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Delta Air Lines Free Flight Hoax Email

Summary:
Email claims that Delta Air Lines will give free air flights to those who send the message to five or ten other people (Full commentary below.)



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, October 2005)
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 aircraft 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.




Commentary:
This email hoax claims that recipients will be eligible for free air flights just for sending the message to a specified number of people. It strongly resembles a 2003 hoax email that targeted British Airways (see example below). The claims and much of the phrasing in both messages are virtually identical. There is nothing on the Delta Airlines website that backs up the spurious claims made in the email.

Both the Delta hoax and the earlier British Airways version mirror dozens of other foolish pranks that claim recipients can gain goods or services simply by forwarding an email. No legitimate company would run a promotional campaign based on how many times an email was forwarded. Any message that makes such a claim is almost certainly a hoax. This email could have easily reached thousands of recipients within days of its "launch". If the claims in the message were factual, Delta Airlines would find itself obligated to hand over large numbers of free air flights for each week that the email campaign continued. Given that Delta Airlines did indeed file for bankruptcy in September 2005, it is highly unlikely that the company would launch such an expensive "giveaway" promotion.

Furthermore, the message makes the ridiculous claim that the email is being "tracked". There is no technically feasible method of "tracking" an email message that might be forwarded hundreds of thousands of times. The email would be sent in different formats via a variety of email programs and service providers around the planet. The logistical challenges of keeping track of who sent the message and how many times each individual sent it are mind-boggling and would transcend the abilities of even software giant, Microsoft. This claim that the supposed giveaway is dependent on some form of automatic tracking mechanism strongly indicates that the information is untrue.

These messages do nothing more than add to the garbage in our all ready spam-laden email inboxes. If you receive such a message, please do not forward it to others.

British Airways version:
I thought this was bollocks, 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.


References:
Delta Air Lines Website
Delta Air Lines Files for Chapter 11 Reorganization to Address Financial Challenges
British Airways Giveaway Hoax


Write-up by Brett M.Christensen