Wow! When I saw how many people were searching for “Global Travel”, I have to admit, I got pretty excited. Then, I realized that most people weren’t actually searching for ways to live out their wanderlust… they were actually searching for a few different things and we’ll cover the top reasons here in this quick guide to Global Travel Scams, Schemes, and Clairty
Will the Real “Global Travel” Please Stand Up
Alright, let’s get this out of the way right now. If you’re looking to travel around the world or some other form of international travel, then it’s advised that you look at some other articles on TripDad.com, search google for “Around the World Flights”, “International Travel”, Europe Tours” or even better: check out the links to the right. I say this because the term “Global Travel” has been soiled and dragged through the mud by a number of companies and their uncontrollable representatives.
Now, before we go on, please understand, we do not go out of our way to bash any company. I will give you my honest opinion as a traveller and also as a very knowledgable marketing expert as well. Here are the four main entities we’re going to quickly discuss in this article:
- Global Travel International – claims you can become a talent agent through them. It’s a “work at home” network marketing (MLM) opportunity. I’ve personally made hundreds of thousands of dollars working from home. So, you won’t find me bashing the concept … but let’s find out how legitimate this opportunity really is.
- Global Travel Network – this is a discount travel network that has also been sold as a network marketing opportunity. I’ve belonged to this Network twice. Will tell you about some of the problems I’ve had below.
- Global Travel Solutions – company out of Montclair, NJ that puts on hard-sell ‘travel seminars’ luring people in with free cruises. Yes, as it turns out, I’ve sat through a “travel seminar presentation” and can give you some stern warnings.
- Global Travel Shield – global insurance product underwritten by American Express. I don’t have an personal experience with this, so we won’t talk too much about it here. The bottom line is this is for large trips of over $50,000. It’s backed by Amex, but the site looks like crap – so, I would do a bit of due diligence before diving in if I were you.
Global Travel International – Scam?
Again, if you were looking for how to travel around the world, I recommend finding another article on TripDad or Google. Now, I don’t like to use the word “scam” too loosely. I’ve seen reports on the first three companies above reported as scams and it’s actually pretty difficult to untangle which is which. They actually are three totally different companies, lets break it down.
First up is Global Travel International (GTI) out of Maitland, FL. GTI claims to be a work at home opportunity for people that want to become travel agents. (Doesn’t sound half bad to me!) Anyway, when you google Global Travel International, you’ll see a “Consumer Affairs” report that connects them with the Global Travel Network. They have nothing to do with Global Travel Network. I can’t stand these fake watchdog sites that allow anyone to post anything against a company without an opportunity for the company to clear their name. Just a few minutes of searching or a phone call and the “watchdog site” could have more legitimate information available.
So, I called the toll free number found on GTI’s website, GlobalTravel.com, and spoke to a representative there named Eric. He confirmed that without a shadow of a doubt they have nothing to do with Global Travel Network. GTI is a legitimate work at home opportunity where they train you on how to become a travel agent – this can obviously lead to awesome savings in your own travel as well as a way for you to make some money within the travel industry.
GTI has been around for over 17 years and as Eric pointed out, they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Then again, as I told Eric, all you need to do for an A+ rating is PAY the BBB’s yearly fee and reply quickly to all of your complaints. GTI has had 148 complaints at the time of writing and 87 in the last 12 months. I understand that it’s difficult to monitor the behavior of 1000′s of independent travel agents, but this still seems like a pretty high number.
At any rate, after I challenged Eric at GTI on this bit, he said that they’ve been around for 17 years and featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, USA Today, and of course many Travel Agent Magazines as well. TripDad double checked this information it’s absolutely true. You can see the NY Times article from 1999 on the right (this was the only NYT article I could find – at least it was from an era when the NYT mattered and people actually read newspapers – just kidding!).
So, GTI may be resting on their laurels from over a decade ago – but at least they’ve been around the block a few times and I truly would not consider them a scam at this point. And they’re certainly not connected with Global Travel Solutions or Global Travel Network, which we’ll cover next.
Global Travel Solutions & Global Travel Network – Scamming Together??
Much like beauty, a scam is in the eye of the beholder as well. First of all, let me clear the air a bit about GTI…
Global Travel Solutions (GTS) out of Montclair, NJ is quite simply a “marketing company” that sells so-called travel discount club packages. They lure you in with the promise of a free cruise (where you have to pay port taxes of hundreds of dollars) to sit through a 2-3 hour presentation on travel. One core component of the “Travel Club” that they attempt to sell to you is a membership in the “Global Travel Network”.
GTS has a Better Business Bureau rating of “C-”. And, as I told you before, you have to be a member of the BBB to get an A rating. GTS only has 18 complaints in the last 3 years and they’ve responded to each one of them. However, as is usual with companies like this, I’m sure they hide who they are when marketing on the phone or even in person at the so-called ‘travel seminars’. These seminars attempt to sell the Global Travel Network package along with some other discount clubs for $10,000. The truth be known, you can get it for a fraction of that cost elsewhere. So, is GTS a “scam”??? I’ll let you be the judge.
But what about the product they sell?? Membership into the Global Travel Network Travel Club. Let’s explore that right now.
Global Travel Network (GTN) out of Salt Lake City, Utah is a completely separate entity from GTS and has actually been marketed in a number of ways. The ultra-suspicious approach above is only one of them.
As it turns out, I’ve personally been a member of Global Travel Network on two separate occasions. Once when I bought a timeshare in Mexico and a 3-year membership was included in my purchase, and then a few years later I was invited to help out with the marketing of something called the “Reverse Funnel System” which was a work-at-home opportunity to sell… you guessed it… membership in the Global Travel Network. The cost was $3000, and the commissions were $2000 if I remember correctly.
I would say that both of these sales tactics were also a bit ‘suspicious’ in some people’s eyes. I know we were hard-selled into buying the TimeShare and we haven’t used it since… and anything ‘get rich quick’ like the Reverse Funnel System is going to lead to a number of people feeling it’s a scam. Again, that’s up for you to decide.
“Marketing tactics aside, what the heck is GTN anyway??” Right?
Is GTN worth the money?
The resorts that you book as a member typically have much larger rooms than a standard hotel. This can be quite nice. Often it’s a studio apartment-sized offering or even a one or two bedroom apartment. Think of it like a timeshare that you have to pay for on an as-use basis. The pricing is really quite good — often $300-500 for the week at resorts you’d expect to pay that for one or two nights!!
Sounds too good to be true, right? (Well, actually, it is…)
I booked a number of resort stays via the Global Travel Network and what I found was that for spontaneous travel, you will NEVER find anything available “in the right season”. For instance, I once stayed at the foot of Snobird ski resort in September. Another time we booked a stay in Palm Springs – in the hottest month of the year. You get the idea.
If you’re a spontaneous global travel person like I am, then forget it. However, I can see how it can work for a lot of people if you do a bit more long-term planning than what I do. Although I would be very cautious as to what I pay for the membership since there are a number of ways in for the exact same membership. Would you rather pay $10,000 for it? Or $3000? Even better – if it were included in your timeshare purchase for free, right??
Finally, I’ll mention that GTN has an A+ rating with the BBB as well, with 85 closed complaints in the last 3 years. Again, I don’t think the Better Business Bureau is a good indicator anymore of whether or not something is a scam. You can get incredible prices on very large resorts as well as other travel related discounts through the Global Travel Network. But at the end of the day, you’re really doing the time shares a favor because you’re giving them money to stay in a room that would have otherwise been totally empty.
And that, my friends, is the real scam to explore, my friends — the entire TimeShare industry. But we’ll leave that for a different day. Thanks for reading TripDad and remember “Father Travels Best”. Please be sure to leave a comment below if you’ve got any stories related to the above global travel companies.
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