As another Texas summer with record-breaking heat ends and the beginning of the fall season approaches, many people will be looking to get out and enjoy themselves at various events across the state. Residents may be planning to watch their favorite sports team compete this season or attend a concert featuring a famous musician. With the prices of tickets to major events increasing and the ever-present threat of con artists capitalizing on marketplace trends, BBB recommends consumers exercise caution when searching for and purchasing tickets to their next event.
While most people know to be careful when purchasing tickets off a third-party website or reseller, recent reports to BBB Scam Tracker show a concerning trend of scammers disguising themselves as reputable ticket sellers when interacting with the victim. These schemes often leverage the credibility of companies such as Ticketmaster to convince victims to provide payment for tickets that are either fake, for the wrong event or priced significantly higher than the going rate. Some may also advertise discounted tickets for high-priced seats or sections, which turns out to be false once the tickets are received, or the purchaser arrives at the venue.
In many worst-case scenarios, a consumer who is provided a fake ticket plans an entire weekend around the event, including travel costs and a hotel room, only to be turned away at the entrance. Victims may also find that the credit or debit card used to pay for the tickets has a series of charges they do not recognize, resulting in them having to cancel the card and dispute those transactions with their bank to varying degrees of success.
To help prevent fraudulent sellers from interrupting your event plans, Better Business Bureau provides the following tips:
Purchase directly from the venue whenever possible. Many consumers automatically go to a secondary resale market to purchase tickets for an upcoming event before first checking with the venue. Going directly to the venue may not only save money but is also a way to ensure that a purchase is for a valid ticket. Venues also often include what secondary resale organization they are listing their tickets on, giving consumers an additional layer of protection from purchasing fake tickets.
Consider your source. There is a significant difference between purchasing a ticket from a professional ticket broker and a ticket scalper. While dealing with the latter may result in obtaining valid tickets, the risk of encountering a scammer is significantly greater. Always exercise caution when purchasing from sources that are not members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) or Better Business Bureau.
Research the seller/broker. Brokers who are members of NATB offer a 200% purchase guarantee on tickets, protecting consumers that use their services. Visit NATB.org to confirm you are interacting with a NATB-member resale company.
Check for website encryption. It is good practice to always check for the lock symbol in the website address, indicating a secured system is enabled on the site. BBB strongly recommends against giving any banking information to websites that are not secured.
Know the refund policy. Only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that clearly details the purchase terms. Avoid sellers who do not disclose where the seats are located or where purchasers can pick up tickets. If the deal seems “too good to be true,” trust your instincts and thoroughly investigate the seller before purchasing tickets.
Use protected payment options. Debit or gift cards, mobile banking apps and cash transactions are risky due to difficulties recovering money if the tickets are fake. BBB recommends using credit cards for all online purchases due to the additional protections they offer consumers to obtain a refund.
Verify tickets. If you doubt the authenticity of a purchased ticket, present it to the “Will Call” or customer service center of the event venue. They will inform you if it is legitimate or explain how a legitimate ticket for their venue should look.
If you have been a victim of a fake ticket scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. Information provided could prevent another person from falling victim.
For more information about ticket scams, visit BBB.org.
Alaskans have grown up with the Permanent Fund dividend — and with the travel deals that accompany the annual payout.
This year is no different, other than the PFD checks are distributed a couple of weeks early.
The big bargains are coming from Alaska Airlines. But this year, for the first time, Delta is rolling out discounts from all three of its year-round Alaska gateways: Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. Delta offers flights from Juneau only on Saturdays and Sundays through the winter.
Alaska Air, for its part, is offering sale prices from all of its jet ports, except Prudhoe Bay. In addition to offering bargains on flights to the Lower 48, Alaska is offering discounted fares for in-state travel. From Kotzebue to Anchorage is $126 one-way. From Fairbanks to Bethel is $164 one-way.
Delta is offering discounted fares to most, but not all, of its destinations in the Lower 48. From Rochester, New York, to Birmingham, Alabama to Duluth, Minnesota, Delta is offering a PFD fare.
Whether you’re flying on Delta or Alaska, you have to plan at least 21 days in advance. That’s really not an issue, though, since many of the destinations don’t have availability until early December.
Many travelers are ready for airfares to come down from the dizzying summertime prices. Checking on PFD fares from both carriers, there’s some good, some bad and some ugly features.
Alaska Airlines is resuming its nonstop flights to Hawaii from Anchorage. The nonstop to Honolulu starts on Nov. 18, but prices are high until Jan. 9, 2023 when tickets are available for as little as $177 one-way.
Alaska’s Anchorage-Maui nonstop resumes in mid-December. But the deals roll out as Alaska Air introduces daily service on Jan. 9. The tickets are priced low: $159 each way.
Alaska Air also is flying nonstop every day from Anchorage to Kona between Jan. 9 and Mar. 16. The PFD special is $159 each way.
Delta’s twice-weekly flights between Juneau and Seattle this winter are enough to keep a damper on prices. The airline is charging $79 each way between Juneau and Seattle. But Juneau travelers can fly all the way to New York for $165 each way. Or to Phoenix for $140 each way.
Delta’s single daily flight between Fairbanks and Seattle also keeps prices down all winter in the Golden Heart City. Many fares, such as Fairbanks-Seattle for $99 each way, are the same as Anchorage rates. That’s a win for Fairbanks travelers, who are accustomed to paying much more for air travel. Another “common-rated” destination is San Jose del Cabo at the tip of Baja California. Whether you leave from Anchorage or Fairbanks on Alaska Airlines, the prices start at just $199 each way. The return flights cost more: from $249 one-way.
Alaska Airlines is bringing extra firepower to its PFD sale this year. The airline is giving away a couple of Holland America cruises (including airfare), as well as two sets of Alaska Air tickets in a PFD Sweepstakes. No purchase is necessary.
Delta resumed its two-bags-free offer for Alaska residents. To qualify, you have to be a SkyMiles member at least 24 hours prior to check-in.
With both Delta and Alaska offering PFD fares, there are good deals to lots of towns that aren’t normally on sale. This includes Alaska’s PFD offers to all its destinations in Alaska (except Prudhoe Bay and seasonal service to Gustavus). For Delta, it includes destinations like Des Moines, Iowa, Fargo, N.D., Memphis, Tennessee, Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Charlotte, N.C.
When you’re searching for a good deal, be aware of the connection time. Airlines will display fares that have two stops, or include 8-hour layovers. For example, on Nov. 1, Delta offers a flight from Anchorage to L.A. for $158 one-way. Alaska offers the same fare, but there’s an eight-hour layover in Seattle.
All the prices quoted here are for “Saver” tickets of “Basic Economy” on Delta. That means you cannot change your ticket. Pre-assigned seats are very rare on Alaska Air and specifically not included with Delta. On Delta, you won’t earn SkyMiles credit with Basic flights. The upcharge to “Main Cabin” is between $30 and $60 each way.
Delta is not offering a PFD special to three of its most-popular hubs: Atlanta, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City. But Alaska is offering promo fares to those cities. Delta is offering a nice fare of $198 one-way between Anchorage and Detroit.
Blackouts. You cannot find a PFD fare at Thanksgiving, Christmas or Spring Break. Those flights typically are full of schoolkids, their parents and their teachers.
Alaska Air’s blackout dates are comprehensive: Nov. 17-28 (Thanksgiving), Dec. 15-Jan. 8, 2023 (Christmas) and March 10-21, 2023 (Spring Break).
Delta’s list of blackout dates is more complicated: Nov. 18-29, Dec. 16-18, 20-24 and Dec. 26-Jan. 3, 2023. Feb. 16-17, 20. March 3-6, 9-13, 16-20, 23-27 and March 30-April 3. April 6-10, 13-16, 21-23.
There are other important facts about the PFD sale. All tickets must be purchased by Sept. 29. All travel must be completed by May 17, 2023 for Alaska Air destinations. Some Delta destinations end earlier than that, though. For example, travel on Delta to Memphis is available for $198 one-way and travel must be completed by March 8, 2023.
Between Alaska and most destinations in the Lower 48, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Prices and restrictions change without notice. They’ve already changed since they were introduced earlier this week. They are likely to change again before the sale ends on Sept. 29.
BOULDER — After two games and two losses by an average of 28 points, Colorado Buffaloes coach Karl Dorrell didn’t mince words.
In his postgame press conference following Saturday’s 41-10 loss at Air Force, Dorrell said, “We have a tremendous amount of work to do … the coaches and myself, we all take responsibility for it.”
Saturday’s defeat at Falcon Stadium bore some similarity to Colorado’s season-opening 38-13 loss to TCU. Despite some early mistakes, the Buffs were in the game in the third quarter — and then they weren’t. CU failed to take advantage when opportunity knocked, and the Falcons were more than happy to slam the door.
Our takeaways from Week 2:
1. Inability to convert crucial short-yardage situations. Despite two early turnovers that put the Buffs in a 20-0 hole, Colorado had a chance to close the gap to 20-17 early in the third quarter and make it anyone’s ballgame.
But a first-and-goal at the Air Force 2-yard line produced a fumble on second down, an AFA recovery and an empty trip to the red zone. Colorado then failed to convert a fourth-and-2 in Air Force territory on its next possession — with the score still 20-10 — and later in the game came up short on fourth-and-3 when quarterback J.T. Shrout slid too early with the first down marker well within his reach.
Saturday was not a one-time aberration. The Buffs were 0-for-3 on fourth-down tries the previous week, including a try deep in TCU territory early in the game that would have given CU some terrific early momentum.
Granted, had the Buffs been able to convert at the goal line Saturday, there’s no guarantee the game would have turned out differently. But it no doubt would have been at least interesting to see how Colorado would have responded had the Buffs been able to narrow the deficit to three and apply a little more pressure to the Falcons.
2. Still no answer at quarterback. The Buffs went with Shrout the entire game Saturday, ending a streak of 13 consecutive starts for Brendon Lewis.
But the change didn’t inject much life into the CU offense. The Buffs had just one drive that went for longer than 26 yards, a 71-yard touchdown march in the second quarter when Colorado’s running game suddenly found life. After that, however, the Buffs never really established anything resembling a rhythm again.
By no means was the limited production all on the shoulders of Shrout. CU didn’t handle the wet conditions particularly well. Colorado receivers had their hands on a half-dozen passes that fell incomplete — with one tip leading to an interception. It also appeared that Shrout, who hadn’t had any extended playing time in roughly two years, is also still finding his touch in the short game.
“We’re going to have to find someone that can give us a spark,” Dorrell said. “We have to continue to develop that position. Maybe we need to look at some of these younger guys, too.”
(Historical side note here that means nothing more than the guy writing this is old: Thirty years ago — Sept. 19, 1992 — the Buffs traveled to Minnesota and trailed 17-0 early in the third quarter. QB Kordell Stewart did not play because of an injury and backup Duke Tobin was struggling. CU completed just two passes in the first half and had minus-8 yards rushing. Buffs coach Bill McCartney then yanked the redshirt off true freshman Koy Detmer. The Texas prep product came in and rallied Colorado to a 21-20 victory, throwing a 49-yard touchdown pass to Michael Westbrook and a 24-yard TD pass to Charles E. Johnson for the game winner. Detmer finished 11-for-18 for 184 yards and two touchdowns, and was named the Big Eight Offensive Player of the Week. One other note from the game: Colorado’s wide receivers coach that night was Karl Dorrell.)
3. CU’s defense gave the Buffs a chance. Yes, the Falcons scored 41 points and rang up 435 yards rushing. But Colorado also forced three AFA turnovers and with 10:40 left in the third quarter, the Buffs were 2 yards away from making it a 20-17 ballgame.
Colorado’s defense also had a solid first half against TCU, shutting the Horned Frogs offense out for the first two quarters and giving the Buffs a chance to be in that game.
Linebacker Quinn Perry is quickly becoming a force. He finished with 17 tackles against AFA, including one for loss. Fellow LB Josh Chandler-Semedo had 10 stops and it’s likely that safety Trevor Woods would have finished in double digits had he not been ejected early in the third quarter for targeting. He finished with eight tackles, including one for loss, and had a big hit that produced an AFA fumble and led to a Colorado field goal.
Also promising was the play of second-year freshman defensive lineman Tyas Martin. The 6-4, 340-pounder finished with four tackles and gave CU some needed depth in the trenches.
4. Air Force is very experienced and very good. That was a veteran bunch the Buffaloes faced Saturday, with seniors up and down the starting lineup. Nobody is going to be surprised if the Falcons run the table in the Mountain West and put themselves in position for at least a New Year’s Day bowl.
5. The Buffaloes are young. Dorrell bristles at the thought of using this as an excuse, but truth is, the Buffs are wet behind the ears in plenty of places. CU has 90 underclassmen on the roster (60 freshmen and 30 sophomores).
It’s not an alibi for Colorado’s performance thus far. You play the hand you are dealt.
But for two straight weeks, the Buffs have been in the game in the second half, then watched it quickly get out of hand. Young players have to learn how to play through adversity — and right now, the vast majority of CU’s roster is undergoing a very painful learning curve.
6. The schedule doesn’t get any easier. Next weekend, the Buffs travel to Minnesota, who has been receiving Top 25 votes. After that, it’s a home game with UCLA, which is spending its non-conference time tuning up against Bowling Green, Alabama State and South Alabama.
Again, it’s the hand Dorrell’s team has been dealt. You won’t hear any excuses coming from the UCHealth Champions Center.
But the Buffs have to figure out a way to finish some of those critical early drives and take advantage of opportunities when they arise.
“When we had a chance to capitalize, we didn’t follow through,” Dorrell said. “We didn’t finish. We have work to do.”
The new Torque is also available in carbon fibre, with adjustable geometry (via a flip chip at the tip of the seatstays, which isn’t on the alloy version) and 29in, 650b or mixed (MX) wheel sizes.
Cables are routed into the chunky aluminium frame.Mick Kirkman / Our Media
This, however, is the seriously robust-looking aluminium chassis, with big, beaded welds on the compact front triangle.
The old shock yoke is gone, with the air-sprung Fox Float X2 damper now attaching directly to the seatstay tip, and the smooth-edged rocker link wrapping around the curved seat tube to meet the stays further down.
There’s (finally) room for a water bottle on the curvy down tube. The pivot hardware uses steel inserts for durability, but the frame is still said to be 200g lighter than the previous generation.
Canyon Torque 29 AL 6 geometry
Geometry is pretty standard for a bike of this type, with the effective seat tube angle 78 degrees.Mick Kirkman / Our Media
This aluminium Torque lacks the geometry-adjust feature found on the carbon version.
Instead, Canyon has split the difference, giving the AL version the head angle from the slack setting (63.5 degrees) and the effective seat tube angle of the steeper setting (78 degrees) as found on the carbon frame, along with the 30mm bottom bracket (BB) drop.
These angles are pretty normal for a ‘bike park’ machine nowadays, and Canyon has stretched the latest Torque’s (carbon and aluminium frames) sizing so it’s in line with many contemporaries.
The large frame tested here has a 485mm reach (the key indicator of distance from hands to feet). While this sounds roomy, it’s actually 5mm shorter than the reach on the carbon 29er and doesn’t leave the frame feeling massive.
This is something to be aware of, because loads of rival mountain bikes with marginally shorter claimed reaches on paper feel bigger than this.
Canyon Torque 29 AL 6 specifications
Fizik’s Gravita Alpaca X5 sits on an own-brand dropper post.Mick Kirkman / Our Media
It’ll be no surprise to hear that Canyon has nailed the component choices.
As one of the biggest brands, it’s at the front of the line for the best parts in times of supply issues, and by selling direct to the customer and delivering in a cardboard box, its prices are roughly 25 per cent better value than shop-bought rivals.
The choice of Maxxis front and rear tyres is spot-on.Mick Kirkman / Our Media
The trade-off for the strong wheels is more weight to lug uphill, and the workhorse drivetrain and brakes weigh marginally more than pricier kit, too.
However, Shimano’s SLX kit is perfectly sorted and reliable, providing wide-range gearing to winch up the steeps and powerful enough four-piston calipers and Ice-Tech brake pads that really bite on fast descents.
While the Performance-level Fox 38 fork and Float X2 shock have reduced adjustment and a slightly less refined ride quality than the brand’s priciest Elite and Factory kit, you can still add low-speed rebound and compression damping at both ends, via countable-click dials and a sweeping compression knob on top of the oversized fork leg.
Canyon’s own bar, stem and dropper seatpost are well-finished, a sensible shape and function well, plus the bike comes with a bottle cage installed to save you some money.
Canyon Torque 29 AL 6 ride impressions.
This is not a bike designed primarily for climbing.Mick Kirkman / Our Media
With a frame construction rated ‘Cat 5’ by Canyon, the Torque shares the same bombproof build quality as the Sender DH rig raced at World Cups, which gives you a clue as to the major intentions here. Basically, this thing isn’t designed to win any climbing competitions.
That said, it pedals fine, with minimal bob (no matter which sprocket you’re in on the cassette), smooth turnover and a good seated position, which places your hips over the cranks and never tips your weight too far back, even on the steepest pitches.
Being built like a DH tank, the limiting factor to climbing speed is the Torque AL’s weight. At over 16.5kg, it’s a noticeable chunk of bike to lug uphill for extended periods.
Add to this the designed-to-last wheels being heavy and the sticky/grippy front tyre being painfully slow-rolling on tarmac and smooth fireroads, and climbing can be a bit of a drag. Don’t expect to get anywhere particularly fast uphill or over undulating ground.
This is all typical for the category, although there are a few bikes – such as Propain’s Spindrift – that defy expectations of how sprightly and frisky a super-long-travel enduro mountain bike can pedal and climb. Those bikes are way faster under power and quicker to accelerate than the new Torque.
Point the Torque 29 AL 6 downhill and it really comes into its own.Mick Kirkman / Our Media
With 29in wheels and 170mm of travel, you’d expect Canyon’s rig to thrive downhill with minimal drama and maximum speed, and it doesn’t disappoint.
Pretty much nothing unsettles the wheels on the ground or scrubs the edge off its pace, and the suspension at both ends feels deep and fluid enough to iron out creases on seriously rocky and rooty terrain.
The large size has stacks of stability and a calm ride. It trucks on down everything from raw, loamy enduro tracks littered with natural obstructions and blown-out holes, to faster baked-hard, big-bermed DH or bike-park style terrain.
The suspension is well tuned and not so numbing or isolating that you can’t get a sense of the terrain under the wheels, but if you want to turn off your brain, stand tall, look ahead and let the Torque do its thing, you’ll fire out the exit of tracks of practically any steepness and severity unfazed.
One area where this 29er seriously differs from its predecessor (and, to an extent, from the MX CF Torque) is that it’s definitely not as manoeuvrable or as responsive to sudden inputs of body language – for example, when initiating a lean angle to cut through turns.
It also feels as though the suspension sweet spot keeps your centre of gravity marginally higher than on the old 650b-wheeled Torque.
Both these factors mean it sits marginally higher through turns and flat corners, and it isn’t as easy to load the chassis in the mid-stroke to switch direction, pump hollows or bounce back off the rear end for extra acceleration in the apex of turns.
Smooth arcs, rather than acute angles, are the way to maintain speed, then, and the whole bike feels soft, forgiving and smooth rather than taut and springy.
Testing the latest carbon Torque earlier in the year, the frame felt absolutely bombproof, but transmitted a lot of terrain feedback through hands and feet. This isn’t the case here.
This may be a consequence of the alloy frame being better-damped, the bigger rear wheel, or the different shock and fork feeling slightly less supportive – it’s hard to say.
The Fox Float X2 damper now attaches directly to the seatstay tip.Mick Kirkman / Our Media
What is clear, though, is that there’s less of the harshness and sense of a slightly fatiguing, rattly, vibration-laden ride apparent on the beefier carbon chassis.
Instead, the AL rides silently, even through the roughest sections and with puncture-defying higher tyre pressures, despite its lower-tier suspension.
This might make it the better latest-generation Torque to take somewhere such as the Alps or your local bike park for non-stop, hand-wrecking, arm pump-inducing uplift laps.
How does the Canyon Torque 29 AL 6 compare to rivals?
Canyon is right on the money with the new Torque when it comes to pricing and spec.Mick Kirkman / Our Media
As a 650b-wheeled bike-park rig, Canyon’s previous-generation Torque had a unique, distinct set of attributes that saw it rule on jumps and man-made features, fizzing over with energy and tautness.
This new model is totally sorted, but being smooth and composed, rather than super-agile, it fails to transcend the crowded marketplace of similarly capable long-travel enduro rigs.
It’s still a sorted package, though, and you can’t argue with the price or spec here.
It’s unlike two long-travel chameleons in this category that balance super-enduro capability with a taut, responsive ride quality; Propain’s Spindrift and the Evil Wreckoning – the German bike blending high-speed enduro smoothness with corner-slicing attitude, and the latter popping and hopping off every trail feature more like the previous-generation Torque.
Canyon Torque 29 Al 6 bottom line
Solid is very much the defining word for the Torque 29 AL 6.Mick Kirkman / Our Media
A solid package in every sense of the word, Canyon’s Torque AL 6 has got your back in the gnarliest terrain, pedals well and has great kit.
It’s a tad heavy and doesn’t quite have the taut, responsive attitude of the MX CF version, though, or that bike’s ability to encourage flicking off every little rise, lip and berm.