A former airline worker has admitted to helping create fake IDs in order to secure free flights.
Hubbard Bell, 32, an ex-employee of Texas-based Mesa Airlines, told a court he had worked with others to access the carrier’s employee database, taking information including staff names, dates of hire and employee identification numbers.
Bell used the information in order to book 34 free domestic flights for himself, reports kold.com.
He also helped create and sell fake Mesa employee ID cards, enabling other travellers to fly for free.
The forgeries took place between February 2016 and November 2017 and Bell has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
He will appear in court in December 2020, and could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
It’s not the first time someone has been caught using fake documentation on flights.
In November 2019, a man was held by police after attempting to impersonate a pilot at Delhi airport in India.
Mr Rajan Mahbubani tried to board an AirAsia flight while pretending to be a Lufthansa pilot in order to receive preferential treatment.
However, he was apprehended before he could get on the I5-579 service to Kolkata.
India’s Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) discovered the impostor after AirAsia called the Lufthansa team to confirm the man’s identity.
Wearing a Lufthansa uniform, with a fake ID card he’d reportedly obtained in Bangkok, Mahbubani claimed to have successfully made the journey between Delhi and Kolkata more than 15 times in the last six months using the same subterfuge, reported the Times of India.