SARS has taken a heavy toll, both in terms of human life and economic prosperity. A new e-mail hoax plays off of that malady, combining it with malease over the Iraq War in a play to get people to forward a useless e-mail around the net.
The hoax alleges that British Airways, aided (as in all such hoaxes) by Microsoft are tracking e-mails. Forward enough messages, and they’ll give you a free plane ticket.
Naturally, it’s bogus.
Date Collected: 6/22/2003
Subject: FREE flight
I thought this was bollocks, but they got back to me within a week!!!!!!!!
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.
British Airways debunked this hoax shortly after it began circulating:
British Airways would like to emphasise that a chain e-mail currently in circulation around the world promising free flights is a hoax.
The e-mail and its contents are complete rubbish and British Airways is NOT endorsing any such offer.
Anyone who receives the e-mail should respond in one way – by pressing the delete button.
If you want genuine great value fares then simply log onto ba.com and make a booking.