Fly Free... Yeah, Right!
Date Added: June 19, 2003
The most popular e-mail hoaxes take a tried and true hook and add a little bit of current events to make it seem topical and, thus, more likely. What we have here is another chapter in the 'e-mail tracking' mythos, cashing in on personal greed and corporate misfortune.
I thought this was bullocks, but they got back to me within a week!!!!!!!! I contacted the London BA office - THIS IS REAL!!!!!!
Due to the SARS and the recent war in Iraq, the number of passengers flying world-wide has fallen dramatically. We at British Airways have launched an international media campaign which aims to fill our aircraft once again. A part of this campaign is direct email advertising. This is where YOU come in! British Airways, along with Microsoft are tracking this email, and for every 5 people you forward this to, you will receive a flight to London return from any destination in the world (if your in the UK, you can fly to any Asian destination return). Send this email to 10 people and you are eligible to fly ANYWHERE in the world return to your depature point! Simple as that! However, that only catch is you MUST travel BEFORE 31st October 2003. You will be contacted via email within 5 working days for your full contact and booking details.
Note: one flight per person only.
Don't pack your bags just yet. You're not going anywhere on any airline without paying for it. this chain has been around since the summer of 2003 and British Airways immediately labeled it a hoax in a statement on their web site:
"There is a chain email currently in the system which claims that if you send it onto 5 people then you will get a free flight to London and if you send it onto 10 people you can travel free anywhere in the world.
"It claims that it is a new British Airways Marketing Campaign and that we have teamed up with Microsoft to capture people's details on the chain email.
"This is not the case. This is a hoax. British Airways has no involvement with this email. If you receive a copy of this email please delete it."
In November, 2005, a new version surfaced, this time identifying the supposed desperately generous airline as Delta and the reason for their generous offer the company's recent bankruptcy:
Share this info:
I contacted the Delta public relations office - THIS IS REAL!!!!!!
Due to the recent news regarding our Bankruptcy , the number of passengers flying Delta world-wide has fallen dramatically.
We at Delta Airlines have launched an national media campaign which aims to fill our aircrafts once again. A part of this campaign is direct email advertising.
This is where YOU come in!
Delta Airlines, along with Microsoft are tracking this email, and for every 5 people you forward this to, you will receive a round trip flight to any destination in the continental U.S.
Send this email to 10 people and you are eligible to fly ANYWHERE in the world round trip!
Simple as that!
However, that only catch is you MUST travel BEFORE December 31st 2005.
You will be contacted via email within 5 working days for your full contact information and booking details.
Note: one flight per person only.
What these letters (and dozens like them) promise just can't happen. There is no hidden tracking software in the message and you're not instructed to send copies to anybody for tracking purposes.
Think of the privacy implications if it were true: A company with which you've likely never done business claims to be able not only to discern your e-mail address (though you've never e-mailed them, nor they you), but also to track your e-mail habits, all from a simple text message? It is technologically impossible to track an e-mail in the manner described above.
Besides, no reputable company uses e-mail chain letters for marketing purposes. If it really were as simple as this chain letter claims, wouldn't the company go broke in no time at all? Consider this: If you send the message to ten friends, who in turn send it to ten, and so on, you'll have a million copies of the note in just six generations. That's an awful lot of free flights from an airline that is supposedly in financial trouble.
Most people who receive these chains are skeptical, but pass them on "just in case," assuming it can't hurt anything. But chain letters like this do hurt. Companies named in e-mail tracking hoaxes are very often deluged with calls and letters from well-meaning people who want to know if they are for real. They have to divert valuable time and manpower away from business to deal with these inquiries.
Another risk is to your privacy. If you've gotten more than one of these, you've most likely been annoyed by a sizable list of e-mail addresses in the header. These addresses are the remnants of previous forwards and are like pure gold to spammers and scammers, who often start and/or collect chains like these in order to "harvest" e-mail addresses they can use or sell to others.
Don't be a sucker. Despite e-mail's ease and instant response, the old rule still applies: If a stranger offers you something for free, it's usually worth what you paid for it. Break this chain.