United is Giving Someone Named Sydney (and Houston) Free Tickets to Australia

To celebrate the launch of United’s new Houston – Sydney service they’re looking for 5 people with the first or last name Sydney:

  • Free roundtrip tickets for two January 18-25 (including transportation from home airport to and from Houston)
  • 5 nights at the Westin Sydney
  • $500 gift card
  • Activities: Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbor Sightseeing Cruise, Blue Mountains day tour

And they’ll take pretty much any variation on Sydney: Sydney; Sidney; Sidnie; Sidnee; Sidneigh; Sidni; Sydnee; Sydny; Sydni; Sidne; Cydney; Cidney; Cidnie; Cidnee; Cidneigh; Cidni; Cydnee; Cydny; Cydni; Cydne.

In this way they’ll connect Sydneys in the U.S. with Sydney, Australia.. or something.

I can’t imagine that there are (1) that many Sydneys, (2) who become aware of this offer, (3) and can travel during the required dates. So any that can stand a pretty good chance of winning.

This isn’t quite like when Arthur Anderson split off its consulting practice from its accounting practice and ran a company-wide contest to name the new business and the prize was a trip to Australia (until the Australian partners objected and the rules were amended so that if an Aussie won the price would be a trip to the U.S.). But like Arthur Anderson, there’s a downside — tax reporting. United will 1099 winners with a value of $4800. It’ll be important to know how to dispute the value of a prize reported on a 1099 and start collecting examples of low market prices for travel to Australia.

United is trumpeting this as the only flight between Houston and Sydney, and of course that’s true but it’s not the only flight from Texas to Sydney. When Qantas brought an A380 to Dallas Fort-Worth for the first time their plane had a cowboy hat. And they brought John Travolta.

Terms and conditions:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Entrants who are legal residents of the U.S. (excluding FL and NY), who are 18+ or the age of majority, and have one of the following as their legal first or last name: Sydney; Sidney; Sidnie; Sidnee; Sidneigh; Sidni; Sydnee; Sydny; Sydni; Sidne; Cydney; Cidney; Cidnie; Cidnee; Cidneigh; Cidni; Cydnee; Cydny; Cydni; Cydne. To enter, entrants must access, complete, and submit the Entry Form at www.SydneyHoustonUnited.com between 12/13/17 and 12/27/17. 5 prizes available: voucher for winner and a guest from Houston to Sydney, AUS departing 1/18/18 returning 1/25/18, 5 nights double occupancy hotel accommodations and $500 prepaid card, transportation to and from an airport near the winner’s legal residence and access to the following attractions in Sydney: the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbor Sightseeing Cruise, and a day tour to the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains; ARV: $4,800. Sponsor: United Airlines, Inc. 233 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606; full rules located at: www.SydneyHoustonUnited.com; VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. My mom named me Sydney. I always wanted to visit beautiful Australia to see the unique animals and actually see a kangaroo in person.

  2. My daughter is named Sydney but she’s not 18 and I doubt I can use my GPUs on this ticket. Odds of winning should be pretty good for those who qualify and are willing to suffer 30+ hours in UA economy seats.

  3. To: Sydney Parker. If you do get Down Under (where I’m from), and you get to meet a kangaroo in person, please remember you need to engage with it in Australian accent or it won’t understand what you’re saying.

  4. My mom named me Sidney for 2 reasons… 1 because I was a girl and with the name Sidney people would naturally think I was a male and the 2nd was because she always wanted to vacation in Australia.

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