June 2, 2004

Expose of the Hot Air Balloon Industry

I’m sitting on a huge story and I think I should be calling our headline desk to break it. There is a scam going on, a big scam, on people looking for an enjoyable adventure into the air on a hot air balloon ride. I’m sure you’ve probably seen a picturesque hot air balloon over some vacation town at some point. It’s a wonderful experience — but I’m here to tell you it’s a big scam.

Here is how the scam works. First, you need to purchase your ticket to ride the balloon of course. This seems straightforward enough. However, the trick is that the weather must be nearly perfect in order to actually launch the balloon. Seriously, if the trees are moving, forget about it. So, they get your money and then for years you work to schedule a flight and then it’s canceled. You schedule again, only to get canceled. This will happen over and over again, all the while they are sitting on your money. No doubt it is being used in some racketeering operation or other illicit purpose.

All the while you, the poor consumer in this scam, is left essentially hopeless. What do you know about flying a hot air balloon? Nothing! Even if the weather is completely still on the ground, they will tell you it’s terrible a couple thousand feet up. Do you want to go up and die in some storm after all?

The Hot Air Balloon industry must be held accountable for these wrong-doings against the American consumer. Let’s break this story wide open!

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