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ASTA Offers Advice When Considering Super Bowl Packages

ASTA Offers Advice When Considering Super Bowl Packages ( As the Super Bowl approaches, sports fans around the country will be looking for last-minute travel bargains and packages for the big game. ASTA offers some recommendations for fans evaluating travel packages.

"Every year, we hear reports of sports fans whose travel plans were ruined by a questionable organization with an offer that sounded too good to be true," said ASTA President and CEO Cheryl Hudak, CTC. “Following some simple advice and asking a few questions can help ensure that fans' Super Bowl dreams won't end in heartache."

Sporting events present an opportunity for disreputable tour operators and travel scam artists to defraud sports fans of millions of dollars each year. ASTA offers the following guidelines to help consumers minimize risks when booking tours in conjunction with special events:

Make sure when booking a sports package that the arrangements include tickets to the desired sporting event.
Book tour packages through a travel agent or tour operator affiliated with a professional organization, such as ASTA. For example, ASTA is the only travel trade association with a Consumer Affairs department that can mediate some disputes for consumers and ASTA member travel agents.
Make sure the tour operator participates in a consumer protection plan. While not a consumer protection plan, ASTA has created the Tour Operator Program (TOP) to help travel agents and consumers identify ASTA tour operators that meet certain standards. The criteria require that the tour operator be in the business of operating tours for the past three years; have a $1 million Errors & Omissions (E&O) policy naming travel agents as additional insured; and adhere to the ASTA and TOP code of ethics.
Get information about the tour package and tour operator in writing. Read the information carefully and ask your ASTA travel agent to explain all the details.
Be extremely skeptical about postcard and phone solicitations saying you've been selected to receive a Super Bowl package
Consider paying by credit card. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, credit card customers have the right to refuse paying for charges for services not rendered. Details of the Fair Credit Billing Act can be found at the Federal Trade Commission’s Web site at
Only give out your credit card number if you initiate the transaction and you are confident about the company with which you are doing business.
Be sure to get complete details in writing about any trip prior to payment. These details should include the total price; cancellation and change penalties, if any; and specific information about all components of the package.
If you insist on calling a 900-number in response to a travel solicitation, understand the charges and know the risks.
Walk away from high-pressure sales presentations which don't allow you time to evaluate the offer, or which require that you disclose your income.
If you think you've been scammed, contact your local Better Business Bureau, your local or state Consumer Affairs Office, state attorney general’s office, or e-mail ASTA’s Consumer Affairs department at href=""> for information and assistance. For more travel tips, please visit ASTA’s consumer Web site,

The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest and do business.


Contact: Kristina Rundquist/Laura Gajewski

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