra cah. I know it sux, but after getting suckered into buying the supplies, I might just go ahead and mail them out too. When somebody shows up at the seminar with one of your cards *kaching* you get paid. Just a guess

  10. St Urhos says:

    SCAM !!!!!
    Received my letter from Elise Warren Today! Way too good to be the real deal. The same letter as VGN received on the 3rd of Oct. ” SCAM ”
    Since they use actual airlines Names, you would
    think the airlines would be going after them, they have the big bucks to do so.
    Anybody want my claim number??? Ha, Ha.
    It’s headed for the trash, last chance.

  11. TL says:

    Received a letter today from Caryn Whitlock, Vice President of US Airlines. I was confused at first because my husband works for an airline but could tell immediately it was a scam. Tele# 888-980-1460. Didn’t want to call because I don’t want them knowing my telephone number.

  12. Jonny Tulong says:

    I just got an almost identical letter from “Cheap Tickets” claiming to be part of Southwest, Jet Blue and Air Tran. This one isn’t signed by a recognizable signature and just says “Guest Services Manager” under the illegible signature. Phone number 888-647-8898. Like VGN above, they told me I had 2 nights at one of 1000 Marriott locations valued at the same amount for VGN….$1398. Won’t be calling!

  13. dee says:

    Woo-Hoo! Got a check today from these scammers. Wow! $1,199.00. “Sponsored” by Kayak, Expedia, and Hotels.com. At least until you read all of the caveats and fine print. The term “Non-Negotiable” is also on the bottom of the check. It says: Pay to the Order of USA Airlines on my behalf. Generous of them, huh? Call 1-800-732-3449 within 72 hours or I will forfeit. Came out of West Palm Beach. Looks like they are on the move. This gets so tiresome…

  14. David Stern says:

    Got the same treatment. Made a call to David Lazarus, LA Times who wrote about this scam. Talked with Tanya, 866-612-8004 who gave me customer service 866-981-5713 when I complained about being discriminated against because I don’t fit their target market … I’m 76 and a widower. I told Tanya I could fix both of those things if I wanted to. I was playing with her when they wouldn’t connect me with Caryn Whitlock, the Vice President who wrote me the letter. (Presorted stamp on hand addressed envelope). I recognized this as a scam when I read US Airlines … knowing there isn’t such a company. Thought I might have a BLOG to write, but after a little research decided to leave it to somebody else … apparently you. Found another scam using Continental US … probably same people. I assume this must be making money for the scammers, or they would find another approach. I worry about seniors who receive this because Tanya told me the “couple has to be living under the same roof and one must be 75 or younger. There are so many of these I don’t have time … but glad you do. Thanks for the good effort. David Stern

  15. Doug R. says:

    I got this in yesterday’s mail (11/8/13) and it says I must respond no later than 11/9/13. So I went online and found this webpage. Thankfully, today’s information super highway makes scams like this difficult to pull off. My letter was a single sheet of paper that you rip the perforated ends off. My address was printed, not handwritten and it had a “presorted” printed stamp on it. The heading says Fly The US Airlines and five airlines are listed at the top: US Air, Southwest, United, Delta and Jet Blue. Along with the “(2) round-trip airline tickets” “valid for travel within the Continental United States”, it also promises “(2) nights at any one of over 1000 Marriot Hotel locations”. Retail value $1,398.00. There is a “claim number” 49-002-xxxx and a phone number 1-855-879-8217. It is signed (printed signature) by Elise Warren who is Guest Services Manager. It also has a disclaimer on the back saying: “This promotion is not sponsored by or affiliated with Marriot”

  16. Loren A. says:

    I received my letter today. Thank you for posting this information so that I could find it and know it is a scam.
    I am supposed to respond by 11/27/13 to receive my two free complimentary airline tickets anywhere in the continental US to a major international airport. Certain restrictions apply. They call it a claim and I am listed as the claimant.
    Signed by Heidi Bell, Vice President.

  17. Joe Not to be Scammed says:

    These Scammers need to be put on a plane from a major international airport and sent to a Marriott in Iceland.

  18. Sharon Robidere says:

    I received my letter today that states that I not only qualify for two round-trip airline tickets to travel anywhere within the Continental United States, but I also receive two nights at any of over 1000 Marriott Hotel locations. The retail value is is up to $1,398.00. The letter is signed by Elise Warren, Guest Services Manager.
    It’s hard to believe that these “scammers” have been getting away with this since 2010!! Thank’s so much for all the postings to warn us against these preditors!

  19. Adam says:

    got mine today mar.5 2014 has “final notice” stamped in bold letters on the front of the official government look style envelope. the Phone # given is 800-843-2104. prize worth 1,399.00. Must respond by the 14th lawls

  20. Judi says:

    I live outside of memphis and very glad you have uploaded all the information about this crazy offer. silly this is sponsored by cruise adisor for carnival cruise. trash. for sure

  21. Tee says:

    Got mine today.
    1-855-666-9931 signed by Danielle Murphy Customer Relations Manager. Must respond by June 20th, 2014.

    Super happy I was skeptical before calling and came across this website so thank you everyone for posting about the scam.

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