Industry News 8-3-2007

*A&K destination club sued
*Win Singapore Airlines Tickets
*Free Tank of Gas from Hertz

A&K destination club sued

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Abercrombie & Kent is known for
its luxury safari vacations.
A lawsuit was filed in late July in Los Angeles Superior Court against Abercrombie & Kent. The suit, on behalf of 96 plaintiffs, charges the company intentionally misrepresented itself as the owner of Abercrombie & Kent Destination Clubs, when, in fact, a third party operated the clubs in exchange for a multi-million-dollar licensing fee. The suit alleges that the clubs were mismanaged and eventually became worthless, resulting in the loss of more than $300 million in membership fees.

“This will be the first of many lawsuits to be filed and we are hoping to represent the remaining 800-plus members,” said Brian Kabateck, attorney for the plaintiffs.

The Oak Brook, Illinois-based Abercrombie & Kent began operations in the early 1960s, initially providing African safaris. The company then expanded its operations to more than 100 countries. In 2003, Abercrombie & Kent entered into marketing agreements with Rob McGrath, owner of Complete Retreats and Preferred Retreats. Complete Retreats and Preferred Retreats were rebranded as Private Retreats by Abercrombie & Kent, Distinctive Retreats by Abercrombie & Kent and Andrew Harper’s Distinctive Retreats, a Destination Club by Abercrombie & Kent. Initial club memberships ranged from $250,000 to $1.3 million. In exchange, club members received the right to stay at luxury private residences that were part of the Abercrombie & Kent club properties in locations such as Cabo San Lucas, Belize, Italy, Africa, Scotsdale, Ariz., and Aspen, Colo.

According to the complaint, Abercrombie & Kent cut its ties with McGrath in 2005, when it realized that the retreats were in financial trouble. On July 24, 2006, Complete Retreats and Preferred Retreats, now known as Tanner & Haley, filed for bankruptcy.

“My clients lost all their money,” said Kabateck.

Win Singapore Airlines Tickets

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Singapore Airlines
In honor of its 60th Anniversary, Singapore Airlines is giving away airline tickets to dream destinations. For a chance to win, participants need only visit the airline’s Web site and post their favorite travel experiences in any of the following categories: humorous, touching, inspiring, adventurous or enjoyable. Five entrants will win a pair of economy-class roundtrip air tickets to any Singapore Airlines destination.

The airline is also sponsoring a special Match In Time game. Entrants can match snapshots of Singapore Airlines over the years to the decade the photos correspond to, for an extra chance to win one of 25 Singapore Airlines tickets. A total of 35 air tickets for both contests are up for grabs. The closing date for both contests is Aug. 31.

Free Tank of Gas from Hertz

Hertz is launching a new Family Pack Offer available at all U.S. corporate airport locations for rentals through Oct. 31. The offer includes an array of family-friendly incentives including a free tank of gas, discounted rental rates and no extra driver charges for spouses or domestic partners. Offered on rentals of five days or longer, the Hertz Family Pack is available on family-sized cars, mid- and full-size SUVs and minivans.

“As gas prices continue to hover around $3 per gallon, we’re delighted to provide an added, attractive incentive for traveling families,” said Frank Camacho, Hertz staff vice president, marketing. “With Hertz’s new Family Pack Offer, customers can still enjoy the pleasures of driving on a family vacation, without spending too much on gasoline.”

To receive the Family Pack Offer promotional rates and benefits, renters must mention rate code FAMILY at time of reservation. The Family Pack Offer cannot be combined with any other promotion, offer or discount and is subject to availability. Advance reservations are required, and blackout periods may apply.