Steven Johnson, 59, from Friars Walk, Dunstable, was handed a 30 month prison sentence at Luton Crown Court after pleading guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a child and arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.
The court heard how Johnson used a popular dating app to exchange numerous messages with another user - who he believed to be a 14-year-old boy - and made plans to meet up with him for sex.
Johnson was arrested by police on 4 July as he waited in his car at a retail park in Dunstable, where he had planned to meet the boy. Officers seized his phone and found all the messages confirming the meeting.
Johnson will spend 10 years on the sex offenders register.