MissTravel, a Las Vegas startup which advertises that “attractive people fly for free,” has been criticized for being eerily similar to an escort service. Although the company states that it does not condone this type of transaction through its services, it does pair members with paying travel companions.
Whether or not the site encourages an escort relationship between its members is up for debate, but what I found most alarming about this company is its disregard for its members’ safety. As if flying to a foreign destination with someone you don’t know isn’t shady enough, a closer look at MissTravel’s Travel Advice and Safety Tips page yields some serious red flags.
The company offers standard advice for users, such as:
– Never travel out of the country or to a different city to meet someone you do not know well.
– Whenever possible, meet someone for the first time in your home city before you decide to travel with them.
– When meeting someone for the first time, meet them for lunch or coffee during the day as opposed to dinner at night.
Toward the bottom of the page, MissTravel reveals that it does not perform background checks on users. While they’re recommended, MissTravel makes it clear that background checks are the responsibility of members to complete before making travel arrangements.
Please remember that MissTravel.com is just an online venue where people meet. We do not screen our members nor are we involved in any actual communication between members. As a result, we have no control over the quality, safety, or legality of the information or profiles posted, the truth or accuracy of the information.
Founder and CEO Brandon Wade also runs dating websites SeekingArrangement.com, SeekingMillionaire.com, and WhatsYourPrice.com for individuals looking to pay top dollar for attractive dates. Wade’s other sites post similar information in the Term of Services:
This Website is only a venue – it acts as a venue for individuals to post personal and contact information for the purposes of dating. WhatsYourPrice.com is not required to not screen or censor information posted on the Website, including but not limited to the identity of any user. We are not involved in any actual communication between Members. As a result, we have no control over the quality, safety, or legality of the information or profiles posted, the truth or accuracy of the information. You agree you are solely responsible for your interactions with other WhatsYourPrice.com Members.
Despite the obvious reasons why a service like this could compromise your safety, 12,000 members have signed up for MissTravel since a soft launch on April 9th. While it’s possible that many sign-ups were done out of curiosity, I hope that individuals take necessary precautions before making travel plans.