Married People Ruin British Airways Promos By Flooding Dating Sites For Singles

Image courtesy of Kitty & Kal-El

Not content to let the unmarrieds of the world have all the free frequent flier miles, a veritable flood of married travelers overwhelmed a pair of British Airways promotions on dating sites Match.com and eHarmony.

The Match.com promotion offered 150 British Airways frequent flier points for every dollar spent by a new member on the dating site. While Match is only intended to be used by singles, that didn’t stop married travelers from trying to rack up points with fake Match profiles. The Wall Street Journal reports that one U.S. customer paid $215 to the site, earning 32,250 points.

In another promotion, BA loyalty members could earn 130 Avios points — frequent flier miles, essentially — for every dollar spent with eHarmony.

British Airways had to cancel the promotions just a few days after they launched in early March, refunding customers and retracting newly-earned points. Match.com blamed the split on an affiliated promoter — though it’s not naming names — who launched the promo without authorization. Match said it had no idea about the offer until the signups started rolling in, and that some people from outside the U.S. also tried to sign up for the offer.

“It led to a lot of bad behavior,” a spokeswoman for Match told the WSJ. The company issued refunds for the “unauthorized promotion” as well as a free seven-day trial to use the service.

For its part, eHarmoney says it put the kibosh on signups that didn’t meet its terms and conditions, including multiple accounts or married users.

“Our Trust & Safety team immediately flagged those accounts and removed them from the site,” eHarmony said in a statement.

How were customers able to take down this promotion so easily? The WSJ notes that there were few clear restrictions in the terms, especially for singletons. One married man who signed up for Match to get the mileage points earned more than 30,000 Avios points. His wife was unfazed, he says, and he thought even if he didn’t use the service, it’s not like Match would turn away his money.

This isn’t the first time travelers have gone bonkers over such travel promos, the WSJ points out: Back in 1999, a man bought up large amounts of pudding and donated it to the Salvation Army because of a Healthy Choice frequent-flier promotion. In exchange for the food, he asked for help peeling off labels to mail in and wound up with more than one million American Airlines miles. His feat is also a subplot in Punch-Drunk Love, a movie that apparently stars Adam Sandler in “serious” acting mode.