The 9/11 Memorial has barely been open a month and already people (read: tour companies) are finding ways to make extra bucks off of it. Like charging tourists for free tickets. And companies are coming up with some pretty interesting BS to explain away their blatant cash grabs.

See, right now if you want to go the Memorial (what, our pics weren't enough?) you need to get your tickets online and those can be booked up way in advance. So the Memorial is giving about 10 percent of its passes to nine local tourism and transportation companies, which are then distributing them as parts of package trips. But, since they are getting the tickets for free, they aren't supposed to charge anything extra for them. Which...ha!

The Times notes that, until they were ratted out, Big Taxi Tours and Gray Line were both advertising higher ticket prices for their packages that included tickets than those that didn't. When it got caught, Big Taxi raised the prices of its regular tour and dropped the prices of their memorial-ticket tour so they were both $35. And that is fine by the memorial's president Joe Daniels, who notes "they’re a for-profit company." Still, he says "the memorial withheld tickets from the company until it changed the price."

Meanwhile, Grey Line changed its prices after being caught too, but hasn't made them quite equal yet. A tour with a memorial ticket is now $44, $5 more than one without. But the legally troubled company's excuse is what is especially galling. They tell the Times that the extra fee is to pay for a second tour guide who in theory would have gotten off the bus with the tourists (and which makes the fee okay by the memorial folks). But it says it has lowered the price since it realized that one wouldn't be necessary.

However, a former tour guide at Grey Line, who worked on their double-decker busses for nearly a decade until recently, says that is complete and utter baloney. "In my ten years at Grey Line not once—not once—did I ever see more than one tour guide on a Grey Line bus," he told us. "For one thing, tour guides would throw a shit fit if there was another guide since they'd have to split their tips further. And the 'I-Luv-the-9/11' types are already awful, awful tippers."