Published: June 7, 2016
If you want to go skydiving in Kansas City, chances are you'll head over to Google and type in the words 'skydiving Kansas City'. Depending on where you're located and your search preferences, you may find our website first - or you may land on one of many third party booking sites which are posing as skydiving drop zones.
It's an unfortunate fact that many of these sites exist - there are a few here in Missouri. Their aim is to entice people to book through them on the assumption that they are the skydiving center themselves. The truth is, these are booking agents who add commission onto their fees so they can earn additional profit when you book your tandem skydive.
Take http://www.skydivingspringfieldmo.com/ as an example. On first look, this appears to be a legitimate website, offering tandem skydiving and skydive lessons. Look closer, and it soon becomes apparent that things are not as they seem.
The address of the 'skydiving center' when searched in Google Maps does not show a skydiving center at all, instead showing an area of coverage rather than one location. This is suspect in itself; skydiving centers run from airfields and you should be able to find them on a map!
If you do end up booking with one of these agencies, you will likely pay more for your skydive. You'll be booked into a skydiving center and can't guarantee it's the one you would have chosen. It's far better to book directly with the skydiving center itself, so you can get to know the team you'll be jumping with prior to turning up.
There are currently over 80 complaints lodged with the Better Business Bureau because this is an issue across the country.
Why Do Third Party Booking Websites Exist?
Third party booking websites exist to make a profit by taking your booking and adding a markup to the real cost. They know that the search engines will serve up their websites as search results for location based queries like 'skydiving Kansas City' and therefore they play this system by 'optimizing' their sites for these terms.
This article isn't about us being bitter about the situation - we've been competing with third party agents for many years. But with the rise of Google and people conducting online searches, these booking agents are taking advantage of SEO techniques to gain customers. We want to make you aware so you can book direct with a drop zone and get the experience you deserve at a fair price.
USPA Approved Skydiving in Kansas City
One of the main things that sets us apart from booking agents is that we're a USPA approved skydiving center. This means we are accredited by the United States Parachute Association and that we follow their guidelines and regulations.
By choosing to jump at a USPA approved drop zone, you can rest assured that your safety is of highest importance and that our center abides by the guidelines and rules set in place by our governing body.