With flights as expensive as they are right now, you can’t fault people for trying to find loopholes to make trips more affordable. You can, however, fault an airline employee for committing wire fraud to do so. Thirty-one-year-old Tiffany Jenkins pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday to exploiting her position as an airline gate agent with JetBlue. Jenkins, a resident of Chelsea, Massachusetts, admitted to converting low-cost domestic flight tickets to more expensive international flights at no additional charge for friends and family.
During her work shift, Jenkins would use the airline’s computer reservation database to change flights for customers at no extra charge using a special code. The code allows agents to change flights for customers who miss their flights or experience a death in the family, but Jenkins used it 505 times to benefit over 100 of her close relations.
According to the official statement, once a passenger booked one of the airline’s cheaper fares, “Jenkins exchanged those tickets for a completely different city pair, generally involving much more expensive international locations, for friends, family and acquaintances.”
A charge of wire fraud comes with a fine of $250,000 — a lot more than an international flight ticket — and a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Jenkins’s sentencing is scheduled for January 21, 2020.