Last updated: 02:00 PM ET, Tue March 31 2015

STA Travel's Early April Fools' Day Prank: 'STAnder' Travel Dating App

Travel Technology | Patrick Clarke | March 31, 2015

STA Travel's Early April Fools' Day Prank: 'STAnder' Travel Dating App

Image courtesy of Thinkstock

Move over Tinder, there's a new mobile dating app on the block. 

Or is there?

STA Travel, a travel company specializing in students and young people, seems to have cashed in its annual April Fools' Day prank a day early by announcing the launch of the fake STAnder mobile dating app via an apparently phony press release on Tuesday.

Like the company's previous spring pranks, which include Post Adventure Therapy sessions, a SeatShare program and Cargo Class fares, STAnder seemed like a somewhat believable concept until one realizes the website doesn't exist (the link it contained leads to a 404 page) and STA has made it a habit of doing things like this on April 1.

The press release even appeared credible up until customer relations director "Una Niteonly" was brought in for comment. 

The fake spokeswoman was quoted as saying "we've been flirting with the idea of an online dating platform for our travellers for some time and we're overjoyed to launch STAnder onto the global backpacking dating scene! With over 400 STA Travel stores in 85 countries, our customers come from all over the world, with many of them using online dating apps in their home country already."

But the conceivable statement was almost enough to warrant looking past the telling moniker.

What's more, the fake app was said to be free to download (plenty of apps are) and only available for STA Travel customers (why not?). Designed to allow single travelers to view profiles of other travelers from across the globe, it promised to only match users who both swiped the "like" button. 

Tinder already does that, so it's certainly plausible.

The final hint that the app doesn't actually exist? 

The corresponding "Love is in the air!" promotion promised to reward the first 20 members who downloaded the fake app with free spaces on its new "Jamaican me hot!" round-the-world route.

While it sounds like fun, it also sounds more like a brand of hot sauce or a tanning salon than a trip. 

Better luck next year, STA Travel. 


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