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Spirit Airlines Flight Giveaway Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

This forwarded email message began circulating in December 2005 and claims that Spirit Airlines is giving away free air travel to those who forward the message to at least five people. 

However, the claim is totally unfounded. In fact, this message is simply the latest rehash of earlier hoaxes that targeted different airlines.

During 2003, a similar hoax attempted to convince email recipients that British Airways was offering free flights. In October 2005, an almost identical message claimed that Delta Airlines was the company offering free air travel.

There was no mention of the supposed promotion on the Spirit website. Also, the claim that the airline filed for bankruptcy is untrue.

It is highly unlikely that an airline or any other legitimate company would base a promotional giveaway on how many times an email message was forwarded. Any email that makes such a claim is almost certainly a hoax.

Like its predecessors, the hoax makes the absurd claim that the email is being tracked in some way. However, there is simply no reliable way for an individual email message to be tracked over potentially thousands of forwards. Furthermore, even if it were possible, it is very doubtful that any ethical company would engage in such a practice.

There have been many bogus emails that try to convince recipients that a particular email is being tracked. Messages that make such claims invariably prove to be pure nonsense and they should not be taken seriously. 

Example:(Submitted, January 2006)


Share this info:

I contacted the Spirit public relations office – THIS IS REAL!!!!!!

Due to the recent news regarding our Bankruptcy, the number of passengers flying Spirit Airlines has fallen dramatically.

We at Spirit Airlines have launched a 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! Spirit Airlines, along with MessageLabs Email Security System are tracking this email,and for every 5 people you forward this to, you will receive a one-way flight to any destination in the continental U.S.

Send this email to 10 people and you are eligible to fly ANYWHERE in in the continental U.S round trip!

Simple as that! However, that only catch is you MUST travel BEFORE June 25th 2006. You will be contacted via email within 5 working days for your full contact information and booking details.

Please visit Spirit Air for a full set of rules and regulations Note: one flight per person per family.

Promotion Account # 0025871

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,