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Airline goes to court to stop devious travel scam

October 4, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A major international airline has gone to court in a bid to stop what it describes as a widespread scam that uses its trademarks and the likeness of its livery on mass-mailed postcards and letters to lure people into sales presentations for holiday club memberships.

The scam is operating throughout America, apparently. Perhaps the postcard senders consider that using postal mail makes the offers seem more legitimate than using email, email scams having become so widespread. 250x250TICBanner

American Airlines filed a lawsuit yesterday in Tarrant County, Texas, District Court against several individuals and entities it says are operating the “nationwide scam”.

The lawsuit seeks to stop these individuals and entities “from illegally misappropriating American’s well-known and valuable trademarks, liveries and logos”.

American’s lawsuit alleges that the mass mail-outs created and used by the defendants are intentionally and deceptively designed to make it seem that American is involved in the promotion. Some of the mail refers to a promotion called “American Airlines Fly Away Promotion,” while other mail features American’s brand images or name, the lawsuit says.

The deceptive letters promise the recipient two free round-trip airfares. When the recipient calls the phone number listed, they are told they must attend a seminar to receive the airline tickets. The purpose of the seminar is to sell vacation club memberships, “which are high priced and offer little more than discounts readily available online” the airline says.

“The promised airline tickets are either not distributed at all or are very difficult to redeem because of the many fees and restrictions they carry.”

American’s vice president of marketing, Rob Friedman, says the well-being of American’s customers is the airline’s top priority, “and this is such an unfortunate violation of an iconic brand that our customers, employees and communities around the globe have come to trust. This lawsuit seeks to protect the brand so many rely upon, and cease these deceptive practices.”

In an attempt to track the ongoing activities of the defendants, American is asking consumers affected by the scam to scan the back and front of the envelopes and email them, along with their full name, address and phone number, to the company at webmaster@aa.com to be used as evidence in the case.

Written by : Peter Needham

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