Message claims that people with a sexually transmitted disease can fly free with Southwest Airlines to anywhere in the world (Full commentary below).
Fw: Fly free with Southwest Airlines to any destination in the USSouthwest Airlines gives discounts to anyone with AIDS or herpes. If you have a sexually transmitted disease then fly free with Southwest Airlines to any destination in the world.
Just sign up, providing proof of your STD, and you will receive your $10,000 dollar Southwest gift card.
There are no blackout dates or restrictions.
Go any where you want to go in the world.
Pack your bags and start flying with Southwest.
I began receiving submissions about this strange and absurd little email forward in late April 2007. The same message has also been posted to several online forums and blogs. According to the message, Southwest Airlines is offering free air travel to anywhere in the world to anybody who can provide proof that they have a sexually transmitted disease.
Of course, it hardly needs to be said that the claims in the message are untrue. It is hard to imagine any airline even considering such an absurd scheme, let alone asking people to prove their eligibility by revealing very personal details of their sexual health. Amazingly, submissions indicate that at least a few recipients are inclined to believe that the giveaway is genuine.
The message claims that there are “no blackout dates or restrictions” on the supposed giveaway. However, no company is likely to participate in a promotion in which there are no controls in place to restrict the company’s obligations to manageable levels. While many companies regularly offer money, products or services for charity or to promote themselves, virtually all such offers will be strictly controlled via maximum contribution levels, cut-off dates, or other strategies.
The message may simply be a joke that has escaped the confines of its original context. In fact, it has already generated some humorous, if rather lewd, speculation on how airline staff would check the validity of claims for free flights. Or perhaps it is intended as a spoof of earlier hoax emails about free air travel. British Airways, Delta Airlines, Spirit Airlines and others have been targeted in the past by pranksters who claimed recipients could receive free air travel in exchange for forwarding emails.
Not surprisingly, there is nothing about free flights for those unfortunate enough to have a sexually transmitted disease on the Southwest Airlines website.
Last updated: 25th April 2007
First published: 25th April 2007
By Brett M. Christensen