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JetBlue Gate Agent Could Get 20 Years for Ticket Scam

She upgraded tickets for more than 100 friends, relatives
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2019 1:33 AM CDT
A JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 pushes back from the gate at the Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Fla.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
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(Newser) – A special code allowed former JetBlue gate agent Tiffany Jenkins to swap cheap plane tickets for expensive ones—and prosecutors say she did this for family and friends more than 500 times before she got caught. Jenkins, who was arrested in November last year, allegedly upgraded 505 tickets for more than 100 people she knew between July 2016 and September 2017, costing the airline around $785,000, the Boston Globe reports. The 31-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud in a federal court in Boston on Friday and will face up to 20 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to twice the airline's loss, when she is sentenced in January, reports the Washington Post.

"As a gate agent, Jenkins had access to the airline's computer reservation database and had the ability to use a special code, referred to as an involuntary exchange or 'INVOL' to change flights for customers at no additional cost," US Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement. "This code enables agents to change flights for customers who miss their flights or experience a death in the family." People reports that many of the tickets Jenkins upgraded started out as $45 domestic flights from Las Vegas to Long Beach, Calif. She exchanged them for far more expensive tickets, including long-haul international flights, prosecutors say. (Read more JetBlue stories.)

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