Linking out to a fake URL and an even faker website -- freesouthwest.us -- the deal queries the unwitting fool on various customer service related questions pertaining to the airline. Southwest has confirmed that the promotion is indeed bogus, writing to Thrillist in an email: “This ticket scam is indeed fake. While we do not offer tickets in exchange for survey responses, customers could also tell this is not a genuine Southwest offer by looking at the referenced website URLs: ‘SouthWest Airline.com’ and ‘freesouthwest.us.’” The carrier’s actual website is Southwest.com, while SouthWest Airline.com is a URL used solely for the scam.
The intent for nefarious deeds like this is to have people share the link all over the internet, so even more victims fall prey to the ruse. Predictably, this particular survey requires whoever took it to share the link on Facebook along with the statement “Thanks Southwest Airlines.” More like, "Thank you for scamming me."
It’s likely that the scam involves some kind of malware meant to compromise your computer, or it’s being engineered by a shady company looking to spam you with inane marketing campaigns. As Snopes points out, signing the terms and conditions of these particular scams typically allows whoever created it to hand over your contact information to various “Marketing Partners,” or shadowy companies intent on selling you crap you don’t need.
Moreover, this is a pretty common ploy, and airlines are often used as the bait: Another fake deal purportedly from Southwest offering free tickets popped up late last year. Predictably, it was summarily debunked, but that doesn't mean that something eerily similar won't happen again very soon.