How it works:
- Set-up: there are many touts who pose as official ticket staff or tour agents. For instance, they wear a vest with the words “SJQ Sightseeing tours/Liberty Tours”.
- Version 1: selling you a “ticket” to an attraction/ferry that is free to enter! E.g. Ferry to Staten Island, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Battery Park, etc.
- Version 2: selling you a used ticket.
- Version 3: charging more than the face value of the tickets.
- Version 4: offering to help you get discounted tickets at the ticket office upstairs. After payment is collected, he disappears.
- Version 5: claiming that there is a long queue and offering you a ticket to skip the queue. You find out later that there is no such ticket and no such queue.
- Version 6: there are websites peddling fake tickets as well.
Places to beware:
- Chicago: Soldier Field
- Honolulu: USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor / WW II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Aloha Pearl Harbor Tours
- Los Angeles: Universal Studios Hollywood,Union Station
- New York City: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Broadway, Rockefeller Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Madison Square Garden, Battery Park
- New Orleans: selling you a ticket to Mardi Gras, which is free
- San Francisco: Alcatraz Island
What to do:
- Only buy direct from company/official counters or licensed retailers.
- Alternatively, day tour platforms like GetYourGuide (leading globally) has many bestselling tickets (e.g. Empire State Building, One World Observatory, 9/11 Memorial, etc).