American Airlines Files Lawsuit to Stop Vacation Club Postcard Scam

American Airlines Files Lawsuit to Stop Vacation Club Postcard Scam
Image: American Airlines
October 4, 2013

American Airlines has filed a lawsuit against several individuals and entities operating a nationwide scam that uses American's trademarks and likeness of its livery on mass-mailed postcards and letters to lure people into sales presentations for vacation club memberships. 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 mailers created and used by defendants are intentionally and deceptively designed to appear that American is involved in the promotion. Some mailers refer to a promotion called "American Airlines Fly Away Promotion," while other mailers feature American's brand images or name.

The deceptive mailers promise the recipient two free round-trip airfares. When the recipient calls the phone number listed on the mailer, 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 promised airline tickets are either not distributed at all or are very difficult to redeem because of the many fees and restrictions they carry.

"The well-being of American's customers is our 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," said Rob Friedman, American's Vice President of Marketing. "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 encourages consumers affected by the scam to scan the back and front of the mailers 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.