Fact Check

Did Saudi Man Accidentally Buy 2 Airbus A350s for Son's Birthday?

A routine review of content labeled satire.

Published Aug. 27, 2019

Airbus Industrie Airbus A350 airplane with registration F-WMIL, an Airbus A350-1000 Prototype aircraft as seen at 53rd Paris Air Show 2019 in Le Bourget Airport LBG in France. Le Bourget, Paris, France - June 21, 2019 (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images) (Getty Images)
Image courtesy of Getty Images
A Saudi man accidentally bought two Airbus A350s for his son's birthday.

On Aug. 15, 2019, the website ThinAirToday published an article positing that a man in Saudi Arabia accidentally bought two Airbus A350s for his son's birthday:

Saudi man accidentally buys 2 Airbus A350’s for sons birthday

A man in Saudi Arabia accidentally bought 2 Airbus A350-1000’s while searching for scale models of that type. The man, an investor in the energy sector, was searching for a birthday gift for his son who is a big fan of aviation.

This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. The article originated with a website that describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature. ThinAirToday carries a disclaimer at the bottom of its website that plainly states: "All content is satirical."

Despite the disclaimer, a number of social media users shared this bit of fiction as if it were a genuine news story:

This satirical article was also picked up by at least one genuine news outlet, TimesNowNews.com. That outlet has updated its article to explain the story originated on a satire site.


Thin Air Today.   "Saudi Man Accidentally Buys 2 Airbus A350’s For Sons Birthday."     15 August 2019.