Home Hoaxes British Airways Giveaway Hoax

British Airways Giveaway Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

This old hoax message promises free air travel in exchange for forwarding emails. British Airways is NOT running any such media campaign. Nor has it ever done so. When the hoax first began circulating in 2003,  the company was inundated with calls about the supposed “campaign”.  

Back in 2003, British Airways had information about the hoax on their Online Press Office that stated in part:

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.

Like a number of other email hoaxes, the central tenant of the British Airways giveaway hoax is that individual emails will be specifically tracked so those who forward the email can be rewarded.

This is nonsense. Under controlled conditions, it would probably be possible to insert code into an email to allow it to be tracked in some way. However, it is highly improbable that British Airways or any other legitimate company would employ such a tactic.


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.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,