The growing interest in travel increases the activity of scammers looking to take advantage, SkyLux Travel experts warn. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the 16-week period between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend has historically been one of the busiest for traveling domestically in the U.S. This makes this period especially appealing for fraudulent practices and travel scams.
No doubt, you won’t get scammed while booking flights with SkyLux Travel, and your bookings will be secure. However, if you choose to entrust your travel plans to another company or make plans yourself, it is crucial to know how to protect yourself from travel scams. Here’s SkyLux Travel expert advice on how to avoid travel scams.
Double-check the URL
Don’t trust a travel website because it has a familiar logo or appears near the top of search results. Many scam sites copy major travel companies branding. A legitimate travel services website always has a clear and common URL name, without variations in brand or company spelling. It would be best if you also were cautious of domains that end in .net or .org, as they are rarely used for online shopping. In particular, .org is most commonly used for non-profit organizations.
Do your research
Don’t book on an unfamiliar travel site until you’ve checked it out. Look it up in the Better Business Bureau’s database. For example, SkyLux Travel is BBB accredited with the highest A+ rating. This is the highest rating a company can get on the BBB platform. Thereby, the grade signalizes that any complaints will be taken care of and resolved promptly to the customer’s satisfaction. Also, in the U.S., five states require travel agencies to register, regulate sales by travel agencies, and usually require financial protections for consumers: California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, and Washington. For instance, SkyLux Travel is registered as a California Seller of Travel (CST # 2119950-40).
Get recommendations from trusted sources
Of course, family and friends are the most trusted source for recommendations, but that is not always an option. You can also read reviews or complaints on legitimate platforms to see what others say about them before committing. It’s essential to see the overall rating and pay attention to the most recent reviews. Likewise, you need to understand that you probably won’t find any positive reviews on complaint platforms because the primary intent of these sites is different.
Read the fine print
We recommend reading the fine print before finalizing the purchase. Inquire about refund policies if the travel provider cancels or if you should cancel. Ask if there are special provisions for illness or a family emergency. Get everything in writing so that you will be aware of all the details of your travel plans and know the extent of hidden charges. Make sure to watch out for hidden costs for airfare, hotels, car rental, airport or port transfers, meals, gratuities, taxes, parking, and upgrades. Even if the site states’ refunds available’ or ‘satisfaction guarantee,’ you should fully understand company policy before agreeing on the trip.
Ask about the travel insurance
Inquire about the availability of travel insurance. Be sure to understand the scope of any travel insurance policy offered fully. What cancellations are included, and what are not. Only purchase travel insurance from a reputable provider and be sure that any policy purchased meets your individual, anticipated needs. Travel agencies often offer travel protection services that are similar to insurance but they may not have the same terms.
Always pay with a credit card
SkyLux Travel experts say that the safest way to make a large purchase is with a credit card. That’s because most credit cards come with fraud protections and the ability to cancel a charge. Don’t pay with a wire transfer, gift card, or cryptocurrency because this is how scammers ask you to pay once they’ve collected the money, it’s almost impossible to get it back.
Final notes from SkyLux Travel experts on avoiding travel scams in 2023
Travel scams can be triggered at any point in the travel experience, from buying airline tickets or booking hotel rooms to having your credit card data stolen while dining in far-off lands. It would help if you were realistic and critical when engaging with unfamiliar companies. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a travel scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. The information provided could prevent another person from falling victim.