Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.

January 10, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357


Baltimore - In 1998, some Michigan college football fans were scammed when they bought packages to the Rose Bowl and arrived in California to find that they didn't have tickets. They had paid $1,459 per person and had been told that their tickets would be waiting for them when they arrived. Instead, they were told on arrival that they would have to pay $250 per person if they wanted to go to the game.

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., offers Baltimore Ravens fans the following information and tips to help them avoid similar pitfalls when shopping for the best package:

  • Get compete details in writing about any trip before paying for it. Details should include the total cost, terms and conditions and specific information about each part of the tour package.
  • Confirm hotel and air flight reservations directly with the hotel and airline before traveling.
  • Ask specifically if a game ticket is included in the package. If it is, the consumer should require at the time of purchase that the ticket be presented or a written confirmation for the ticket be provided.
  • Find out if the travel operator guarantees the delivery of the tickets before the scheduled departure and, if so, when those tickets will be delivered. If the tour operator does not guarantee delivery of the tickets before departure, ask what arrangements have been made to deliver the tickets prior to the game.
  • Ask whether the tour operator will obtain tickets at its own expense if the ticket broker fails to deliver tickets to the tour operator.
  • Pay with a credit card. This allows you to dispute charges for transactions that go wrong.
  • Beware of buying tickets over the Internet, as you don't know for sure that the person on the other end really has legitimate tickets.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has "Truth in Ticketing" rules that cover Super Bowl tours and all air tours organized for the purpose of attending a sporting event and for which admission to the event is advertised as part of the tour. These rules require an operator marketing an air package promoted as including game tickets must have the tickets in hand or have a written contract for the tickets before the operator advertises. The DOT says that if a game ticket is not specifically mentioned in ads or listed as a tour feature, the ticket is probably not included. The rules state that if a tour is supposed to include a game ticket and you do not receive one, you are entitled to a full refund of the entire package price when you return. If the tour operator increases your price by more than 10 percent beyond what you originally agreed to pay, you have the right to cancel and receive a full refund