BAXTER -- A Baxter woman who won an island trip is finding the devil is in the details and so is the disappointment.
Pam Clontz won a trip to the West Indies through the "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" television show this spring. But when the details of the trip arrived, Clontz was dismayed to see the prize included the stay on the island, but did not provide any funds to help get there.
Initially Clontz received conflicting information from the production offices in Burbank, Calif. and said one staffer told her the trip was included. She made reservations for herself and her husband, Joe, for the vacation at Almond Beach Resort on Barbados. Then came the bad news. No travel costs were included. Clontz canceled the reservations. The week hotel stay must be used within a year from the television air date.
"I thought it was kind of misleading," Clontz said. She went online and found tickets prices for airfare were about $900 a piece. "To use this prize will cost a couple thousand dollars to get there. ...It was pretty disappointing."
Clontz received the first call from "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" on the morning of May 22 in response to a postcard drawing on the television show. Clontz sent about five postcards depicting the lakes area to the show several months ago.
"I never thought it would happen," Clontz said in an interview that May Monday afternoon. "When they called I still didn't believe it."
Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford were on speaker phone with Clontz and millions of national viewers. Clontz was left with the impression the show was sending her to the island, as well as covering the vacation on Barbados.
Clontz said a "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" representative said if Philbin said the show was going to fly the contest winners to the island, he was misinformed.
Mary Kellogg, a senior vice president of current programming who oversees the "Live with Regis" show and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," said some prize trips include airfare and others do not.
"I don't think it was misrepresentation," Kellogg said. "That would never be the intention."
Kellogg said she was also surprised at the $900 price tag for airfare Clontz was quoted. Kellogg said she has booked flights from Chicago for about $300.
Riedl Travel, Brainerd, checked prices for a trip from Minneapolis to Barbados using the travel times from Sept. 1 to Nov. 14 and found the lowest price today was $768. Travel prices vary from day to day and are hard to pin down without a real departure date. Looking at a departure from Minneapolis to Barbados the first week of November found the lowest price per ticket of $846.80.
Kellogg said she planned to look into the issue.
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